« Crime Junkie

MISSING: Leigh Occhi

2020-11-16

In 1992, a teenage girl disappears from her home during Hurricane Andrew, leaving behind only a few gruesome clues and kicking off a search for answers that hits closer to home than anyone could ever have expected. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This year, if you're looking for a wind appear with pumpkin pie, hasn't been Del totally fits the bill, and how do I know that total? Why knowledgeable staff, think of them, as your fellow explorers or friendly guides on your expedition to find the perfect pair for your holiday meals, all at the prices that feel like presence. You can try Total wine in store curbside pickup online with same day, delivery and shipping options go to total wine dot com to check out options. and available in your area step into wonderland of wine, spirits and beer instead online at total line, dot, com, high crime, junkies, I'm your host, Ashley flowers and I'm bread, and so obviously, one of the reasons we started doing this show is because we both been obsessed with true crime since
forever, but every once in a while. I come across a story that I kind of think of is like a gateway for new crime junkies, like the story that, just like hooks you and makes you realize like why all of us like bananas, true crime, people, are the way that we are and that's kind of how this story is today that I want to tell you a story filled with so many twists and turns and unanswered questions that it just grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go because the heart of it all, is a girl who vanished from a place where she should have been safe. This is a living feeling girl with hopes and dreams and fears? Just like the rest of us who, no matter how much time has passed, still deserves to have her truth told this. Is this
worry of Lee Ochi crime junkies. Before I just get right in story. I wanted to make sure you knew that are merged store is open, starting. day November. Sixteen at ten a M eastern time for our fan club members. Now this will be the last march, launch of twenty twenty. The last chance to get a holiday gift for the crime junkie in your life. We are keeping
the store open for a little bit longer than normal. So hopefully, everyone gets a chance to shop, but stock is very limited. Our fan club members will have the first shot at purchasing. You can join the fan club by going to crime, junkie, podcast com and clicking the fan club. Tab fan club members have a full week to shop before the e store opens to the public on November twenty three rd, and then it will stay open to everyone until December four TH, but I am telling you if you ever tried to get merch before you know that this stuff sells out overnight, so if you're, hoping for a mug or scrunchies or a sweatshirt, don't sweatshirt don't sleep on this joint club now and shop are merged before were sold out for the year. Okay, now here's your weekly story in August of nineteen. Ninety two,
the city of Tupelo in Northeastern Mississippi, is bracing itself for the worst hurricane as Hurricane Andrew approaches. This is a total sidebar, but did you know that Tupelo is where Elvis was born, I did not. It does not surprise me that you know that fact, but now loved, Elvis look anyway. So this hurricane that is coming in is tariff like worst of the worst we're talking category five hurricane that is already cut a path of destruction through Florida and Louisiana, causing billions of dollars worth of damage and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless along the way like this is a big one. Andrew is losing force, as it makes its way north across Mississippi, and it's actually been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. But it's still powerful enough to produce super high winds and tons
of rain, definitely enough to scare anyone. Who's afraid of storms and oh, she is one of those people, even though just turned thirteen less than a week ago least still really scared of storms and a hurricane is like, though, SK case phobia scenario for her. She so freaked out by the bad weather that she spent the night of August twenty six. Ninety ninety two in bed with her mom Biggie not least parents met when they were both in the military, but they ve been divorced. Since she was a toddler, her dad is station in Virginia and her mom just recently separated from her step dad Barney. So it's just Lee and Vicki living in their house now, LISA, Pretty typical girl in a lot of ways like she loves horses. Much like you did friend and she's sort of awkward around her peers. I think we probably all were at that age. They also like me so nervous, like you yeah, but everyone says that she's a good kid. You know which is Y,
the next day August. Twenty TH is a Thursday is allowed to stay home alone. Vicky gets up to go to work like normal, but is still on summer break. She doesn't start school until Monday, so Vicky, decides to let her stay home. She knows that she has plans to go to an open house with her grandparents a little later at the Middle school, and then they're gonna have like a special dinner at Taco Bell afterwards. So I want to go back to the weather for just a second, because I didn't know this Britt you might have. As you know, we don't get hurricanes here in Indiana by no. You spent a good deal of time in Florida, but storms like Andrew actually can cause tornadoes I didn't know that, but it kinda makes sense with the strong winds and the pressures moving in everything right so as if a hurricane or tropical storm isn't enough after Vicky's been at work, about an hour she hears about some tornado. watches that are now in the area. So knowing how Lee feels about,
she calls home at about eight hundred and thirty, a dot m to make sure Lee's. Okay, according to David Lawrence reporting for the discovery channel's criminal report, Blog Vicky's got a special ring. Pattern worked out with so basically like she'll know, if it's her calling this way before the days of cholera d, like you, can't shoot, attacks again, see who's calling so right the program that they had is mom. Would The phone ring two times then hang up and then call back, and that's like Lee Signal to be like this is my mom. I got to pick up this call, but Lee doesn't pick up the phone. The phone keeps ringing and ringing and ringing Lee still doesn't answer, and none of this is sitting right with Vicky, so she leaves her job and actually
right back home that warning to check up on me, but ass soon, ass. She pulls into the driveway alarm bell start going off in her head, because the garage door is wide open and Vicki was one hundred percent sure that she had closed it when she well here's the thing. I don't know that it necessarily matters either way right. Sometimes we all get in our like routine in a moment, but how, in times of you like driven home in the back, I can't like tell you. I have no idea how I got here: yeah, like muscle member, like you're, just kind of an auto pilot right by there's something you makes me think she didn't leave it open. The whole time is according to rob the harder reporting in the daily journal. She said that the light on that motor mechanism thing is on so if she'd accidentally
left the broad door open when she left for work that the light would be off exactly okay, so the door to the house is unlocked and Vicky goes inside, calling out Lee's name, but her heart drops when she sees blood pulled on the floor and spattered on the hallway walls. She runs through the house yelling at the top of her lungs for her daughter and checking every place. She can think I mean she's, opening up closet, yanking, blankets, back hoping and hope it shall find Lee what it is like she vanished into thin air and so finally, around nine, a M Vicki Vicky. Now, one one to report Lee missing police hurry out to the house right away, and this area too Polo is considered a safe lakes and in West Tupelo, where Lee and Vicki live people, don't even lock their doors like a
going missing is so shocking that a detective this man named barked a Geary, tells the open podcast that he's actually interrupted right in the middle of teaching a fingerprinting class. So he can be told about. What's happened like that's how serious everyone is taking this right away. Bart himself is the first officers on the scene and right away. He notices is the house isn't messed up and there's no sign of forced entry, like those are the things that are sticking out to an investigator barn and the other police find blood pooled on the carpet outside Lee's bedroom and it's still wet. They also find blood, spatter and some strands of hair sticking on a
door frame, so Lee had to have hit her head or her head was hit on the doorframe somehow or something yeah. Well, that's police's working theory. Kind of at this point that would ever happened here happened inside the house and the blood on the door frame, basically supports that right, and I don't know if they're thinking she got like Carrie I mean she could have hit her head- when she was walking when she was being carried when she's unconscious. There are so many unanswered questions, even though they have blood in the house in the main bathroom. The counter top is smeared with what looks like a pink substance, almost as if someone was trying to do a quick clean up of yet even more blood and a pair of scissors stained with what looks like blood are found on top of the refrigerator. There's also a trail of more blood going from the hallway through the
living room and towards the back door of the house was the back door unlocked well, nothing in my research says one way or the other. They don't specifically talk about the back door member of the other door in the house was unlocked? That's how Vicki just came back in and noticed that was unlocked, but I dont for sure know about that back door. But according to Directive Bart here's, the important piece is Vicki Towels Police, that the doors were locked when she left to go to war so, even though I said earlier that it was a safe neighbourhood and it was common for people to leave their doors. Unlocked Vicki insist that she didn't do that on this day, that she left her daughter home alone, which To get like, even when I was that age and my parents would leave me home alone, we in the middle of nowhere new olive, our neighbour super well and again rarely locked our doors. They would still lock me
and if they were leaving me alone, even just for a couple of hours right. So this is definitely sticking out Vicki and again to police. Now, when Vicki leads the police to lease bedroom, that's where they make even more disturbing discoveries. Today's episode is made possible with Jenny. Can I am truly living in my Jenny, Kane sweater coat. It is so soft and Lucy and warm and the perfecting to slip on to run errands or love to watch a movie in or buy for my friends and family for Christmas, Jenny, king is an amazing location to get a sweater for your other half or send a pair of looks shilling slippers, dear Bestia, across the country. They believe creating everyday pieces. Tat are made to last forever gorgeous home pieces and basics that you truly never want to take off.
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Look at the blood on the nightgown. It looks as though it's been dripped down onto it. If that makes sense, so police are thinking that Lee was injured somewhere above her neck. Like maybe again we talk about the door. Framing shook her head on that door frame where they found the blood. Maybe she was hit over the head may be. Something else happened. Maybe she was, but they don't know, but just based on like the drop pattern. They know that the droplets came from above, which also makes me think that she could have likely been in an upright position as well like standing or still conscious. The first time her head was hit right right, so you mentioned a lot of blood. But how much are we talking? Like? Definitely a homicide amount or well, it's impossible to say one hundred percent If Lee is dead or alive based on what's at the scene, detective Bart says it doesn't
like enough that they can automatically assume she's dead, but that doesn't mean there isn't more blood somewhere else right, and you mentioned earlier that someone may have been trying to clean up blood in the bathroom with that, like pink smear on the counter, right. Did they ever find something like a bloody wash cloth or paper towels in the trash? Can something like that? No we're thinking, someone might have cleaned up we're thinking. There might be more blood, but there's nothing there to prove that now, at this point, police are operating with this super narrow timeframe, which, under normal circumstances, could be really helpful for Tracking Lee and bringing home safe like bite because of Hurricane Andrew. These are normal circumstances and right from the very beginning, the weather is a big obstacle. In this case,
the wind and all the rain are so bad that the bloodhounds Tupolev police bring in that warning. Can't catch assent anywhere there. All over this field, and ditch near the house, but, as their handler tells lawn, where's meant either. The weather is messing with the bloodhounds ability to pick up a trail or Lee was just never out there. There is no trail to pick out. There is no trail defined re yet again, there's just no way to tell what happened without more evidence. The blood from the House is eventually sent off to be analyzed. The Mississippi State Crime LAB and over the next thirteen days, the search for Lee stays in high gear, with every resource into below working around the clock. To try and bring her home now, as they continue to process some of the evidence. They realise that the bloody scissors they found on top of the fridge act
turn out to be rusty, so what they thought was blood is actually not blood at all, but the other evidence at the scene. All of that blood kind of confirms what everyone's already suspecting according Ashley Elkin's piece in the daily Journal test results show that the blood found in the house is human blood that all came from the same person and that person was someone with type o blood. Was that what had so there's this article that says leaves either type o or type a, but I heard on the open podcast which came out after that that Lee is type o, though there it did seem where there was a big inconsistency or discrepancy, but the original article that said, o er, I was published in ninety seven podcast came out into doesn't seventeen, so I'm thinking is one of those things that we know as more time passes into
she gets nailed down a little it better. The original article was going off of what was available at the time right right, but I mean without knowing the original source. For that article I mean- I can't even say for sure now, since this is back in the day, when DNA testing was still kind. It just like getting off the ground. so very new. The most definite answer police can take from all of this is like again it's one person and it could be Lee in it probably is likely Lee as the search continues Liese down John old. Finally, guess leave from the military and hurried down to Tupolev. On September, fourth, nineteen ninety two to help search police, some on foot, others on horseback, all join with time. the volunteers to scour an eighty acre area. Around leaves house I mean they have. Helicopters are looking from the air, a special cadaver dog comes in, and the FBI even gets involved like
You name it. They are trying. It feels like the whole city is pulling together in their search for answers, but no one can find even a single clue about what might have to her or where Lee might be, but then, just as the trail seems like it's going cold, a shocking development raises a ton of new questions on September nine TH. Ninety two: this is thirteen days after Lee vanished her mom Vicky gets this strange package in the mail and inside the package are leaves missing. Reading glasses according to the investigative podcast thirteen the glasses come to the house in an envelope. That's addressed in
be Yarborough with the HOMES Street address misspelled. So the home is on honey, locus h, o n e Y, but this was spelled h, o n y okay, but who's barber. So that is Lee's. Stepdad Barney Yarbro. But here is one of the things that's so strange about this Barney, like I said, remember, he moved out he hadn't lived with Lee and and in in over a month and the other that I find really weird. Is that there's nothing else in this package? There's no ransom. Note there's no list of demand, it's just the glasses. It is just the glasses. So this is nothing that you'd expect from like a kidnapping. Right now I mean Vicky is taking this as a sign of hope that Lee is still alive somewhere and she actually takes
to the media test. Thank whoever sent that, but the police aren't so sure, though they want to figure out like the you'll intentions of whoever sent us need to do that they have to find out who actually sent that, so they send the envelope to the Mississippi State crime lap down in Jack in four dna testing for like here writing analysis, hoping that maybe the experts with their like advanced technology, be able to give a little bit of information right, while they're waiting for all of the results to come back. What they also do is the Tupolev police like decide to actually trace where the package was like postmarked and they trace the glasses to the town of Boon Vault Mississippi, which is about a half an hour north of Tupolev. Now at first there really hopeful, because just four days before Vicki got the glasses, there was actually a tip about Liese whereabouts,
that came in from Boon Vol so like this is the best way they ve had. There could really be a connection there, someone saying they see her there, the glasses are postmark there. This is feeling like their onto something when they look close sir at that original ten, according to actually Elkins reporting the daily journal. It was actually an employee at global Mcdonald's that called into law enforcement, claiming that he saw Lee on September fifth at the drive through and this witness saw her in a blue pickup truck with an older african american man. He said that Lee looked upset and she looks kind of dirty as though she hadn't showered for a few days by some me
all police are actually able to track down this truck and this very girl. But of course it isn't Lee ultimately that witness, citing that tip is a dead end and once the results come back from Jackson about the envelope at carry these glasses police are even more got at because there's nothing there like there's. No, in print. There's no dna there's freaking nothing and the problem is like none of this feels like a coincidence or random, though right like clearly, whoever male bees glass is new and not about Lee or her face we or whatever, to know that Barney used to live there, but like maybe not enough that they knew he moved out. Here I mean even to that point. Let me spell
The street name wrongs that maybe they didn't know him that well, but in the general location I don't know yet meet super super strange to me and by the way, not like oh We didn't get like a good profile or anything like whoever sent this, though this isn't like someone found the glasses descended in as like. Again it this isn't a coincidence. This has to be a person related to the case because they found it. They used water to like feel the envelope set of sales, and they use or to put all six of this stamps on the envelope so low, not just someone being like. I found these glasses. I know they belong in this case, but I don't want to get involved. It seems way more pointed than that yeah and at first, when I heard six stamps I was like that seems excessive,
one. But it's not talking a letter right like we're talking about actual like something that's heavier like a little parcel yeah. I have no idea if six was the right amount, nobody really knows, but the Clarksdale press Register reported that it for sure was six stamps on the envelope whatever that means, like I mean I think, we're just looking like whoever male these glasses Coolio he wanted to ensure they made to but sir, mainly overnight this, like really promising clue turns out to just be a brick wall, and so people around the city start to wonder what. If that was the point of the glass says all along like a red herring yeah like a diversion, but you said there aren't any aspects like there's no attention to divert from you know. Well, officially know there are no persons of interest. There are no suspects, but according to the
local rumour mail. There might be a person closer to Lee that needs to be looked at her own mother, Vicki, multiple art calls, I read and then shows that I listened to about this case mentioned that the people in below have been suspicious of Vicki. Honestly, from like day one bathing she's been too calm to collected about the whole thing. And generally. They think that she's acting honestly just totally opposite of how they think a scared. Mom should behave okay, but to be fair, Vicky was in the military right. She was trained to be home in breezy situation.
and she was in the end, like the interviews that I've read or listen to what ever like. They do acknowledge that, but people still see it as something more sinister than military training kicking in and the people in town who thankless they are not allowed to use It was brought to you by guideline. Think your business is too small to offer for ok, it's not guideline provides easy. and affordable for one day, plans for small businesses and start ups in get set up in as little as ten minutes. handles the admin, compliance, compliance, testing record, keeping and investment management you're, offering an employer retirement plan for the first time or want to make changes. Current retirement benefits. They decided planned for your needs. There are no separate set up cost, no added investment fees and monthly fees start at thirty nine dollars, plus eight dollars for each employee and they integrate with popular payroll providers for
The time. Could you guideline dot com and tell them? You came from crime junkie and you get a one hundred dollar gift card when you start your following keep plan with guideline. That's guideline: dot com, slash crime, junkie for one key plan for Europe is thus dont. Forget, that's guideline dot com, sash crime, junkie, tell him crimes monkeys and show you see, Liese dad dine Vicky's. First ex husband is super dubious Vicki, and he makes some really disturbing claims about how she acted in the first couple of weeks after Lee disappear. He'll ledges that vigorous missile led him about what had been telling him. First,
Lee ran away from home in his interviews, both with open and thirteen dine says she didn't tell him about the blood in the house until a couple of weeks, leader like yeah, he's as that's part of why took him so long to leave Virginia and get to pull out. He said he had no idea how how important it was to be there yeah. I thought she was a runaway yeah. He didn't have the full story, I mean. Did he ever talk to the police himself, like? I trust my husband and I trust a lot of my friends but I would still want to go to the source. To be like tell me everything. While you trust your husband, is you, then you shall marry right. You have a good relationship. This is what I didn't understand either like for everything I can tell it not a question that anyone asks him as follow up like he doesn't clarify, one way or the other in interviews if he ever had contact with police before he actually got too to below, but he's Adam
either way that the very first thing he did once he got to town was then go right to police and it seems like me, interviews. I see like that's the first time that he really understand what's happening, looked severity of a situation and we get more background according to DAWN, Vicki, capitally away from him and didn't let them talk very much and he thinks he knows why he believes vis He was worried that Lee might say too much or tell him things that she wasn't supposed to, and what does that mean? Well, he won't say what those things might be and listen, and I think we are have to take down with a little bit of a grain of salt, because just from listening to him I mean you can hear in his voice just how much animosity he has towards Vicki, and I mean listen, coparenting
through divorce and then compounding that with this kind of trauma. It's super messy, but I do think that we have to at least consider his version of events and when asked what he thinks happen to lead. This is what Don said on thirteen quote. I believe she was murdered either accidentally or in nationally inside her house. Maybe somebody got real mad at her, maybe knocked her against the door frame into the kitchen and she died from it and quote now. I do want to be very. clear here. Vicky's never been officially named as a suspect and she's never been charged with a crime related to lease disappearance and, like I said, angry
ex living out of state kind of grain of salt thing, but the people living in the state right there in Tupolev have their own reasons for being suspicious of Vicki beyond just her being like to chill for their comfort. According to an article by William, more in the Daily Journal, Lee reportedly showed up just school with bruises and black eyes and when pressed about what happened to her face, Lee claim that she got kicked by a horse now to be fair. Like I said, Lee was very into horses. She did ride horses. She spent time at a local stable, so it is in a totally like out of left. You kind of thing I did all those things growing up to and they were too sometimes where I got pretty banged up, but it wasn't all the time. and I mean even over time, you kicked pretty badly by
where is like in the sight of the leg, my labours like four times: it's normal side, they gonna hiding creek anything yeah. So I mean again it could happen by its its kind rarity, at least in my experience one. That's when I go to write so like you and I have both been heard by horses. I've been flung off of them. I've been kicked by them on my horse, trigly just rob you of a tree one time while you're. Here I don't like, we were riding in our bathing suits and I got bucked are naturally I got back to have your horse and, like I hit like a brain, The whole thing my bathing suit raftlike, but this I'm saying is like we have been hindered by horses. A lot never injured in the face. No, neither was I not that that can't happen, but I think that its more rare to have your face, be injured and then more than that is really rare to have that happen over and over? For that? To be your excuse, more than once, I think, is a little bit of a red, in something that for sure a reason
see why people would be taking notice in her schools now put just putting this aside I, though it beyond the bruise is hand the black eyes or like this, isn't the only thing people are going off of multiple people interviewed by both Jason Lease and and then for their shows, all shared. Some pretty disturbing, not anecdotes, but things that they claim to have heard about we in our home life mix with things that they'd seen themselves that impacted like how they thought of leaves homelike what they thought of these homelike. We can start with people further away from her and ass. We get closer honestly. The allegations only get darker like, for example, teachers at least school describe Vicki as being like a pretty strong. Disciplinarian who may be doled out spanking beyond what some MIKE sitter normal or acceptable. Some of these
neighbours mention she was afraid of her mom in her step dad and that Barney locked Drive the house as punishment one day, one person number hearing that when we went to summer day camp, she actually freaked out so badly about having to go home that the staff had to call in councillors more than once to calm her down. I'm sorry can we pause for a second? Could I have a question I was up was any this of a reported to children. of services, or anything know it seems like it would have to be. When you talk about like multiple counts, coming in more than wines her showing up its school with all these bruises in some teachers noticing. So that was the idea super curious about as well. I mean granted this early nineties. You were a couple of decades out from that now, but I was surely I mean our teachers, someone would have had to report like IDA. again. I dont know one mandatory reporting started at schools, but, like the nineties, isn't like that long ago cry, but I couldn't find anything
initial in my research that said, like Cps had ever been called or vault with the family or like, and there has never been formal allegations of abuse. As far as I can tell, which is an important distinction to make, but I also think it important to say that there was this class made that remembers Lee that came to this, like school support grew, and this classmate said that she was super careful to kind of like walk this line between sharing what was going on at home, but not sharing so much that the school would be obligated to report it. I don't even know she was being open and not kg by but yeah, but I was never quite as open as maybe she felt comfortable being yeah. It's almost as Lee like New, if I say too much like it's gonna fuck my homeland, The again did you know that, because it had before
I know I don't know any of that right and like, like you, said before, there was definitely some animosity between her parents, so she may have just been trying to protect her relationship with both of them, really yeah, right and and and like I, I think she was super careful about what she said to authorities. It sounds like she was more open with her friends like one of her friends goes even further and claims that led directly admitted that Barney whipped her and another friend hints at rumours that he allegedly abuse her sexually and less boy friend this kid named Jordan, who was one of the few close friends that she had also said that Lee confided in him about being afraid of Barney, no, no specific allegations of why she's afraid of Barney, but that she was was Barney ever considered a suspect. Will David Lore reported that Barneys very cooperative and passes polygraph test. So
He was actually ruled out as a possible person of interest. Pretty early on now Borys actually been deceased for many years, but like Vicki, he was never charged with the crime, never declared like an official person of interests in the case. So with these rumours of swirling, all over town and crusher, mounting to find answers about where Lee might be. The Tupelo police do start to look at Vicki a little bit differently, like they're hearing everything in town as well. Now I wasn't able to find in exact time frame of when she really like gets on their radar, but I do know that police are just basing their interests on town gossip. They are much more interested in Vicky's timeline of events about like basely. Exactly what happened that morning. That's what they're, honing and on that makes them kind of question her. Will you
that Vicky left for work around seven forty that morning and she called nine one one around nine right after she got back home right. So here's the thing Vicky tells police a couple of different versions about what she did that morning. Oh no yeah, my research doesn't clarify what she tells police first, but I can tell you that at some point she tells them. Yes, I did call nine one one as soon as I got home, but then in another version. She tells police, no. She actually called her mother ass soon ass, she got home and family was missing before she called nine one, one in that burgeon there's like fifteen twenty minutes of unaccounted time between when Vicki got home and when she called the police and obviously there's like no one else? Who then corroborate her story, and you know one of the biggest things police are looking out when they're starting to get these inconsistent stories. Is there not even a hundred percent sure that
Lee was alive when Vicki left for work that morning, like the actual this point they had to take Vicky's word everything but now they're, starting to question big, either kind of wondering like will? We don't know what we can Lee, because there is no one to corroborate that Lee with that morning right, you almost have to take the time from that you originally had and go back honestly. Who knows how far back to determine What timeline you're even looking for yet so you can see things are getting really messy and so far again, we talked about how limited the physical evidence is. All police have is Vicky's word, which is looking pretty. shaky to them after she fails not one not to three polygraph test- oh my god, but Vicki isn't bothered by what police or the people and
I have to say about her. She not only maintains her innocence, but she also has a theory of her own about what could have really happened that morning. This episode is made possible by farty. One unexpected side effect of this year is that it feels I like fashion is over. We now know about you, but I don't even know what the trends are nowadays. So how are you supposed to know what to shop for now? So do what I do don't buy for now by four forever for time was pieces that will last a lifetime of where check out. Ferrety ferrety makes high quality comfortable clothing for light. There sustainably minded designing prom.
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Vicky is convinced that a man named Oscar Kerns, who a lot of people know and Smike might have something to do with least disappearance this guy lives about a mile away from their house and teaches Sunday school at the Holy Trinity, Lutheran Church, where they all go, and he also keeps horses at this same stable, weirdly go so there is a connection, thereby he's not a total stranger, but I get the impression that their basically casual acquaintances at most The kind of people who would say hi at church or of like they passed in the grocery store, like they know, is a unique nod them at the grocery stores. What I was imagining right friendly, but not like socialized, regularly or anything according to David Lars reporting, Vicky First gets suspicious of him when she notices that Oscar starts to act. Really.
We're after Lee goes missing weird how well he brings a picture of law. Over to the house and gives it to her which I heard of your like me, but like I when I heard this, I wanted to know everything about this picture. Yeah I have someone I have all the questions. What was it like? Listen? How did he get it? I have no kids, but I feel like the very first thing I'd be asking is like why on earth does. This grown man have a picture of my missing thirteen year old. One thousand person yeah, so I like it. give trying to find out more like what exactly is this a picture? What is this picture? Is this a picture she posed for? Is it like a newspaper clipping my mind is going. Why did he take it like of her? But, like you know, she's walking by like she had no idea was taken either to your point was like him at all. He clip it out of the newspaper, but I don't know me:
is that Lars in discoveries Blog is like the only place that this is mentioned and Vicki get any more details about this picture, but it's something she points to as like all her Spidy senses are going off when again this, like grown man, stranger yeah, I like totally imagine it being like a picture. He snuck and he has it in like a really pretty frame and it's awful yeah. I I don't like any of this and I get why Vicky's like Epis you can say whatever you want about me like this guy and the thing that I think is we're to write. The only talked about like how their casual acquaintances he's been to their house before. So he clearly, knows where they live, and he yeah shows up now suddenly he's here with this picture, so you at First two things. Maybe he's just trying to be nice and and know how to do it and not creepy yeah but like if that was all maybe it wouldn't have stood out to her so much I mean I think it still would again not
here but like? I think it would have stood out, but there was more because the changes and Oscars behavior are just kind of a one time thing because, as he realizes as time goes on, Oscars stopped looking her in the eyes every time she sees him after Lee goes missing. It's the same thing like Oscar can't make eye contact anymore, and this change feels off to Vicki, like even if she can't put her finger on. Why and according to that same article Vicki also remembers Lee telling her that Oscar had offered to take her to write his horses. So this I have all boils down to the fact that Vicki is convinced that Lee never would have opened the door for a stranger. Remember, there's no forced entry, she doesn't think she'd open the door for a stranger she might for someone that she knew from church or the stable. Exactly
now, even though Vicky's he's got her suspicions, there's no reason for police to suspect Oscar had anything to do with least disappearance nothing in my research clarifies when exactly she brings Oscar to polices, attention and there's not a huge amount out thereabout how exactly the investing the timeline unfolds by October Nineteen. Ninety two, though, despite the evidence at the house, despite Lees glasses in the mail, all the rumors all over town and the huge search efforts, the case is just straight up going cold. along miserable holiday season passes and the cloud of least disappearance hangs over Tupolev, and I think this is why people and I'm totally income myself in here, get so obsessed with this case, because I mean on the surface, it seems so solvable right, like you have this house, which sounds like it's full of evidence
people of interest stand out pretty much right away and assuming that someone really did snatch her that warning there's only so far person can get in less than two hours I mean weather Lee was alive or dead right leg? You compare this to a case like priceless Pisa, where he does just image into thin air that seems impossible to solve this one seems like it has so much more evidence and so many avenues to follow to find answer. Yet I'm an I specifically like home in on, like the timeline. Right like if we were to believe picking. Vicki is right about that grudged or light being open. When she got home, I mean we're talking her missing a person who took her daughter by in a minute got meaning that they still have to be really close by and yet here they are watching. Nineteen. he too. Turning the ninety. Ninety three they know a rash, no suspects, there's no weapon,
there's no clue about what really happened that day gradually public interest starts to move on, there's not as much coverage about the case as I would have expected to find, partly because it's the ninety S, they have that, like twenty four hour news cycle like we do today and also I think too, it's because so much else was happening. At the same time I mean yeah have the hurricane that was happening like as this disappearance happen. Ninety two, I think, was an election year gap presidential election year, yeah big one, the news as doubling and a focus on not national right, an imaginary like so election time we're we're living it currently time. Is that, like October November, so right after she goes missing, the new cycle just gets filled. So even though people are still kind of, gossiping left and right life, just kind of moves on and then
in May of nineteen. Ninety three. This is less than nine months after Lee vanish. There's a shocking development, Oscar persons, Vicky's number, one suspect in her own mind, is arrested, and charged with the abduction and rape of a fifteen year old girl in Memphis Tennessee cording to the daily Journal, Oscar drove to this girl's house like early one morning like around seven a m when she was home alone and he offered to take her to school before taking her to a field and sexually assaulted. Her oh wait! How far is Memphis see from Tupelo Mississippi. So when I looked it up on Google MAPS, it's like less than two hours give or take okay, so had he moved from Tupelo to me,
So I looked. I actually couldn't find a definitive answer, one way or the other. I don't know where he was living at the time that this took place, so he could have just hopped in his car, driven across state lines and snatched a stranger well, he could have. But here's the thing. This girl didn't you ask her at the stranger. She knew him and she trusted hand because guess where they met, where at the holy Trinity Lutheran church in tube, allow no yes, that's such a similar situation, to how Lee New Oscar that's my mind is blown. I know, even when you kind of line up the two cases right like again, Oscar is not a suspect in Lee's case, but the similarities are jarring, even the fact that he went over to this girl's house like super early in the morning at the same time of day yeah the fact that Lee didn't have any like signs of forced entry, because someone who,
sure that she probably would have opened the door not that she would have necessarily gone willingly, but she at least could have open that door for someone that that someone she recognized and felt at least comfortable with, if not even say, yeah it's The cases are just so similar to me, with the exception that the only thing that doesn't totally add up to me is that this girl, this fifteen year old girl, obviously is still alive. She made it, whereas we had happened before often we talk about predators like escalating escalating. That's not always the case. I think that's something that we get in our heads from watching too much Netflix desired. Ever that's not always the case, and it could have very well been that again it's not the actual act of murder is what he's going for it is this sexual act, but maybe something If this was him, maybe something the sexual act went wrong in least case and things got terribly out of control and he had to do something worse. I don't know I don't know but
and you can see suddenly to everyone. Vicky's beery now doesn't seem so far fetched any more right: dry NEWS of Oscars Arrest, shocks, the community people from that who knew hammer kind of going over every single memory of him wondering how the heck they could have missed a predator so close to her more and more little interactions that seemed innocent at the time. Take on Syn new angles, like as people who went to the same church, told the podcast thirteen at the time it seemed totally normal that Oscar would talk about leave right, like she was everywhere in Tupolev conversation. So back then, Oscar talking to people and swore rumours he'd heard like a rumour. He said that leaves body had been buried out at a local barn or
the one about how her body was actually right. There in the church basement the new church basement that had opened construction during Hurricane Andrew, like this is starting to set off alarm bells later, Oscar eventually pleads guilty to the rape and kidnapping of the young girl in Tennessee, and he sentenced to twenty four years in prison with a sixteen year suspended sentence. I mean this has to put him on police's radar for least case right? It does so. I read ready William Morris Daily Journal article that police trying it Oscar to cooperate during what the peace calls the initial investigation, but it exactly specify like when that is illegal,
that time period, what causes the initial versus secondary or something- and it definitely sounds to me like it- might be after oscars in jail for the rate in Memphis, though, because that same article also says that Oscar kind of toys with the Tupelo law enforcement, he tells them sure I'd be happy to take a polygraph test for you. If my lawyer says it's okay and, as you can imagine, his lawyers like yeah, that's not happening yeah. Now I know that they had to have looked into this a little bit, because I know a search came up negative out at that barn. Again, I remember I talked about Oscar had these rumors that he liked to talk about, they did a search out there. They didn't find anything there, but I couldn't anything definitive about where are not the church basement was ever really searched or looked into. as far as we can tell oscars. Gossip is just that it's gossip and unfounded So even though he's a scumbag Oscars never been defined.
Italy linked to Lee or charged with anything related to her disappearance and his arrest also wasn't enough to take away the public suspicion about Vicki. Those farmers are still going on and it took over another year after we went missing before her ice cold case turned scorching hot because on November fifth, nineteen, ninety three, an eighteen year old Man named Ray, is out on a farm in north, western County Mississippi wishes. Just like catty corner southeast of Tupelo. Now this guy ray is in one of those soybean fields working the land when he makes a horrifying discovery they are right in the middle of a field, is a human school. According to the Clarksdale press, register police only find the skull when they first get out to the soy
in field. Just days later, the Monroe County, medical examiner makes a stunning announcement. They say that they used dental records to identify the school as belonging to Lee Ocean within a day of this, hitting the press, police and now that they found the rest of leaves remains in the same area where her skull was all about fifteen to thirty miles away from where she lived. So I suddenly, as it seems like this might finally be solved or like getting closer to a resolution, all that hope comes crashing down because There is an even more shocking announcement them. In Oh county medical examiner, says they're recanting their idea. Let's made a mistake: the up
I don't know how many times I have. I have never seen this happen and EVA stories we have covered, but after they make an official Idee, they take it back and say that the bones from the soya bean field are not Lee Oki. Instead, as the hardest work American reported on November, twelve of ninety three may actually belonged to an adult woman. Not a teenager. How does this even help it? That's what I want to know too, and according to that site, Hattiesburg American peace. I just mentioned the medical examiner says that A lot of the teeth were actually missing from the skull, which I guess what I wasn't like a complete comparative yes limited what they could learn from dental records, but like they wouldn't go, into any more detail about how exactly the office Real they were wrong, how they got to be so wrong, like
it's just like you like. How does this happen? How can we make sure this never happens again exactly, and how does Vicky react to this? Well, according to thirteen she's really upset, the former two polo chief of police is actually one of the people who has to break the bad news to Vicky and her parents about the bogus and he sees her reaction as being right, along with the lines of what he'd expect from a grieving parent saying that she was quote quite a bit of emotion and quote: no. It's impossible to say: if Vicki's react, should actually changes any minds around the town about whether or not you know, people think she's guilty
in December of ninety three. The bones from the soybean field field are properly identified as belonging to a twenty seven year old woman named Pollyanna Keith, who had been missing since March of ninety three. Now that it is officially not Lee once again, her case goes cold, but it is still open and the mystery of her disappearance still haunt. The two polo police, Oscar Kerns got out of prison in ninety seven, only to go back less than two years later in ninety nine on a twenty year sentence after being convicted of a note, the rate and kid now, oh, my God, yeah. Clearly, this guy has a pattern he was due to be released last year. But I couldn't find a hundred per cent for sure if he's out or if he still incarcerated. over the years the physical evidence, from least house has been reexamined with better technology, the blood from the crime scene,
like use dna, is definitely hers and according to another one of William Moore's articles in the daily journal in two thousand and fourteen police work with the FBI to develop a comprehensive dna profile for Lee and they get it to the missing person section of codes a year later thousand and fifteen, a team of cadaver dog searches, a drainage dish, nearly house that happened to be under construction during Hurricane Andrew, but despite a few areas, kind of cropping up as points of interest and some digging the search again just comes up empty to this. day, Lee Ochi is considered a missing person into Polo Mississippi. Her father dawn believes she's dead, but her mother Vicki still holds out hope that somehow some were in the face of overwhelming odds. Lee might still be alive either way they deserve to know the truth and, above all,
Lee deserves justice. If you have any information about the disappearance of loci, please call the Tupelo Police Department at six hundred and sixty two eight hundred and forty one, six thousand four hundred and ninety one or crime stoppers of Northeast Mississippi. At one eight hundred and seven seven three eight, four, seven. Seven, you can see all of the pictures and source material for this episode on our website. Crime, junky, podcast com and be sure to check us out on Instagram at crime. Junky podcast will be,
next week, with a brand new episode. Crime junkie is an audio chuck production. So, What do you think Chuck do you approve?
Transcript generated on 2020-11-17.