(Introduction to show begins)
TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): I’m Todd Matthews and this is Missing Pieces. Tonight we have Sarah Teague. Welcome Sarah.
SARAH TEAGUE (GUEST): Welcome. Hello.
TODD: How are you doing?
SARAH: You must be doing very good too.
TODD: Oh no you did great.
TODD: You did great. We do…you know despite subject matter on this show, we really do have a good time. We have a good time so we’re doing really well. Okay, but unfortunately this is a bad weekend for you; this is the 12-year anniversary of your daughter, she’s been missing for 12 years August 26th.
TODD: Heather Teague from Spottsville, Kentucky, I think. Can you tell us a little about it?
SARAH: Spottsville, Kentucky is where Newburgh Beach is located and that’s where Heather went to lay in the sun on August 26th, 1995, and from what we were told, we got a phone call late afternoon asking us if we knew where Heather was and we were told that she had left her car abandoned on Newburgh Beach. We had never heard of Newburgh Beach but my daughter Holly and I headed to Newburgh Beach and when we arrived, there were yellow police tapes all over the place and I will never, ever forget the sight of the empty lounge chair in the water on that beach.
TODD: How old was Heather?
SARAH: Heather was 23 years, 4 months and 1 day old.
TODD: You’ve kept a count and that’s one thing I noticed about you, I’ve seen different websites, you’ve got everything timed down to the minute and I think you’ve documented everything that you’ve encountered during this time period.
SARAH: Well Todd, I’ve really tried hard, you know we’re having a difficult time because the state police don’t seem to want to cooperate. We just went to court August 6th of this year to file a motion of an appeal to the attorney general after an open record request had been denied us just for the time and location of time that this eyewitness called for help. After 12 years, I still don’t even know how the day went down. I know the basic facts, you know but when we got there that day, we were told that an eyewitness had watched from across the river, through a telescope as Heather had been dragged into the woods but her hair and then we were told that the man had dark bushy and a beard and that Heather was just gone.
TODD: Wow, and I’ve heard about this case for so many years, even when I was in Kentucky, when all the Tent Girl thing was going on, this had already happened.
SARAH: Uh huh
TODD: So you were one of the first people that I encountered that had a missing person, you know when I was looking through some of the newspapers, you were one…because what I didn’t realize when working with the Tent Girl, you didn’t think about it, that there was somebody missing from somewhere else and then that whole world opened up to me at that point in time and you’re in Kentucky, so you were one of the first cases that had become really visible to me.
SARAH: Well I never, ever thought that it would go 12 years. I remember meeting a lady that her daughter had been gone for 3 months and she came to tell me that she had been found in a lake and she had drowned and I said “Oh my goodness, there is no way that we’ll wait for 3 months” and here it’s been, tomorrow it will be 12 years.
TODD: So it seems like 12 lifetimes, I’m sure.
SARAH: Oh, it is. It is nothing but…I look in the mirror and I don’t even recognize me. I don’t even look like, I mean, 12 years of my life has been just…this is…when you don’t know where your child is, it’s every single day, hourly, some days like it has been today and will be tomorrow, you know you just ache to just know where they are and then when somebody you know that met during this ‘not knowing’ period of you life, that they have found their child, you just, there’s this envy, there is this feeling that you never, ever have even thought about feeling. My friend, Linda Miller, her little boy Jeffrey, Jeffrey Ben was gone I think 5 years, and she and I met in North Carolina at the Cue Conference, and he was found, she actually picked his bones up from the side of a mountain and the day that he was found, she let me know and I told her, I said, “I can’t believe this, I am actually envious of you, that you get to know.” I didn’t envy the fact that she was having to pick up his bones, I think that’s one of the most horrible things that I’ve ever heard of, but to know that her son is with the Lord, just to know, because…
TODD: One way or another.
SARAH: Yes. If you aware of not but in Heather’s disappearance, there’s been rumors that she’s been sold.
TODD: You know I’ve worked with the state of Kentucky, with the Tent Girl case and I really, really had good results, it was really positive. Now there was a period, where I did communicate with and tried to write letters to people but that was before the case was resolved and I didn’t get a lot of feedback but I wasn’t family, but of course she didn’t have any family at that time but then afterwards, after things started coming together, I’ve had a really good relationship and since then I’ve had a really good relationship especially with Dr. Emily Craig, the state medical examiner, so when we’re hearing things about the state police, it just makes me wonder “What’s wrong, what’s happened? Why is this case different from another?”
SARAH: Well, do you remember that there was a Kentucky State Policeman on the beach as Heather was being abducted?
TODD: I did hear about that and I’m hoping that our audience will actually read all of your case file that’s linked to your page before they listen to this because we’re trying to pick up with what they read there and move forward with it. So, yes, I did hear that.
SARAH: Within 12 years, there are just a lot of things that have happened throughout the years but basically Todd, I’m still asking the same questions today as I was probably, I would say, 18 months into Heather’s investigation. When you first read about it, most people tell me it sounds like just an absolute made up story. You know you’ve got an eyewitness watching from across the river in Indiana, and he sees a man come down from the woods and drag Heather into the woods; and then you have a farmer that’s filming vehicles on Newburgh Beach that was causing crop damage that day, and he films Heather’s car and he films a 1985 red and white Ford Bronco; and then you’ve got a Kentucky State Policeman at the very time that Heather was being abducted, he’s there pulling a truck out of the mud. The truck supposedly had been stuck the night before and at the time of the abduction somebody called in and said that it had started leaking gasoline. So you’ve got all this around the time that my little girl’s being dragged into the woods and then at, between 2:30 and 3:00 o’clock that afternoon, another witness sees a girl that she’s 99.99% positive that the girl was Heather, being held by her hair, still, and trying to get out of a little red car, a little red Chevette. So, you know, you’ve got a policeman there, and I just want to scream, “Why didn’t they put roadblocks up?” And you can’t go back, you can’t ever go back to that day, but I wonder every single day, you know, if that was Heather, and I’m almost positive that the girl was Heather.
TODD: Well, hindsight’s 20/20 for everybody with something like that. What we should have done when something’s going on like that, you know, what were you doing at that time? What do you remember about that day when you were first discovering, you know, your state of mind?
SARAH: About one o’clock that day, and this is so, this is what happened…my daughter Holly and I had taken some clothes to somebody that was in jail in Central City. Heather was born in Greenville and our first little house when I brought her home from the hospital was in Greenville and that day, at probably about the time that she was being abducted, I told Holly, I said “you know what, let’s…I want to show you where I brought Heather home” and we pulled up and I showed her, I called it the ‘little cracker box house’ because it was so tiny and I said, “that’s the house that I brought Heather home in” and I told her how Heather’s dad’s mother had wanted to take her in and I said “No, I’m going to be the first one to take her in the house”, and so that’s where I was Todd. I sat out in front of the little home that I brought her home as a baby and just cried like a baby because for 6, I would say 6 months before this happened to Heather, I just knew in my heart something was going…something was about to happen. She and I both did.
TODD: Well you know this premonition; you know that’s happened to me a lot. A lot of people say “you’re crazy” but you get that feeling. I’ve been there. I know that but was there anything going on that would have made you think that she was in any kind of danger?
SARAH: No, not anything, just a feeling. I remember I had a dream about a white brick building and the day after we got the call from the police asking us “did we know where Heather was?” and like I said, we had never heard of Newburgh Beach, and when we turned left on Highway 811 to go down to the beach, I looked on the left and there was a white brick building and I knew in my heart that I was on my way to those bad feelings becoming a reality that day. And Heather had gotten involved in drugs. She had been…this guy she had been seeing that was supposed to have met her that day on the beach, had been involved in drugs. I didn’t know to what extent until after this had happened but…
TODD: And I’ve watched this case for 10 years, you know, I’ve seen it get crazier and crazier over 10 years. You know, I would have thought year ago, with all the attention, all the focus that you’ve put on it, it would have all been over with by now.
SARAH: Well, it seems like the more questions that I asked, the stories just keep changing. We were told the man that took Heather had dark bushy hair and a beard, and right after this man, on Day 5, he supposedly committed suicide, the composite sketch of this man wasn’t done until after the film of the Bronco was turned into the Kentucky State Police, the sketch wasn’t done until Day 4 and it was probably a good 6 weeks into Heather’s disappearance that I kept getting phone calls saying “you know, this man didn’t have any hair” and “this man was absolutely bald” and I learned right quick that when somebody tells you something, you know, I would always run right to the police, well you have to have proof, otherwise it’s hearsay.
TODD: uh huh
SARAH: So, you know, I had to call the jailer at the Webster County Jail, in Dixon, Kentucky and get proof that, yes indeed, this man was totally clean-shaven. She had buzzed his hair for work release. So that was a question. Well at six weeks, when I learned this, that’s when the lieutenant with the state police called me in and he said, he told me a story of how this man had been the only suspect in a rape, in a cemetery in July of ’94, and in this rape he had worn mosquito netting. Well, it was about that time that I kept wanting to meet the eyewitness. I met the eyewitness and he called me into the kitchen right before I left and he said, “The man that took your daughter, or Marty Dill had worn mosquito netting”. So there I had the lieutenant and the eyewitness both telling me pretty much at the same time that Marty Dill had worn a mosquito netting so, you know, I thought, “well there you go.” And then about 18 months into Heather’s disappearance, I saw a picture of this man’s driver’s license laying up against this composite sketch, and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, they’re identical”, down to an under-bite and a shadow on the side of this man’s face. You know, this sketch was drawn from the driver’s license, so I go back to the police and try to get some answers and I still don’t have…I still don’t have any answers for that. I actually have more questions today, than I did, because every time I would learn something, the stories, like I said, would change. And the truth, should it not stay the same?
TODD: Well you would think.
SARAH: Truth is one way.
TODD: Well, who’s your officer with this case? Who are you working with now?
SARAH: Now, there’s a Detective Mark Carter. They have changed detectives, I think 5 different detectives, 3 different captains, the lieutenant that was involved is now a jailer; he retired from criminal.
TODD: And now you’ve had to train all these people.
SARAH: Oh they can’t stand me.
TODD: I’ll bet. I’ll bet. You know I’ve outlived a lot of different police officers and I’ve outlived a lot of different reporters, especially in Kentucky, I’ve been there a lot. It’s like, you get a new one and you’re used to working with this one and you have to get them up to speed on where you were going and what you were doing on the case. You’ve been there haven’t you?
SARAH: Oh my goodness.
TODD: How do you feel about Carter? Do you feel like he’s genuinely trying to help you with this case?
TODD: Not as much.
SARAH: He’s not. I’ve had to hire an attorney. I’ve just recently had to hire an attorney and like I said, we just went to court to even try to get the 9-1-1 tape, and I looked back through my records last night and I found in 1999, where I had contacted an attorney that worked for Ben Chandler, who is the Attorney General, or was in 1999, and they had told me in this letter that according to KRAS 1.70 (2) where they saw no problem with me listening to the actual tape but it was at the discretion of the KSP (Kentucky State Police) and, of course, this is after we already went to court but we still haven’t got it.
TODD: Now why do you think that they don’t want you to have it?
SARAH: Well, this is all I know, is that the eyewitness all these years has said, he first called 9-1-1, he lives in Newburgh, Indiana, so when he called 9-1-1, he says it took him to Warrick County Sheriff’s Department, then they connected him to Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Police somehow hooked him up to Kentucky State Police. Some how or other he was…the Kentucky State Policeman that was on the beach, they got on the radio together and the eyewitness told him where to go to the abduction site. Then the eyewitness took a boat across the river and he met whoever and they found Heather’s bathing suit bottoms up in the woods. All I know is now a newspaper article and I have called to verify that there’s a sheriff from Warrick County that says the witness claims he called 9-1-1 but there is no record of any such call on our log. Now the eyewitness has changed his story that he didn’t call 9-1-1 at all and that he called Indiana State Police. So his story, once again, has changed.
TODD: Now do you think it’s really a cover-up or more or less, maybe something wasn’t done right in the first place and you get so far into it now it’s hard to explain what really did happen?
SARAH: Well, that’s what we’re trying to figure out. We know that when all these questions started about the man that supposedly killed himself’s appearance, then the eyewitness told me that he went to the morgue and positively the man as being Marty Dill, that took Heather. He said he’d chopped his hair off with scissors and, of course, like I’ve told you, we know that he didn’t have bushy hair and a beard so he didn’t chop his hair off. Ten years into this Todd, I learned that the FBI had taken the evidence from this vehicle, the Bronco, and it was discovered still sitting in the Kentucky State Police’s evidence room. Ten years into this, another man named Christopher Below, he sits in an Ohio prison right now; the eyewitness has now picked him out of a lineup three different times. You can look at the composite sketches that the body of this sketch is identical to Christopher Below, absolutely identical, you could put one on top of the other; the face is Marty Dill’s face. So I don’t know what’s going on…I don’t know. All I know is those are the hard cold facts and you would have to see the…Christopher Below had a way of…you probably know the name of this, I don’t know, it’s a genetic quirk they call it, where your arm actually turns outward…
TODD: uh huh
SARAH: And that’s the way this drawing was done and Christopher Below does have this genetic quirk. On year 4, when I met Marty Dill’s mother, she gave me a picture of Marty and the body, I mean Marty had these big muscles; so I said, “well I don’t know what’s going on but Marty didn’t have any hair and this is not Marty’s body” and, of course, 6 years later we find out it’s another man’s body. I don’t know Todd. All I know is that I don’t know where any this leaves Heather. There’s not one trace of her. I have just as much proof right now that she’s alive as I have that she’s not and the police keep saying Marty Dill did this, will you stop looking for Heather, this was at 2 months. They told me to quit looking for Heather, quit putting her posters up, go on with your life, they said “Marty Dill killed his self and took his secrets to his grave.” Well there’s a pond and a well and a cistern on that Dill property, now you tell me, if they honestly thought that Marty Dill killed my daughter, would they not have turned that property up-side-down? They did not. The eyewitness brags, yet today, that he paid for psychics to come in and look in wells, there’s a well on the Dill property that’s still not been looked into.
TODD: Well when somebody’s telling you “not to hang up posters”, that’s telling me that they think she’s dead.
SARAH: At 2 months, yes at 2 months. Oh yeah they tried to convince me that she was fed to the hogs…but there’s no proof. But all I’m saying is, if they really thought this Dill guy did it, why has that pond and that well and that cistern on the property still not been searched for Heather?
TODD: Now, you’re at another point in this thing, you’re actually to the point where she’s actually going to be declared legally dead. What brought that up?
SARAH: We really had no other course to go because we’re getting turned down left and right. I have got a whole folder full of open records that I have requested and been denied and appealed and denied, and of course now that I have an attorney, we can go back and do open records for all of this but the opinion of the Attorney General that after 8 years that somebody is missing, that there has to be a darn good reason why you’re turning down somebody’s appeal for…like one of the things that I wanted was activity cards and timesheets of all officers on the beach that day. I wanted to know who all was at the trailer the night that Marty Dill died. Just little things about this investigation that they won’t sit me down, they basically, like I said, just keep changing that story, and are…they make a big deal out of a 9-1-1 call, when…they’ve actually made the big deal out of it by the eyewitness changing his story and by the state police refusing to even tell us the time and location of this call. We weren’t even asking to hear the 9-1-1 tape, we just asked what time did he pick up that phone and call for help because right now, 12 years later, I still don’t know the time Heather was abducted.
TODD: So for everybody listening, just the fact that the movement to declare Heather legally dead is no indication that this family has given up their search at all, in fact, it helps them have more access to records because of privacy laws in place, if Heather was alive…
TODD: It prevents them from moving forward so it’s not any indication…there’s nothing there, it’s no secret. It’s exactly what it is.
SARAH: You know the poem I wrote, Hope Is Alive, Hope is Still Alive?
TODD: Yes, and we’ll put it on the website here, so you’re actually going to have a permanent website here with us.
SARAH: Thank you.
TODD: And hopefully it will help.
SARAH: This feels like such an honor for Heather because when your baby’s been taken away, it’s like her whole name has been taken away. Heather is now the little girl who was abducted from Newburgh Beach. There was a girl who put a website up and listed Heather as murdered, well I just had a fit, and I was like “Listen, she’s still missing.” So for me to have to declare my child legally deceased, I can’t even say the other word, if you put ‘legally’ in front of it, it kind of softens the blow.
SARAH: This is not something I would have ever, ever done had I not had any choice. I don’t have any choice. I have to do this to get answers legally.
TODD: Wow, that’s such a crazy thing.
SARAH: And all I want to know is the truth. You know I’ve been told “she’s been fed to the hogs”, I’ve been told ‘she was killed in this film.” The artist, in 1999, called me and said “I have found your daughter; she’s been killed on this rapez.com website.”
TODD: It’s a snuff film.
SARAH: “I’ve got #3 and you don’t want to see #23.” He brings me this picture in here and, of course, I take it to the state police and they say “this girl is 130 lbs and 5’6”, that’s not Heather. But I’m saying “Look, that the shape of her breasts, that’s the shape of her…she’s got flat feet. It looks like Heather and the artist has just told me that her teeth were knocked out and, oh God, I don’t understand any of this. It’s like year after year; they’ve come up with something different to make me stop. You know, “she’s dead, quit looking for Heather” and I don’t understand what really happened that day but I do know Todd that what they told me happened on Newburgh Beach, August 26th, 1995, is not what really happened. You don’t have that many coincidences, I don’t even believe in coincidences. That state policeman, a truck was stuck the night before and at the time that Heather was abducted, it starts to leak gas, you know, and the eyewitness seeing a man with dark, bushy hair and a beard that was bald-headed? You know, something ain’t right.
TODD: Well do you believe that that’s her in the film?
SARAH: The face looks a lot like Heather. She’s got long fingernails, which Heather did not have. I don’t know. I don’t know. All I know is that the artist came in here and I said, “Listen, she’s laying face down on this table, she’s got a red birthmark on her right buttock” and he says, “Okay, right here, show me where her birthmark is” and there are color pixels right there. I mean, he just went totally out of his way to convince me that that girl is Heather…was Heather. And the next Sunday, he brought me the picture of the face of an actual dead girl and I was like, “that looks like my little sister, but that’s not Heather.” So I don’t know. All I know is, I need to know because if it had been cut and dried, you know, if the eyewitness saw a man drag Heather away and 5 days later kills himself and there was no questions about his appearance or the time of the abduction; if the eyewitness hadn’t changed any of his story, there would not be much doubt that Heather was…that he killed her that day but, because, year after year, you know, I’ve been actually brought pictures with graphic detail of “this is how she was killed”, I don’t know. There’s been too many stories told by the ones in charge that have kept my whole life just…I don’t know what kind of shape she’s in right now. That’s why I have to have this faith in God that Matthew 10:26 says “There will be nothing hidden that won’t be revealed” and that’s what keeps me going every day. It’s that, if she’s not being taken care of today, we’ll find her tonight and God forbid that she has been sold somewhere and, you know it would be better had she been killed that day and that because of the many stories that keep changing, I don’t know.
TODD: Well, you’ve got your DNA in the national DNA database?
SARAH: The FBI actually came in August 15, 2005 and took my DNA. Heather’s car and her notebooks and everything that was left on the beach I learned, after I got the search warrant for the Dill trailer, which was asking for hair and fingerprints of Heather’s that the KSP did not have one hair or fingerprint of Heather’s to compare anything to and, like I say, 10 years later, the FBI comes in here and let’s me know that the evidence that they collected on September 2nd, 1995 from the Bronco had sat in the KSP Headquarters, Post 16, in Henderson for almost 10 years. It had just sat there. It had not been sent off. And I’m trying to get Debbie Culberson, you know Debbie don’t you?
TODD: Yes. Yes I do.
SARAH: I’m trying to get her to find out, you know, what the proper way would have been to have stored this DNA. With technology as advanced as it is now, I can’t see how this would come back ‘inconclusive’. I mean, surely, surely there’s got to be some way that they took 4 swabs of blood from the inside of the tailgate of this Bronco and this detective that’s working the case now told my attorney that there were no forensics out. This detective has told another lady, on tape, that there are forensics out and I do have the eyewitness on tape through the years changing his story, so it’s not like…I mean I can prove everything that I’ve just told you.
TODD: Well, what about Holly? How has Holly taken this?
SARAH: Ahh, bless her heart. She’s got 2 little kids now; Haven’s got 3. She was with me yesterday for several of the interviews. They’re just, their hearts are just breaking. This morning she said, “Momma, you don’t even look like the same person.” She did, you know, she said that she told my attorney yesterday, she said “she can’t stop, you know, she can’t stop.” And you know people from church will say “Give it to God, just give it to God and leave it alone.” My faith is stronger now than it’s ever been. I’m not the same person I was when Heather was abducted.
TODD: Always easier said that done to just let it go.
SARAH: You know, like I say, if there had not been any questions, had it been cut and dry that the Dill guy did it and he killed himself because he killed Heather, it would be different.
TODD: Well if you felt like somebody was working on it as diligently as you are, you know, maybe you could.
SARAH: Oh my goodness. Exactly. When you have to fight, when you have to get an attorney to even get the time that your daughter…to try to get the time, you know, she was on that beach with 2 roads in and out of that place, Todd, at least she was still fighting for her life for 2 whole hours still on that beach. At the very least, if the abduction happened at 1 o’clock, she was still there 2 ½ hours, you know? And all I’m asking for is the truth; what happened that day. Of course now it goes deeper because I want to know why they changed their story. I want to know. And I’ve told them, Year 4, with all this story coming out, you know people kept saying there was a conspiracy, what have they covered up and I didn’t know what a conspiracy was and I told them, “you know I don’t care what you all done, I don’t care what you all done, just bring Heather home. Find Heather. I just want to know where Heather is. I don’t…you know, I’ll stop asking questions, just bring my baby home.” And they don’t get it.
TODD: Well on your website, we’re going to try to point out the contradictions on your page for Heather on Missing Pieces. We’ll try to point out and we’ll talk to you after the show and get some of these contradictions lined up then and now.
TODD: So we’ll work with you on that and try to actually have some of these…what I’m trying to do now with this show, in doing this, we try to pack everything into as small a package as possible, it’s usually a very big package but there is so much information on Heather.
SARAH: There’s too much and…
TODD: It is. It’s a lot and we try to just pull it down.
SARAH: Yeah, just please do this and I know you’ll do a very good job and it’ll be as it’s supposed to be Todd.
TODD: And I’ll allow you to say what you want. Now you said that you didn’t believe in coincidences but August 26th, 2005, Sueann Ray?
SARAH: Oh my goodness! Can you believe that?
TODD: But now, you know they’ve had some resolution in that case?
TODD: But that date…
SARAH: We will be remembering Sueann tomorrow. I just talked to her sister, Sandy, a little while ago and just talked to my brother, Danny, a little while ago also and we learned during the court procedure for Sueann’s husband that he actually stated in the courtroom, that he chose that date because he knew that it would further impact the family. So he killed her on Heather’s anniversary date on purpose. We had just been to Georgia, August the 20th, 2005, to bury my little sister. My little sister died of a drug overdose and Sueann, she was already separated, and she was just, of my goodness, she couldn’t get enough of Heather. She and Holly used to talk and talk, I mean she could not get enough information about Heather, and on the 24th of August, she wrote me an email and she said, “Aunt Sarah” she said, “when I call for my Mom”, her mom died in a car wreck about 7 years ago, she said, “my Mom comes.” She said, “When I call for Heather, she doesn’t”, and she said, “something’s wrong here.” And she said, “We will find Heather.” And then, on August the 29th, I get a phone call from my brother, he says, “we can’t find Sueann. Sueann’s missing.” My brother’s always played jokes, some times not in very good taste, and I said, “Danny, that is not funny!” and then, I guess 5 months later, they found her body.
TODD: Now I remember when you said earlier, you had a little bit of envy even when they found remains, how did that relate to this case?
SARAH: Oh…oh my goodness. It was…I was so relieved for my brother that he didn’t have to go another day without knowing, you know because he knew, there was no other possibility or probability in Sueann’s disappearance. I mean he knew that his son-in-law had killed her. There was just no other possibility and it was getting to the point that he was about to lose his mind and get a hold of Quinton (Ray), so when that happened I was…yeah, I did actually, in fact, that was February the 8th that they found her body, February the 9th, the FBI and the detective working Heather’s case then came in to do a search for Heather on a property that I tried to get searched next to the Dill property and I just had it in my mind…I told them, I told the girls, I told my boy, “This is it. Sueann came home February the 8th, she was abducted the same day as Heather, there’s no way…we will have Heather home. Today, the day after Sueann was found, we’re going to have her home.” And Todd, I learned such a lesson that day. I got my kids’ hopes up so high and mine and, of course, they were shattered. I will never, ever put a date on God again.
TODD: I’ve seen you do that. I’ve watched you do that.
SARAH: I have.
TODD: I saw you do that and I felt sorry for you that day.
SARAH: I have done that.
TODD: And you were so confident and I thought what does she know that we don’t know and you made this date and that’s what made it seem like “this woman is starting to lose it.”
SARAH: Bless your heart.
TODD: I mean, wouldn’t you think that?
SARAH: Yes. And when you think back, I guess it’s a way of a kind of survival because it shot me so badly that, you know, they did find her and why not Heather?
SARAH: You know, why not Heather? Why? And then I realized more as time goes on, because of all these questions that are not answered, that there is this bigger, bigger thing going on that you know, God does have another reason and that there is a reason.
TODD: He has his own time for things. You know when I read that you wrote that at one time, I didn’t know whether to say “This poor lady” or to actually share your faith, because I’ve read, “that all things are revealed in time.” You know I’ve put that same motto on some of the websites that I do because it’s a real thing. Eventually, whether we’re alive or not, this world or the next, we’ll know. We’re all going to know. In the end, we’re going to know.
SARAH: It will be revealed.
TODD: You were so sure. You know, you were so sure, and some of the things that I saw that you wrote, I thought, can we…?
SARAH: I still am. I honestly…
TODD: Yeah, but you dated it. I mean, you dated it. You put a date out there and I thought, “My goodness, that’s a bold move to make.”
SARAH: Yeah. I learned a hard lesson on that one because I saw my children be absolutely crushed but they still do know that I believe with all my heart, since we have an attorney and since I do have documented proof and recorded conversations and I know, without a doubt, that we’re closer today than we were yesterday in finding out the truth.
TODD: It just takes time.
TODD: So you didn’t lose any faith?
SARAH: Oh no. My faith is…I’ve gained 50 lbs but my faith is stronger now than it ever was. My faith is actually…I mean, it really is. Today, I just had to curl up in a little ball and just pray and thank God for all my blessings, you know, my kids and grandbabies because…my grandson said the other day, “Mimi, it’s been almost 12 years, when is Heather coming home?” And I said, “I don’t know”, I said, “one day Mimi will call family to get together and we’ll say that this is what happened to Heather and this is the date this happened to Heather. This is what happened to Heather.” That’s their aunt and he never even got to meet Heather but they know all about Heather.
TODD: Oh yeah I’m sure, I’m sure they know all about her since you’ve never let it go. I mean, you’re being a mom, you know there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re doing what a mom would do.
SARAH: Well I appreciate you honoring Heather because it means a lot that…
TODD: I’ve been watching this date for a while you know because I wanted to kind of sneak up on you this weekend…
SARAH: You have?
TODD: I didn’t want to tell you ahead of time and let you worry about it because I didn’t know where you would be at this time and what state of mind you’d be in so I’ve been kind of watching the date and I knew the time was coming, I emailed Jill Bennett and told her “to get a hold of her and let her know that want to talk to her, it’s getting close to the time.”
SARAH: Oh, you have no idea what it means. You have done, I mean, your name is everywhere. Everybody knows Todd Matthews and everybody knows that what you do is from your heart.
TODD: No, I’m crazy.
SARAH: No that’s my label. But, that’s what it’s all about, is our heart, you know, sharing, just our hearts and nobody knows, nobody even has a clue what a day in the life of not knowing where your child is, unless you don’t know where your child is.
TODD: You know, even that minute that we’ve had, we’ve all lost our child for a minute, and I think of that every time I think of you, I think of other people that I’ve met in my life, that 30 seconds of fear when I lose sight of my 6-year-old, and I thought, “What if that didn’t go away?”
SARAH: Oh, oh, oh. I wake up in the middle of…there’s not one night that I don’t wake up in the middle…every single night. See, there were some screams that were reported being heard, I guess you remember that at 8 o’clock that night? This elderly couple called the state police and they reported hearing some screams heard, and I mean, I could be jumping on the bed with my grandkids, taking them to get an ice cream cone, just whatever and it will just hit me, you know, just out of the blue, you know, was Heather still screaming at 8 o’clock? And I guess when the widow of Marty Dill plead the 5th (amendment), you know to me that’s…of course, I have forgiven her; I really believe that she’s afraid of somebody. I believe that her pleading the 5th was out of fear but still, 12 years later, it still hits me. You know, I just want to know. Was that Heather screaming? I just want to know.
TODD: Well we’ve talked with you for several…going on an hour now…and this is not a crazy woman talking. It’s not a crazy woman talking. You know, I think you’re someone that’s trying to have faith; that is trying very hard to have faith in this.
SARAH: You know, I’ve got documents and when this is off the air, I do want to share, I guess Jill’s probably already told you?
TODD: Yeah, we’ll talk secretly after we go off the air. We always do that.
SARAH: Okay, but you know it’s a miracle that somebody that doesn’t know where their child is, doesn’t totally just either turn to drugs or just totally just lose it because like you say, that 30 seconds that you felt when you didn’t know where your child was, you multiply that by years and years and years. I have one lady that I go to church with and she said “Sarah I keep seeing this pain in you, you know you sit with people and you tend to people and you watch them die, that’s what you do now”, because I watched her dad and mother both, and she said, “I asked God, I got down on my knees and I asked God let me feel that, let me feel what she feels” and she said in one second she jumped to her feet and she could not bear it. She could not bear it. So that year that God gave me that writing, “When hearts break with ours, the walls of injustice will fall down”, I knew right then that that’s so true. When people’s hearts really break for one another something in the supernatural, it just breaks down because that’s a powerful thing to have your heart broken. It’s powerful. And to share that heartbreak, to really, really, your heart reaches out to another mother and to just say, “I know your fear. I know your tears and I know every secret thing that you don’t dare even say out loud. I know that.”
TODD: There are things you know that you think about asking on this show and you know those secret things deep in your heart but you can’t even say. Those little scared moments, and I know that, I know there’s some hard times and you know when people ask you to let it go, they’re only doing it because they cared about you.
SARAH: I know.
TODD: It’s not because they think you’re beating you head against the wall, they see what it’s doing to you and they’re wanting you to let it go but…
SARAH: It’s people, honestly Todd they don’t know what to do with this. You know, when somebody, you know a young kid gets killed in a car wreck or something, you can go to the funeral, and you can send flowers, and you can hug that mother’s neck but there’s nothing you can say, nothing you can say that’s going to console them and I think it’s worse when you have a child that you don’t know where they are because people don’t understand why you can’t have a memorial after 5 years and put a plaque up and say “She’s dead.” They don’t understand why you can’t stop.
TODD: Well that 3-day grieving period for when you’re burying somebody, I mean, if this goes on, what do you do for all eternity?
TODD: You’re going to grieve for how long now?
SARAH: Exactly. Yeah and people don’t know what to do with me, you know, I have…it’s nothing malicious on their part, it’s just the way it is. You know, like hanging lavender ribbons, you know I’ve got a little tree at the courthouse that I cover in lavender ribbons; I don’t cover the highway anymore like I used to and people I saw years ago, they didn’t want to hang one on their antennas, you know, they don’t want to be reminded that that’s their worst nightmare. They don’t want to be reminded and it’s not anything malicious, it’s just something that they can’t get their heart around. They can’t.
TODD: When do you think the process of actually declaring her deceased will happen? When will date finally happen, do you think?
SARAH: Monday morning my attorney’s filing the motion to get us a court date. It will be this week. It will be this week.
TODD: Now what are you going to do then? Now everybody knows we’re not giving up. It’s not over.
SARAH: I’m not.
TODD: Are you going to have some type of service?
SARAH: NO! NO!
TODD: You’re not going to do that until after.
SARAH: I will never. I will never. That’s what I want people to understand; I will never, and when we get through and I tell you exactly why we’re doing this, you’ll understand that no, I will never have a memorial, I will never “goodbye” until I know. No. All this is, is a piece of paper.
TODD: Allowing you to legally maneuver.
SARAH: Legally open some doors that have been absolutely slammed in my face that should not have been. When it takes you 12 years to find out about a 9-1-1 call and because this eyewitness is a millionaire and has businesses in South America, and he’s very good friends with the state police, they have denied me this and until I got an attorney and even still that I’ve got an attorney, they still won’t even answer letters on paper. They’re being that, I don’t even know the right word for that, but you know the nice thing to do, is that when you write a letter to somebody, they’re actually supposed to respond, especially when you have an attorney, but they’re not even doing that.
TODD: Just silence right?
SARAH: Oh my goodness, yeah. Just nothing.
TODD: Really loud silence.
SARAH: Yeah. So I feel very thankful that God’s blessed me with an attorney and that doors are going to be opened and you know, I honestly hate playing…it feels like, the more I’ve learned the last probably say 10 years, it’s almost like…it’s just a game. It’s a game. And I feel like that right now I’m playing their game but I’ve learned that that’s what I have to do get the answers and I’m going to have answers. I will know exactly what happened August the 26th, 1995 on Newburgh Beach. I will know.
TODD: Well at least what’s documented, I mean you’ve got the potential of getting some documented evidence that you need to hear as a mother.
TODD: You need to hear that. And you’re not alone; you know that? For the benefit of the audience, I’ve worked with a lot of families that keep thinking, “Why is this happening to me?” It’s like a comedy of errors and somebody is preventing us from getting information. It’s not uncommon. It’s not uncommon at all that this happens. I have a family here in Tennessee; we’ve exhumed a body that we think might or might not be their mother, twice! TWICE.
SARAH: Oh my goodness.
TODD: Twice. And you know what; we still have her remains here. We’ve never yet buried these remains again until we have some more resolution on it and it’s a complicated story but her remains are still here.
SARAH: You know who those remains are right?
TODD: I think I do. I think I do but the degraded DNA. You know, I know that their mother is dead and I know that some of her DNA is involved in these remains but there’s a possibility that there’s more than one set and where the contamination came into play, we don’t know. We don’t know if the contamination was at the lab, if the contamination was at the office of the medical examiner’s office years ago; was there more than one body? Because it’s just partial remains that we have, so we don’t know happened, so it’s going to take a little time, you know, it’s going to take time even though we have a body. We’re no better off than you are.
SARAH: uh huh huh
TODD: Not in their minds. We really don’t know but at least now we know, we are confident that at least part of this is her, but you still don’t want to bury something that…what if it’s somebody else? What if part of it is? And until I can tell them with all my heart, “I know this is her”, I can’t advise that they bury her. Not until I know for sure.
SARAH: How do you…how do you emotionally handle all of this? I mean, I know that you’ve got 2 small children, right?
TODD: I’ve got a 16 year old and a 6 year old.
SARAH: How do you balance…I guess that with every person you identify, and you give that honor because, believe me, to be able to bury somebody you love, is nothing but an honor, so to give that family honor and dignity, I guess that must make the gory, horrible part of it…is that what balances it?
TODD: It wipes it all away. It wipes it all away. You know the Tent Girl’s family, particularly Rosemary Westbrook, her sister, they’re family. I don’t know how or why, you know, they’re family. She’s coming to see me in October on her way on a vacation and somehow, I don’t know how but she’s family. I think that one day after, you know, in the next world, we’re going to find out something. I think we’re going to find out more to the story. We really don’t know why but there’s something happened, something happened during that time period and changed us all forever and I think my family’s accepted that this is what I do now in working with this type of thing, you know, there can be literally, honestly, more than once, a set of remains here in the house, skeletal remains because I also work with a project that does the reconstruction, really, we do facial reconstruction and lots of times they’ll route through here.
SARAH: I knew you did that but I didn’t know that you did it in your home.
TODD: Well, I actually route it to the artist from here. You know if I get them here before the artist is selected to do it, you know they might come through here on their way to their final destination or back through here on their way back and…
SARAH: What a wonderful legacy for your children, to know that you not only care about human beings when they’re breathing but you care about bringing them back to their families, I mean, that’s awesome, I’m very thankful that there’s somebody out there that does that, I mean, there’s not very many of you out there.
TODD: I wouldn’t know what to do not doing this and I really don’t know why it’s significant to me, I really don’t know yet. I don’t know. I don’t want to be you, for one thing; I want something better. I want something better for everybody. I never want to be you.
SARAH: That’s the part…I don’t ever want anybody to be me and I’m serious. I mean even before this happened to Heather, I knew that that was my absolute worst fear, was to not know where my child was. I mean, you know Adam Walsh and just the very few that I had heard of, you know, every mother knows that. That’s the worst. That’s the worst.
TODD: That’s what my nightmares are made of, something like that and I mentioned to you before the show, I won’t mention the details of it now, but something better is coming. I can tell you that, I know something better is coming and it might not answer everybody’s questions, but I know the national government is behind a new initiative that’s actually going to help, at least put a central focus on the missing and unidentified in this nation, and we will be hearing something from the federal government in September. Big announcement.
SARAH: There will be people coming home Todd.
TODD: I’m hoping.
SARAH: There will be a lot of people coming home.
TODD: I’m thinking it’s going to happen. At least, we’ve got a single-minded effort that’s working towards this, you know, there’s always going to be the Doe Network and Angel Garden of Hope with Jill Bennett, the Cue Centre, all of these wonderful advocacy groups, and they still need to be here, but to know that your federal government, as well as your state government, has actually recognized the need and are going to do something about it once and for all.
SARAH: I started the DNA Lifeprint campaign here, right before Sueann was taken and I’m actually still working on it and I would like to set up, you know, get the DNA kits to every person in Hawkins County and then eventually have a database set up, maybe in the courthouse. A politician here, Senator Rhodes, my daughter Holly has a cleaning service, so she and I clean his office and we clean in their home also once a week, and during his campaign, he talked about the DNA Lifeprint campaign, and he and I were saying that once we got these kits available to every person in Hawkins County, then of course, I’d go to another county but there actually needs to be that database where everybody’s DNA is stored because that’s the fingerprint of the 21st century.
SARAH: People are…they don’t…it’s a difficult thing for them to think about is somebody missing or the reason for the DNA, and it’s not just for somebody that is missing, there’s a lot of other needs for that. But, anyway, I’m trying to do my part.
TODD: Well, I think that everybody is going to have to. The new government initiative is going to take, the DNA initiative is a going to be a big part of that; it will be a big part of that but it doesn’t make all these other efforts unnecessary, you know, there’s still a huge need for advocacy and it’s going to take eons to get everything pooled into one page. It’s not something you just flip on; it’s going to be phased in, it’s going to take a long time to finally get everything in order, but I think it’s going to happen and it’s something I’ve been wanting to see happen for a couple of decades now. I’m 37, I was 17 when I started working on this type of thing and it’s always something that you think, “I wish that this would happen” and it’s finally happening. Hey, maybe I could retire. At least partially, at least not do things that I’m not supposed to have to do. I mean, I shouldn’t have to do this and I shouldn’t have to do that but I can’t stop because how do you stop?
SARAH: uh huh
TODD: You know you should be using your mouth.
SARAH: You’ve become an expert now and people look up to you for certain things, so no, I wouldn’t look to retire any time soon.
TODD: It’s going to take time but I wish something would wipe it all away and that there was no need for people like us but I have a feeling, it’s not going to be overnight but for the future, the ones that we prevent, that we help to prevent are the best. You know, some of the things that we’ve already worked on might have prevented something from happening to my children already for all I know.
TODD: And that’s the way I try to look at it, I think, well maybe it’s not always what you gain from something but it’s what didn’t happen to you, what you didn’t lose, instead of what you didn’t gain. So, you’ve got to look at it in a positive way and you are positive.
SARAH: I believe this whole Heather story is somehow going to make a difference. It’s going to make a difference, you know, it has to because 12 years is a long time and just for nobody else but for my grandkids and their kids, you know, just like you are doing for you kids, it’s like a legacy of hope and faith, and no matter what the journey you’re on, and what’s happened in your lifetime, you have to let your children and grandchildren see that there is total evil in this world but what balances that out is hope and faith, and that’s it.
TODD: So I’m hoping that everybody who is listening now, knows that Sarah is no more crazy than what she should be considering what’s happened to her. You should be a little crazy. I don’t know if I’d be walking around if I were you. You know we’ve been able to laugh, laugh and cry, and have a nice conversation tonight…I don’t know how you do it.
TODD: It’s not because you don’t care because I know you care. I think its strength.
SARAH: It is strength. It is obviously just from Heaven. Faith and knowing. I think what really gave me that strength was, and I know you’ve read this on my website, the third week that Heather was missing, that journal that was brought hack to me?
TODD: uh huh
SARAH: I had left 3 boxes of in this attic where we used to live and these boxes were brought back to me and in the bottom of one of these boxes, now after 10 years, no moths have eaten this little journal or nothing, and I had written when Heather was 23 months old, I had written, “I am so afraid a big man will some day take my Heather away” and the date in there was August the 25th, 1974. On August the 26th, when Heather was 23 years, that’s what happened. When I read that, I knew that this thing was way beyond me, way beyond you know, that God does have a purpose and a plan and that it’s my job, I’m her mother no matter how many mistakes that I made, God still is going to guide me and get me to the day where I’ll know where she is. If I can write a statement like that before she was even 2 years old, I know without a doubt, he’s bringing her home to me someday.
TODD: Well in all selfishness, I hope we find out in this lifetime before we cross over because I don’t want to wait to know what happened. But I know there are some cases that we’ll never know until later.
TODD: I sure hope this isn’t one of them because you’ve exhausted your life doing this.
SARAH: It will happen. It will happen. And all I’m going to say is that we’re closer today than we were yesterday. I will never put another date. Oh God, that was wrong.
TODD: Well you found out the hard way that time. I was shaking to see you do that and I thought, “She’s really going to fall apart.”
SARAH: Oh bless your heart. I wish you’d called me and told me. I didn’t know anybody…I didn’t know anybody even saw that.
TODD: Oh yeah, yeah.
SARAH: Thank you for that. That means so much to me that somebody else actually…
TODD: Well let me tell you, I learned from that lady because I thought that maybe she knew something that I didn’t know, you know and I thought, you know because people and faith and I thought that maybe, but like you said, but you dated God. You dated God.
SARAH: I did, and that was so wrong.
TODD: And then I thought, “What if she loses her faith now? What if she loses her faith? But you didn’t.
SARAH: No. No, that won’t happen. I’ve just…God, I learned a lesson that day for my kids and they did too because I tell them, “I will never put a date on God again. That’s wrong to do so.” I didn’t know. I just thought that this would be a great day to bring Heather home.
TODD: Well, yeah. It made perfect sense, I think this would be a good date, you know.
SARAH: It would be just perfect, you know, Heather and Sueann at the same time, but it was just a part of…my brother going through what I was and then here just 4 months later, he gets his baby home and I’m still ‘not there’. You know, I think, I don’t know, it was just all that combined Todd.
TODD: And the date, the significant dates, you know all this happened at the same time, of course, it seems like something unusual is happening and, I don’t know, but I’ve had a good time talking to you tonight and I’ve enjoyed your company so much.
SARAH: Oh I have too. You’re so precious. You’re just one of those precious souls, you really are.
TODD: We went through everything tonight but I do want to talk to you again after you get the actual declaration, and we want to keep doing this. Have you ever had an interview this long before?
SARAH: No. No, the interviews that I have are just usually on her birthday or her anniversary, and they’re probably 10 minutes long. No. No. No.
TODD: I mean, you get those little, short blurbs and I don’t think it fair enough for the family to actually…I mean, it’s really not because you really don’t have time. We interviewed Milton Nerenberg (Episode #26), and his daughter Audrey has been missing for years, and he’s up in his seventies and he spoke solid for 30 minutes because he was so concerned, you know, he read, he read from…he was so concerned because he had been cut short. It’s like, okay go, spill you guts, stop; and he didn’t have to; we let him do what he wanted to do. He’s a precious man and he’s worked so hard. He’s actually got a law in place to help missing adults that have a mentality of a child so that they can be treated as a child rather than adult so the privacy laws won’t adversely affect them.
SARAH: Was Audrey handicapped?
TODD: Yes. She was mentally handicapped, so that helped.
SARAH: I can see her face right now, you know, I know her face, I didn’t remember her story because I study so many of them and I get on there and pray for their little faces.
TODD: Well every time we mention a story, a former guest or a story like Sueann, we put that live link in, because you know we transcribe these shows, we put that live link so that somebody reading your story is actually going to go back and be able to connect to those hits on Missing Pieces. That’s how we try to connect everybody.
SARAH: You go that extra mile, don’t you?
TODD: Well, we try. We try.
SARAH: Absolutely. My goodness.
TODD: I’ve got to set up something so that if ever I decide that I quit that at least there’s something left here for everybody to kind of work together on things I’m hoping. So, we’ll try.
SARAH: That’s what my daughter Holly said the other day, she says, “Mom it’s 9 o’clock in the morning and I called you and you’re on the phone trying to get a hold of this deputy coroner to get a straight answer about this morgue report” and she told her dad, you know, she said, “Momma never stops.” She said, “She’ll pick those grandbabies up from school and she’ll come home and take them to ball practice and get them to bed, and get them to school the next morning and by 9 o’clock she’s on the phone trying to find Heather.” Well, that’s my job.
TODD: What a crazy life we have, I think. You know, I’ll be at my day job working on something and somebody will come to my desk and I have to tell them, “Hold on, I’m talking to the FBI right now” and they’ll leave me alone. They leave me, “Okay, we’ll just let you do what you got to do” and then you go back to being a normal person.
SARAH: You’re not able to do this as your day job?
TODD: No, not yet.
SARAH: You don’t get paid? Oh my goodness.
TODD: No, I’m totally and completely crazy so… Now, this is a public service announcement, this is what you’ve got to do if you want to…I feel like I’ve got a responsibility.
SARAH: God’s going to bless you just abundantly, I mean, I thought that this is what you did. I didn’t know that you had a day job and that this was your passion, I guess.
TODD: I work in a factory. I work in a factory as a quality auditor.
SARAH: That’s what you do now?
TODD: That’s what I do now. A lot of people don’t know that. A lot of people…
SARAH: Well, you need to be paid for it. Why can’t you be funded or something?
TODD: You know that actually ties things up a little more if you actually get funding for something, you know, I mean I would like for this to translate into a job at some point in time where you could do it full time and not neglect your family. Right now, I’m building vacations around it, it’s like “Okay, I want to go check out this case, this event where something happened” and I try to find a way to build a family vacation around it and they don’t mind. So we’re actually going to check out this crime scene but there’s this nice water park over here, you know, and…
SARAH: Oh I love it.
TODD: It’s crazy but that’s what you do, I mean, it’s just the way it is.
SARAH: Well I haven’t even had a vacation in 12 years Todd. I mean, I haven’t had one but I’ll get one someday. I’ll get one someday. I really do appreciate you doing this.
TODD: Maybe so but I don’t think you’re going to book a vacation any time soon. I really don’t think so. I’m glad that we’re able to end this interview with you laughing. It’s very good to hear you do that.
SARAH: Well Todd, I haven’t laughed much all day, I mean, I have been pretty much by myself today. I went to bed real early last night after the news aired, I went to bed and, of course, Heather was abducted on a Saturday so today was really tough, and I’ve just been kind of grieving a little today until waiting on you to call.
TODD: It’s not easy to try to have a good time and do one of these conversations but, you know, I try. I want everybody to feel better when we’re done so we try to laugh, you know, because laughing at ourselves for the stupid things we do. I have done some of the dumbest things.
SARAH: Well you’re so honest, I mean, I didn’t know that you kind of had your eye on me during the Sueann thing. I didn’t know. That just makes me know that there’s people out there that care about me.
TODD: Well I couldn’t contact you then because your cheese was sliding off your cracker it was spread to high, and I say that joking but, you know, you don’t want to go to somebody and say, “maybe I can help you do this” because I didn’t want to put any unrealistic hope on you because so many times if I talk to somebody, they think that “oh, it’s all going to be fixed because the Tent Girl was fixed, and this was fixed.” I can’t fix it. We’re all just people, you know, and I can only hope that if we put some effort onto it, we can put emphasis on things and sometimes they just need a little kick and then they’re solved. But nobody can come in and wave a wand and solve it but I thought “I don’t want to put any unrealistic expectations on her part” so I just silently watched for when the time was right and the time was now and anybody that listens to this…
SARAH: I think the best compliment that I’ve ever received in my whole life was something this guy told me a few years ago, I have Heather, Holly and Haven and my son’s middle name is Heath and he said, “you know what, your name should be Hope.”
TODD: Well, you’ve done it.
SARAH: I do think that was a good compliment.
TODD: Then you’ve named your episode. We always name an episode, and I want to name it ‘Hope’. How about that? You did it.
TODD: You just named it so…
SARAH: Oh, thank you.
TODD: It’s perfect. Perfect. Well we’ll say goodbye to the audience and then you and I are going to talk for just a little while longer. So I’m going to tell everybody goodbye and best of luck to you with what you’ve got to go through.
SARAH: Goodbye and I want everybody to pray for Heather and remember the scripture verse Matthew 10:26, and to believe that with me that there will be nothing hidden that will not be revealed. Thank you.
Date of Birth: April 25, 1972
Height: 62 Inches
Weight: 100 lbs.
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Brown
Identifying Characteristics: Red round birthmark on right buttock; noticeable curvature of the spine.
Heather Teague was sunbathing at Newburgh Beach in Henderson County, Kentucky on August 26, 1995. A witness was observing the beach area through a telescope from across the Ohio River at approximately 12:45 p.m. The witness told authorities that he saw a Caucasian man approach Teague at that time. The abductor allegedly grabbed Teague by the hair and dragged her into the woods off of Newburgh Beach at gunpoint. The abductor was approximately 6'0 and weighed 210 to 230 pounds. He had brown hair and a bushy brown beard. The suspect was wearing jeans and did not have shirt. He was also reported to be wearing a wig and a mosquito net at the time he abducted Teague.
Authorities searched the Newburgh Beach area later in the day and discovered part of Teague's bathing suit near the alleged abduction site. Additional evidence was also located, but nothing investigators found could lead them to Teague's whereabouts. She has never been heard from again. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved in her case.
The family then suffers a second blow. Ten years to the date of Heather's disappearance, her cousin Sueann Ray went missing as well. Her body was later discovered in a shallow grave nearly six months later. Read below:
On Friday, August 26, 2005, Sueann Ray completed her shift at work, went by the Wal-mart Supercenter in Canton Georgia to pick up a few items and then she headed North on I-575 to Martin Road in Jasper where her estranged husband, Quinton Ray resided. She was headed there to pick up her daughter and she was upset. Earlier in that same day Sueann received a phone call from Ray stating that he wanted to pick up the child from school, but during the conversation Sueann heard her daughter in the background talking. She was angry that Quinton Ray had lied to her. That weekend both Sueann and her daughter were due to visit Sueann's dad (Danny Jenkins). Sueann would just go get the child and the plans would be back in order as planned previously - or so she thought.
It is known that Sueann arrived at Ray's residence and even took a phone call while she was there. Shortly thereafter, her cell phone would go silent, and Sueann would never been seen again.
On Monday, Sueann's father, Danny Jenkins would file a missing person report and later that same afternoon, authorities would locate Sueann's vehicle back at the Wal-mart where she was last known to be that following Friday. The vehicle had been backed into the parking spot at the far end of the shopping center parking lot, away from all store cameras. It appeared there was no abduction that could've occured.
Shortly after Sueann's disappearance, her estranged husband was arrested for threatning another man that he believed was romantically involved with Sueann.He was subsequently released and immediatly retained an attorney. Since this time, Sueann Ray's body was found by Georgia authorities in a shallow grave in northern Cherokee County a litle before 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 8, 2006. Police arrested Quinton Ray in connection with Sueann's death and he's now in jail facing murder charges. Officials say Ray and Sueann had been in a custody dispute over their 6-year-old daughter before the young mother disappeared.
Please take a moment to watch this video.
Video courtesy of Jim Viola (Husband of missing Patricia Viola)
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