http://blogs.discovery.com/criminal_report/2010/01/richard-keith-call-cassandra-lee-hailey.htmlWhat happened to Richard Keith Call and Cassandra Lee Hailey?
January 22, 2010
By David Lohr
Richard "Keith" Call, 20, and Cassandra Lee Hailey, 18, intended to have fun on April 9, 1988. The two Virginia college students were embarking on their first date. Instead, something tragic happened, and they vanished without a trace. To date, no sign of them has ever been found, and authorities suspect a serial killer may be responsible.
"Keith had picked Cassandra up from her home in Grafton, and from what we have been told, they headed over to University Square Apts. in Newport News, which was near the college they attended," Keith's sister, Joyce Call-Canada, said in an interview with Investigation Discovery. "They were last seen sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m."
Roughly eight hours after they were last seen, Keith's vehicle was found abandoned at the York River Overlook on Colonial Pkwy. in Yorktown.
"My father, Richard W. Call, traveled the parkway frequently in the early morning hours," Joyce said. "That particular morning he was on his way to work and spotted Keith's car. He found it very peculiar to see the car there, as Keith did not frequent the parkway."
When Keith's father looked inside the car, he did not notice any of his son's clothing or belongings inside. Assuming Keith had left his car there and gone somewhere with a friend, his father continued on to work.
"Not long after my father left, a park ranger came along and spotted the car," Joyce said. "When he looked inside, he saw the keys on the driver's seat, a watch and eyeglasses on the dashboard, and Keith's wallet lying in the backseat. Nearly all of the clothing he had been wearing was also found in the back of the car, as were some of Cassandra's clothes. Her purse was there, but her wallet was missing."
It remains unclear why Keith's father did not take notice of the items observed by the park ranger. Were they simply overlooked, or were they not there when he looked inside? No one knows for certain. What is known is that no trace of Keith or Cassandra has been found since. Speculation immediately pointed to a serial killer, due to a rash of similar unsolved homicides in the area.
• Rebecca Ann Dowski and Cathleen Marian Thomas
On Oct. 12, 1986, a jogger discovered the bodies of 21-year-old Rebecca Ann Dowski and 27-year-old Cathleen Marian Thomas inside their car next to the York River. Both victims were fully clothed, and their purses and money were found inside their car. An examination by the county medical examiner revealed that both women had rope burns on their necks and wrists. There were obvious signs of strangulation, and their throats had been cut. Further examination revealed that they had also been doused in diesel fuel although their remains had not been burned. The coroner found no sign of sexual assault. The case remains unsolved.
• David Lee Knobling and Robin M. Edwards
On Sept. 20, 1987, the partially-clothed bodies of 20-year-old David Lee Knobling and 14-year-old Robin M. Edwards were discovered in the Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge. Prior to the discovery, David's pickup truck was found abandoned near the refuge. The keys to the vehicle were in the ignition, and police found no obvious sign of a struggle. According to friends, David and Robin were new acquaintances and had recently met at a local video arcade.
The murders of Rebecca, Cathleen, David and Robin raised eyebrows among police and members of the media. If a serial killer was responsible, did Keith and Cassandra meet the same fate? Unfortunately, less than six months later while police were attempting to answer those questions, yet another deceased couple was found.
• Daniel Lauer and Ann Marie Phelps
On Sept. 5, 1989, authorities found Daniel's 1973 Chevy Nova parked at a rest area off Route 64 in New Kent County. The keys were found inside the vehicle, along with Ann's purse and clothing belonging to Daniel. The couple was nowhere to be found, and their disappearance remained a mystery until the following month when a hunter found their bodies in a wooded area less than a mile from where the vehicle was discovered. Because the bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition, the county coroner was unable to determine an exact cause of death.
All of the unsolved homicides occurred along the scenic 23-mile route between Jamestown and Yorktown. Because the murders of Cathleen, Rebecca, Keith and Cassandra occurred within the geographical boundaries of the United States Park Service, the FBI is investigating those cases, whereas the cases involving David, Robin, Daniel and Ann are being investigated by the Virginia State Police. Each of the investigations remains active.
On Dec. 18, 2009, FBI Special Agent Philip J. Mann issued a press release stating that his agency was conducting an official review of the two cases the agency is investigating.
"On Nov. 30, 2009, members of my staff met with personnel assigned to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., and reviewed all of the physical evidence in this case," Mann said. "As a result, items of evidence were identified by laboratory personnel as good specimens for advanced nuclear DNA testing. In addition, numerous items were identified for further latent print examination. Therefore, those items are being prepared by my staff for shipment to the FBI Laboratory for examination or re-examination."
In the press release, Mann also commented on the cases being handled by the Virginia State Police.
"Due to the similarities between the FBI and Virginia State Police cases, there continues to be a belief that the cases are related. Both the FBI and the VSP are working together with this theory in mind; however, no conclusive physical evidence has been developed tying all of the homicides together," he said.
There has been no word yet on whether any new leads have been developed as a result of the DNA testing. Meanwhile, Joyce remains committed to finding out what happened to her brother.
"We have been desperately searching for my brother for over 20 years now," she said. "We loved him very much. For me and my family, it is hard to go through life not having any answers as to where his remains are and what happened to him and Cassandra. They deserve more than this. He was a kind, loving individual. He was here, he was a part of us, our family. He was here one minute and gone the next, just wiped off the face of the earth…nothing, no goodbyes. Keith had his whole life ahead of him, and some very sick people took it away."
Richard "Keith" Call is described as a white male, 6 feet tall, 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray and brown cardigan sweater, a white polo shirt, two-tone brown dress slacks and leather shoes
Cassandra Lee Hailey is described as a white female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 135 pounds, with curly brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing stone-washed jeans and a white blouse. She was also wearing a 1987 Tabb High School class ring.
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the murders of Cathleen, Rebecca, Keith and Cassandra. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Norfolk FBI at 757-455-0100. Calls regarding the other cases should be directed to the Virginia State Police at 757-424-6850.