http://cbs4denver.com/national/kimball.scott.colorado.2.1656902.html48 Hours Features Colorado Serial Killer Story
Scott Kimball's Crimes Explored In 'Hannibal Unmasked' Episode
Apr 26, 2010 11:40 am US/Mountain
DENVER (CBS) ― For Rob McLeod, checking his daughter's website is a daily ritual. He said he visits "...just to see her. Just for a sec... And then there's been real emotional days that I can't possibly look at her pictures."
That's because McLeod's 19-year-old daughter, Kaysi, vanished more than six years ago, in August 2003.
Rob described his daughter as "bright and bubbly and fun. ...She was a very happy, easy to get along with, wanting to please type of kid."
"She danced and sang all the time...all around the house all the time," her mother, Lori McLeod told 48 Hours correspondent Harold Dow.
Kaysi was the couple's only child; when she was a toddler, they doted on her.
"Kaysi was brought up in bubble wrap," Lori explained. "We protected her from everything."
But Kaysi's sheltered life didn't last long; her parents divorced when she was four and as she got older, Kaysi grew rebellious.
"She was buttin' heads with her mom and started smoking and started engaging in behavior in high school that her mom didn't approve of," Rob explained. "And she just packed her up and moved her down to her aunt's in Arizona."
Phoenix was Kaysi's new home and it was where she met best friend, Tabetha Morton.
"We were both turning 16, I believe when I met her," Tabetha recalled. "We were so close, literally, that we were practically attached at the hip. Because we worked together, we were going to school together, and we spent so much of our personal time together."
But after high school, Tabetha said Kaysi fell in with the wrong crowd.
"...there was a girl that decided to move in with her... this girl was heavy into drugs and she was bringing lots of people who were using drugs to the house quite often. Kaysi kind of fell into that," Tabetha explained. "When I noticed that something was wrong, I called her aunt. And I said, 'I think that Kaysi's in some trouble.'"
Kaysi was sent back to Colorado in late 2001.
"It didn't change our friendship," Tabetha continued. "I think it actually made it stronger, because she knew I was really looking out for her."
"She had a few months of drug use but, that's not who she was," Lori said.
As Kaysi settled back into her old surroundings, a new man, named Scott Kimball, entered her mother's life.
"He was great and he was very charming and funny and smart. Very appealing," Lori told Dow.
Now living with Scott and Lori, Kaysi seemed to be getting her life back on track with new friends and a new job. But then came a shocking disappointment; Scott found drugs in the house.
"And when I confronted Kaysi, she swore to me that they weren't hers," Lori said. "She begged me to get a drug test. And I didn't believe her."
When Lori threatened to turn her daughter in to police, Kaysi took off down the road on her bicycle. When asked what she thought happened to Kaysi, Lori replied, "I thought she took off because I didn't believe her... I worried sick about her... I drove around looking for her."
At first, Rob was angry; Kaysi had run away before.
"I was worried about her," Rob admitted, "but not to the point that I thought any foul play happened. I figured she was over... found a friend and was crashing over at their place. She'd call or eventually just show up like she had before."
Two days later, when Kaysi failed to show up for her shift at a sandwich shop, Lori became frantic.
"I went to the police and they told me that it was not my right to find her," she said. "'Kaysi was over 18, she was not a runaway. She simply left.'"
Lori said she wasn't even able to file a missing persons report. "The police won't allow that. They told me there had to be blood evidence of foul play in order to file a missing persons report."
At least Lori had the support of Scott Kimball, who had important law enforcement contacts. "He worked for the FBI," she explained. "He helped catch bad guys."
When Kaysi disappeared, Lori said she talked to Scott. He told her with his connections with the FBI, "we'll find her."
Desperate, Lori even married Scott, seeing him as the only hope to finding her daughter. And sure enough, he turned up a few leads, including evidence that Kaysi had stopped by the house very recently, when no one was home.
"He found Kaysi's necklace on her bedroom [doorknob] handle," Lori said
Even more promising, Scott found a neighbor who said he had seen Kaysi weeks after she disappeared. "And the neighbor said that Kaysi had been at the house with her boyfriend and his sister," Lori recalled.
Back in Phoenix, Tabetha Morton was also frantically looking for her friend. "I called everybody that we knew. I set up a MySpace page for her - contacted people from high school, passed out flyers."
Weeks, then months, went by. When Kaysi still hadn't been heard from for over a year, Tabetha became convinced that her friend hadn't run away and that something more serious had happened.
"It just became more and more unlike her not to get a hold of me in some way through an email or give me a call, something like that," Tabetha said.
"The most unbearable thing for me to think of my daughter is that someone took her - something precious, something important to me, and destroyed it and threw it away like it wasn't important to anybody," said Rob.
Together, Rob and Tabetha began to wonder if the key to Kaysi's disappearance might be much closer to home.
According to Tabetha, "It was just this nagging feeling that kept going through my head that there was something more than what we were finding."
"...Over a course of time, you're wondering, 'Where is she?' You know? 'Is she hurt? Is she hungry?'" These thoughts tormented Rob McLeod from the time his daughter, Kaysi, vanished in August 2003. What he didn't know was that another Colorado father was asking those very same questions.
"You wonder, 'where is she? Has she been kidnapped?' You wonder what in the world has happened to her," said Howard Emry.
Seven months before Kaysi McLeod disappeared, Howard's 24-year-old daughter, LeAnn, had also mysteriously vanished.
Howard has spent countless hours replaying LeAnn's life; a life that began full of promise. "She was a straight-A student in high school," he told Harold Dow. "...actually graduated a year early in high school."
But LeAnn's life soon spiraled downwards. Her mother's severe health problems kept Leann from finishing college, she lost her job as a veterinarian's assistant and she landed in an abusive marriage.
"I think that was almost the turning point," Howard recalled. "I think she had a real feeling that she really wasn't worth much and she couldn't do much."
In 2002, LeAnn left her husband. But her father was still concerned, because she began a relationship with a prisoner named Steven Holley. Howard hoped a new hobby might turn things around.
"What did she like about caving?" Dow asked.
"I think it was the adventure of the unknown," Howard replied. "When she put her mind to do something, she would do it."
On Jan. 16, 2003, LeAnn's car, with its unique license plate, pulled out of the driveway.
"The dog she loved the most was Dalmatians," Howard explained. "On her car... she had a license plate that said 'DalGal.'"
LeAnn said she was headed for a caving trip in Mexico with friends. But two weeks later, Howard got a call that still haunts him; it was the sheriff's department in Moab, Utah.
"And they say, 'Well, I hate to tell you, but we found her car abandoned in the Canyon Lands in Moab, Utah, just yesterday.' They told me about the license plate and I knew immediately, 'Yeah, this is LeAnn's car.'"
Brent Pace, a seasoned investigator and tracker with Utah's Grand County Sheriff's Office, could tell someone had picked LeAnn up. "All her clothes, stuff like that, was left in her car," he said.
Pace took "48 Hours" to the clearing where her car was found.
"The car was actually pulled straight into [the clearing], like you drove off this road and pulled in right here," he said pointing to the spot. "Then the driver got out walked back and got in another vehicle."
"One set of shoe prints leaving this car to another set of tire tracks," Pace continued. "Because of that, we were kind of concerned, you know, that maybe something did happen out here."
Like the McLeods, Howard Emry tried to file a missing persons report in Colorado, but was shut down. So he decided to play detective himself.
"I wanted to know why she was gone. I mean, there's obviously a million questions here," he said.
Using credit card records, Howard pieced together LeAnn's trail in the weeks before she disappeared. He discovered she didn't go to Mexico and she was leading a secret life.
LeAnn spent the 10 days before she vanished traveling through the western United States writing bad checks and charging thousands of dollars to her father's credit card.
"I was totally bewildered," Howard said. "She was either threatened or blackmailed... She would not have done this on her own."
It seemed Howard was right. He came across several emails that LeAnn had sent to a cousin just days before she left. The emails hinted that she was in trouble, but was being protected by someone with a curious nickname.
"She said, 'As for "Hannibal," I think... I think I can trust him. He's actually protecting me.' My thought was protecting her from what?" Howard said.
A few clues arrived in several cryptic letters from LeAnn's prison boyfriend, Steven Holley.
"Basically, he told me that she was in terrible danger and 'please call the FBI immediately,'" Howard told Dow.
Alarmed, Howard went to visit Holley, who told him that "Hannibal" was a former inmate he had put LeAnn in touch with.
"And I say, 'Tell me about "Hannibal." Do you think he would hurt my daughter?' He says, 'Well, I really don't think "Hannibal" would hurt LeAnn... but "Hannibal" does know some people that wouldn't hesitate to kill LeAnn if he asked them to do it.'"
Holley refused to reveal "Hannibal's" true identity. And when Howard brought Holley's story to the FBI, the agent he spoke to dismissed it as pure fiction.
"There's a possible kidnapping here," Howard said, "and yet he showed no interest whatsoever."
As time passed, everyone was left with more questions than when they began; even Brent Pace, who kept up the search.
"It's hard to be involved in a case and not know the whys - why this happened," Pace explained. "These kinda cases, it's somebody's child, a human being, so those are questions you really want answered."
But no one realized "Hannibal" was actually working for the FBI and was married to Lori McLeod.
"Hannibal's" real name? Scott Kimball.
Lori McLeod began having suspicions about Scott Kimball after they were married in August 2003, the same month her daughter Kaysi went missing.
"Off and on he would say things that didn't feel right, and again, when I would question him, he would make me feel I was losing my mind," Lori told Harold Dow. "And to be perfectly honest, I wanted to feel that what I was thinking wasn't right."
It wasn't until two years later that Lori shared some disturbing information with her ex-husband, Rob McLeod. "And I'm talking to Lori...and she goes, 'Well, that whole weekend Kaysi went missing is not quite what I told you. There's a little more to it than that.' She said Scott took off the same weekend Kaysi did on a solo mystery."
Lori and Rob weren't the only ones asking questions. In early 2006, Scott Kimball became a suspect in a case that Lafayette Detective Gary Thatcher was investigating.
Asked when he had first heard the name Scott Kimball, Det. Thatcher said, "It was when I had an officer come to me with this check-fraud case. That was the first time I heard about him."
Thatcher learned that Scott Kimball's "job" with the FBI was as a paid criminal informant. He was also a con artist who had spent most of his life wracking up felony convictions and prison time all over the western U.S.
But when Thatcher went to find Scott Kimball, he was gone.
"Well, it was January of 2006... Initially, I was talking to Lori about where is Scott Kimball and then she dropped that on me - is that Kaysi's missing and she's suspicious of Scott," Thatcher said. "You know, that was the eye opener. The check fraud is important here, but there's a much bigger picture to this investigation."
A warrant was put out for Scott Kimball's arrest. Two months later, U.S. Marshals tracked him down. After a dramatic, high-speed chase through California's Coachella Valley, they arrested the con man.
With Scott Kimball safely in custody, Det. Thatcher made a vow to Rob McLeod.
"And he says, 'Rob where there's smoke there's fire.' He says, 'I will not forget Kaysi. I will not rest until we find out what happened to her,'" Rob told Dow.
As Thatcher dug deeper, he learned from the FBI that Scott Kimball was connected, years earlier, to yet another missing Colorado woman named Jennifer Marcum
Story continued at http://cbs4denver.com/national/kimball.scott.colorado.2.1656902.html
-- The FBI is investigating Kimball in other disappearances. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI's Denver Office at 303-629-7171.