California Family Seeks Help in 33-Year-Old Missing Person Case
February 11, 2010
For over three decades, the family of Frederick Donald Leach, aka William Donald Leach, has been agonizing over his disappearance. What happened to Fredrick and where is he today? Those questions still remain, but as far as his daughter is concerned, the search is far from over.
"I would like people to know this story. Maybe they know something. Maybe they can help keep some other family from going through all of the pain we have had to endure," Fredrick's daughter, Kathy Leach-Warmington, said in an interview with Investigation Discovery.
According to Fredrick's daughter, he was a mechanic by trade and enjoyed tinkering with his vast collection of vehicles and motorcycles. Fredrick's property in Laytonville, California was nearly paid off and, at 49 years old, he was looking forward to enjoying his eventual retirement. Unfortunately, that was not to be, as some tragic event appears to have stolen that dream from him.
"My dad was last seen by my brother David on March 17, 1976," Kathy said. "Later that day, my dad's best friend called my sister and said that dad's house was vandalized, lots of stuff was stolen and he was missing. Things just didn't look right."
Kathy said that among the items missing were several vehicles – a 1960s Ford Falcon, two Willy's PU jeeps and two motorcycles – a Harley Davidson and a Suzuki.
"I was later told that two big trucks were seen loading everything up," she said.
According to the best friend, the last time he saw Frederick, he was limping. When he inquired as to the reason, Frederick allegedly told him he had been beaten up.
"Dad was involved in a dispute with some people," Kathy said. "My dad would not sell them some things they wanted, and one of the guys was furious."
Authorities have found no evidence suggesting the alleged dispute was related to Frederick's disappearance; however, Kathy says they did find evidence that something tragic had occurred on her father's property.
"There was blood splatters on the wall and in a bus parked on the property we found a big overstuffed chair with white sheet draped on it which was totally saturated with blood. It hadn't been there long. It was fresh blood."
Kathy said she was also troubled by an item they found inside a second house that sat on her father's property.
"There was a satanic picture on the wall," she said. "It was a picture of a goat’s head with a cross on a grave and words with dad's name."
It remains unclear whether the picture is in anyway related to Frederick's disappearance.
According to Kathy, in the years following her father's disappearance she was contacted by police and informed that they had received a possible lead in the case from a person who was incarcerated in prison.
"We were never given a name," Kathy said. "Apparently, he had called the authorities and offered to tell them some things he allegedly knew about dad's disappearance. It was a weekend, so the detective decided to wait until Monday. Unfortunately, the guy died of a morphine overdose before the detective could get there."
With the alleged informant's death, any information he may have had went to the grave with him. As a result, he left behind more questions than answers.
"We just want to know what happened," Kathy said. "We need help to give our father a proper burial."
Calls to Eric Riboli, the lead detective on the case, were directed to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office public information officer. Calls to the information officer were not immediately returned.
Frederick Donald Leach is described as a white male. When he was last seen, he was 5’ 8” tall, 165 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes. He had a scar on the right side of his face from an animal bite. Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 707-463-4086.