Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Unhealthy Family Dynamic

All was not well at the farmhouse the Neals were renting. The morning that India and Cody disappeared, before Sue went to work, she fought with Kevin over their mutual infidelities and had issued an ultimatum. She wanted him to move out or she would make plans to move herself. Kevin explained that this was why he was reluctant to call his wife at work when the children disappeared. He feared that he would be blamed because Sue had wanted him out of her life. Kevin continued to cooperate with authorities, and as the media learned of the missing children and began reporting the story, the couple presented a united front in public.

Cody Smith
Cody Smith

While searchers began combing the area in an ever-widening radius looking for the children, police began to piece together the family dynamic that existed in the house on Knight Road.

It turned out that the only child permanently living with Kevin and Sue Neal was Cody Smith, Sue's youngest child. Cody's father was Gary McGraw, while India Smith and her sister, Britney, were Sue's children with her ex-husband, Rick Smith. Rick and Sue divorced in 1995, and he was awarded custody of the girls. India and Britney spent the week of June 29 with their mother. Then Britney returned home, and India was to spend the week of July 6 with the Neals. When she came home, Britney would return to the Neals for a week.

 

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