Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kevin Neal, Convicted of Murder by Forensic Entomology

Search for Children Called Off

While volunteers combed the fields and woods, other investigators began looking at family members. Everyone was brought in for questioning and polygraph examinations. Rick Smith and Gary McGraw both took lie detector tests and passed. The tests for Sue and Kevin were inconclusive.

On July 13, Deskins was forced to call off the search when it became obvious that the children had not simply wandered away. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the FBI had both become involved in the investigation and relatives in neighboring states had been questioned.

In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, a tearful Rick Smith continued to hold out hope that his daughter would come home alive, but did address the unspeakable.

"They stopped the search but they'll continue the investigation," Smith said. "Now they wait for someone to make a move."

His daughter was much too bright to simply get lost, Smith maintained, which left him with little hope. "Something happened to Indy,'' he said.

The sheriff's official in charge of the scene, Sgt. Chuck Stroud, was equally emotional when he notified searchers that their services were no longer needed.

"They're no longer the kids," Stroud said. "They're our kids. But, I'm out of places to go. There's nothing more I can do here."


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