Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman

A Chilling Discovery

Soria's Bronco
Soria's Bronco

Shortly after driving T.J. home, a dispatcher at the Douglas County District Sheriff's Department received a phone call from Diantha Wilson. The woman said she was driving down U.S. Highway 50 earlier that evening when she saw a red and white Bronco-type vehicle on the westbound side of Highway 50 around 5 p.m. She said she saw a white man with medium-length, "shaggy" hair and a white shirt throw something resembling a pillowcase over the edge of the road. She felt his actions were suspicious and wanted make sure the sheriff's department knew what she saw. Upon taking the woman's statement, Sgt. Lance Modispacher told her he would send a unit out to investigate.

Douglas County District Sheriff's Department
Douglas County District Sheriff's Department

South Lake Tahoe Police Department evidence technician Shirley Shaw was given the task of conducting a preliminary search of Thomas senior's red and white 1989 Chevrolet Blazer, Nevada license plate 248KHV. The vehicle appeared to be partially cleaned, however Shaw did notice what appeared to be drops of blood on the passenger side floorboard and running board. When she tested the areas with luminol, a chemical substance which can detect blood at one part per million,the results showed the droplets to be positive for human hemoglobin. The vehicle was immediately seized and transported to the crime lab in Reno for further testing.

On the morning of March 20, 2000, Detective Duzan and several other officers from the sheriff's department drove out to the spot on U.S. Highway 50, where Diantha Wilson said she saw the suspicious vehicle. According to the investigators' reports, upon arriving at the scene, they carefully made their way down the embankment and almost immediately noticed Krystal's body. She had been stripped naked and there was a deep laceration on her neck.

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