A family finds the dead body of a woman on a remote logging road. It’s wrapped in a blanket. Police at first don’t know what happened, though foul play is suspected. They figure out who the victim is and then find her boyfriend, who happens to be in jail for a separate assault. Despite thin resources, detectives begin to build a case.
Guest: Det. Chad
Detective Chad went to school with Detectives Dan & Dave when they were growing up. In High School, Det. Chad started as an Explorer/Cadet with his local police department. He was hired by The Sheriff’s Office after college and has been in Law Enforcement for 24 yrs. He’s worked in Corrections, Patrol, and has been a detective for 9 years.Read Transcript
Chad [00:00:02] We start canvassing every apartment in this complex and get a general timeline of when people up there last saw her, find out who he is. I actually come back down to our county, to my office, to find out that he’s in our jail.
Yeardley [00:00:17] Oh. That’s handy.
Chad [00:00:18] He was on a case from your guys’ police department.
(Small Town Dicks theme)
Yeardley [00:00:23] When a serious crime is committed in a small town, a handful of detectives are charged with solving the case. I’m Yeardley, and I’m fascinated by these stories. I invited my friends, Detectives Dan and Dave, to help me gather the best true crime cases from around the country and have the men and women who investigated them, tell us how it happened.
Dan [00:00:49] I’m Dan.
Dave [00:00:50] And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town, USA.
Dan [00:00:53] Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant at his police department.
Dave [00:01:00] Dan investigated violent crimes. He’s now retired. Together, we have more than two decades’ experience and have worked hundreds of cases. We’ve altered names, places, relationships, and certain details in these cases to maintain the privacy of the victims and their families.
Dan [00:01:15] We ask you to join us in protecting their true identities, as well as the locations of these crimes out of respect for everyone involved. Thank you.
Yeardley: [00:01:32] Today on Small Town Dicks, I am so pleased to tell you that we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dan.
Dan [00:01:41] Good morning.
Yeardley [00:01:42] Good morning. So good to see you.
Dan [00:01:44] Likewise.
Yeardley [00:01:45] And we have Detective Dave.
Dave [00:01:46] Happy to be here.
Yeardley [00:01:47] Happy to have you. And we’re so very pleased to welcome a new guest to the podcast, Detective Chad.
Chad [00:01:53] Thanks for having me.
Yeardley [00:01:54] Thanks for coming. Chad, you’re in a unique situation, because you’ve actually known Dan and Dave, for a really long time. Why don’t you give us a little bit of background about that, and then just take it away?
Chad [00:02:05] We met when we were five, we started kindergarten together. And then, you guys moved, I think, and went to a different grade school for a little while. But then, we met back up in middle school and graduated high school together.
Yeardley [00:02:17] That’s amazing.
Dan [00:02:18] We used to paintball in the afternoons after school quite a bit.
Yeardley [00:02:21] You’re in a different agency than Dan and Dave?
Chad [00:02:23] Correct.
Yeardley [00:02:23] But did you become a part of law enforcement at roughly the same time?
Chad [00:02:28] No. In high school, I had figured out that I wanted to be a cop. I joined a program that one of the cities here, in our county, a program that had going it’s called a Cadet Post, and it was for between 16 and 21, you need to be 21 to be a police officer in this state. Basically, you go to a little bit of training, and then you just hang out with cops and cop cars, and work shifts with them. I did that mostly through high school, through college, and then got hired right away when I turned 21 with actually a different agency than that program, and I worked for the sheriff’s office in our county. I just had my 23rd anniversary with the sheriff’s office a couple months ago.
Yeardley [00:03:08] No kidding!
Chad [00:03:08] I’m almost done, actually. I just have a few more years, and I’m eligible to retire.
Dave [00:03:12] Rub it in.
Chad [00:03:13] Yeah, I will.
Yeardley [00:03:13] (laughs)
Chad [00:03:14] And then, I think Dan became a cop first, right?
Dan [00:03:17] Yeah. Between Dave and I, got hired first and then two years later Dave.
Chad [00:03:20] Yeah. And we hadn’t seen each other since high school. You guys were on the other side of the country from me for, I think, all that time.
Dan [00:03:27] Going to school, bouncing around.
Yeardley [00:03:28] Some baseball.
Dan [00:03:30] Playing some baseball.
Yeardley [00:03:30] That’s fantastic. I feel that’s such an artifact of these small towns. Not only do you arrest people that you know you went to school with, you work with people that you went to school with. So, here we are. Tell us how this case comes to you that you brought us today.
Chad [00:03:46] I just transferred back to detectives from patrol. It was just the middle of the day. One of my partners that actually was on vacation, was out of town. So, there’s only three of us and a boss working. We get a phone call that patrol is responding to a dead body laying on the side of a gravel road in a very remote part of the county in national forest land. It’s up on gravel, four service roads. Our county is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut. We probably have 45 maybe uniform deputies to spread out.
Yeardley [00:04:22] For space the size of Connecticut?
Chad [00:04:24] Yeah. And then, we have five detectives, one of them’s a supervisor, but he works cases also. But those detectives, the guys I work with, we only investigate violent crime and crimes against children.
Dave [00:04:35] Right. Our city, we have detectives, two of them that do financial crimes, fraud, identity theft. We have two that would handle burglaries, auto theft, assaults, robberies, that kind of thing. Two or three that do drugs and narcotics work. Two of us that do major crimes, like person crimes, child abuse, sex abuse, that kind of thing. So, the county does not have the resources that they could have that siloed of a bullpen of detectives. So, they have to focus on the big stuff, the stuff that puts people in prison for decades. That’s the stuff they focus on, because if they focused on the burglaries and the identity theft, they would never have time to do all the other stuff that’s, quite frankly, in law enforcement’s more important.
Yeardley [00:05:22] Right, I see. Okay, you get this call saying that patrol is responding to a body in one of these extremely remote areas in your state?
Chad [00:05:31] Yes, way out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s an area that has a fair amount of traffic through it, because it’s got some historical– It’s like an old mining– there’s a ghost town out there that people like to go see. And that’s ultimately what led to these people finding this body and calling it in.
Yeardley [00:05:46] Like regular people, pedestrians?
Chad [00:05:48] Yep. A husband, wife, and their five kids, they’re driving out to go to find this ghost town. And they come around a very sharp, like hairpin turn going back uphill, and right on the shoulder of the road, there’s a body with a blanket draped over it, the hand sticking out and the wife is in the medical field. I don’t know if she was a physician or a nurse, but she recognized that the color of that hand meant, it wasn’t somebody sleeping there, that body was dead. Patrol gets there ahead of us because they had a jumpstart on us. But it’s almost like a 40-minute drive to get out there, maybe a little bit more, and then you’re out in the middle of the National Forest.
Dave [00:06:22] This could be a road that maybe three or four cars a day travel on.
Chad [00:06:26] Maybe, yeah. We get there and walk up, and there’s clearly a body underneath a purple and white quilt, a handmade quilt, not something you’d buy at the store. It’s very apparent that somebody made that quilt.
Yeardley [00:06:37] Is the head covered and everything?
Chad [00:06:38] Everything, except the hand sticking out. The blanket’s over the entire body except for this one– I think it was the left hand sticking out. We cordon off the scene, start doing crime scene stuff. At that time, we used total station to map scenes, the makeup diagram representation of it.
Yeardley [00:06:52] What’s that, total station?
Dave [00:06:54] Now we have 3D scanners that will give you this 3D look at an entire scene and then you can incorporate color. Basically, it’s like Google Maps, the 3D Street View version, it gives you a view like that.
Yeardley [00:07:10] Okay.
Dave [00:07:10] In total station, they use surveyors’ equipment, that’s what it is.
Yeardley [00:07:15] Like the tripod.
Chad [00:07:16] Yeah, tripod and a laser on it and the camera thing. And then you hold a stick out there that has a reflector on it. And the computer measures that distance, and it plots all those points into a diagram representation of what you have.
Yeardley [00:07:25] Why do you do that, instead of taking pictures of the scene?
Chad [00:07:28] We take tons of pictures, hundreds of pictures.
Yeardley [00:07:31] So, you do that in addition to?
Dan [00:07:33] Yes, total station gives you the ability to give exact distances, so you can rebuild a crime scene to scale. It’s the scientific representation of the crime scene. The photos are what you’re going to give a jury.
Chad [00:07:45] Yeah, the diagram is the whole deal, all in one sheet or one frame, so you can take in the entire scene with pictures. We start wide with our pictures and work our way in. But there’s always some perspective loss in that.
Yeardley [00:07:59] Got it.
Chad [00:07:59] We’re working on the scene, collecting what we think is evidence. I mean, there’s cigarette butts, there’s other weird stuff out there. We don’t know who she is. There’s no ID on this female’s body.
Yeardley [00:08:09] Is she clothed? Is she naked?
Chad [00:08:10] No, she had her clothes on.
Dave [00:08:11] And what condition is the body?
Chad [00:08:13] It was in rigor. She’d been down not real long, but over eight hours.
Dave [00:08:19] Is the lividity consistent with the position she’s in?
Chad [00:08:23] Yes.
Dave [00:08:24] And any apparent or obvious injuries?
Chad [00:08:28] No, there was some foam coming from her mouth. There were no outward injuries to note. We didn’t, at that point, know what caused her to be dead. We’re there for hours collecting all this stuff and trying to figure things out, and we’re sending guys out. We send patrol guys out and other help stopping and contacting anybody in that area, which is a big area, and trying to get information from them about if they’d been on this particular road, if they had seen anything suspicious, whatever. At that time, we didn’t get any information. We get done processing the scene, we have the body taken to the morgue, so we can have an autopsy done. And we go right away and roll fingerprints because we still don’t know who she is. Fortunately, Eve–
Yeardley [00:09:11] Is she the victim?
Chad [00:09:12] She’s the victim, had been arrested one time for DUI a bunch of years prior down in another county. So, we had prints on file. Otherwise, we wouldn’t know who she was. We get that information back from the ID bureau pretty quick. I find out that she lives in the county just north of us. There’s a good chance it would have taken a long time to figure out who she was because we wouldn’t have got a missing person report because she’s had no ties to our county. So, we were very fortunate that she had that one arrest with fingerprints on file.
Yeardley [00:09:42] About how old is she?
Chad [00:09:43] Eve was in her mid-30s.
Yeardley [00:09:45] Oh, so she’s young.
Chad [00:09:46] Yeah. I start going up to the little city in the county north of us that she’s from. I contact the police department there, try to get some information on it because we had nothing in our area. Find out that she has a boyfriend.
Yeardley [00:10:01] What’s his name?
Chad [00:10:02] Cyrus.
Yeardley [00:10:03] So, we have Eve and Cyrus.
Chad [00:10:05] Right. They’ve got a heated relationship. He’s a known methamphetamine user, and the police up in that little town had been to their apartment multiple times for verbal disputes, but there’s no indication of any kind of physical domestic violence.
Yeardley [00:10:22] Is Eve a drug user as well?
Chad [00:10:24] I find out later that she had recently began using drugs again. In her past, she was and then got clean. When she met this current boyfriend, Cyrus, she got back into methamphetamine. We start canvassing every apartment in this complex and talking to people and get a general timeline of when people up there last saw her, and it was the day prior to us finding her. We’re working on that, find out who he is. I actually come back down to our county, my office, to find out that he’s in our jail.
Yeardley [00:10:58] Oh!
Dave [00:10:59] Cyrus is in–?
Chad [00:11:00] In the county jail.
Yeardley [00:11:01] That’s handy.
Chad [00:11:02] And it was on a case from your guys’ police department. Where Cyrus had assaulted some random guy, clubbed him over the head with a big chunk of wood, just at random, just walking on the sidewalk. The guy was walking either to his front door or from his front door, and Cyrus just runs up on him, clocks him. A neighbor sees it, calls 911, police show up, take him into custody without incident. He makes a comment to the arresting officer something like, “I’ve just got to kill people.” They take him to jail. He doesn’t do so well in the booking process.
Yeardley [00:11:31] What do you mean?
Chad [00:11:32] Cyrus doesn’t like to follow rules, which I worked at the jail for a few years before I came to patrol, that’s not that uncommon.
Dan [00:11:38] He was not satisfied with the check-in process?
Chad [00:11:40] No, he didn’t like the service he received.
Dave [00:11:42] In relation to the day that Eve is last seen by her neighbors up in the county north of us, what day does Cyrus go into custody in our town?
Chad [00:11:52] It’s the following day. The same day that we’re responding down to recover the body, it was a few hours prior to us going down there. There’s seemingly no connection to this.
Dave [00:12:03] So, Cyrus is a free man the day that Eve was last seen?
Chad [00:12:07] Yes. And the people we talked to up in a town up north, Cyrus was the passenger in her car when they last saw Eve leaving the apartment complex, so they were last seen together.
Yeardley [00:12:29] Cyrus and Eve were last seen together just before Eve is found dead. Is it safe to assume that you interview Cyrus immediately?
Chad [00:12:37] Correct. We have him brought over and interview him. It was an odd encounter. My assumption is he was still high, meth paranoia and eyes darting all over the room.
Yeardley [00:12:49] So, he was high when he checked into the jail?
Chad [00:12:52] Yeah.
Dave [00:12:53] And when these guys are geeked out, like when you see these folks that are currently-
Chad [00:12:59] Altered. (laughs)
Dave [00:13:00] –altered by their use of methamphetamine, it’s unmistakable. They look like they’re not on the same planet as you. Meth paranoia, they can’t stand still. They are looking all over the place. Their eyes are darting. They clench their fists, they clench their jaws.
Chad [00:13:16] They sweat.
Dave [00:13:17] Right. Yeardley, you were on a ride-along. That guy was coming down off meth, that guy was not at the height of his meth use, the guy that we encountered that was running into traffic. So, you can imagine when they are fully under the influence, they are completely unpredictable.
Yeardley [00:13:32] I see. Cyrus was high when he clubbed the guy with the chunk of wood coming out of his car, presumably?
Chad [00:13:39] Yes. He was high from the time they left little town up north until he was arrested here by one of Dan and Dave’s partners. It was several days after that before I had contact with him where, I guess, for Cyrus was normal, where he wasn’t impaired anymore. We talk to him, one of my partners and I are interviewing him. We’re having a hard time talking to him because Cyrus is not on the same plane of existence that we’re on. Finally, he says he doesn’t want to talk to us anymore and shuts the interview down. He wants a lawyer. We really didn’t get anywhere information, other than Cyrus stated prior to his invocation that they came down from their little town together.
Yeardley [00:14:26] Cyrus said he and Eve came down together?
Chad [00:14:28] Yeah. And then he says, basically, that she dropped him off in Dan and Dave’s town, and then he hasn’t seen her since.
Yeardley [00:14:35] Sure.
Dave [00:14:36] He’s not going to put himself anywhere near that logging road.
Chad [00:14:39] Right. We take him back over to jail. He’s cooling his heels in jail on the assault charge from the city. We also reached out to the district attorney’s office and said, “Make sure you file this case. He can’t get out. We’re putting together this homicide.” So, Cyrus stays in jail, and now that we know who he is, we do the background research on him and he’s got family that lives here in our county. Some of my partners go and talk to his family, his mom and his sister. Meanwhile, I’m driving up to the little town up north in the other county daily.
Yeardley [00:15:10] Where Eve lived?
Chad [00:15:11] Yeah. There’s a bunch of stuff I got to put together timeline wise and figure out what’s going on up there.
Dave [00:15:15] And where’s the car?
Chad [00:15:16] We haven’t found it yet. So, the same day that the assault happened here in town, that Cyrus is in jail, being held, we had received a call for service at one of the boat landings. It’s a big park, it’s in the city for all intents and purposes, but it’s one of those deals when it was built, the city hadn’t pushed that far out yet.
Dave [00:15:34] It’s got its host of problems, because it’s fairly remote. It’s off the beaten path, and it’s dark and secluded, and we have problems down there, so much so that now it’s gated.
Dan [00:15:45] And we have mountain lions down there.
Dave [00:15:47] Yeah, between dusk and dawn, it’s gated. So, daylight hours, it’s open. But it wasn’t always like that.
Chad [00:15:52] The same day that this all happened here in town, we get a call of a guy acting suspicious, weird. He’d let himself into this woman’s van trying to get a ride and she’s able to get them out and lock the doors, and she calls. A patrol deputy runs over there, gets out, walks around, looks around, the guy’s not there anymore. He takes note that there’s this Honda car parked there– but there’s tons of cars there. This was in July. There’s people at the river. The deputy just remembers it, and leaves because the guy’s gone.
Yeardley [00:16:22] Why does he remember the Honda?
Chad [00:16:24] Because the driver’s side windows were down. And you leave a Honda car, especially an older one– this was a– I don’t know what year it was, but it was an older Honda Accord. You leave a Honda car around here with the windows down, it’s stolen in five minutes.
Yeardley [00:16:35] I see. Okay, so that was unusual.
Dave [00:16:38] Honestly, when cops go to a boat landing or a parking lot and you see a Honda that’s early 90s, most cops will run that plate or check it out because they get stolen all the time.
Yeardley [00:16:50] Right. I do remember hearing that Hondas and Toyotas up to a certain year, they had about three keys.
Chad [00:16:56] Basically, yeah. And bad guys have rings of all those keys, and they just go around trying cars.
Yeardley [00:17:01] Right. It was the most commonly stolen car, the Honda and the Toyota, for about eight years to a decade.
Dave [00:17:09] Yeah. A Honda in that setting would definitely draw attention from a police officer.
Chad [00:17:15] The deputy ran the plate and it wasn’t stolen. And at that point, we didn’t know who the victim was, and the vehicle’s registered to her, but we didn’t know yet. So, everything’s just offset and missing.
Yeardley [00:17:25] The Honda belongs to Eve, but you don’t know that yet?
Chad [00:17:27] Correct.
Dave [00:17:28] She hasn’t been found yet, right?
Chad [00:17:29] She might have been found, but we didn’t know who she was yet.
Yeardley [00:17:31] Okay. Various people have tidbits of information.
Chad [00:17:35] Right. It’s like putting a puzzle together.
Yeardley [00:17:36] Got it.
Chad [00:17:37] I’m daily going up to this little town, talking to people. I wind up piecing together a bunch of surveillance video footage from stores and markets where they were that shows they were together.
Yeardley [00:17:47] Eve and Cyrus?
Chad [00:17:48] Yeah. We had interviewed him, and he shut the interview down. I’m digging around, and a patrol sergeant, who is now retired, great cop, just an excellent street cop, memory like a steel trap, legit. He remembered hearing the deputy go to that boat landing and running a plate on a Honda because he knew I’m looking for a gray Honda by this point, and I got the plate through DMV records, but still hadn’t connected this other call for service yet. So, he comes to my office and he goes, “Jason checked out at the boat landing on that day, and he ran a Honda. I think he said it was gray.” I go through the computer records of all the calls, and I find it, and it’s the same license plate.
Yeardley [00:18:30] And you’re like, “Yahtzee!”
Chad [00:18:32] Right away I sent a guy over. I’m dreading this car had been stolen.
Yeardley [00:18:36] Already.
Chad [00:18:37] Because the windows were open. I’m like, “No.” I get the nearest patrol deputies run over there right away. It’s still there. It’s got blood on the back bumper, and the windows are still open and there’s blood inside the car.
Yeardley [00:18:47] Wow.
Chad [00:18:48] We tow it to our impound lot. I write search warrants to cover the car and a bunch of other search warrants I write.
Dave [00:18:55] The apartment up north?
Chad [00:18:56] I had consent to get in there because her adult daughter lived there also.
Yeardley [00:19:01] Was the Honda parked in a corner of the boat landing parking lot?
Chad [00:19:05] No, it was just parked along the side of the private road or whatever you want to call that.
Dave [00:19:09] Between you going up to this town north where Cyrus and Eve live, and coming back and forth, and now we’ve located the car and pieced together that it belongs to Eve, at what point do we have the autopsy?
Chad [00:19:22] So, the autopsy happens right around the time the car was discovered and impounded. We go to the autopsy. And the doctor, like we did, doesn’t see any significant sign of injury. There’s a little bit of a red mark on her neck but it’s not remarkable.
Yeardley [00:19:40] It doesn’t pierce the skin or anything?
Chad [00:19:42] No. The doc does his full autopsy, which is gross. We go to a lot of autopsies and I don’t like them, but it’s part of the job.
Yeardley [00:19:51] What’s the worst part for you?
Chad [00:19:52] The smell.
Yeardley [00:19:53] They always say that.
Chad [00:19:54] We smell horrible on our insides. It’s bad. So, he does the autopsy. He doesn’t find any mechanism for her to be dead until he always does the throat last. It’s always the last part he does. So, he’s done the whole body, everything. He opens up her throat and peels the skin back, and you can see three definite fingerprint bruising in the muscle under the skin. Eve died so fast that her body couldn’t pump blood to the skin to cause a bruise. We’re thinking, “Oh, that’s indicative of strangulation.” The doc opens up her throat and the hyoid bone is crushed sideways, which only can happen from side-to-side compression. Generally, they’ll say it’s from strangulation almost exclusively. Now we know that Eve was strangled to death.
Yeardley [00:20:42] What does it tell you that she died so quickly, the body doesn’t have a chance to create a bruise on the outside? I’ve never heard that, that seems unusual.
Dan [00:20:48] Although it takes a tremendous amount of force to actually strangle somebody, there are different ways to do it. You can cut off the carotid artery, you can cut off the jugular, you can crush the trachea. Depending on how your hand is on their neck, if you’re not using your fingertips, those are pressure points and that’s where you’re going to see visible bruising on the outside of the neck. But like the web of your hand, like between your thumb and your index finger, there aren’t pressure points there. So, if you are pressing down on her trachea or different parts of her neck, you’re probably not going to see bruising.
Yeardley [00:21:26] Oh, got it.
Dan [00:21:27] I saw a study that they did 300 strangulations, and only 15% of them showed actual bruising on the skin.
Chad [00:21:36] But the tissue underneath, which is more flush, with blood did bruise.
Yeardley [00:21:40] Does that mean that most people who suffer manual strangulation, the strangler isn’t that precise, and therefore you get bruises on the outside of your neck also?
Dave [00:21:50] It lets me know whoever killed Eve had a very good grip on her. We’ve heard this before from suspects that it’s really difficult to strangle people because they’re fighting for their life and they’re scratching and clawing. Unless you have complete control of that person’s body, your hands are going to be moving around, you’re going to be re-gripping, trying to get a better grip. It doesn’t surprise me that it took several minutes. It takes a long time.
Chad [00:22:17] We figured that out. On top of that, we have a double homicide occur. So, all the help I had, the detectives and my sergeant that I had helping me out-
Yeardley [00:22:28] On Eve.
Chad [00:22:28] -on Eve, you get peeled off for this fresh case. The state police investigators that were helping us out get taken away from me because the other case was very labor intensive.
Yeardley [00:22:38] And this other case is completely unrelated to Eve strangulation?
Dan [00:22:42] Yes. These departments, they’ve got four guys back there working. He can be stretched so thin, especially when we had it here where we had back-to-back homicides on back-to-back days, and we had nine guys and we were stretched. It’s really difficult. It’s all hands-on deck when these cases happen.
Chad [00:23:00] Yeah. I’ll say that the sheriff’s office couldn’t be as successful or successful at all, without good relationships with our partner agencies. Like he said, there’s four of us and a supervisor. On these big cases, the supervisor isn’t investigating. He’s tied up supervising and managing resources and drawing in resources from other places. So, there’s four of us, and a lot of these cases we couldn’t do, which is for people, we have a very good relationship with Dan and Dave’s agency and their detective division. The local state police office in our county, they have three investigators, we work with them weekly, at least, seamlessly. The other big police agency, we have a pretty good relationship with.
[00:23:40] And then the small cities, they each have maybe one or two detectives, they’re pretty small departments. So, we work with them a lot, because we need help, and so it’s important to us to maintain those relationships with our partner agencies. I’m left working on this, not totally by myself, but it’s different.
Yeardley [00:23:58] You’re down to–
Chad [00:23:59] Me.
Yeardley [00:23:59] Yeah. Down to the wire.
Chad [00:24:13] We have the autopsy. We do the search warrant on this Honda car. DNA comes back, it’s Eve’s blood on the front passenger seat area of the car.
Yeardley [00:24:21] How long does it take for the DNA to come back, because we now know it takes months?
Chad [00:24:25] You can turn DNA around inside of a month if it’s a priority case, and the crime lab agrees, which they don’t see things the same way we do always. But if you ask, they’ll do it, usually. So, we figure all that out. We go talk to Cyrus’ family. One of my partners goes up there, and Cyrus is sitting in jail. I’m trying to put all these puzzle pieces together because all this stuff, like I said earlier, was just offset enough that was missing and so it’s all starting to fall into place now. One of my partner’s, the one that went up and actually talked to his family gets a phone call, a voicemail. It’s Cyrus’ sister, and he calls her back, and she says, “My brother, Cyrus, wants to talk to you guys. He wanted me to call you guys, he wants to talk to you guys some more.”
Yeardley [00:25:06] From the jail?
Chad [00:25:06] From the jail. My partner and I pulled that jail call, we listened to it, Cyrus certainly says that he wants to speak to the investigators again.
Sister: [00:25:17] Good morning.
Cyrus: [00:25:18] What’s up?
Sister: [00:25:19] Uh, nothing. Just playing with the baby.
Cyrus: [00:25:22] Cool, cool. I’m just wondering if you could call the detectives and have them maybe possibly come talk to me again?
Sister: [00:25:31] The detective?
Cyrus: [00:25:32] I don’t have the number.
Sister: [00:25:33] Yeah, I can call him.
Cyrus: [00:25:35] Okay. I just want to– I don’t know their names, I forgot their names.
Sister: [00:25:40] I’ll call them.
Cyrus: [00:25:42] Okay.
Sister: [00:25:42] Okay.
Cyrus: [00:25:43] I wanted to talk to detectives and see where they stand, and see what they want me to do.
Sister: [00:25:52] Yeah.
Cyrus: [00:25:52] I wanted to know where they’reright now.
Sister: [00:25:54] Huh?
Cyrus: [00:25:56] I’m not really sure about where they’re right now.
Dan [00:25:59] So, procedurally, he’s in for an assault charge, has he been arraigned yet?
Chad [00:26:02] Yes.
Dan [00:26:04] Technically, he’s got an attorney, but this is a separate case.
Chad [00:26:07] Right. Totally separate. When we talked to him the first time, he hadn’t been arraigned yet. We had him interview, we advise him of his rights, we video record everything, and then he ends the interview. Now that he’s reinitiated contact with us and wants to talk to us, we have to show that we didn’t influence that, we didn’t start asking him questions to create this situation. So, we bring him back over, I re-advise of him rights, he signs the Miranda waiver form. We spend a little bit of time in the interview just going over how we got here. “We got this phone call from your sister, she said you want to talk. Is that correct?” “Yes.” We made it very clear. “We’re not going to talk to you at all about your case in the city. We don’t care about that, none of our business, we don’t even work for that department, just trying to make a very clear break.” And he tells us, “Yeah,” he still wants to talk to us.
Yeardley [00:26:56] So, we should tell our Small Town Fam that we listened to these tapes before our recording session today, and it’s difficult to make out what Cyrus is saying sometimes. But we feel his affect is so casual. It’s quite compelling. So, we’ll recap what said were necessary.
Chad [00:27:16] Yeah. So right out of the gate, he just looks at me, “I did it.”
Detective: [00:27:21] Okay, so, uh–
Cyrus: [00:27:23] I did it. (unintelligible) I dumped her body at the (unintelligible) that’s where you (unintelligible).
Dave [00:27:34] Cyrus just offers at the open.
Chad [00:27:37] Yeah. I hadn’t asked him a question about the case yet. And it was just very matter of fact, he’s just sitting in the chair, “I did it.” “Uh, what did you do?” “I strangled Eve.” And so, we talked to him for about two hours, and he validates the timeline that we had created through the surveillance footage and receipts that we found in the car and all that stuff. He puts himself with Eve leaving the apartment, they were in an argument. They were just going to go for a drive to get away. They smoked some meth multiple times. They stopped along the freeway at rest stops and stuff and smoked some meth. So, everything’s fitting. And then, he talks about going down to the city that’s closest to where we found her. We had some evidence that they were there. We had video of the car parked in this weird spot. He tells us that they’re down there at the park, it’s nighttime, late at night, like 11:00, 12:00 at night, smoking meth, drinking beer. And he says basically that Eve looks different to him. Something looks weird. He says she looked like a demon.
Yeardley [00:28:43] A demon? Really? We had an episode in Season 3 called Interstate, where Detective George told us about this guy who killed his girlfriend while they were high on meth, because he too said she looked like a demon.
Dan [00:28:58] Yeah, meth is bad.
Chad [00:29:00] Yeah. Cyrus reenacts it in the interview.
Detective: [00:29:03] What happened in the car?
Detective: [00:29:05] Okay, so you’re sitting in the passenger seat, and you’re having your argument, you guys are drinking, smoking, right? And then, were you arguing then or what prompted you–?
Cyrus: [00:29:17] I kissed her and then she was like– and I just told her, “Sorry, I have to do this.” And she’s like, “Okay.”
Yeardley [00:29:24] When asked about killing Eve, Cyrus says, “I kissed her. And then I just told her, ‘I’m sorry, I have to do this.’” And then she was like, ‘Okay.’”
Detective: [00:29:36] You told her what was going to happen (unintelligible) just kind of happened? Did the things just kind of happen? Just evolved andhappened?
Cyrus: [00:29:42] It wasn’t supposed to happen.
Detective: [00:29:45] Okay. Can you show me from where you are seated, how you can reach around and grab?
Cyrus: [00:29:50] Like that, so then like a press up and then she just– she slumped down, she started gurgling and then I kind of like that, and her neck kind of cracked and then I let go five minutes later.
Chad [00:30:02] He said, “I strangled for about five minutes, and I knew she was dead.” And he says when he lets go, blood comes out of her mouth.
Yeardley [00:30:10] And she started gurgling.
Chad [00:30:12] Yes.
Detective: [00:30:13] Okay. Then, you said you made a statement sorry, you have to do this. Did she actually what did that mean or anything? Or did you just immediately follow that up? She what?
Cyrus: [00:30:23] She looked scared like that. But in my head, I was just like, “There’s Satan, you have to do this, you have to do this, you have to do this.”
Detective: [00:30:31] I know I heard (unintelligible).
Yeardley [00:30:38] So, Cyrus says Eve looked scared when he was about to strangle her but all he heard in his head was Satan saying, “You have to do this, you have to do this.” So, he did it because he didn’t want Eve to be further tormented.
Chad [00:30:51] Yeah. Then, he talks about how he didn’t know what to do. She was in the driver’s seat, and he dragged her over the passenger seat. That’s where the blood transfer happened and that’s the blood we got out of the car. He gets in the car and tried to drive and didn’t know where he was going. Just drove, drove, drove. He said it was scary. The roads were scary. And at some point, Cyrus stops when he gets out of town, he’s up in the forest land, he stops and actually moves her to the trunk. And that’s where we get the blood transfer on the rear bumper and trunk lid of the car. And then, he just takes off. He said he drove for a long time.
[00:31:25] Finally, he gets to the spot. I don’t really know how he picked the spot. But he stops, gets her out of the trunk, covers her up with this blanket. And then, he says he was going to drive further into the woods and kill himself. But he doesn’t do that. He drives, and then eventually he said, “I turned around, I didn’t know where I was and drove for hours, getting out of those road systems.” And then when he got out on the pavement and got back to the city, he knew where the freeway was, got on the freeway, and headed north up to here.
Yeardley [00:31:57] To Dan and Dave’s town?
Chad [00:31:58] Yeah. And then, he goes to the boat landing. Through doing all this, backtracking, we discover a second attempted murder he committed that never got reported in town here.
Yeardley [00:32:07] Oh. Beyond the dude over the head with the 2×4?
Chad [00:32:11] Yeah, so another incident that never got reported. So, he goes to the boat landing and he talks about some woman gave him a ride.
Cyrus: [00:32:19] I left the car at the (unintelligible).
Detective: [00:32:21] The boat landing there?
Cyrus: [00:32:22] Yeah, that’s right. I left the car.
Detective: [00:32:23] Okay. And then, so where do you go next?
Cyrus: [00:32:27] I got a ride from people out in this van. I said, “I need to go to the hospital.” I said, “I’ll give 20 bucks to give me a ride to the hospital.” And they drive me.
Yeardley [00:32:35] So, he drops his car at the boat landing, and then he pays some people $20 to take him to the hospital?
Chad [00:32:42] Yes, we eventually found those people that did give him a ride. And he started acting weird in their car and they kicked him out over behind the hospital here. That’s in the same couple of blocks where the guy that he with the stick of wood was, but before he gets to that guy’s house, he runs into some other guy on the street that he recognized.
Cyrus: [00:33:00] [beep] -got changed.
Detective: [00:33:02] So, what did you wind up changing into?
Cyrus: [00:33:03] Pair of shorts that was (unintelligible)
Detective: [00:33:08] It was some dude’s shorts?
Cyrus: [00:33:10] Yeah. (laughs)
Detective: [00:33:11] Okay. Was there any kind of confrontation that happened at that kid’s house? What happened, man?
Cyrus: (unintelligible) like a thing. (unintelligible)
Detective: [00:33:21] What was that thing?
Cyrus: [00:33:23] It was like a clink.
Detective: [00:33:26] Clink, like a winch thing, like pull heavy stuff with? Okay. So, why’d you do that?
Cyrus: [00:33:34] I heard him say something, I then– He didn’t say nothing, and I just–
Detective: [00:33:39] Okay. And did you hurt him?
Cyrus: [00:33:42] I don’t think so.
Detective: [00:33:44] Did you hit him with it?
Cyrus: [00:33:45] No. I missed.
Detective: [00:33:46] Okay, that’s probably a good thing.
Chad [00:33:55] So, Cyrus runs into this guy he recognizes. He goes over to this guy’s house, with his clothes on, gets in this guy’s aboveground swimming pool. He just climbs in this guy’s pool with his clothes on that have blood all over him. He winds up taking those clothes off and stealing some clothes from this guy’s house. We actually later go back to that house and find his pants and it had his wallet in it. And before he leaves, he picks up a (unintelligible) come along, a hand winch, like a tow truck has a winch on the front with the cable. So, this is the hand version of that. It’s got a spool with a metal cable on it and a long handle, and you use leverage to ratchet this thing and you can pull heavy stuff.
[00:34:32] He finds it at this guy’s house before he leaves where the pool was. He picks it up and tries to club this guy, not looking at him in the back of the head. And for whatever reason, divine intervention or whatever, this guy sees it coming and he moves, and Cyrus misses, and he drops it and then Cyrus just leaves. And then, it’s about a block later when he encounters the gentleman in his driveway and beats him over the head with a big chunk of wood.
Yeardley [00:34:55] So, the winch hurling is the unreported attempted–
Chad [00:34:59] Murder?
Yeardley [00:35:00] Yeah.
Chad [00:35:01] Yes.
Dave [00:35:13] Cyrus has had an interesting 24 hours. Well, several hours. Cyrus and Eve have left their house, drove into our county, smoked meth several times along the way, ventured to the south part of our county. And at some point, he sees a demon. He’s like, “Okay, you have to die,” kills Eve. And then, he goes on a little field trip wondering, “Where am I going to put this body?” You mentioned that he wanted to kill himself. Did he have means with him?
Chad [00:35:39] No. But that’s what he says his intent was for whatever that’s worth.
Dave [00:35:42] But at some point, he says, “Uh-huh, no, I’m going to turn back north and–”
Yeardley [00:35:46] Try to kill other people.
Chad [00:35:48] Right.
Dan [00:35:48] So, he’s clearly high as fuck?
Chad [00:35:51] Yes. And that supports our belief when we talked with him the first time that he was still high, because he was. And after the fact, we find out that basically that day of the homicide, he had been smoking meth all day as she was driving, so he was altered. We find that one, and then one that he gets taken into custody for here in Dan and Dave’s town where he tells the officer, “I just got to kill people.” All this stuff is starting to line up. Now he’s done, basically– I’m going to call it reenactment because you can see it in his eyes. He turns in his chair in the interview room, and he’s like, “I reached over and I grabbed her like this.” And you could see he was reliving it in his eyes. It was bizarre.
Dave [00:36:28] At the time, he’s telling you this is a few days after–
Chad [00:36:31] It’s a week after.
Dave [00:36:32] And Cyrus is sober.
Chad [00:36:33] Yes, correct.
Dave [00:36:35] But he clearly remembers what he did.
Chad [00:36:36] Yes.
Dave [00:36:37] So, this meth-induced psychosis is one of these defenses that we’ve heard about. And it sounds like that’s where he’s heading with this. But he also has retained that memory and knows exactly what he did.
Chad [00:36:48] Right. We finish up the interview and take Cyrus back to jail. And then, I put together the case, have a district attorney review it. Actually, he was down there with us for the interview. And we grand jury it real quick, get a murder warrant and charge him with murder.
Yeardley [00:37:04] God. Now did the man who was hit in the head with the 2×4, what was his condition? Did he live?
Chad [00:37:13] Yeah, he lived, he was fine. Well, I mean, he was hurt, but he didn’t have any lasting effect. Ultimately, the case resolves. Cyrus pled guilty and just took the sentence, and is in prison currently.
Yeardley [00:37:24] Did he go to trial? Or, did he take a plea deal?
Chad [00:37:26] Plea deal. He got life. 25 to life.
Dave [00:37:29] And Eve’s family, what’s her circumstance?
Chad [00:37:32] This little town up north is a strange little place.
Yeardley [00:37:36] [giggles]
Chad [00:37:37] It’s a former logging boomtown, logging has dried up essentially here. They have a very big drug problem in this little town. For a small as a city is this is, it’s bad. I had a hard time maintaining contact with Eve’s family. I went up there, I met them, her ex-husband, her two kids, their adult kids, but they have their own set of problems and criminal records.
Dan [00:38:02] You have to remember that you want to build her character, especially if you’re prepping for trial, it’s important that you know about your victim. When you’re reaching out to these people, if they’re still involved in criminal activity and drug use, they don’t want the police around, they don’t want to talk to you.
Chad [00:38:19] There was some concern. The concern was brought up by Cyrus in our interview. He was concerned that Eve’s son, who I’m going to say he was 19 or 20 at the time, would retaliate against Cyrus by harming his family down here, because he’s got that kind of a criminal history. So, there was that issue that we had to deal with. So, we had to make sure that anybody in Eve’s family was unable to get the address for Cyrus’ family. Doing a little research, it was a seeming legit concern on the front end. Turns out, nobody made any effort to do anything, but just pulling up his rap sheet, you’re like, “Hmm, that guy might do it.”
Yeardley [00:38:55] Right. You have to take that seriously.
Chad [00:38:57] Yes.
Yeardley [00:38:58] Fascinating. Do you have a family?
Chad [00:39:00] I do.
Yeardley [00:39:00] What does at-home life look like? Your wife and kids just know, “Okay, Dad’s basically is off the radar. From the moment he comes home, he sleeps and–
Chad [00:39:09] -gets back up and goes to work.”
Yeardley [00:39:11] “We just make sure he’s fed and watered, and we love him, and we’ll see you when you wrap it up.”
Chad [00:39:16] Yeah, that’s how it works. This is the only professional job I’ve ever had as an adult. I’ve had part time jobs going through school but I got hired just before my 21st birthday, and this is all I’ve done or known. And likewise, when I met my wife, I was already a cop. So, it’s the norm for us. And I got into police work because I wanted to be a detective. I love patrol work, but I wanted to be a detective. I like investigative work. My wife knows that, and so she knows this is important to me, and we just make sacrifices. Our kids are getting old enough now that they don’t rely on us as much but it’s just how it is. So, yeah, I’ll catch a big case, I’ll work all night, come home, sleep for a few hours, get up, go back to work, work till we’re done. And that’s just kind of how we get through things.
Yeardley [00:40:06] And do you talk to your wife about your day to day?
Chad [00:40:09] Sometimes, there’s some stuff I don’t talk about because she doesn’t want to hear about it, and I don’t think they need to hear about it. But this is weird, but to me, homicide or murder cases are interesting to work, or significant robberies, or serious assaults, because I’m going to guess probably 85%, 90% of our caseload is not robberies or homicides, or assaults. It’s sex crimes, crimes against children. That’s the stuff I don’t really talk to them about. When you’re managing a caseload that’s so heavily weighted with those type of cases, they actually have to be investigated, and that is what it is. When you get what I’m going to say is a break, and you get a fresh homicide or a robbery or an assault, kind of recharges the battery, because it’s a different kind of investigation. You’re out hunting, turning over rocks, looking for evidence and stuff.
Dan [00:41:00] Now that I’ve retired, that’s what I always tell people when they ask me, “Do you miss it?” I miss when you’ve figured out who the bad guy is, and he’s in the wind, the hunt. Let’s go find him. And that’s the fun part for me. And if you go to a crime scene and trying to look at that crime scene and trying to figure out what happened, that’s really interesting to me, and it’s rewarding when you figure it out.
Chad [00:41:25] Yeah.
Dave [00:41:26] I agree, I’m not a detective anymore, but I miss the camaraderie with our agencies, detectives, and Sergeant Dave. I also miss working with the other agencies, like Chad’s agency I miss. I missed the call outs, I miss the variety, because Chad’s right, my caseload was 85% to 90% child abuse and sex crimes. When you get something different, is probably like any listener, when they have something different to do at their job, it makes it more interesting. And it kind of does recharge your batteries like, “Oh, hey, I’ve got something different to do. Cool.”
Yeardley [00:42:03] Right. I see. Well, you all are amazing. Thank you, Chad, for joining us today. And thanks for finding justice for Eve.
Chad [00:42:13] Yeah. It started off like a TV homicide, it was a whodunit, we don’t know anything, and just stayed on it and put the pieces together and it all fit together and worked out the way it’s supposed to work out.
Dan [00:42:24] Just kind of wonder what if she would have never met Cyrus.
Chad [00:42:28] Right.
Dan [00:42:29] That’s too bad.
Yeardley [00:42:29] That is too bad. Thank you.
Chad [00:42:32] Thank you.
Dave [00:42:32] Thanks for being here, Chad.
Yeardley: [00:42:38] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott, and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
Dan [00:43:06] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, visit us on our website at smalltowndicks.com. And join the Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from you.
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Dan [00:43:40] -in search of the finest-
Dave [00:43:41] -rare
Dan [00:43:42] -true crime cases told, as always by the detectives who investigated them.
Dave [00:43:47] Thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.
Yeardley [00:43:49] Nobody’s better than you.