欢迎来到
银狐的个人博客

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查

Dressed up in a Minnie Mouse costume for her son’s school Halloween party, Melissa Fox tried to put on a brave face for her 6-year-old boy and the world.

Just hours earlier, on Oct. 27, 2004, police had made an arrest in the tragic murder of her 3-year-old daughter, , claiming to solve and bring to a close the five-month-long, high-profile investigation.

“On the news, they were telling everybody there was an arrest made. I [knew] who they arrested, but nobody else did yet.” Melissa said.

Riley, an adorable, outgoing and bright-eyed toddler, was found murdered in a creek just 4 miles from her home, shaking the small town of Wilmington, Illinois, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, to its core.

“In an instant, my life was forever changed and it was devastating,” Melissa told ABC News.

Watch the full story on “20/20” FRIDAY at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

As Melissa fulfilled her promise to be with her son at school that evening, the Will County Sheriff’s Office was getting ready to announce its suspect: Kevin Fox, Melissa’s then-husband and Riley’s father.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ “20/20,” Melissa reflected on how she survived a parent’s worst nightmare, tirelessly defended her husband’s innocence and never gave up fighting for justice for her beloved daughter.

Riley Fox is found murdered

On June 6, 2004, the lives of the Fox family changed forever.

That weekend, Melissa, then 25, and a group of friends participated in the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago, where she stayed for two nights — the longest she’d ever been away from her children. Kevin stayed home with the kids.

Melissa adored Riley and cherished her time with her little girl.

“She had this perfect black hair and perfect little round face and blue eyes,” Melissa said. “She was funny. She was silly. Just, so talkative, and she was friendly to everybody she met. She was just a sweetheart.”

“Riley was a lot like Melissa,” Jillian Garrelts, Melissa’s friend, said. “She was a spunky, sassy little girl. She … could be a little princess… But … she was a daddy’s girl, kind of a little tomboy [who] loved to fish … and wasn’t afraid to get dirty.”

While his wife was in Chicago, Kevin, then 27, and the kids spent Saturday afternoon making posters in anticipation of celebrating Melissa’s walk at the finish line, where they planned to meet her the next morning.

But early Sunday morning, Tyler woke up Kevin to tell him that Riley was missing.

Not thinking it was a true emergency, Kevin looked through the house and backyard. Then, after about 30 to 40 minutes, Kevin called the non-emergency number for police. He reported finding his front door open and Riley’s yellow blanket still on the couch, where she had been sleeping.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Melissa and her friends were nearing the end of their walk when she called her husband to check in.

“He sounded so startled. I knew immediately something was wrong,” Melissa said. “He just said, ‘Riley’s gone,’ and I immediately hit the ground and the phone fell out of my hand.”

The women rushed back to Wilmington, where word of Riley’s disappearance had spread quickly throughout the small town of 5,000. They arrived to see the community mobilized, with dozens of volunteers searching for Riley in ditches, woods and the town’s forest preserves.

“It was something out of a movie… [I] feel like the entire town was out looking for her,” Colleen Hansen, Melissa’s friend, said. “Every area of the town was being canvassed in some fashion.”

For hours after Melissa had arrived, the town continued to search high and low for Riley. Then at one point, Melissa said a police officer placed her and Kevin in separate police cars.

“I didn’t understand what was going on. When we got to the police station, they just started asking questions and I was like, ‘Is someone going to tell me what’s going on?’” she said.

The couple was unaware that two volunteers had found Riley facedown, wearing only a shirt, in a creek. She had duct tape across her mouth and what investigators believed to be duct tape residue on her wrists. Autopsy reports later determined that she had been sexually assaulted and drowned.

“It was just crushing,” Melissa said. “I couldn’t even stand. I couldn’t even think. I couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without her.”

From that moment forward, Melissa said she never stepped foot in the house where Riley had disappeared from again.

Police focus on Riley Fox’s father in her murder

Nearly 6,000 people attended Riley’s funeral a few days after she’d been found.

The attendees wore pink, Riley’s favorite color, and buttons with her picture on it while Martina McBride’s “She’s a Butterfly” played through the speakers. Riley was buried in the white flower girl dress she had worn to her uncle’s wedding just two weeks before her murder and new flip flops that she’d wanted.

Melissa later learned Will County Sheriff’s Office detectives were also in attendance, videotaping Kevin.

“Within an hour of the funeral ending, [the police] came to my house,” Hansen said. “They asked if there was any reason that I would believe Kevin to be capable of doing something like this. … Before the question even came out of their mouth, my answer was, ‘No.’”

Desperate to find out what happened to her daughter, Melissa said she reached out to the detectives every day and that they assured her they were investigating the case thoroughly.

Then, nearly three weeks after Riley’s murder, the detectives asked to speak to her brother, 6-year-old Tyler. Melissa and Kevin agreed.

For over an hour, a forensic interviewer questioned Tyler about Riley’s disappearance. On a videotaped recording, Tyler was seen crouching into his chair, covering his face and crying while the interviewer questioned him.

He told the interviewer 168 times that his father had nothing to do with the disappearance of his little sister, according to Fox’s attorney Kathleen Zellner.

When Melissa was able to view the recording at a later date, she was distraught. She said she allowed her son to be questioned because she trusted the detectives.

“It was really sad to watch,” Melissa said. “Our family had been through so much. I had just lost a child and then to see the way that they decided to treat the one I still had was really terrible.”

Riley Fox’s father is arrested for her murder

Months passed with little movement on the case. On Oct. 26, 2004, the Foxes received a call from the Will County Sheriff’s Office asking them to come to the office as there were new developments in the case.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it. They found the person,” Melissa said. “We were just grinning from ear to ear like we’re finally going to know what happened.”

But immediately upon their arrival, Melissa said they were separated and Kevin was taken to a backroom for questioning.

“Something just [didn’t] feel right,” she said. “I thought they were going to tell us what was going on. I [didn’t] know what’s happening.”

“I was stunned… For months, [I had been] telling [them], ‘Stop looking at my husband. Kevin had nothing to do with it,’” Melissa said.

About eight hours into Kevin’s interrogation, Melissa said police told her Kevin had agreed to take a polygraph exam and that he had failed. Melissa said she then spoke to her husband.

“As soon as I got in the room … I think they were really upset, that they thought they had me believing their story. And the second … I let Kevin know, ‘I don’t believe them. It’s OK’ … They didn’t want me anywhere near him,” Melissa said.

She said the sergeant overseeing the investigation pulled her out of the room, yelled obscenities in her face and insisted to her that Kevin had murdered their child. The Will County Sheriff’s Office has denied these claims.

At approximately 8 a.m., Will County detectives said Kevin had confessed to killing his daughter. He had been questioned by police for about 14 hours and hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours.

According to the detectives, Kevin confessed that he had accidentally killed Riley when he opened the bathroom door and struck her in the head early Sunday morning and that he then staged her death to look like an abduction and murder. Police said that he sexually assaulted Riley as part of the cover-up and dumped her body in the creek.

DNA evidence proves essential in Riley Fox case

When Chad Fox learned of his brother Kevin’s interrogation, he rushed to the building where he worked and waited outside the door of a neighboring attorney’s office. Chad had suggested months earlier that Melissa and Kevin speak with an attorney, but they felt they didn’t need one.

Little did they know, Chad was not referring to just any attorney. He was talking about Kathleen Zellner, one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country, who has helped exonerate 20 people.

After speaking to her, Chad and Zellner raced down to the sheriff’s office. When they arrived, they learned Kevin was already being booked into the Will County Jail.

“I went outside and Melissa Fox was standing in the parking lot… She told me, ‘There’s just no way that he did this,’” Zellner said. “I thought … this is a very self-confident, assertive … person that seemed very intelligent to me, and when she told me that, I thought maybe he didn’t do it.”

After meeting Melissa and speaking to Kevin, Zellner took on the case.

The Will County State’s Attorney filed first-degree murder charges against Kevin Fox and announced they were planning to seek the death penalty against him for the murder of his daughter.

Yet, Kevin denied killing Riley, claiming the detectives threatened and coerced him into giving a false confession. The investigators have denied threatening Kevin and coercing him to confess.

Word spread like wildfire throughout Wilmington and the Chicagoland area that Kevin was responsible for Riley’s murder. Chicago media descended upon the small town.

“We went from being the victims of the crime, and having everybody’s sympathy to, all of a sudden, we were bad people,” Melissa said in a previous interview.

While Melissa’s world was falling apart, she said she had to stay strong for her son, Tyler, and her family.

Meanwhile, Zellner sprang into action. She and her team of private investigators traveled to Wilmington and began to reenact the crime to see if it fit Kevin’s confession.

She quickly began poking holes in the Will County Sheriff’s Office investigation and Kevin’s confession. For example, she alleged that the current of the creek wasn’t strong enough at the spot where Kevin said he’d placed Riley’s body to move her to the location where she was found.

However, in spite of her findings, Zellner felt the only way to overcome Kevin’s confession and prove his innocence would be with DNA evidence. In her review of the Will County Sheriff’s Office investigation, Zellner found that there was, in fact, DNA from Riley’s rape kit that had been available all along, but the DNA required sophisticated technology to further test it.

She was able to strike a deal with the newly elected State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who agreed to allow a private lab to test the DNA.

When the results came back, they excluded Kevin Fox, but did not identify the real killer. He was released from jail the next day and the charges against him were dropped.

Kevin spent eight months in jail wrongfully accused of his daughter’s murder.

“[Kevin’s release] was something I had hoped for and I knew would happen, but some days it just felt like … forever, and other days, it just felt impossible,” Melissa said.

“I [was] really happy to have our family back together, but [we were] still missing a piece,” Melissa added. “Still, nothing had helped us understand what had happened to Riley and it felt as if they made it that much more difficult to find the truth because they had so many people believing that it was Kevin.”

“[The Sheriff’s Office] wasted all that time. … They really screwed us over big time and I still don’t know why,” she said.

Fox family files civil rights lawsuit

Upon Kevin’s arrest, Zellner filed a civil rights lawsuit against Will County, the Will County Sheriff’s Office, multiple sheriff’s detectives who investigated the case, the former Will County State’s Attorney, the polygraph examiner and the forensic interviewer who spoke with Tyler, and others.

Zellner’s claims for Kevin Fox included violations of due process, false arrest, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and conspiracy. For Melissa Fox, claims included conspiracy, loss of consortium, and a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against one detective.

“This was not about incompetence. This was a case where we had to show that there was some malicious intent,” Zellner said.

Just before the trial, the former state’s attorney who filed charges against Kevin negotiated a resolution with the Fox family without admitting wrongdoing.

Zellner said the lawyers for Will County tried to settle with the Foxes, but Melissa and Kevin wouldn’t agree to it.

“Why settle? We’d had nothing to hide. … They raked us through the mud,” Melissa said.

Melissa claimed the detectives caused more damage to her family while grieving the loss of her daughter.

“The one person … who I needed by my side was Kevin, and they took him from me. So, I was mourning the loss of a child,” she said. “And … now I have to raise my son by myself, who’s just lost his sister. It was just truly a nightmare, and … the civil case at that time … felt like [our] only way to get back at them.”

In court, Zellner and her team argued that the detectives had tunnel vision. She said they presented many possible leads that she said they say the Will County Sheriff’s Office failed to properly investigate.

Zellner argued that the detectives did not properly investigate a possible break-in at the Foxes’ neighbor’s home on the night Riley disappeared, and that they didn’t follow up on a suspicious red Chevy Beretta that had been seen driving through the neighborhood.

The attorneys for the detectives had said one of the reasons they suspected Kevin was that they found no sign of forced entry into the Fox home and that he didn’t immediately call police.

Melissa and Kevin said the lock on their back door had been broken.

The detectives’ attorneys argued the detectives had probable cause to arrest Kevin, and that they did not rush to judgment or coerce a confession from him.

All of the detectives involved in this case declined “20/20’s” requests to be interviewed.

During the trial, one of the detectives, the polygraph examiner, the forensic interviewer, and others settled out of court without admitting wrongdoing.

The jury ruled in favor of the Fox family on a number of their claims, but not all, finding that the remaining four detectives and the estate of a fifth detective were liable for violating Kevin Fox’s right to due process, false arrest and infliction of emotional distress, but not conspiracy or false imprisonment. The jury also held the detectives liable for Melissa’s claim of loss of consortium, but not conspiracy. The jury also found in favor of Melissa Fox’s claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

Two of the detectives were found liable for malicious prosecution. The jury awarded the family $15.5 million.

An appeals court later vacated Kevin Fox’s substantive due process claim and reduced damages for his false arrest claim and Melissa’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, reducing the payout to about $8 million.

The search for Riley’s killer continues

After the civil trial, the Fox family turned its attention to finding Riley’s real killer. Melissa called for outside agencies to take up the investigation.

Years passed and Melissa grew weary, but never gave up hope that her daughter’s killer would be brought to justice.

In 2009, the FBI took over the case after Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said it had reached the point where something “drastic” had to happen. Its investigation led them to Scott Eby, a career criminal who eventually confessed to the crime. In his confession, he revealed, among other things, the harrowing details of Riley’s final moments.

A year later, Melissa was on her way to an appointment when she received an unexpected call from Zellner, who told her, “We got him.” She was referring to the FBI, who had caught Riley’s killer.

“I was … crying and smiling and I just couldn’t even believe it,” Melissa said. “It was words that I had longed for, but a lot of days felt like I was never going to hear. … It took my breath away.”

Melissa met Kevin at Zellner’s office to meet with the FBI agents.

“One second we’re sitting there just like, ‘Thank you so much for the work you’ve done,’” Melissa said in a 2010 interview. “And then, the next minute, crying so hard that you couldn’t breathe and just being sad for [Riley].”

”Most people say ‘a dream come true.’ It was like a nightmare come true,” she added.

Melissa said Will County officials and the detectives involved in Riley’s case never directly apologized for what they’d done to Kevin or what they had put the family through. But following Eby’s arrest, a spokesman for the Will County Sheriff’s Office issued an apology to the family.

“I can forgive a mistake. You know, people are human. I get that. But … they almost completely ruined our chances of ever knowing what happened to our daughter, and so, I hate them for that,” Melissa said.

Eby pleaded guilty in 2010 and Melissa finally faced her daughter’s killer in court. She described him as “pathetic.” Speaking directly to Eby in a victim impact statement, Melissa called him a monster, a coward and a “disappointment to his mother, family and society.”

“Although you took [Riley] from me, you cannot take the time I shared with her,” Melissa said in front of a packed courtroom. “I will always treasure those memories and feel so lucky to have [had] the privilege and honor … to have been Riley’s mom.”

“Riley is the one we will all remember,” Melissa said. “She’s our little princess.”

Melissa asked for Eby not to receive the death penalty so that he could spend the rest of his life thinking about what he had done to Riley and their family.

Eby was sentenced to life in prison without parole. For Melissa, justice was bittersweet.

“[There was] definitely some closure, some peace, knowing that … [Eby] was going to pay the price for what he had done, but … could it ever measure up? No,” she said.

Remembering Riley Fox

In the years that passed after Riley’s murder, Melissa and Kevin had another child — a daughter — but their marriage couldn’t survive the trauma their family had endured.

They moved, got divorced and are both now remarried with new families.

“Melissa’s a remarkably courageous, resilient person who had the character to stick with [Kevin] because she knew he was innocent,” Zellner said. “She believed in him. It was an extraordinary story of tragedy, but redemption … and going forward … resiliency,” Zellner said.

Looking back over the past 17 years, Melissa reflected on the lessons she learned fighting for justice for her daughter and trying to protect her family. She thinks Riley would be proud of the way she fought for them.

“I just feel like … you have to be your own advocate. If something doesn’t feel right, just you have to protect yourself,” Melissa said. “Trust your gut.”

She no longer lives in Wilmington, but often visits a memorial garden that was dedicated to honor Riley as well as her grave. Riley would have been 20 years old this year. Melissa said the world missed out on a “bright light,” but that she knows Riley is watching over her.

“I like to think of the day she was given to me, not taken away,” Melissa said, reflecting on Riley’s birthday.

She added that despite the many struggles and heartache her family has endured, she refuses to be defined by tragedy.

“I fight every day to be happy and to … live my life to the fullest for Riley and for my other kids. Just like I did when I put the Minnie Mouse costume on [for Tyler],” Melissa said. “I’m gonna keep living… I’m not gonna let [her daughter’s killer] destroy any more of me or my life.”

Through it all, Melissa said she’s learned to look at life through a different lens, but nothing will be able to replace her little girl.

“Some days are sad. I’ll miss [Riley] forever,” Melissa said. “It’s something I can never really truly recover from, but I’m still blessed beyond belief. It will forever be devastating, and I’ll forever have a hole in my heart,” Melissa said.

“But because I have suffered such great loss,” she added, “I see the world and the blessings and love that I have in such a different way.”


梅丽莎·福克斯在儿子学校的万圣节派对上穿上了米妮·老鼠的服装,试图为她6岁的儿子和全世界装出一副勇敢的面孔。

就在几个小时前,2004年10月27日,警方逮捕了她3岁女儿的惨案,声称要解决并结束这场长达5个月、备受瞩目的调查。

“在新闻里,他们告诉大家有人被捕了。我(知道)他们逮捕了谁,但还没人知道。”梅丽莎说。

赖利,一个可爱,外向,眼睛明亮的幼儿,被发现在离她家只有4英里的小溪里被谋杀,动摇了伊利诺伊州威尔明顿小镇,芝加哥西南约60英里,其核心。

梅利莎告诉美国广播公司记者:“在一瞬间,我的生活永远改变了,这是毁灭性的。”。

请收看美国东部时间周五晚上9点美国广播公司“20/20”节目的完整报道。

当晚梅丽莎履行了和儿子一起上学的诺言,威尔郡治安官办公室准备宣布嫌疑人:凯文·福克斯,梅丽莎当时的丈夫和莱利的父亲。

在接受美国广播公司新闻节目“20/20”的专访时,梅丽莎反思了自己是如何熬过父母最可怕的噩梦,不知疲倦地捍卫丈夫的清白,从未放弃为心爱的女儿伸张正义的斗争。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查梅丽莎·霍奇恩利和她的弟弟泰勒。

莱利·福克斯被发现是被谋杀的

2004年6月6日,福克斯一家的生活彻底改变了。

那个周末,时年25岁的梅丽莎和一群朋友参加了在芝加哥举行的雅芳乳腺癌散步会,她在那里住了两个晚上,这是她离开孩子最长的一次。凯文和孩子们呆在家里。

梅丽莎很崇拜莱利,也很珍惜和她的小女儿在一起的时光。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查梅丽莎·霍奇恩利·福克斯于2004年从家中失踪,被发现死于福赛斯森林。

“她有一头完美的黑发,完美的圆脸和蓝眼睛,”梅丽莎说她很有趣。她很傻。只是,很健谈,她对她遇到的每个人都很友好。她只是个甜心。”

“莱利很像梅丽莎,”梅丽莎的朋友吉利安·加里茨说她是一个勇敢,时髦的小女孩。她。。。可能是个小公主。。。但是。。。她是爸爸的女儿,有点像个假小子,喜欢钓鱼……不怕脏。”

当他的妻子在芝加哥时,27岁的凯文和孩子们花了周六下午的时间制作海报,准备庆祝梅丽莎在终点线的行走,他们计划第二天早上在那里和她见面。

但周日一早,泰勒叫醒凯文,告诉他莱利失踪了。

凯文没有想到这是一个真正的紧急情况,他看了看房子和后院。然后,大约30到40分钟后,凯文拨打了非紧急号码报警。他报告说,他发现自己的前门开着,赖利的黄色毯子还在沙发上,她一直在那里睡觉。

与此同时,在芝加哥,梅丽莎和她的朋友们走到尽头时,她打电话给丈夫登记入住。

”他听起来很吃惊。“我马上就知道出了问题,”梅丽莎说他只是说,‘莱利走了’,我立刻摔倒在地,手机从我手里掉了下来。”

妇女们赶回威尔明顿,莱利失踪的消息迅速传遍了5000人的小镇。他们到达后看到社区动员起来,数十名志愿者在沟渠、树林和镇上的森林保护区寻找赖利。

梅丽莎的朋友科琳·汉森说:“这是一部电影里的东西……(我)觉得整个镇子都在找她。”镇上的每一个地区都在以某种方式进行拉票。”

梅利莎到达后的几个小时里,镇上到处都在搜寻莱利。梅丽莎说,有一次,一名警官把她和凯文分别放在警车里。

“我不明白发生了什么。她说:“我们到了警察局,他们就开始问我问题,我就想,‘有人要告诉我发生了什么事吗?’。

这对夫妇并没有意识到两名志愿者在一条小溪里发现赖利面朝下,只穿着一件衬衫。她嘴上缠着胶带,调查人员认为手腕上有胶带残留物。尸检报告后来确定,她遭到性侵犯并溺水身亡。

“那只是压碎了,”梅丽莎说我都站不住了。我连想都不敢想。我甚至无法想象没有她生活会是什么样子。”

从那一刻起,梅丽莎说她再也没有踏进莱利失踪的房子。

警方将重点放在谋杀莱利·福克斯的父亲身上

莱利被发现几天后,近6000人参加了她的葬礼。

出席者们穿着莱利最喜欢的粉红色衣服,上面还有印有她照片的纽扣,而马蒂娜·麦克布莱德的《她是一只蝴蝶》则在演讲者中播放。赖利被害前两周穿着参加她叔叔婚礼时穿的白色花童礼服和她想要的新人字拖。

梅丽莎后来得知威尔县警长办公室的侦探也在场,对凯文进行了录像。

汉森说:“葬礼结束后不到一个小时,(警察)就来我家了。”他们问我有没有理由相信凯文有能力做这样的事…在他们还没开口之前,我的回答是‘不’。”

2004年6月6日,Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 ABCKevin Fox和他当时的妻子梅丽莎的女儿赖利失踪。

为了查明女儿的下落,梅丽莎说,她每天都会联系侦探,他们向她保证,他们正在彻底调查此案。

然后,在莱利被谋杀近三周后,侦探们要求和她的弟弟,6岁的泰勒谈谈。梅丽莎和凯文同意了。

一个多小时以来,一个法医面试官询问了泰勒关于莱利失踪的事情。在一段录像中,记者看到泰勒蹲在椅子上,捂着脸哭泣,而面试官则在质问他。

福克斯的律师凯瑟琳·泽尔纳称,他曾168次告诉采访者,他的父亲与他妹妹的失踪无关。

当梅丽莎能够在稍后的日期查看录音时,她心烦意乱。她说她允许儿子接受审问是因为她信任侦探。

“看着真的很难过,”梅丽莎说我们家经历了这么多。我刚刚失去了一个孩子,然后看到他们决定如何对待我仍然拥有的孩子,真是太可怕了。”

莱利·福克斯的父亲因谋杀而被捕

几个月过去了,案子进展不大。2004年10月26日,狐狸们接到威尔县警长办公室的电话,要求他们到办公室来,因为案件有了新的进展。

“我就想,‘天哪,就是这样。“他们找到了那个人,”梅丽莎说我们只是笑得合不拢嘴,好像终于知道发生了什么似的。”

但他们一到,梅丽莎就说他们分居了,凯文被带到一个密室接受问话。

“有些东西感觉不对劲,”她说我以为他们会告诉我们发生了什么。我不知道发生了什么。”

“我惊呆了……几个月来,(我)一直在告诉(他们),’别再看我丈夫了。“凯文与此事无关,”梅丽莎说。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查梅丽莎霍金梅丽莎得知女儿莱利失踪后立即赶回家。

在凯文被审问8小时后,梅丽莎说警方告诉她凯文同意接受测谎测试,但他没有通过。梅丽莎说她随后和丈夫谈了话。

“我一进屋。。。我想他们真的很难过,他们认为他们让我相信他们的故事。第二个……我告诉凯文,‘我不相信他们。没关系……他们不想让我靠近他。

她说,负责调查的警官把她从房间里拉了出来,当着她的面大声说脏话,并坚持要她说凯文谋杀了他们的孩子。威尔郡治安官办公室否认了这些说法。

大约在早上8点,威尔郡的警探说凯文已经承认杀害了他的女儿。他被警方盘问了大约14个小时,超过24小时没有睡觉。

据侦探们说,凯文供认,他在星期天早上打开浴室门打莱利的头时意外杀死了她,然后他把莱利的死装作绑架和谋杀的样子。警方说,他性侵犯莱利作为掩盖的一部分,并把她的尸体扔在小溪里。

DNA证据在莱利·福克斯案中是必不可少的

查德·福克斯得知弟弟凯文被审问的消息后,他冲向自己工作的大楼,在附近一家律师事务所门口等候。查德几个月前曾建议梅丽莎和凯文找个律师,但他们觉得不需要律师。

他们不知道,查德指的不是任何律师。他说的是凯瑟琳·泽尔纳,她是美国最好的刑事辩护律师之一,曾帮助20人脱罪。

和她说话后,查德和泽尔纳跑向警长办公室。当他们到达时,他们得知凯文已经被送进威尔郡监狱。

“我走到外面,梅丽莎·福克斯站在停车场……她告诉我,‘他不可能这么做,’”泽尔纳说我想…这是一个非常自信,自信的。。。一个在我看来非常聪明的人,当她告诉我这件事时,我想也许不是他干的。”

在会见梅丽莎和凯文谈话后,泽尔纳接手了这个案子。

威尔郡的检察官对凯文·福克斯提出一级谋杀指控,并宣布他们计划以谋杀其女儿为由对他处以死刑。

然而,凯文否认杀害了莱利,声称侦探威胁并强迫他作虚假供认。调查人员否认威胁凯文并强迫他招供。

有消息像野火一样传遍了威尔明顿和芝加哥地区,说凯文要为莱利的谋杀负责。芝加哥的媒体突然报道了这个小镇。

梅丽莎在之前的一次采访中说:“我们从成为犯罪的受害者,得到了所有人的同情,突然之间,我们成了坏人。”。

当梅丽莎的世界分崩离析时,她说她必须为儿子泰勒和她的家人保持坚强。

与此同时,泽尔纳突然行动起来。她和她的私人调查小组前往威尔明顿,开始重演罪行,看看是否符合凯文的供词。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 abc国家犯罪实验室的DNA结果最初没有定论,但福克斯的律师凯萨琳·泽尔纳(Kathleen Zellner)让他们被送到一个拥有更先进技术的私人实验室,结果发现DNA不匹配。

她很快就开始在威尔郡治安官办公室的调查和凯文的供词中挖洞。例如,她声称,在凯文说他放置莱利尸体的地方,小溪的水流不够强劲,无法将她移到被发现的地方。

然而,尽管她的发现,泽尔纳认为唯一的办法,克服凯文的供词,并证明他的清白将与DNA证据。泽尔纳在审查威尔县警长办公室的调查时发现,事实上,莱利强奸案工具箱里一直都有DNA,但DNA需要先进的技术来进一步检测。

她得以与新当选的州检察官詹姆斯格拉斯哥达成协议,后者同意允许私人实验室测试DNA。

结果出来后,他们排除了凯文·福克斯,但没有确认真正的凶手。他第二天从监狱获释,对他的指控被撤销。

凯文被错误地指控谋杀女儿,在监狱里呆了八个月。

“(凯文获释)是我一直希望的事情,我知道会发生,但有些日子感觉就像。。。永远,其他日子,感觉不可能,”梅丽莎说。

“我真的很高兴我们的家人重聚,但我们还是少了一块,”梅丽莎补充说不过,没有任何东西能帮助我们了解莱利的遭遇,感觉好像他们让我们更难找到真相,因为他们有那么多人相信是凯文干的。”

“[治安官办公室]浪费了所有的时间…他们真的把我们搞砸了,我仍然不知道为什么。

福克斯家族提起民事诉讼

凯文被捕后,泽尔纳对威尔县、威尔县警长办公室、调查此案的多名警长侦探、前威尔县州检察官、测谎员和与泰勒交谈的法医面试官等提起民事诉讼。

泽尔纳对凯文·福克斯的指控包括违反正当程序、错误逮捕、恶意起诉、故意造成精神痛苦、非法监禁和共谋。对梅丽莎·福克斯来说,索赔包括共谋、失去财团,以及对一名侦探故意造成精神痛苦的索赔。

“这不是无能。泽尔纳说:“在这个案件中,我们必须证明有一些恶意的意图。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查梅利莎霍金凯文福克斯把睡着的孩子放在客厅的沙发上。早上,莱利走了。

就在审判前,对凯文提出指控的前州检察官与福克斯一家谈判达成了一项决议,但他没有承认自己有过错。

泽尔纳说,威尔郡的律师试图解决狐狸,但梅丽莎和凯文不同意。

“为什么要和解?我们没什么好隐瞒的…他们用耙子把我们耙过泥泞,”梅丽莎说。

梅丽莎称,侦探们在为失去女儿感到悲痛的同时,对她的家庭造成了更大的伤害。

“只有一个人。。。我身边需要的是凯文,他们把他从我身边带走了。“所以,我在哀悼失去一个孩子,”她说而且…现在我必须自己抚养我的儿子,他刚刚失去了妹妹。那真是一场噩梦,而且。。。当时的民事案件……感觉是(我们)报复他们的唯一途径。”

在法庭上,泽尔纳和她的团队辩称,侦探们有隧道视野。她说,他们提出了许多可能的线索,她说,他们说,将县警长办公室未能妥善调查。

泽尔纳辩称,在莱利失踪当晚,警探没有对狐狸邻居家可能发生的闯入事件进行适当调查,他们也没有追踪到一辆可疑的红色雪佛兰贝雷塔(Chevy Beretta),这辆车曾在附近行驶。

侦探们的律师说,他们怀疑凯文的原因之一是,他们没有发现强行进入福克斯家的迹象,而且他没有立即报警。

梅丽莎和凯文说他们后门的锁坏了。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查梅丽莎·霍奇恩利·福克斯被绑架和谋杀时只有3岁。

侦探们的律师辩称,侦探们有可能逮捕凯文,他们没有急于作出判决,也没有强迫凯文供认。

所有参与此案的侦探都拒绝了“20/20”的采访要求。

在审判过程中,其中一名侦探、测谎员、法医和其他人在庭外和解,没有承认自己有过错。

陪审团就福克斯一家的一些主张作出了有利于他们的裁决,但并非全部,陪审团认为,其余四名侦探和第五名侦探的遗产对侵犯凯文·福克斯的正当程序权、非法逮捕和造成精神痛苦负有责任,但不是阴谋或非法监禁。陪审团还要求侦探们对梅丽莎的财团损失负责,但不包括阴谋。陪审团还认为梅丽莎·福克斯故意造成精神痛苦的说法是对的。

两名侦探被判恶意起诉。陪审团判给这个家庭1550万美元。

上诉法院后来撤销了凯文·福克斯的实质性正当程序索赔,并减少了对其虚假逮捕索赔和梅丽莎故意造成精神痛苦索赔的损害赔偿,将赔款减少到大约800万美元。

对杀害莱利的凶手的搜寻仍在继续

民事审判后,福克斯一家把注意力转向寻找莱利的真正凶手。梅丽莎呼吁外部机构展开调查。

几年过去了,梅丽莎渐渐厌倦了,但她从未放弃将杀害女儿的凶手绳之以法的希望。

2009年,威尔郡州的律师詹姆斯·格拉斯哥(James Glasgow)表示,案件已经到了“激烈”的地步,联邦调查局(FBI)接手了此案。调查结果让他们找到了职业罪犯斯科特·艾比,他最终承认了罪行。在供认书中,他透露了莱利最后时刻令人痛心的细节。

一年后,梅丽莎在去赴约的路上,突然接到泽尔纳的电话,泽尔纳说:“我们找到他了。”她指的是抓到杀害莱利的凶手的联邦调查局。

“我是。。。“哭着笑着,我简直不敢相信,”梅丽莎说这是我梦寐以求的话,但很多天我都觉得自己永远听不到…这让我喘不过气来。”

梅丽莎在泽尔纳的办公室遇见了凯文,去见联邦调查局的探员。

Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查 Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查伊利诺伊州惩教部2010年,Eby被控一级谋杀和掠夺性性性侵犯。他认罪,被判处终身监禁,不得假释。

梅丽莎在2010年的一次采访中说:“有一秒钟,我们坐在那里就像‘非常感谢你所做的工作’。”然后,下一分钟,你哭得喘不过气来,只为(莱利)难过。”

她还说:“大多数人都说‘美梦成真’,就像噩梦成真一样。”。

梅利莎说,威尔郡的官员和参与莱利案件的侦探从来没有为他们对凯文所做的一切或他们让这个家庭所经历的一切直接道歉。但在艾比被捕后,威尔县警长办公室的发言人向艾比一家道歉。

“我可以原谅一个错误。你知道,人是人。我明白了。但是。。。他们几乎完全毁了我们知道女儿发生了什么的机会,因此,我恨他们,”梅丽莎说。

伊比在2010年认罪,梅丽莎最终在法庭上面对杀害女儿的凶手。梅利莎在一份受害者影响声明中直接对艾比说,梅利莎称他是个怪物、懦夫,是“对母亲、家庭和社会的失望”

“虽然你夺走了我的(莱利),但你不能占用我和她的时间,”梅丽莎在拥挤的法庭前说我将永远珍藏这些记忆,我感到非常幸运,有幸……成为莱利的母亲。”

“莱利是我们都会记住的人,”梅丽莎说她是我们的小公主。”

梅丽莎要求艾比不要被判处死刑,这样他就可以用余生来思考他对莱利和他们的家人做了什么。

艾比被判处终身监禁,不得假释。对梅丽莎来说,正义是苦乐参半的。

“[有]肯定是一些关闭,一些和平,知道…[艾比]会为他所做的付出代价,但是。。。它能达到标准吗?“不,”她说。

想起莱利·福克斯

在莱利被杀后的几年里,梅丽莎和凯文又生了一个孩子——一个女儿——但他们的婚姻无法承受家庭所承受的创伤。

他们搬家了,离婚了,现在都和新的家庭再婚了。

泽尔纳说:“梅丽莎是一个非常勇敢、有韧性的人,她有这个性格可以和凯文相处,因为她知道他是无辜的。”她相信他。这是一个非同寻常的悲剧故事,但救赎…和前进…弹性,”泽尔纳说。

回首过去17年,梅丽莎反思了自己为女儿争取正义、努力保护家庭所吸取的教训。她认为莱利会为她为他们战斗的方式感到骄傲。

“我只是觉得……你必须成为自己的代言人。“如果有什么不对劲,你就得保护自己,”梅丽莎说相信你的直觉。”

她不再住在威尔明顿,而是经常参观一个纪念花园,纪念赖利以及她的坟墓。莱利今年就20岁了。梅丽莎说,世界错过了一个“光明”,但她知道莱利是在看管她。

梅丽莎回忆起莱利的生日时说:“我喜欢回忆她被送给我的那一天,而不是被带走的那一天。”。

梅丽莎·福克斯说:“我喜欢想起她被送给我的那一天,而不是被带走的那一天。”。

她补充说,尽管她的家庭经历了许多挣扎和心痛,但她拒绝被悲剧定义。

“我每天都为了快乐而奋斗,为了。。。为了莱利和我的其他孩子,尽情地过我的生活。“就像我为泰勒穿上米妮老鼠的服装一样,”梅丽莎说我要继续活下去。。。我不会让(杀害她女儿的凶手)再毁了我或我的生活。”

通过这一切,梅丽莎说,她学会了用不同的视角看待生活,但没有什么能取代她的小女儿。

“有些日子很难过。“我会永远想念莱利的,”梅丽莎说这是一件我永远无法真正恢复的事情,但我仍然感到难以置信的幸福。这将永远是毁灭性的,我的心将永远有一个洞,”梅丽莎说。

“但是因为我遭受了如此巨大的损失,”她补充说,“我以如此不同的方式看待这个世界以及我所拥有的祝福和爱。”

赞(0) 打赏
版权声明:本文采用知识共享 署名4.0国际许可协议 [BY-NC-SA] 进行授权
文章名称:《Mom opens up about botched police investigation into daughter’s murder - 妈妈公开了警方对女儿谋杀案拙劣的调查》
文章链接:https://www.yinhu3.com/292.html
本站资源仅供个人学习交流,请于下载后24小时内删除,不允许用于商业用途,否则法律问题自行承担。
如果文章侵犯到你的权益,请查看本站免责声明:《免责声明》

评论 抢沙发

  • 昵称 (必填)
  • 邮箱 (必填)
  • 网址

愿意请我喝杯矿泉水吗

支付宝扫一扫打赏