Category Archives: Cold Case

Man Guilty Of Manslaughter In Maine Cold Case

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) ― A 61-year-old New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 1986 strangulation death of a woman in Portland, Maine.

Roger Bernier, a disabled veteran from Manchester, entered his plea Tuesday in Cumberland County Superior Court. Bernier told police he doesn’t remember killing 33-year-old Mary Kelley, whose body was found in the bathtub of her Congress Street apartment 23 years ago.

Bernier originally pleaded not guilty to murder, but the Portland Press Herald says prosecutors gave him the chance to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Bernier faces up to 20 years in prison, which was the maximum penalty at the time of the crime.


Missing Women – Rocky Mount / Edgecombe County

I know I use the term “Missing Women” rather  loosely when referring to the 6 identified bodies that have been found in Rocky Mount / Edgecombe County North Carolina. “Missing Women” was the term originally coined to identify the 60 – 70 prostitutes who disappeared from Vancouver’s East side in the 1970s-80s.  They literally vanished. Eventually, Robert Pickton was accused of their murders and was sentenced to a handful  of the killings (having disposed of their bodies on his pig farm).  “Missing Women” became a larger metaphor for the manner in which society treated these victims as translucent (think Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and the marginalization of the lower strata).

In the case of Rocky Mount I use the term in the same context; these women are missing; society does not see them; it only acknowledges their presence as prostitutes, drug addicts and general low-lifes. It is an age old practice of blaming victims for their outcomes, then abdicating societies responsibility to do anything about it (thus the lag to form a task force and lack of media coverage.)

The situation in Rocky Mount is so disturbing because it so closely echoes what happened in Vancouver (and what is happening along the Highway of Tears in British Columbia). Have we learned nothing?

Well we better start learning or the cost to tax payers will be in the millions with the reforms that will (very slowly) come in the wake of what is brought forth (very slowly) in the disclosure of justice. Not to mention the endless public hand-wringing and blame that will-out.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Victims of domestic violence were remembered in a candlelight vigil on Thursday night in Rocky Mount.

My Sister’s House, a support organization for local victims, remembered 61 victims who were killed statewide in the last year as a result of the abuse.

The event drew about 50 people to the first floor of the Rocky Mount City Hall.

This year, none of the fatalities was in Rocky Mount.

Over the past eight years, candles were blown out to remember all of the victims. But this year, only one candle was lit and blown out at the end of the event.

My Sister’s House executive director Meredith Holland said the numerous candles being blown out symbolized a finality of the deaths.

One candle carries a different meaning, she said.

“We wanted this to be more positive so people can move forward with this,” she said. “We don’t want people to be happy, but we also want them to feel there is something we can do about this (violence).”

The group was asked to remember the women whose deaths are being investigated to see if there are ties to a potential serial killer. Rumors of a serial killer stalking poor women have spread through East Rocky Mount the past few months. In June, authorities publicly connected the dots between the unsolved murders of Jarniece Hargrove, 31, Taraha Nicholson, 28, Ernestine Battle, 50, Jackie Thorpe, 35, and Melody Wiggins, 29. Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight announced last month that 21-year-old Denise Williams’ 2003 murder also is included in the probe.

Three of the victims were clients of My Sister’s House at one time, said Linda Jones, the board president of the organization and a victim’s advocate for the Rocky Mount Police Department.

The group also was asked to remember 37-year-old Martha Alford. The local resident is in critical condition after being set on fire by a man last month.

Police arrested Anthony Earl Brown, 44, after he allegedly poured rubbing alcohol and threw a match at her to ignite a fire. Alford is being treated at the Jaycee Burn Center at N.C. Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Jones said that domestic violence is no longer a private matter between couples.

“It’s the impact it has on business because of lost time and tardiness and loss of productivity in the workplace,” she said. “And most people killed in the workplace are going to be women, and it’s going to be domestic-violence related.”

As an example, she pointed to a recent shooting in Carthage, where Robert Stewart is accused of shooting up a North Carolina nursing home. He was reportedly going after his estranged wife during a rampage that killed seven residents and a nurse tending to their care.

The bloodbath ended when a police officer shot and wounded Stewart in a hallway.

“Children who tend to come from violent homes tend to live violent lifestyles as they grow older, so we’re talking about a vicious cycle of domestic violence,” Jones said. “They are more apt to affiliate with gangs, and the list goes on. And so it does have an impact on all of us, and there are things we can do as a community to address that.”

During the vigil, Jones said that she got involved in domestic violence causes after seeing a woman being beating by a partner in a parking lot 24 years ago.

“For the next 24 years, I got to know this woman,” she said. “I saw in that parking lot that night she is a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother. She is rich and poor, educated and uneducated, employed and unemployed. She has children who witness the abuse and are sometimes abused themselves.”

Jones said one out of four women and almost 8 percent of men report being victims of intimate-partner violence at some point in their lives.

“Even if you’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, the odds are that someone in your family or you’re standing besides tonight has been a victim,” she said.


Natasha Cournoyer: Rien, rien, rien…

L’enquete de Natasha Cournoyer  (Les funérailles auront lieu samedi):  Rien, rien, rien:

L'espace de stationnement de Natasha Cournoyer, devant l'immeuble... (Photo: Patrick Sanfaçon, La Presse)

L’espace de stationnement de Natasha Cournoyer, devant l’immeuble où elle résidait, est resté vide depuis sa disparition. Sa voiture a été retrouvée au fond du stationnement de la Place Laval, où elle travaillait.

Catherine Handfield
La Presse

Après avoir débuté sur les chapeaux de roues, l’enquête sur le meurtre de Natasha Cournoyer semble beaucoup plus complexe que prévu. Après 10 jours d’enquête et plus de 300 renseignements analysés, la police de Montréal n’a aucun suspect numéro un en vue.

Selon nos sources, les enquêteurs n’écartent présentement aucune hypothèse, y compris la possibilité que Mme Cournoyer ait été victime d’un prédateur sexuel ou d’un psychopathe.

La femme de 37 ans a disparu le soir du 1er octobre à sa sortie du travail, à la Place Laval, dans le quartier Chomedey. Son corps a été découvert cinq jours plus tard sous un pylône électrique de Pointe-aux-Trembles, dans l’est de Montréal. Elle aurait été étranglée.

Natasha Cournoyer serait morte dans les heures qui ont suivi sa disparition, d’après ce que La Presse a pu apprendre. Le meurtrier serait allé déposer son corps le soir même en bordure du fleuve.

En revenant à Laval, le suspect aurait lancé par la fenêtre de sa voiture des cartes d’identité et autres papiers qui se trouvaient dans le portefeuille de la victime. La police de Laval en a trouvé plusieurs le long de l’autoroute 19, les 8 et 9 octobre.

Nos sources croyaient d’abord que Natasha Cournoyer avait été victime d’une connaissance. Or, les enquêteurs ont questionné plusieurs proches et anciens fréquentations de la victime, sans succès. Michel Trottier, qui fréquentait la victime de façon sporadique depuis quatre ans, a réussi le test du polygraphe, mercredi.

Les policiers se rencontrent fréquemment pour échanger des informations et tenter de sortir de l’impasse. Toutes les pistes sont présentement analysées, dont l’hypothèse que le meurtrier soit un parfait inconnu.

La thèse du psychopathe est plus plausible que celle du prédateur sexuel, puisque Natasha Cournoyer n’aurait pas été violée. Quand elle a été retrouvée, elle portait des collants sous une paire de pantalons serrés, selon nos informations.

La police de Montréal a fait un appel au public mercredi pour retrouver des gens qui auraient vu une personne louche, le soir de la disparition, dans le stationnement de la Place Laval ou sur la piste cyclable située à l’arrière. Les femmes ayant été abordées par un homme suspect à Laval, au cours des dernières semaines, sont aussi invitées à appeler Info-Crime (514-393-1133).

Hier, on n’avait toujours pas retrouvé le cellulaire, les souliers, le sac à main et le manteau de la victime.

La police garde le silence

La police de Montréal n’a pas donné suite hier à notre demande d’entrevue. Où se trouve la scène du crime? Avec quoi la victime aurait-elle été étranglée? Quels sont les résultats de l’autopsie?

Ce silence est normal, voire nécessaire pour le succès de l’enquête, selon John Galianos, qui a été responsable adjoint des crimes contre la personne à Montréal à la Sûreté du Québec (SQ) de 1983 à 1993.

«La police doit garder secrètes des informations que seuls elle et le meurtrier connaissent. Elle peut ainsi écarter des gens qui affirmeraient faussement être le meurtrier, ce qui s’est déjà vu», a expliqué cet ancien enquêteur des crimes majeurs, qui est présentement propriétaire d’une entreprise de polygraphie.

Peut-on s’attendre à un dénouement prochain? John Galianos croit que oui. «D’après moi, c’est un petit coune qui a fait ça, a-t-il dit. Des indices montrent que le meurtre n’est pas bien pensé: le corps et des objets personnels de la victime ont été découverts rapidement.»

Selon M. Galianos, les enquêteurs montréalais doivent présentement subir une forte pression interne. «Le meurtre de Natasha Cournoyer est répugnant et touche fortement l’opinion publique, a-t-il souligné. Bref, il faut trouver le responsable.»


Natasha Cournoyer: Police lance un appel

Alors, maintenant il commence. Les signes inquiet à Montréal: 

Un individu aurait abordé des femmes avant le meurtre de Natasha Cournoyer

PDF Imprimer Envoyer
Nouvelles générales – Faits divers
Écrit par Daniel Renaud   
Mercredi, 14 octobre 2009 16:47
Mise à jour le Mercredi, 14 octobre 2009 19:07

La police lance un appel aux femmes qui auraient pu être abordées par un inconnu dans les semaines précédant le meurtre de Natasha Cournoyer.


Depuis le début de l’enquête sur la mort de la femme de 37 ans, les enquêteurs des Crimes majeurs de la police de Montréal ont reçu plus de 300 informations, dont certaines de femmes qui disent avoir été abordées par un individu dans les semaines qui ont précédé le meurtre.

Pour tenter d’avoir le plus d’informations possible sur un suspect potentiel, la police lance donc un appel à toutes les femmes qui auraient pu avoir été abordées par un individu en voiture, sur tout le territoire de Laval, au cours des dernières semaines.

La police invite également les gens qui auraient pu voir un individu suspect aux abords de la piste cyclable qui passe derrière le 1, Place Laval, un immeuble situé près du lieu de travail de Natasha Cournoyer, à contacter Info-Crime, au (514) 393-1133.

Le corps de Natasha Cournoyer a été retrouvé

 sous un pylôle le 5 octobre dernier.


Les policiers refusent pour le moment de donner plus de détails sur l’individu qui a abordé des femmes, et sur son véhicule, pour ne pas contaminer de futurs témoignages.

« On veut poser des questions ouvertes, sans diriger les réponses, pour avoir le plus d’informations possible », a expliqué le sergent Ian Lafrenière de la police de Montréal à

Rappelons que Natasha Cournoyer, une employée des Services correctionnels du Canada, est disparue alors qu’elle se rendait à sa voiture garée derrière son lieu de travail, à Laval, le soir du jeudi 1eroctobre. Elle a été trouvée assassinée cinq jours plus tard, sous un pylône dans le quartier Pointe-aux-Trembles, à Montréal.


Natasha Cournoyer: Case Cold

Les policiers n’ont rien. Ils ont fait appel au public pour des témoins à se présenter, qui aurait vu une activité suspecte dans la nuit Natasha Cournoyer disparu. Aussi, rapporte que Michel Trottier passé un test de polygraphe:


The police have nothing. They are appealing to the public for witnesses to come forward who might have seen suspicious activity the night Natasha Cournoyer disappeared.  Also, is reporting that Michel Trottier passed a lie detector test.:


L’ami de coeur de Natasha Cournoyer, assassinée il y a dix jours, aurait passé avec succès le test du polygraphe mercredi après-midi. C’est ce que a appris de sources sûres.


Il semble que Michel Trottier a répondu avec succès aux questions des enquêteurs des Crimes majeurs de la police de Montréal qui peuvent ainsi l’écarter de la liste des suspects potentiels du meurtre de Natasha Cournoyer, cette employée des Services correctionnels du Canada qui est disparue de son lieu de travail, à Laval, le soir du premier octobre dernier et qui a été retrouvée morte cinq jours plus tard sous un pylône du quartier Pointe-aux-Trembles, à Montréal.

C’est volontairement que l’homme de 32 ans a accepté de se soumettre à ce test. À l’origine, la séance devait avoir lieu le 6 octobre dernier, mais la découverte du corps de la femme de 37 ans, le jour même, avait forcé les autorités à remettre le rendez-vous à plus tard.

Ces conclusions permettent aux enquêteurs de fermer une porte et de se concentrer vers d’autres pistes issues de différentes informations obtenues dans les jours suivant le meurtre. Il est cependant trop tôt pour dire si ces informations déboucheront sur des choses concrètes.

L’ami de coeur de Natasha Cournoyer, Michel Trottier, a passé avec succès le test du polygraphe. Photo d’archives Luc Laforce

Après la découverte du corps, les policiers de Laval avaient effectué des recherches le long de l’autoroute 19 et trouvé plusieurs objets. Il semble cependant qu’outre une carte d’identité de la victime, avec photo, et quelques papiers, les objets trouvés en bordure de la voie rapide n’appartiendraient pas à Mme Cournoyer.

Contrairement à certaines informations véhiculées dans les médias, il est également trop tôt pour conclure que la femme a été abordée et enlevée par un ou des individus qu’elle connaissait.


Rappelons qu’une somme de 10 000 $ est offerte à toute personne qui permettrait aux enquêteurs d’arrêter le ou les meurtriers. Toute information doit être acheminée à Info-Crime, au (514) 393-1133.

Natasha Cournoyer sera exposée vendredi, au Complexe funéraire Urgel Bourgie Saint-François-d’Assise, rue Beaubien, dans l’est de Montréal. Ses funérailles seront célébrées le lendemain, à Saint-Sauveur, dans les Laurentides.


New Interactive Crime Location Map – Allore, Dube, Camirand


J’ai constuit une autre carte. Cette deuxième carte est près que la même que la première carte sauf qu’elle se superpose à des points d’intrigue pour Allore / Dube / Camirand les emplacements des autres agressions sexuelles qui ont eu lieu du 1977 – 1980, ainsi que des emplacements pour une unique suspects (en gros il ajoute tout ce qui a été développé après le Who Killed Theresa? communiqués de presse):


I have created a new interactive crime location map. It is basically the same as the other map except it overlays on top of the plot points for the Allore / Dube / Camirand deaths the locations of other sexual assaults that took place from 1977 – 1980, as well as locations for one-time suspects (basically it adds everything that was developed AFTER the Who Killed Theresa? media releases):


Victim Advocacy: why blog about Clifford Olson?

As I mentioned yesterday convicted serial killer Clifford Olson made contact claiming case knowledge of my sister, Theresa Allore’s killer.

So why write about Clifford Olson? Two reasons really:

1.   Nothing like a catchy title to drive traffic to your site.

2.  To show people that if you’re going to write about these kind of things, obstacles like Clifford Olson are sometimes going to get in your way.

Number 1 is self-explanatory, so let’s discuss number 2. 

Yes, the last thing in the world I want to do is give this guy the attention he so desperately craves. As a reader points out, offenders are not even supposed to have access to the internet. Ah, but they do.  Just last year authorities were left scratching their heads as to how Olson was able to build a MySpace page complete with current picture. 

So now we know how Olson learned about Theresa. Yes, he committed his crimes out West, but he is currently incarcerated in Ste Anne Des Plaines in Quebec. Though it is tempting to think he learned about my sister through fellow inmates, that is doubtful; he got it from the internet.

So here’s what he does. Olson contacts a criminologist I know and says he has certain information about Theresa’s killer which he is willing to share if he can see some police files (avoid the temptation to romanticize this in some Lecterian fantasy, this is a classic self-diddling, kiddie-Pavlovian-peeper  response, and only serves to confirm that Olson is where he belongs). Anyway, the criminologist contacts me and we agree it’s all a lot of posturing, Olson does this stuff all the time.

So that’s what happened, but again… why write about it?

I’ve been doing this for some time now, I’ve seen some disturbing things, I’ve made some blunders, but I’ve survived. If there’s one thing I’d like to pass on to the next person who has a sibling go missing, or is involved with murder, or must press on for years-and-years with a cold case it’s that stuff like this is going to come up and you must discipline yourself to work through it.

Here is a list of some of the goofy stuff I’ve encountered. All of it momentarily got my adrenaline pumping. All of it in retrospect turned out to be foolish nonsense:

1.   A guy contacted me once and said the key to Theresa’s death was The Boston Strangler, Albert DaSalvo: did I know that DaSalvo was from an area in Massachusetts called Durham, and that there’s a Durham in Quebec, and that I live in Durham, North Carolina?  It didn’t matter that DaSalvo committed suicide in 1973.

Stupid nonsense… listen, move on.

2.   A psychic from England contacts me. She says she’s going to build a profile on Theresa. She takes months doing this. She finally comes back to me with a “report”.  She proceeds to run down Theresa’s life story. Everything in it is wrong: “she misses her sisters, she loved skiing, she loved the years she spent in Australia”: you could have gone to internet and gotten more accurate information. A Ouija board would have painted a better picture.

Again, nonsense. Move on, laugh about it later.

3.   Some guy contacts me and asked to I ever notice how all the crime sites take the shape of the Big Dipper?

I laughed about that one immediately.

4.   Clifford Olson?  A filthy, inappropriate joke. Move on.


Meutre de Helene Monast – Keep Talking

Si vous voulez savoir pourquoi j’ai commencé à bloguer en français, c’est pour cette raison: aujourd’hui, le frère d’Hélène Monast m’a contacté. Hélène a été assassiné 32-ans-il ya à Chambly au Québec. Le crime est non-résolu. Il a lu récemment un article de blog j’ai faite à propos d’Hélène et a voulu savoir s’il y avait une connexion: il n’avait jamais entendu parler des meurtres non résolus de Theresa Allore, Manon Dubé et Louise Camirand.

Non, je ne crois pas qu’il y ait une connexion. Mais ce n’est pas le point ici. Plus je parle de ces crimes dans la langue du Québec, plus les gens auront exposé à celle-ci, et cela augmentera les chances que les meurtres vont être résolus.


If you want to know why I have begun blogging in French it is for this reason: today the brother of Helene Monast contacted me. Helene was murdered 32-years-ago in Chambly Quebec. The crime is unsolved. He recently read a blog post I made about Helene and wanted to know if there was a connection: he had never heard of the unsolved murders of Theresa Allore, Manon Dube and Louise Camirand.

No I do not believe there is a connection. But that is not the point here. The more I talk about these crimes in the language of Quebec, the more people will get exposed to it (the right people), and that will increase the chances that the murders will be solved.


Charles Toliver

The case of Charles Toliver. Are police doing enough? Probably not. This is Tennessee:

CLINTON – It has been almost 10 years since Charles Lee Toliver – and nearly all of his belongings – disappeared.

Left behind is a trail of conflicting stories, a police report the family says is incorrect and a stack of mail returned to Toliver at an address that was not his from places his family says he never lived.

Toliver, 30, was flamboyant, hyperactive and a skilled spinner of tall tales, according to his family. His only income was a $512 per month disability check. His parents, Danny and Constance Toliver of Strawberry Plains, never learned what that disability was but suspect a mental or emotional illness, possibly bipolar disorder. He made choices that dismayed those who loved him. He had been in prison for theft.

“We never approved of some of the things Charlie did and said, but he was our son, and we loved him,” Constance Toliver said. “With Charlie, you never knew what was going to happen next. He was a roller-coaster ride you couldn’t get off of.”

The ride ended abruptly with his disappearance in February 2000.

“This has destroyed our family,” Danny Toliver said. “We don’t do Christmas anymore. We don’t do nothing. I’m at the point where I don’t even like to talk about it any more. The only thing that keeps me going is making myself believe he is still alive.”

When Charlie Toliver disappeared, his parents say, he was living with Edward J. McGimsey, then chief of the Anderson County Rescue Squad. Constance Toliver said that she accused McGimsey, face to face, of either harming her son or not telling all that he knows about the disappearance.

Today, McGimsey is 46, a retail store manager and a part-time News Sentinel employee. He initially agreed to a scheduled interview but later canceled.

“I discussed this with my family,” he said. “They feel that under the circumstances, and with the way the Toliver family has been towards me as far as their false allegations, that I should not do the interview.”

The Tolivers feel their son’s disappearance was not taken as seriously as it should have been.

“Maybe that was because Charlie was gay, or maybe because he had been in prison, or maybe both,” Constance Toliver said. “We’re just glad that a new detective has finally been assigned to the case.”

An ATM photo, a tattooed convict

Related document
A copy of the missing persons report on Charlie Toliver

About a month after Toliver vanished, someone used his ATM card in Calhoun, Ga., to withdraw exactly $300 from his SunTrust bank account, leaving another $200 untouched. His parents said they were shown a security camera picture of that transaction by the first detective assigned to the case. “The fellow using the card had his jacket pulled up over his head,” Constance Toliver said.

ACSD declined to release the photograph to the News Sentinel. The News Sentinel requested a copy of the missing persons report, which is a public record. Only one page of a two-page report was provided.

Before meeting McGimsey, Toliver had lived in Knoxville with Ernie Lee Luhellier, then 35. Also known as Tony Luhellier, he was a heavily tattooed convicted rapist whom Toliver met in prison. He was released in August 1996, and later he and Toliver borrowed $17,000 from real estate agent Selina Overstreet to buy a house together at 1815 E. Glenwood Knoxville.

Overstreet said Luhellier had a job and occasionally bought cars at auction and resold them, and that the pair got additional income by renting out a room in the Glenwood Avenue house.

Despite Toliver’s small income, he and Luhellier also bought two houses on a single lot directly across the street. “They had big ideas about fixing up houses and selling them or renting them,” Overstreet said, but nothing ever came of the plans.

Eventually, Luhellier moved into one of the houses across the street, where two women also appeared to be living. According to neighbors. McGimsey began regularly visiting Toliver at 1815 E. Glenwood. In 1999, Luhellier quitclaimed his interest in that house to Toliver, who sold it to McGimsey for $45,000.

By late 1999, Constance Toliver said, her son was living with McGimsey in Clinton.

On Jan. 5, 2000, when Charlie Toliver renewed his driver’s license, he gave his address as 1822 Glenwood Ave. – the house that Luhellier owned and had moved into months earlier after he left 1815 E. Glenwood.

On Feb, 6, 2000, Constance Toliver said, Luhellier called and claimed that McGimsey and her son had been in a fight. “He said there were holes in the wall, and I think he said there was blood,” she said. She and her husband drove to Clinton to check on their son and talk to McGimsey.

“There were no signs of a struggle, no blood, no holes in the wall,” Constance Toliver said. “But there was no sign of Charlie, either. None of his clothes or his things were there, except his dog. He would never have left his dog behind.”

When two weeks passed with no word from him, his parents filed a missing persons report. Constance Toliver said she and her husband were both distraught, and she was medicated, so it is possible that they made some incorrect statements or that the officer taking the report may not have understood everything they said.

The report states that Charlie Toliver had telephoned his father two days before the disappearance and said he was going to Atlanta. Constance Toliver says that her husband was out of town and had no cell phone.

The report lists her son’s address as 278 Taylor Lane, Clinton. Property records show McGimsey bought that land in 1999. Records in the State Fire Marshal’s Office show that a 1999 model Oakwood double-wide trailer owned by McGimsey at that address burned down in February 2001, from a fire of unknown origin.

Constance Toliver today is certain that her son’s Clinton address was 155 Laurel Hollow Road.

The News Sentinel was unable to resolve the discrepancy between her recollections and the address on the police report.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Mail addressed to Charlie Toliver showing return to sender notifications. After Toliver disappeared in 2000, his family received returned mail addressed to him at places they say he never lived.
About this series
Each month the News Sentinel is highlighting the nature of missing-persons cases as well as specific disappearances through the decades in the East Tennessee area.

According to the missing persons report, Danny Toliver stated that McGimsey had told him there had been an argument between McGimsey and Charlie Toliver “about (their) relationship … (Charlie) was upset over believing that Mr. McGimsey was seeing someone else” and wanted to stay with friends in Atlanta.

According to the report, Danny Toliver states that McGimsey told him he dropped off Charlie Toliver at the first rest stop inside Georgia, where the Atlanta friends were to meet him. Charlie Toliver was believed to have had about $200 cash on him, according to the report.

What happened to Charlie?

Today, the Tolivers say McGimsey told them their son had met a man on the Internet and wanted to meet him in Georgia. Charlie Toliver’s aunt, Mary Toliver, said McGimsey told her basically the same thing.

In an e-mail to Mary Toliver, McGimsey said: “I keep hoping every day that one of you will call me to tell me Charlie has called or come back, so we can all rest easier. I hope you believe me, Mary, when I say I didn’t, and wouldn’t, do anything to hurt Charlie. I hope he’s OK and I really wish he would hurry up and call somebody or get back. Regarding the prayer e-mail, I’m praying for him to be all right and to come back soon. You do the same, OK?”

About a month or two after the disappearance, Luhellier brought the Tolivers a stack of their son’s mail. Some was addressed to Charlie Toliver at Luhellier’s house address. Other envelopes were return mail, bearing yellow address-forwarding labels to places where he never lived, according to Constance Toliver.

Postal Service officials to whom the News Sentinel showed those envelopes said that in 2000, no such label would have been printed without someone filling out – and signing – a form. Those forms were kept on file for a couple of years and then destroyed.

Two of the addresses were in towns in Tennessee and Missouri where Luhellier is believed to have previously lived. One of those addresses, in Hayti, Mo., is also on Charlie Toliver’s bank statement.

The News Sentinel was unable to locate Luhellier. On Aug. 13, he was released from a Missouri prison after serving seven years for statutory sodomy and burglary. He was to return to Tennessee and register as a sex offender, but he has not registered here or anywhere, Missouri authorities say. They do not know his whereabouts and have asked U.S. Marshals to investigate further.

The Tolivers live in a dark limbo of uncertainty about their son’s fate. They feel confident that Kenny Bradley, a new detective recently assigned to the case, will press the investigation. But they also worry that too much time has passed for the case to be solved.

“Everything goes away with time. Lots of evidence could be lost by now,” Danny Toliver said.

Constance Toliver is plagued by unrelenting sadness, nightmares, sleepless nights – and a terrible fear of something even worse.

“I am afraid that we are going to die without knowing what happened to Charlie,” she said.

Anyone with any information about the case may call Detective Bradley at 865-457-6255.

Jim Balloch may be reached at 865-342-6315.