The Latest On Heather Teague's Disappearance - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

The Latest On Heather Teague's Disappearance

Reporter: Shannon Samson

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

Heather Teague's mother is hopeful of closure in the case of her missing daughter. This week, the Akron Beacon Journal published a three-part series on Christopher Below. Including how he confessed to a murder of an Ohio woman and how he may be linked to the kidnapping of Heather Teague nine years ago. Shannon Samson first reported on this story back in November. Now, she talks to the victim's mother Sarah, who says the newspaper article makes her more convinced Below played a role in her daughter's disappearance from Newburgh Beach.

A reporter from the Akron Beacon Journal interviewed Sarah Teague back in November, but it wasn't until this week that those stories were published and sent to her. "I still haven't read every single word of them. It's just so hard to absorb all of it, until you look at this picture. It's like, well, it had to be Below."

Out of three in-depth articles, it's a picture that stands out to her. A sketch of the man one eyewitness, Tim Walthall, says he saw drag Heather away at gunpoint in 1995.

Sarah, however, has long suspected the composite was drawn to match Marty Dill's driver's license photo, in an effort to frame the man whose Bronco was spotted at the scene. Dill killed himself five days after the abduction, before police could question him. "So we have Marty Dill's face from a driver's license and Below's body. How that happened, I don't know," Sarah mused.

In an interview back in November, Walthall adamantly denied the sketch was drawn from anything other than his eyewitness account. Here's what he said he told Medina, Ohio Police detective Scott Thomas when Thomas came to Indiana to question him last year:

"The body features particularly were similar, but that's all and I told Scott and this is important, that I still would not change my story that the person that I saw on the beach that day still to me is the person that I identified and that's Mr. Dill."

But the Beacon Journal story quotes Walthall as saying that he's not sure if it was Dill or not. Kentucky State Police are sticking to their original theory. In a statement, Lieutenant Pat Isbill said, "Chris Below has not been completely ruled out but based on what we have so far, we stand by our conviction that Dill, the man who shot himself, was the perpetrator."

Medina detective Scott Thomas isn't so sure. He got Below to confess to the 1991 murder of Kathern Fetzer, and in the newspaper article, he talks about how Below was in the area when Teague disappeared, and how they shared acquaintances. Combined with the sketch, that's enough for Heather's mother. "It's been a process of struggling, searching of faith of never losing hope, always knowing and believing that there is a day set aside that we'll have our Heather home. So, we don't have her home today, but we know this today that Below is involved."

Thomas also suspects Below is linked to several other missing persons cases - all young women with long, dark hair. We'll keep you posted of any new developments.

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