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Only Witness to Heather Teague Disappearance Speaks About "Person of Interest"

Published: Nov. 16, 2004 at 9:09 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2004 at 8:56 PM CST
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Tim Walthall
Tim Walthall

Reporter: Shannon Samson

Web Producer: Amber Griswold

The only eyewitness to the abduction of Heather Teague weighs in on the new developments in this case.

Since Friday, we've been telling you exclusively about 39-year-old Chris Below, a Henderson native who's in prison for killing his lover in Ohio and hiding her body. Below is now considered a "person of interest" in the Heather Teague missing persons case.

But is Below the gunman seen on the beach with Heather nine years ago? The only witness to her abduction says "no," it was someone else.

Medina Ohio Police Detective Scott Thomas has been investigating the Heather Teague case with the help of Evansville Detective Brent Melton who once questioned Below on an unrelated case. Both investigators believe there's plenty of circumstantial evidence tying Below to the crime, the only eyewitness isn't so sure they have their man.

It was nine years ago that Tim Walthall was looking through a telescope out his front window and saw a man come out of the woods on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and drag Heather Teague away at gunpoint. But he says, it may as well have been yesterday.
Tim Walthall explained, "If I'm wrong then I'm sorry for it, but when you see something like I saw and it's instilled in your memory banks, then you don't forget it. That is the individual and there is certain things that I saw that lead me to believe it was the individual Mr. Dill."
The abduction happened on a Saturday. On Monday, Walthall and a sketch artist came up with a composite. Three days later, he says police showed him a picture of Marvin Dill.

As far as accusations that the composite was drawn from the picture rather than the actual sighting, Walthall commented, "That's false. We didn't even know who the person was when I gave the description. All we knew was I saw a guy take a girl off a beach and that was all."

But what if that guy wasn't Marvin Dill? It's a theory being explored by Detective Thomas and Detective Melton.
The investigators believe a video taken by a farmer surveying crop damage, holds the key. The farmer catches both Dill's red and white Bronco and Heather's car on videotape.
The investigators suspect Dill is behind the wheel of the Bronco and Heather is in the bed of the truck. They believe she had to have been naked because her bathing suit was later found on the beach. The investigators say it appears Heather's car is being ransacked, and the person who is doing it is hiding from the camera, most likely to the right of the car where the corn stalks had been crushed down.
The investigators speculate that Dill drove the Bronco while someone else assaulted Heather in the back. And they believe that someone is Chris Below.
The detectives have shown Tim Walthall pictures of Below and he says his torso does resemble the gunman's.
Walthall said, "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 and 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."
He says it is possible Below served as an accomplice in the crime, he could have easily been waiting near the Bronco. But he maintains, as he has for nine years, that Marvin Dill was the man who dragged Heather off the beach.
Dill committed suicide before police could question him.
The detectives don't feel that enough is being made of Below, so they are going to continue to investigate him just in case, they say that Tim Walthall is wrong.

A newspaper reported that Tim Rascoe, Kentucky State Police lead investigator for this case, thinks too much is being made of the Chris Below connection. We have called Detective Rascoe several times, but he has not yet returned out calls.

If you missed the original story on the "Person of Interest," click here.

If you missed the exclusive interview with Ohio Detective Scott Thomas, click here.

We will continue to follow this story.