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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  September 14, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." i don't go undercover every day. that's what made me nervous. >> they had a secret plan. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> to solve a baffling case. a college student on a friday night out who vanished. >> she's a very shy girl, but she was something special. >> the possible suspects? just about everyone. the friend, the boyfriend, the mysterious older man, even her mom. >> i was shocked that they even suspected me. >> so why were police at a dead
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end? enter this guy. >> he sees things other cops don't see? >> phenomenal. >> they call him the evidence whisperer. he's about to crack this case open before your eyes. >> the answer was in the details? >> it was right there. >> and you won't believe how. >> you walk out of there thinking, i spooked him, it worked? >> i hoped. i wasn't quite sure. hello. welcome to "dateline." 20-year-old lindsey eckland and her mother nancy told each other everything, or so her mother believed. when the college vanished after a night out clubbing nancy thought she was at a sleepover with friends, and it wasn't the only secret lindsey was hiding. it would take years for detectives to uncover the truth buried in a pile of lies, but could they find lindsey? here is josh mankowicz with the
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night lindsey disappeared. >> sometimes the facts are as clear as the southern california sky, but other times you have to know where to look to see the truth. this man has made a career of noticing what others do not. >> what's his reputation? >> a meticulous investigator. just pours over the volumes of evidence and finds things that other investigators did not find. >> the evidence whisperer? >> correct. >> so that night i went out dancing. >> does this man act guilty? does he know more than he's saying. >> i mean i didn't know anything was going on, all right. i was just, where is lindsey, okay. >> what about this man? can you believe the story he's telling? >> i was supposed to pick her up twice and she was so out of character, she didn't show up on either day. >> the evidence whisperer wasn't present at either of those interviews, but watching them helped him solve the mystery of
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what happened to a vivacious young woman and bring answers to the mother who loved her. >> i was always proud of her. she was a real fighter. >> lindsey eckland arrived on july 22nd, 1980. she was the youngest of three. maybe that fighting spirit isn't visible in her photos, but her mother, nancy, says it was always there. lindsey had a passion for animals. she helped out in her spare time at a local shelter. kim davidson, who worked at lindsey's middle school, remembers young lindsey also had a sense of compassion. >> it was freezing cold and i didn't bring a jacket that day and i felt these little hands up on my shoulder, and a sweater come up around me. i turned around and it was lindsey and she said, i just can't stand sitting here watching your shiver. >> and lindsey gave back in other ways. her mother said lindsey would lie about her age so she could give blood. remarkable in itself because lindsey struggled with her own disabilities.
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her left arm was paralysed, her left leg impaired. >> did she ever talk about how she became disabled? >> she brought it up to me and said she was in a car accident and she was thrown when she was a little girl, but very, very, just like matter of fact. >> but growing up lindsey needed so much care. her mother nancy was with lindsey like her shadow. >> she was my only purpose, in my life was to make her as normal as she could be. >> by the time kim met lindsey, lindsey's dad and brothers had moved away. kim remembers a very tight family unit of just two. >> how close were lindsey and nancy? >> unbelievably, extremely. >> but as lindsey reached adolescence that started changing. like a lot of teens, she wanted her own identity. she changed the spelling of her name from this to this. by high school there were girlfriends, even some boyfriends. by the time she was 20, after so
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many years of mom and daughter being each other's best friends and confidantes, lindsay began to keep some things in her life to herself, like where she was really headed one night in february 2001. >> does it make any sense she would like to you about what she was going to do that night? >> i have never known her to lie to me, but you don't know what you don't know. >> narrator: it was a friday night. lindsay was in college part time and working but still living at home. she told her mom that instead of their usual friday night dinner she was staying the night with a girlfriend named andrea, someone nancy had never met. and then a young man named chris came to the door to pick lindsay up. >> she introduces you to this guy, chris? did chris say hello to you? >> uh-huh. >> narrator: was he polite, have good manners? >> uh-huh. >> narrator: but nancy said something felt wrong. >> i had a feeling about him.
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>> what feeling? >> i don't know. >> but you put it aside? >> uh-huh. >> narrator: of course, nancy was used to things feeling wrong. she spent so many years worrying about lindsay, it was a struggle to let go, but she did. >> the last thing i said to her was, remember your seatbelt. she looks over her seatbelt and says, back at you, mom, love you. that's the last thing she said to me. >> narrator: nancy locked up the house and went to bed. the next day lindsay was supposed to call after she was done tutoring two girls from the neighborhood. but when the call never came, nancy drove over and found out lindsay never showed up at her job. >> all of a sudden my daughter is not where she is supposed to be. she taught these little girls like for four months about. >> and you have no way of reaching her? >> i had no way. >> narrator: nancy eckland was frantic. >> i started calling hospitals. i called the morgue, that's how desperate i was, to see if there was a jane doe in the morgue.
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>> narrator: there was no jane doe and no nancy eckland. >> most people that disappear, they come back within a couple of days. >> if not 24 hours, yes. >> is that what you thought would happen. >> i think we did. >> she was a detective with the police department. >> we had no unidentified bodies. >> you checked the er? >> we checked everything. we checked everybody, everything. there was no sign. it was as if she vanished. >> come ing up -- >> when's the last time you saw lindsay? >> a week ago. >> when "dateline" continues. >> when "dateline" continues and get up to 20% better coverage - day or night because better coverage means better protection always. ♪and i start to pray ♪till the tears run down from my eyes♪ ♪lord somebody, ooh somebody ♪can anybody find me somebody to love?♪
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♪ >> narrator: her daughter was missing. nancy ekelund began handing out flyers and counting the days without lindsay, ticking them off on little post-it notes. she went to talk with the detective of the plascencia police department. nancy wanted carinne to know about her lindsay, how nancy always knew where she was, how they were best friends. it was a speech she had heard before. >> it is typical with a lot of parents or family members when they report a missing person, sometimes they give you the idea that it is an idyllic family life because i think there's a fear if they don't paint a rosie picture of the person we won't
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be sympathetic and look for them. >> you're not going to work hard? >> we're not going to work hard and i think it was a bit of that with nancy. >> narrator: they were working the case. they brought in the usual suspects like the boyfriend. >> when you guys were dating, she wasn't dating anyone else to your knowledge? >> no. >> narrator: his name was matthew ramirez. they were on and off for a bit. >> when i went to her house thursday, she was like i want to break off. >> what was off was soon back on. lindsay and matt were back together in time for the weekend, but not in time to make plans for that friday night. >> i'm going to san diego with chris and everybody. you know, i'm like, have fun, be careful. she is like, okay. >> narrator: then in came the last person known to have seen her, chris mcamos, 21 years old, out of school. he told the cops he was unemployed. lindsay had met him through
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friends about four months prior, and it turned out he never drove lindsay to andrea's house for a sleepover. chris said it was a lie lindsay made up for her mother. the real plan was to go clubbing all night in san diego. >> she said, don't tell my mom we're going to san diego because my mom won't let me go and definitely don't tell her we're going clubbing. >> narrator: chris told police when the clubbing went bust, they headed home earlier than expected. chris said it was after 4:00 a.m. when he finally got back here to lindsay's neighborhood and he said lindsay was worried her mom might hear his truck pull up at that hour. so chris said lindsay asked to be dropped off not at her house but here at the corner 50 yards away. that sounded strange from police until they heard from lindsay's friends that at other times she asked to be dropped off right here. chris said he then drove home
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and police even found a photo from a bank atm of what looked like chris's truck heading north on the right street at the right time. to the cops chris's story added up. and that was when police learned matthew and chris were not the only men in lindsay's life. there was someone else whom both matthew and chris had mentioned to investigators, an older man who drove lindsay around. no one knew his name. they had heard lindsay refer to him as her friend. >> all anybody knows about him, knows him by. >> as her friend? >> yeah. >> nancy had no idea lindsay was friends with any older man. she was about to find out. >> two days after lindsay vanishes you get a phone call? >> yes. >> you're pretty much at your wit's end at this point? yes. >> the phone rings and it is a
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guy named matty. did you know a marty? >> no. >> he said he had gone to pick up lindsay at school and she wasn't there. he said he had money of lindsay's she needed for tuition. none of that made sense to nancy. >> after lindsay goes missing, her mother gets a phone call from marty. >> marty rossler. >> what does he say to her? >> he says he has befriend lindsay's, he's a friend of lindsay's and he's concerned because he hadn't heard from her. >> what had you heard about marty rossler? >>s watt not marty rossler. >> he had a relationship with lindsay he didn't tell his wife about. he told police he would pick lindsay up and give her rides but that was about it. marty was 58. >> and she was 20? >> and she was 20. >> and they were boyfriend and girlfriend? >> don't think so.
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>> so police brought in marty. over two days they recorded those interviews, at times on video and sometimes just on audio tape. >> when's the last time you saw lindsay? >> a week ago. >> no. no, i don't think so. >> absolutely. >> no, absolutely not. >> marty said that he had last seen lindsay the day that she went to san diego on that friday. >> did you believe him? >> we really didn't believe him. >> they didn't believe him because of a tip they had received. a clerk at a local clothing store had called to say she had seen lindsay and a much older man who matched marty's description together at her store after the day lindsay went missing. >> i flat wasn't there on that day, okay. i have been in that store, all right, and i said i'm -- i'm like you. i'm easily, you know, identified. okay. i mean probably every place i been with her would know that i was in there with her, okay.
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>> it was a very long, very long interview. >> friendly? >> no, no. i remember drilling down on him because i really thought that he might know where lindsay was. >> you're a parent? >> yes. >> okay. how many kids do you have? >> two. >> if you had a child gone for eight days, okay, vanished, vaporized in thin air, would your heart not be broken? >> oh, absolutely. >> do you not feel some compassion for nancy? >> unbelievable. i think this is a nice girl and, you know, this family has had their share of hardships, and this is just -- you know, i mean i feel so, you know, helpless. >> i don't think you are helpless. i think you can help us. >> marty insisted he couldn't, that he didn't know what had happened to lindsay. detectives weren't buying. >> have you -- >> no, no. never did --
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>> either by accident? accidents happen. >> i never touched her. no, never touched her. >> okay. >> this girl is -- >> have you put her someplace where she's left? >> no, no. >> police searched marty's home and found nothing. no proof that marty had anything to do with lindsay's dis disappearance. so they moved on to a suspect, someone closer to lindsay than anyone else on earth. "dateline" returns after the break. > "dateline" returns aftee break.
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>> narrator: nancy and lynsie had been together all lynsie's life. now alone, nancy waited, ticking off the days, in the dark about where her daughter was and about the pace of the investigation. police were not keeping her in the loop. so nancy was delighted when they called to say they were coming to visit. >> you look at the boyfriend, matthew. >> uh-huh. >> you look at marty, the older guy, the relationship nobody knew about. he denies it. >> right. >> you look at chris, he says, i dropped her off, i never saw her again. >> right. >> and you look at lynsie's mother. >> we did look at lynsie's mother. you have to. >> so i made my cookies and all of in kind of silly stuff that i always do. >> and some coffee, right? >> yeah. >> the cops weren't coming for coffee. they arrived with a search warrant, shovels and cadaver dogs. >> i was shocked that they even
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suspected me. i didn't know what even a search warrant was. >> the house nancy and lynsie had once shared was torn apart. >> how much of a suspect was nancy? >> i don't know that nancy was on the radar for a long time. she was on the radar long enough to be able to set her aside. >> narrator: after that search they did just that. they believed this anguished mother had nothing to do with the diss appearanappearance of daughter, so they took nancy off the list. they also took off the boyfriend, matthew. he had an alibi that held up, putting him somewhere else at the time that lynsie went missing. so that left just two. >> i haven't seen her since that day. >> marty, whom police didn't trust because of his secret relationship with lynsie and because he had lied about his identity, and the man who dropped lynsie off at that corner, the last person to see her before she vanished, chris mcamis. >> going in here, grab a seat
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there at the end. do you remember -- >> yes. >> april 2002, more than a year after lynsie went missing, detectives decided to start over. they brought chris mcamis back to see if his story still held up. >> i really would like to think that lynsie has been, like, either abducted or something has happened to her. >> like what? >> i would really rather -- i would really rather think she is with friends or something like that. >> police turned up the heat. >> let's cut the bull about the impossible. let's get down to the nitty-gritty and strip away the unlikely things and in my pollyanna mind that happens in a perfect world, but she would be someplace. >> it is a possibility she's dead. >> right. >> police thought chris seemed oddly calm talking about a friend who may have been murdered. >> if it turns out somebody killed her, what do you think
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should happen? >> find them. >> find them. then what? >> they go to jail. >> how long should they go to jail. >> long it takes. >> like what? >> i don't know. go to jail for a while. >> that's as strong as you could get out of him? >> that's as strong as we could get out of him. >> not he ought to go to hell or i would personally electro cute him. >> i would personally electrocute him, she was my friend, she didn't deserve that, she wouldn't hurt a fly. there was nothing. >> narrator: his lack of emotion was suggestive that perhaps chris should move to the top of the list, but it was not evidence. after the interview chris mcamis was free to leave and detectives weren't any closer to learning what happened to lynsie ekelund, and neither was nancy, who
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remained convinced her daughter would one day just come home. >> you thought one day she would walk back through the door? >> yes. >> narrator: she believed it because she wanted to, and because over the years several people had told her they had seen lynsie. >> they never saw the front of her face. they always saw the back of her, and i held on to every word they said. >> narrator: it was torture for nancy, no matter what version of veen version of events you believed and police still weren't telling her anything. >> nancy during all of this time feels like she has been sort of cut out of the loop? >> yes. nancy was pretty angry. we worked this case diligently for a long time. at some point you hit the wall. >> narrator: at the time there were nine detectives in plascencia working everything, drugs, gangs, rapes, murder and cold cases. by 2008 it was clear plascencia pd had hit that wall. they would need help on this
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one, and who they needed was a guy named larry. >> tell me about larry. >> larry is -- larry is phenomenal. >> phenomenal because what, he sees things other cops don't see? >> phenomenal because he sees things cops don't see. i don't know anybody who could have done a better job than larry. >> narrator: the evidence whisperer was about to listen to what the facts of this case were really saying. >> was there something that police had missed? you bet. coming up -- that picture of the truck spotted on the night of the crime, something about it just doesn't seem right, but the evidence whisperer is all over it when "dateline" continues. it when "dateline" continues mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget.
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policity huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison
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friday. she will have to pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. and a tropical storm warning is in effect for parts of the bahamas still recovering from hurricane dorian. the storm is expected to bring strong winds and up to six inches of rain to the islands before hitting the eastern coast of florida later this weekend. that's what is happening. now back to "dateline". >> narrator: welcome back to "dateline". i'm craig melvin. where was lynsie ekelund? the investigation was at a standstill. detectives had two possible suspects but no evidence linking either to her disappearance. enter cold case detective larry montgomery, all known as the evidence whisperer. could he uncover clues others missed? here is josh mankowicz with the
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night lynsie disappeared. >> she had been missing seven years and the case had gone from cold to frozen in time so plascencia pd decided to out source it to the cold case unit at the orange county office to a guy named larry montgomery. with more than 30 years working homicide larry has put away his share of bad guys, not usually by knocking on doors. instead larry works by looking closely at the evidence. he doesn't work fast. in fact, larry is meticulously slow, and that was just what this cold case needed. >> was there anything in the original investigation that struck you as something that you needed to reexamine? >> everything. >> everything that had led plascencia police into that wall, trying to decide between two suspects. >> i mean i'm concerned about this girl, okay. you know, and she is missing.
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>> marty, lynsie's older friend who kept their relationship a secret and lied about his name, and chris. >> in my heart it seems like she might be still alive. >> the last person known to have seen lynsie when he dropped her off at that corner. >> at that point any idea on your part which of those two was the more likely suspect? >> no, i don't know until i get into it and see the details. >> you're no doubt aware that you have a reputation for believing that, i don't know, god is in the details but guilt is in the details. >> and innocence. >> guilty or innocent? was it marty or chris? larry even considered another possibility. could it have been random, someone who had seen lynsie at just the wrong time. >> so you've got a bad guy just waiting, hoping that a girl drops out of a car at 4:25 in the morning. >> it happens? >> yes, and you consider that, but then you weigh it and you go, is that a good possibility? probably not, but still keep an
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open mind. >> and so larry sat down and read through the entire case file, all of the witness statements, all of the interviews. he did that for two years. >> here we go down this road again. >> all right. >> he watched the february 2001 interview that police did with a very unhappy marty. >> doesn't it strike you as tremendously suspicious that marty would call after lynsie disappears, talk to lynsie's mother and give a phony name? >> if you didn't know the background of marty, then absolutely. >> when i talked to the mother on the phone i just gave an identifier, okay. marty russler, that's what i said. >> which is a lie? >> which is a lie. >> watching that interview larry chalked up marty's dishonesty as an attempt to save his marriage. >> i don't want my wife to be brought into this thing. >> larry also too a closer look
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at the idea that marty and lynsie were together at that clothing store after she went missing. >> i flat wasn't there on that day, okay. >> no one ever found any security video of that and larry's learned over the years that well-meaning people often get dates wrong. and larry learned a key fact. marty had actually participated in the early searches for lynsie. >> you eliminated marty fairly quickly then? >> yes. >> marty's behavior matched up with that of an innocent person, not with a guilty one? >> that's correct. he is actually doing exactly what you would do if you were looking for lynsie. he was searching. >> so larry montgomery turned his attention to chris mcamis. guilty or innocent? chris was the last person known to be with lynsie. he told police he drove straight home after dropping lynsie off, and police found that photo of what looked like his truck heading north away from lynsie's
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neighborhood, which took him past this atm camera. >> the video from the atm camera, police at the time saw that as not iron clad proof that chris was telling the truth but suggestive that what he said he actually did. >> correct. >> but when larry compared photos of chris's truck with the photos from the bank, he saw something no one else had noticed. the paint on the back of the side view mirrors on chris's truck was white. >> what about the truck in the photo? >> the truck in the photo had a dark spot in that area which means whatever mirrors were there, if there were mirrors there, they were black. >> so it is not the same truck? >> that's right, it is not. >> suddenly chris's alibi had a big hole in it. larry moved on to chris's history with women. two ex girlfriends talked to police about how chris would become unhinged by rejection or what he called disrespect.
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larry heard about how chris had once crushed a pet crab with a hammer right in front of one of his girlfriends because he thought the crab had killed one of his fish. >> this is a guy with some significant anger issues. >> it certainly appears that way. >> she told me it was from a car accident. >> larry listened to chris's interviews and caught him talking some of the time about lynsie in the past tense. >> and was pretty much stuck like this. >> okay. >> then larry found something in the paperwork from plascencia pd that proved chris mcamis had lied to the police early on about his whereabouts on saturday, february 17th, the day lynsie didn't come home. chris had told the cops he stayed close to home, but larry checked chris's credit card statement. >> there was one entry on february 17th, and it turns out it was santa clarita, which is 50 miles north of where chris
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lived. >> why would chris be in santa clarita. >> well, that's what i wanted to know. >> digging through the reports, larry found information about chris's dad, that he was in construction and that in 2000 and 2001 he had a job site in santa clarita. you can't tell now, but back in 2001 this was a major construction site. now, chris had told police that he did not work for his dad that winter, that he was on unemployment, but larry saw some big cash deposits going into chris's bank account in addition to his unemployment checks so he thought that chris might have been working for his dad off the books. and larry came up here to ask around. >> and they told you that it was chris's father's construction company? >> chris's father did some of the tractor work at that site. >> and chris worked there. >> and chris was one of the tractor drivers that the superintendent said was there every day. >> is this where you thought to yourself, that's where lynsie
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ekelund is. >> i thought chances are excellent that if i had killed lynsie and i was in chris mcamis's situation and i had use of a tractor out in the middle of nowhere, i might use that tractor to dig a hole to put her in. >> now all the evidence whisperer had to do was prove it. >> coming up -- an undercover operation. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> when "dateline" continues. >> when "dateline" continues y counter for powerful... claritin-d. while the leading allergy spray is indicated for 6 symptoms... claritin-d is indicated for 8... including sinus congestion and pressure. claritin-d. get more. makes my butt look good fancy but not too fancy no matter why you love your clothes, care for them with woolite. woolite keeps clothing looking like new and cleans with just twelve ingredients versus the leading detergent's twenty-four.
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♪ it was october of 2010, nine years after her daughter disappeared. nancy ekelund was still waiting and doing what she could. she was now at 3,535 days without lynsie. miles away larry montgomery was tightening the noose around chris mcamis. larry had recruited a motorcycle cop from a nearby town to go undercover. >> they needed a police officer who looked like a college student and didn't have the mannerisms of a police officer. >> spring sandelli was that officer. >> how were you dressed? >> jeans on and just a little shirt. something that a college student would wear. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> hi.
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are you chris? >> yes. >> hi. my name is nicole anderson. i'm from the college sports magazine. >> officer sandelli was posing as a student reporter complete with a phony press pass. she knocked on chris's front door. chris had talked to a student reporter from lynsie's college in the past about the case. >> did you use your real name? >> no, i used a fake name. told him who i was. >> we received word at the college magazine that remains had been found so i guess they're doing dna testing right now and in the meantime i'm supposed to go contact friends, family to get their initial reaction for a story. >> okay. >> when i told him that the police believed that they found lynsie's remains his demeanor changed. >> now? >> quite drastically actually. i could see that the color in his face went white. >> the police had not found lynsie's remains. that was a lie. police do it all the time and it is legal. in fact, larry had tried to find
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lynsie up at the construction location where chris had worked and he had gotten some interest from cadaver dogs, but nothing more. just down the street from chris's house, bryce angel of the plascencia pd who had been assigned to work with larry was listening and keeping an eye on the action. >> so you are watching him while this interview happens on his front doorstep? >> yes, i was sitting, you know, ten houses down watching the reporter or undercover officer. once she left the area we were in business. >> what happens? >> later that night she was seen coming out of his house and going into the garage, lights go on. we are talking like 3:00 in the morning. it was clearly a sign of somebody who couldn't sleep. >> detectives were sure that they had rattled their suspect. the next day they trailed chris when he left his house. >> at some point it became apparent that he knew that we were following him. >> they broke off surveillance and brought chris in.
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>> chris, have a seat. >> larry had red all about chris mcamis and he had looked at tape of every time chris had been in for an interview. >> here is what the situation is -- >> today, he and chris were going to meet for the first time. >> i have been investigating this case for about two years now as the cold case investigator. >> larry had a plan to get chris to talk without asking for a lawyer. >> you probably want to know what is going on, what is happening, why you are sitting here. >> larry promised to fill him in on the case in detail, thinking chris would want to know if the cops had the goods, and then maybe he would have something to say. >> since you are under arrest i have to advise you of your rights which i will do in a moment. after that what i would like to do is i would like to explain to you everything. >> larry read chris his rights, and before chris could respond larry laid out his case. he said he knew chris had never dropped lynsie off that night because the atm photo that at first fooled investigators
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actually proved chris wasn't there. >> it wasn't your truck, but for years it was thought of that it was your truck. it is not. matter of fact, your truck did not go by that night. it wasn't there. >> he told chris about the credit card statement and how he found someone who remembered chris working on the job site. >> all of a sudden big red flags, you know. you are working, you are up there when you said you were not, but he said you guys don't work on saturday. lynsie disappeared on a saturday morning. none of your credit card usage up there is on any weekend, all of it is on weekdays except for the day lynsie disappeared. so you're not up there working that day. >> he told chris the lie about lynsie being found. >> we went recently and got dna from mother and dad of lynsie and had that checked against the body and it is lynsie. so now we've got lynsie up there right in the area where you were, right at the time when you
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did not drop her off, and we have enough to prove the crime. >> and knowing about chris's anger issues with previous girlfriends, larry summoned up a little empathy to draw chris in. >> i know that you have that ability to be angry, but i don't know what would cause her to get you that angry or what she could have done. >> chris didn't say much until a little body language revealed that larry was on the right track. >> was it a premeditated thing? i didn't think it was. so what did she do? >> larry finished talking. he was hoping chris would give it up. >> i think i need a lawyer to talk to you about this with me. >> well, it is up to you. >> the supreme court has made it pretty clear, if someone declares that they want an
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attorney the interview is supposed to stop until one can be hired or provided. but in this case larry was walking a line, believing that asking for a lawyer isn't the same as wondering if you need one. carrine loomis was watching from another room. >> that's about as close as you can get to the i want a lawyer line without actually crossing it. >> saying i want it, yes. >> were you holding your breath when he said that? >> yes. this was a make or break interview. if he didn't confess, he was going to walk again. >> announcer: "dateline" runs after the break. >> announcer: "dateline" runs after the break.
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i need to know what occurred so i do the read thing. something happened there. >> larry montgomery spoke for 45 minutes. he had given chris everything he had. >> look, credit card use. >> the photo. the job site. >> this is not a very convenient time. >> okay. >> a phony story about finding the body. and then the interview had suddenly stopped dead. >> i think i need a lawyer to talk to about this with me. >> well, it's up to you. >> because chris said i think i need a lawyer, and not, i want a lawyer, larry thought whatever came next would be admissible in court. detective angel who had been
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letting larry do the talking then spoke up. >> i knew that was something, where i interjected something quickly. >> nobody likes to be labeled a monster and in this case, that's the way it's pointing. only you have the other side of the story. nobody is going to be able to speak for you. that's why we're here now. the reason everything happened, i'm sure there was some circumstances that happened that night or that morning. >> he kind of sighed and he laid out a story. >> all right. what happened was -- >> and suddenly, you realize -- >> this is it. he is going to give it up. >> i was sitting next to the detective from the other agency, and i reached over and grabbed his arm and i said he's going to
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confess. >> it was sad. and it was ugly. >> i was going to take her home. she was telling me why don't i just sleep over your place, because i don't want to upset my mom. >> makes sense. >> as larry had suspected, chris never dropped off lynsie at that corner. >> i was trying to kiss her, and then she elbowed me in the chest. and then i went to my, i went to my kitchen, in my apartment, and i drank a lot of vodka. and then i went back and i tried to do the same thing. she pretended to be asleep. and i pulled her pants down, and i was totally drunk.
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she got up, said oh, my god, what are you doing, i'm calling the police. when i got up and walked to her, she tried to knock me out with my phone, with my own phone. to my face. >> did she -- >> yeah, like this, to my face. >> okay. >> and being drunk, it enraged me. it set me on fire. and i grabbed her, threw her on to my bed, and i got her into a headlock and she died. >> when what did you do? >> then i tried to figure out what i should do because i couldn't believe how it just happened that way. >> quickly, huh? >> it just, i couldn't believe it, i thought she was going to pass out, and i ended up killing her. >> that was it. lynsie had been killed before
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anyone realized she was even missing. chris says he then drove up to the work site and used a skip loader to dig a hole. he held on to lynsie's body for a few days, and then when no one was around, he buried her. >> does it feel any better to finally know? >> no, because i was really devastated. there was a relief. but i wasn't any happier because of it. >> after the confession, detectives left chris in the interview room with another detective to watch him, and chris simply could not stop talking. >> unbelievable. it's been so long. finally, you know, it feels better when you finally just say what you were supposed to say, you know. i know my life is ruined now,
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you know if i'm going to get the death penalty for this? >> you're going to have to ask them more questions. >> then larry came back. all was meticulous, he wasn't done. he wanted that final detail. >> where approximately did you dig the hole to put her? >> where exactly chris had left lynsie. >> might have been here. >> he had explained to kris even though they found her remains which wasn't true, the grave site had shifted over the years from flooding. >> and exactly where you dug the hole. >> with detectives, chris returned to the site that had become lynsie's final resting place. >> and right where this tree is, i pulled my truck over, and parked it. >> this tree to our left here? >> uh-huh. right where the tree is. it didn't used to exist there when we did construction.
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>> he wasn't sure of the exact spot. >> it's over in this vicinity. >> it could be way up there or way over here. >> from this tree all the way to that brush. >> that brush over there? >> yes. >> it took more than a day of digging to find what was left of lynsie. first they found a shoe, then a jacket, and a bracelet, that's how nancy knew they had found her. the coroner confirmed it, using dental records. >> the back of my truck was over here. >> two years after he confessed, chris pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. the sentence? 15 years to life. >> you told me thought you let this consume your life too much. >> it did. it does to this day. >> now, it's over. what are you going to do? >> i don't know. i knew life is opening up to you, and i don't know, i don't have any answers.
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i just have to get over this. >> and that's all for this edition of "date line" i'm craig melvin, thank you for watching. good morning, msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's 6:00 in the east. 3:00 out west. here's what happens happening. inching closer to impeachment. but now, a new hurdle. what lies ahead for house democrats. >> have we seen medical records? >> i don't have withheld concerns. you want to wrestle? >> fight nightfallout. two comments from the debate getting new criticism this morning as the candidates get back on the campaign trail. >> national security payoff, the latest comments from the president on what to expect following the departure of john bolton. >> prison time. felicity hu


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