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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  July 31, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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the hero in this. do you feel that? >> no. not at all. i felt like, you know what? that was the right thing to do. being a hero, they are the heroes. they go out there every day. not me. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline". i'm natalie morales. thanks for watching. i'm craig melvin. and i'm natalie morales. and this is dateline. >> it was rough. it was a rough time for the whole community. >> it hit her town like a lightning bolt. the strange disappearance of carrie olson. >> it was scary. everyone loved carry. >> it was so painful. >> you reach out to dateline. >> i did, yes. >> we saw young people following our page. >> where was she? what was behind this? far from home, a league. >> i saw the tattoo, and i said,
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that's your tattoo, isn't it? >> and three caught on camera clues. someone is in her car. someone is at her bank. but most jaw-dropping of all, someone is up on stage with a song turned sinister. >> i couldn't believe what i was hearing. insane. >> could karaoke be a key to this case? >> my heart was pounding and pounding. >> i was sweaty and nervous. we need to figure this out, fast. hello, and welcome to dateline. 29 year old carrie olson was the girl next door, bubbly and bright, with close friends and a new man in her life. she had everything ahead of her, and then she vanished. had she just walked away, or did someone take her? was she even alive? here is andrea canning and
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without a trace. >> it is a sad fact of american life, family separated from their loved ones, gone without a trace. nationwide, there are almost 100,000 active missing person cases. since december 2013, dateline's online missing america series has been telling some of those heartbreaking stories. one of the first came from the heartland. where not everything is serene and pastoral. this is the quad cities, urban, industrial, greedy, fort cities split by the mighty mississippi river. two on the iowa side, two in illinois. these days, the quad cities is a sometimes an easy mix of old-fashioned midwestern values, and modern urban life, where
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crime is an inescapable part of the landscape. this is where carrie olson went missing in december of 2013. >> she had a heart of gold, and always made you feel welcome. >> amanda smith and carrie were bff from the moment they met as 11 year olds at a neighborhood pool. >> we were just swimming together one day, and sparks just flew. >> how do little girls have sparks? what was it about carey? >> she was outgoing, fun. she pushed you in the pool, she would splash you. she would give you the best bear hugs, you know, just with sent tingles through your body, made you feel so special. >> the vivaciously carrie was a people person. and according to, sarah paxton, another friend, a dog person to. she loved her coli. >> her dog, colby jack. colby, kobe cheese. she loved loved loved colby. colby was like her child.
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>> 29-year-old carrie worked in her father's clothing and carpet store. carrie was a bit of a mommy and daddy's girl, was that fair? >> yeah. >> her dad seemed to do a lot of things for her? >> yeah, he did. if something needed done, he was taking care of it. >> but carrie was trying to find her own way. she live in her own house, and dreamed of one day walking down the aisle. >> she wanted to be loved. she wanted a family. she wanted something stable in her life. >> the outgoing carrie had no trouble meeting guys. but had not found mr. wright. >> carrie with such a street heart. she was always bubbly. >> kelly hoarding is a nurse who moonlights as a -- jimmy john's. carrie was a regular. >> she was always well behaved, hang out with her girlfriends, having a good time. i think they came here for karaoke, and that is a fun crowd. >> it was at jimmie o's where carrie met tim mcvay.
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from the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were submitting. >> they were flirting with each other's. you could tell their interest in each other, it was cute. >> tim started theology at, august and a college. he planned on combing a minister, but felt he was too young and inexperienced to live up to the responsibility. so he took a dramatic u-turn, and found a very different calling in bars and clubs, as the karaoke king of the caught cities. >> he was very good at running karaoke. he was funny. he entertained the customers. he got up there and dance with them. he would sing songs. you know, he was a good guy. >> tim, a divorced father of two, with ten years older than carrie. but that did not seem to matter. they were having fun, and carrie could imagine a future together. >> she saw everyone around her getting married, and having children, myself included. and, i know she wanted that. >> but tim was not interested
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in having more children, and that was a deal breaker for carrie. so they decide to go their separate ways. carrie soon start dating justin you'll, or an iraq war vet with a very different personality than the fun loving tim. >> he seemed very quiet and pleasant. he was polite, he was nice. he seemed a little awkward. >> despite his client an awkward demeanor, justin looked like a good fit for carrie. he was closer in age, hardworking, lawyer, and he seemed to find a place in her heart. so, they moved in together. it was a big step. for carrie, it was the first time she set up house with anyone. >> but right from the start, it was not the happily ever after kind of life carrie dreamed about. the iraq war left just in with a difficult case of post-traumatic stress disorder. >> i felt like it was not a good match. all he want to do is stay home, where carrie was always going to go out and do things.
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>> did you soar see this as, i can see this going to be a problem. >> i did, i saw this as a clash. >> then, just three weeks after justin movement, there was a problem. and it was a big one. carrie suddenly disappeared. it was a monday, december 30th, 2013, the start of a work week. carrie did not show up at the store, and did not call in. not like her at all. >> something was wrong. >> right. i called her, i could tell her phone was off. it was going straight to voice mail. and i thought about calling hospitals. i just was scared. >> not home, not at work, not in touch. where was carrie? coming up -- >> it was in the news, it was on facebook. >> i even contacted dateline. >> a frustrating search for carrie. >> it's traumatic, and it's overwhelming. >> i just felt like a needle in a haystack. >> and maybe signs of trouble. >> she start acting out,
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and steal your joy. >> that is what's seemed to happen when carrie olson disappeared. grief gripped an entire community, and did not let go. >> on new year's day, i did create carrie olson a facebook page. people were sharing it left and right, so her story was getting out. i even contacted a line. >> and?
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>> they published her story. >> when we posted carrie's story as part of dateline's missing in america series, it reached 1.9 million people, and was shared 42,000 times. did you feel like that was something that could help? just getting it out at a national level? >> i think it helped a lot. >> thousands starting to follow a madness page. carrie's story united the quad cities in a unique way, everybody want to help, and everybody was hoping for a break in the case. but they were also on edge. >> did you just start to have worse and worse thoughts as he waited? >> i did. >> what are you told is going on with carry? >> that she did not show up for work. that the family was concerned. >> the family was so concerned they call the police. the case went to detectives rick roy and bill thomas of the davenport police department. they say carrie's live in boyfriend justin said he had no idea where she was.
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>> justin did not have any answers. >> justin said he and carrie had a fight. she stormed out of the house, and he had not seen her in two days. >> carrie was upset. >> was did she say to him? >> she said something about being stupid. >> carrie's alex tim mcvay was in las vegas when he was told she was missing. he and carrie we're still close friends. tim said he wanted to help, and had an idea. he talked to carrie's, dave, where to look. >> he told him hey, she could be at my place. go over and look. there is a window open, crawl into the window, and search the house. >> they went over there, and searched? >> through the window, did he see anything? >> no. >> no carrie at tim the, no carrie anywhere. and something that showed something was terribly wrong. her beloved dog, colby. >> chi love that, dog just like
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a little kid. and where she would go, colby was with her. she would always make arrangements for colby. she would never just leave. >> colby being at home without carrie led detectives roy and promised to a grim possibility. >> as detectives, do you have to consider that someone may have taken their own life? >> and a missing person investigation, that is always a possibility. >> amanda gave that theory some weight. she said there was a sadness behind carrie's bubbly personality. >> i thought that maybe she had committed suicide somewhere. did you think carrie was capable of taking her own life? >> well, she seemed depressed at times. >> still, detectives need to know more. they executed to search warrants. the first at the house carry shared with her boyfriend boston. >> the search warrant that we prepared for carrie's house included everything that justin's owned and justice vehicle. >> justin strzok was checked and photographed, and a sweep was made in the house.
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it was tidy, undisturbed, didn't look like a crime scene. another search was done at ex-boyfriend tim mcvay's house. >> we wanted to get into his residence, and see, was she there, was she not there? are there any clues that we need to build on? >> detective tina noe executed the search on tom's home. we >> took lots of photographs. you never know what's gonna be important, possibly, later on. >> tim was in the middle of a major renovation. the house was a mess. but things were strewn everywhere. clothes, construction material, rolls of carpentier. but nothing looked like a good lead. carrie's was growing increasingly desperate. they want to do something, anything. when they reached out to dennis harker off the quad cities missing persons network, sadly, he knew just what to do. >> it is traumatic. i mean, it's just the crisis, and it is overwhelming. his own son went missing just a few months earlier. >> you find yourself being
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tireless, and you can't sleep anyway, you might as well be doing something. >> dennis offered suggestions and organization to help find carry, and keep her story public. it was a remarkable effort, a reward was offered, a prayer vigil became a moment of peace and faith. and of course, there were endless searches. dennis let one at the mississippi river, where his son's body had been found. >> the mississippi tends to collect a lot of people that go missing. >> amanda was with dennis for one of his river searches. >> maybe she had drowned, or been dumped in the river. so, we started looking around the river. and i was giving up everything looking for her. i >> had to do something for her. she would have done it for me. >> sarah paxton was searching too. she remembers the frustration of dredging through a huge part, covered with fresh blanket of snow. >> every search, i felt smaller and smaller, and the world felt bigger and bigger. she was one of my closest
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friends. loved her dearly. >> it just felt like a needle in the haystack. >> a needle in the haystack, but carrie's friends and family would not stop looking or hoping. dozens of tips came in from strangers, well-wishers, even psychic's. but it would be something much closer to home that would finally lead to the first clues about what's really happened. >> coming up -- >> new questions about carrie's new boyfriend. >> it sounds like she was getting ready to maybe end the relationship with justin. >> when dateline continues. teline continues despite treatment it disrupts my skin with itch. it disrupts my skin with rash. but now, i can disrupt eczema with rinvoq. rinvoq is not a steroid, topical, or injection. it's one pill, once a day, that's effective without topical steroids. many taking rinvoq saw clear or almost-clear skin while some saw up to 100% clear skin.
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cities were desperately searching for carrie olson. and law enforcement on both sides of the mississippi were doing their best, pushing the investigation as hard as they could. for detective tina noe, solving the case became a mission. >> finding someone quickly is very important. >> it is very important. it was bothering me where is she? what could have happened to her? we need to find answers. >> in murder investigations, eight out of ten, suspects and victim know each other. >> and that meant taking a harder look at carrie's boyfriend, justin mueller. detectives started by talking to carrie's family about him. >> we rely heavily on the
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information that families give us early on in the investigation. >> but carrie didn't share details of her love life with her family. they didn't even know justin had moved in with her. it turns out, the person carrie did confide and was her ex boyfriend, tim mcvay. >> to me, it appeared that they were best buds. they talked daily, sometimes, they would talk over 20 times a day. their main way of communicating was text messaging. >> tim drove straight to police headquarters when he flew back from las vegas, saying he wanted to help. >> i want to talk to you about carey. >> absolutely. that's why you are down here, right? >> anything you want to know. i don't know where she is. i don't know what she's doing. i very much want to know, because i'm afraid for her. >> it turns out, tim also had a lot of concerns about justin, which he shared with detectives. he said the problem started
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even before justin moved into carrie's house. >> she called me out of the blue one afternoon, freaking out because this guy, justin, that she had been dating, was kind of stalking her. >> it was something best friend amanda also worried about, when carrie went missing. >> who did you think would want to hurt her? >> i immediately thought justin. >> have you ever heard anything about justin stalking carry? >> she had told me that he would drive by her house, before even he moved in. he wanted to be with her so bad. >> and then, there was justin's post-traumatic stress disorder, carrie at talk to her about it, and she can relate. amanda's own military has been also struggled with ptsd. >> that could be a lot to handle, if you are not used to that, and then, you start dating a guy with ptsd. >> it is a lot to handle. >> tim told police that carrie thought her relationship with justin had reached tipping point. >> and she was, yeah, i can't do this anymore. i can't even keep pretending,
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you know, that this is gonna be okay. >> tim then speculated that the problems in a relationship had escalated into that saturday morning fight. >> her and justin got in a fight. she didn't want to go back, and get into more. she was still, she wanted him to learn his lesson. >> and how did tim know about that fight? carrie had gone through his house after running out on justin enough, and told him all about it. >> this sounds like she was getting ready to maybe end the relationship with just. >> tim went on to tell police that he dropped carrie back home the next morning. >> i just watched her walk into the garage. >> even borrowed her car, and headed to the airport for his trip to las vegas. but when detectives spoke to justin, he said after carrie stormed out, she never came back home. and he hadn't seen her since. and that made a tip called into police all the more intriguing. >> you all get a tip that there
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is a man looking for carrie in the milan area. >> yes. >> that deserved a close look because two days after she disappeared, her phone which hadn't been connecting to our cell network, suddenly started thinking in the nearby town of milan. the man with a tip set the search or was carrie's boyfriend. >> did you think it was tim at first? or did you think it was justin? >> justin. >> but justin had another story to tell. he said he wasn't in milan, and insisted the fight with carrie was no big deal, but it was about something trivial. >> there were some burnt eggs. >> and she had left that day, slammed the door, called him stupid. >> yes. >> just insisted he never saw carrie again after that fight. and in the morning, tim said he dropped her at home, watched her go into the house, justin said that never happened. >> one guy tells us, i dropped her off here at 6:30 in the
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morning. and the other guy says, she never came in the door. we know there is a problem. >> a boyfriend who had a blowout with carrie, and an ex who gave her a shoulder to cry on. one of them was lying. but which one? >> coming up -- >> a caught on camera stunner. who is that using carrie's bank guard? >> you see him on video trying to get $400 out. >> when dateline continues. when dateline continues its revolutionary rollerball design delivers fast, powerful, long-lasting pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible. kids, one year they want all dinosaurs stuff the next, camels. - llamas. - llamas. so save money shopping back to school on amazon. you sure that's not a camel? yeah. whatever you say. discomfort back there? instead of using aloe, or baby wipes, or powders,
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i'm dara brown. here's what's happening. more storms expected in eastern kentucky. the area still recovering from flooding mudslides and landslides. at least 20 people have died, including four children, with siblings ranging in age from 2 to 8. and kansas becoming the first state to put abortion on the ballot. activists on both sides of the issue are working around the clock ahead of tuesday's vote on a constitutional amendment, if it passes, the state can restrict or ban abortion entirely. now, back to dateline.
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ban abortion entirely >> welcome back to dateline. i am natalie morales. there is an old axiom in homicide investigations, follow the money. police or zeroing in on two men in carrie olson's life, when they got a big clue. if carrie wasn't acing, then who used her atm card, and why? here is andrea canning and without a trace. >> carrie olson's boyfriend and ex-boyfriend have given conflicting stories about the day carrie went missing. and now, police were taking a closer look at both of them. >> that is kind of a tough thing to have to figure out, when you've got two potential suspects. >> one of these two individuals is not telling the truth. >> detectives were trying to figure out which one. and they came across a significant clue. a choice on carrie's debit card led them to a gas station where
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they look at security camera video. it was chilling. there was a carrie's car, her debit card was being used. but there was no carrie. instead, the person using the card was tim mcvay. >> he is seen on video at the pump, trying to enter the number several times. you can tell it is unsuccessful. >> tim also tried the card at a drive-through atm agatha mississippi valley credit union, but he had problems. >> that is carrie's bank. he is seen on video there, three separate times, trying to get $400 out. >> the pin is not working. >> the pin is not working. >> why was tim driving carries car, and using her debit card? tim told detective voy there was a simple explanation, even after they broke up, he and carrie always had each other's backs. >> she is the kind of friend where if she called me, i would drop weather whatever i was doing to help her off, kind of thing. >> tim said that's why he had taken care of carrie when she
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came to his house after storming out on justin. and it also wasn't unusual that she went in her car, and debit card, he said. >> she gave me her debit card. she said go to the ih mississippi valley atm, and get me out for hundred dollars. then, go up top off the gas tank, whatever it takes to pull it off. >> can set, she also promised him to drive him to the airport in minnesota that sunday, but then, she changed our mind at the last minute. >> she says, just take my car, drive yourself up there, drop me off at home. >> so, according to tim, he goes back up to his house, and he and carrie get into the car, and he takes carrie back to her residence. >> and when they pulled up to the house, tim said carrie told him she didn't care how much how justin reacted to -- >> i walked into the door and said, hey, i let him borrow my car, to get himself up to the airport. you need to shape up, shipped out. >> detective voy questioned
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teams version of events, security camera video from the genesis health clinic, next to carrie's house, did not show and dropping him off at home. >> explain to me, then, the video cameras on the side of the genesis, when you dropped her off. it does not show you there. >> it has to show the part that i was there. >> tim did not realize it, but detective voy was testing him. there was actually no video camera at the clinic. tim stuck to his story, insisting he dropped off carrie. >> there is not nothing on the video. justin said she never came to that house. she's home his home. >> i don't know. >> she didn't walk into the garage and then walk away? >> i am thinking justin is probably not being very truthful at this point. >> it was clear, one of them wasn't telling the truth. and it was time to find out which one. >> did you asked him to take a polygraph? >> did you give justin a polygraph. >> we did. >> but when justin and tim took
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those alighted extra tests, they both passed, and then, they both went back to their lives. still, detectives kept an eye on them, hoping one might slip. one night, later that winter, tim mcvay, the karaoke king of the quad cities ones back, sinking in front of a crowd. he sent, i used to love her by guns n'roses. ♪ ♪ ♪ i used to love her, i had to call her ♪ ♪ ♪ -- a woman at the bar who was aware of the case knew he was a suspect, shocked by his performance. she said she shot this video to document it, then, gave it to the detective noe. >> he says, i used to love her but i had to kill her. and i put her six feet under. >> ♪ ♪ ♪ six feet under ♪ ♪ ♪ . >> tim knew what he was doing, and to get up there and sing that song, it was sickening. >> but that song was split frequently at the bar, and detective noe knew that tim's
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performance did not prove anything. so, with no physical evidence connecting to him to carrie's disappearance, there was nothing she could do. the investigation had hit a wall. >> it was a mystery. we felt something just wasn't right, something was going on, and we needed to figure this out, fast. >> carrie was still missing. winter was settling in, and it would be a long one. >> coming up -- a brand new clue. the statue. i >> emailed the man. there >> is a definite match. >> when dateline continues. hen dateline continues en my doctor recommended tepezza, a prescription medicine that treats thyroid eye disease. with my symptoms under control, things are really opening up. (vo) in a clinical study, nearly 7 out of 10 patients taking tepezza saw improvements in double vision. and more than 8 out of 10
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[whistling] weather, finally, after a merciless midwestern winter, melting snow led to a terrible discovery. >> her body had been found in minnesota. that was similar to carrie's description. >> it was found on clothes in a wooded area of a country road and the town of hastings, 300 miles from where carrie olson went missing. police circulated a possible identifying image, the dead woman's tattoo. >> i emailed the man and i said, i hate to say it, but that's her tattoo, isn't it?
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>> i had one picture of her tattoo. and i sat and compared it to the drawing on the report. >> what's that moment like, when you look at the photograph of your friend, and the photograph of the tattoo in the news report? >> i was completely empty. i called my mom and dad, and i said, there is a definite match for carrie, in hastings, minnesota. >> this is where carrie olson's was found on saturday night -- >> we had mixed emotions, obviously. we wanted to find her, but then, find out what had happened. it was rough. it was a rough time for the whole community. >> i just sat there. i cried. i lost a confidant. i lost someone i could laugh with. i lost -- i lost a very good friend. >> the funeral was at sent
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balls church in davenport. >> she had to come back home and again. >> it was a day to lay carrie to rest, and remember a beautiful life. but there was still so many unanswered questions. >> now, we need to find a wide. we need to find out what's happened. >> first step, an autopsy. but it couldn't answer a key question for detectors. >> the doctor that did the autopsy called it a homicide by unspecified means. >> no cause of death? >> no cause of death. >> are you thinking, come on, there's gotta be a cause of death? >> that is where. but we have seen the photos of the scene, and you can tell she didn't walk up there and just fall over dead. the body was placed there. >> but the autopsy did offer a possible clue. >> the doctor had found a chunk of carpet in her hair. we remembered from the january
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search warrant that tim had a beige carpet role in his house. >> but they also knew that carrie worked in a store that sold carpeting, so it might not mean anything. still, the carpeting in carries hair, and the carpet into mcvay's house were sent to the lab for analysis. >> how long did it take you to get your answer? >> it takes a while. it doesn't come back after the commercial break, like on tv. >> while detectives waited for results, they explored the most tantalizing clue they have received, and it didn't come from carrie's body. it came from where she was found, hastings, minnesota. >> we knew that's where ten parked his car before he went to the airport. >> when tim mcvay flew from minneapolis to las vegas, the same weekend carrie disappeared, it turns out he left carrie's karen hastings. why? that's where his girlfriend at the time lived. >> pretty big coincidence. >> yeah, that is what we call a clue. >> but detectives needed more.
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they had to tie mcvay to the very spot where carrie's was found. they did have one long shot clue, just a few feet from carrie's body, investigators discovered this four-dollar price tag. a google search showed the tag was for a kids shovel, sold at the discount chain, big lots. detective thomas found a big lots store in la crosse, wisconsin, where that kind of shuttle was bought on the same day mcvay drove to minnesota. la crosse it's about two thirds of the way between the quad cities and hastings. but at the store security cameras were broken. no video. so, how could detectives tie mcvay to this purchase? they decided to work backwards. >> he is seen in the tobacco outlet, on video. >> mcvay told police before driving to minnesota and the airport that sunday, he stopped to buy a cigar at this tobacco outlet in the quad cities.
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>> so, you knew exactly what time tim had been here? >> exactly. >> correct. >> the big lots in la crosse as a three hour drive of highway 61 from the tobacco outlet, and it turns out, the shovel was purchased exactly three and a half hours after mcvay block that cigar. >> that was huge for us. you leave the tobacco outlet, which is the exact amount of time to get to la crosse, wisconsin. >> but detectives still needed something more concrete to connect mcvay to the purchase of the shuttle. >> so, then we asked for the actual sales receipt. >> on the receipt, not only the shovel, but a black back. >> yes. >> a desage brand travel back, the cost $10, but it was the big day of police had looking for. >> we found in the garage tense parents house. that was a huge piece to our puzzle. >> so, on july 18th, 2014,
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three and a half months after carrie's was found, and seven months after she went missing, tina noe and the other two detectives went to a construction site where mcvay was working. >> tim was up on a ladder, and i said, we have a warrant for first degree murder for, you concealing a homicide. >> tina also brought a longer signature accessory, pain can't go. being handcuffed >> -- how did it feel seeing him in pink handcuffs? >> good. >> was it an extra little job? >> yes. >> 14. for dina. >> tim mcvay pleaded not guilty he was denied bail and put in the county jail. that's where dateline found him for his first television interview. >> i did not kill carrie. and i did not dump her body. >> tim said the wrong guy was behind bars, pointing to the
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fight carrie told him that she and justin had that saturday morning. >> did she say with the fight with over? >> romantic issues, i guess, that would be the best way to put it. >> of a sexual nature? >> that was my impression, yes. >> and then, what's happened after that? >> there was some throwing, a couple of things have gotten broken. there was a little bit of a physical altercation between the two of them. >> tim said the last time he saw carrie this when he drove her back to her house, just before he went to the airport. >> she was walking into the garage at her house, a live, happy, as well as could be. >> tim said he still loved carrie, even though they had broken up. how could he explain the seemingly damning cleric, i used to love her, but i had to kill her, that he sent at the karaoke bar when she was still missing? >> maybe not the best choice of some, given what's actually happened. >> i told my brother in law, he was with me that night. i said, why did you slap me when i put that sound in. it's kind of a bonehead move.
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had nothing to do with carrie. it has nothing to do with anything, it was a song. >> but to prosecutors, it was more than a song. it was a look inside the mind of a killer. and they were determined to prove that in court. tim mcvay was about to stand trial for murder. >> and he was about to face a showdown in court. one boyfriend, accusing another on the stand. >> coming up -- >> the way she stormed out of the door, i thought, maybe i upset her. >> what's really happened to carrie? when dateline continues. eline continues. life. it's not always “picture perfect.” plus i'm dealing with bleeding from uterine fibroids. enter myfembree, a once-daily pill for women with heavy menstrual bleeding due to uterine fibroids. with myfembree, heavy bleeding went down by 84%. serious risks include heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. don't take myfembree if you've had any of these,
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learn how abbvie could help you save. >> tim mcvay's murder trial
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started in the june of 2015. there was no jury. judge michael meersman would decide. >> mcvay's defense attorneys believe they held the winning hand. >> he passed a polygraph. so, this could be the truly innocent accused here. >> prosecutor john mcgehee knew he was facing a tough test. >> you had no cause of death. you had no weapon. you had no ironclad forensic evidence. >> i did feel that it could be an uphill battle, but it was going to be a real challenge. >> as the trial began, mcgehee presented the prosecution's theory as to how tim did it. >> even though there was no
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official explanation for how carrie died, the state presented something called, birkin, a method of suffocation designed to leave no marks, like sitting on someone's chest, and covering their nose and mouth. >> to support that scenario, the state called one of mcvay's ex girlfriends, katie smitty. >> why are you nervous? >> i'm scared of him. >> katie described an incident one night in 2013. she said she was startled awake by mcvay sitting on her chest. >> i couldn't breathe. he cut off my air. he is a big man. i'm not a very large woman. i couldn't inhale. >> you moved out after that? >> yes. >> the evidence in prosecutor mcgehee's case was largely circumstantial, but he still felt it was strong. he believed mcvay was the last one to talk to carrie. he had her car.
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he used her debit card, and her body was found just minutes from where he parked her car at his girlfriend's house. and the prosecution had the test results for the carpet fibers found in carrie's hair. they matched that rolled up carpet in mcvay's house. >> how does a piece of carpet get launched in someone's hair, and remain in her hair? her head must have been on teams floor at the time of her death. >> the prosecutor also used mcvay's internet searches to show how he was constantly checking the website of the newspaper in the distant town where carrie's body was found. he >> knew that he had concealed her body in hastings. so, he started accessing the hastings star gazette in january. wanting to know the headlines, when her body would be discovered. he accessed that website 100 times. that is an action of a guilty man. >> what were you looking for? you don't live in hastings? it's kind of a -- >> i'm not gonna answer any questions about that.
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>> and why not? >> all i can say, and u.s. paper is a newspaper. i don't have any other comments about that. >> just interested in hastings? >> move on to our next question. >> finally, prosecutors called to the stand, carrie's boyfriend, justin mueller. he testified about the last time he saw carrie. >> did you say goodbye? >> i didn't really have a chance to say goodbye. just the way she left, i mean, i tried to base to say goodbye, yes. >> justin acknowledge that she was upset with him. >> the way she stormed out of the door, and i thought, maybe i upset her. in a minor way, because i wasn't paying attention to her somehow. >> as the hours of carrie's unexplained absence and silence group, so did justin's concern and his texts. prosecutors had him read them in court. >> baby, come home i love you. i am sorry for whatever i did. i love you. colby and i miss you. is everything okay?
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i gave colby his milk. >> did you get any kind of response? >> no. >> now, it's sunday night at 8:10. where you started to get worried then? >> yes. >> although there was no evidence presented about mcvay 's motive for murder, in closing arguments, the prosecutors offered their theory. he killed carrie's in a twisted fit of rage, because he demanded her car to get to the airport, and she had said no. >> we see it all the time, that people are murdered for sometimes the smallest little things. and you are just surprised that another human being can do this to another human being. but that's what happened. >> mcvay's attorneys, aaron dyer, dan dalton, and jon ruud, argue that the prosecution's theory of motive was preposterous. >> the idea that he could kill her, and take her car, to just
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get a ride to minnesota. i think it's laughable. >> you didn't have a cause of death, so how do you point the finger at somebody? >> the defense did not produce any witnesses of their own. instead, they aggressively challenged the states witnesses, like that former girlfriend. the defense tried to show mcvay was more playful than violent. >> you said, when i finally did get him off me, he said he was playing around. but you did not find it funny. he >> has. he >> wasn't striking you, right? >> no, he wasn't. he has never struck me. >> defense attorney also contacted detective-able thomas, who traced that trouble to big lots in wisconsin. >> you have no because of the transaction, right? >> you have no receipts with tom's name on any of that day? >> no, it's paid by cash. >> the defense confronted justin mueller. police said he was spotted in the town where carrie's phone last paint, but he wouldn't admit it. >> do you remember being in the milan area and all that, during the week? >> no.
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>> his phone records put his phone at the very least, in milan. another person indicated that he was seen in milan. >> what do you make of that? >> i think it is a huge hole in the prosecution's case. >> the defense also challenged the states evidence, like the carpet fibers found in carrie's hair, that investigators said matched the carpeting in mcvay the's house. >> she worked in a carpet store. just because it happened to be in her hair, it doesn't indicate anyone intentionally killed anybody. >> they even challenged the idea that a crime had been committed at all. >> how did she get there? we don't know. how did she die? we don't know. it's one of the biggest mysteries that not even sherlock holmes, i don't think unsolved. >> tim mcvay declined to take the stand in his own defense, but he maintains that he is a family man who loves his kids, not the violent thug described in court. >> i'm just not that kind of person. >> i could not inhale.
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>> you are accused by katie of -- >> well, that was a lie. that was a lie. >> did you kill carry? i >> did not. there's a lot of coincidences going on, terrible ones for you. >> i agree. >> what do you say to the people watching who just maybe don't believe you right now? >> all i can say is what i know. i know that i did not kill her. she was a beautiful person. a wonderful friend. a lover, a confidant. she meant the world to me. >> it is the end of a long trial -- >> after more than two weeks of testimony and argument, judge meersman was ready to give his verdict. >> timothy mcvay, i am finding you guilty of first degree murder, and consume a lot of homicide death. i >> jumped out of my seat. i was so excited and happy. >> tim mcvay was stoic, showing no emotion. and three months later, he was just asked stow it when the
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judge sentenced him to 45 years in prison. >> i believe you killed her. and the saddest part is, you have killed her for a car and some money. >> for justin mueller, the cloud of suspicion finally lifted. for carrie's families and friends, the verdict meant justice, and bittersweet relief. >> i just started crying. and it felt just, like, this huge weight was gone. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> but justice for carrie still could not explain the why. >> if it was over a right to minnesota, a car, and money, it's not a very good why. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> what will you miss most about carrie? >> what i ultimately mess is that she's not there, pulling in my driveway, honking, you know? . announcing that she's here. she had a heart of gold.
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she was there for everybody. >> she had a lot of hope for her future. she had everything to live for. >> that is all for this edition of dateline. i am natalie morales. thank you for tuning in. for tuning in. >> her and i will really close. everyone asked me, where is your mom, couldn't give an answer. just so hard. that was surreal, kind of, just an ache in the heart. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> it was one of the most baffling cases investigators had ever seen. >> this tops the charts for most bizarre. >> no one can believe that this actually happened. >> a single mom and with, smart computer whiz who seemed to disappear. >> i am starting to get text


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