Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Missing baby casts shadow over homicide investigation

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 5/8/2013

Where is Lana Bailey?

That’s the question family, community members and law enforcement officers were trying to answer Wednesday night as the search continued for the missing 18-month-old girl whose mother was identified by authorities Wednesday as one of the victims of a triple homicide discovered earlier this week in rural Ottawa.

Where is Lana Bailey?

That’s the question family, community members and law enforcement officers were trying to answer Wednesday night as the search continued for the missing 18-month-old girl whose mother was identified by authorities Wednesday as one of the victims of a triple homicide discovered earlier this week in rural Ottawa.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office released the identities of three bodies found Monday and Tuesday at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa, during a press conference late Wednesday afternoon. The victims were Lana’s mother, Kaylie Bailey, 21, Olathe, Andrew Stout, 30, Ottawa, and Steven White, 31, Ottawa, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards told reporters gathered in front of the sheriff’s office, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa.

Bailey and Lana were reported missing May 3. Stout and White were last seen April 25.

Bailey and her daughter were last seen at the Georgia Road residence, Sheriff Jeff Richards told reporters Wednesday. Stout and White had lived in the modular home on the property with Kyle Flack, a person of interest in the case. Bailey reportedly was in a relationship with Stout. Her body was found Monday in a detached garage on the property. The two men were found Monday and Tuesday in the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

Frontier Forensics began conducting autopsies on the three bodies at 6 p.m. Tuesday to determine a cause or manner of death for each of the bodies, and Richards said Wednesday the forensics evidence positively identified Bailey, Stout and White. But he declined to say how the three were killed, adding he did not want to provide any details that might impede the ongoing investigation. The sheriff did not say if medical examiners had determined how long Bailey, Stout and White had been dead.

Search for Lana

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are asking for assistance from the media and the public in an effort to locate Lana. She is described as an 18-month-old female toddler, 2 feet tall, 30 pounds, with light brown hair and blue eyes, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday afternoon in a press release. An Amber Alert has not been issued for Lana.

“Our priority right now is finding Lana,” Richards said Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities had been searching for Flack, as well as a black 2007 Toyota Corolla he allegedly was driving.

The vehicle was recovered 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Emporia. Flack, 27, later was located at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday in Emporia, Richards said earlier Wednesday. Bailey and her daughter were last seen May 1 in Olathe on their way to the Georgia Road residence in the Corolla bearing Kansas Tag 618DAA, with a tag on front saying “Shawna’s toy” and duct tape on passenger side mirror, according to the KBI press release.

“Detectives are actively looking for Lana and for anyone with information of her whereabouts,” Richards said.

Anyone with information is requested to call the Franklin County Crime Stoppers at (888)311-8477.

Richards said the sheriff’s office had requested an Amber Alert be issued Wednesday afternoon to try and assist in locating Lana Bailey. The KBI turned down that request Wednesday, the agency said in a news release, because the media had been actively following the case for several days and the information, including pictures of the missing child, had been widely circulated. Using the Emergency Alert System to interrupt broadcasts by the media would not enhance coverage and would be an improper taking of private property given the delayed request, the KBI release said.

Other than not utilizing the EAS system to interrupt broadcasts, all aspects of an Amber Alert are being utilized, the release said.

Friends of Kaylie Bailey have started a Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/FindLanaBailey — dedicated to finding Lana. The page had more than 930 “likes” Wednesday evening.

A KBI release said a suspect was in custody and that Bailey’s vehicle had been recovered in Emporia. Richards, however, said no one was in custody Wednesday afternoon in connection with the case, but that a person of interest was cooperating with the investigation. The KBI release did not specifically identify Flack, who had been named as a person of interest on Tuesday.

Richards said again 8:30 p.m. Wednesday no one had been arrested in connection with the triple homicide and no one was in custody. He did confirm that investigators had interviewed Flack Wednesday morning, but declined to say what Flack’s status was Wednesday evening, or if he was still with law enforcement officials in Emporia or Franklin County.

Stephanie Ingram, an Ottawa resident who said she knows Flack’s family, said Flack’s mother currently lives in Emporia.

Flack was convicted in 2005 of intentional attempted murder in the second degree, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. He was paroled in 2009 after serving less than four years for the May 2005 Ottawa shooting of Steven Dale Free, then-47. Free was found in the yard near his sister’s mobile home at Third and Cherry streets after being shot five times with a small caliber gun, according to Herald archives and court documents. Free survived the incident, but died in December 2011.

A 2005 report from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said two guns related to the Free shooting case were found in a search near K-68 and Idaho Road — an area about a mile from the farm at 3197 Georgia Road.

Flack was still speaking with investigators at about 9 a.m. Wednesday regarding the triple homicide, Richards said.

Grisly discovery

Kortni McGill, one of three people who found Bailey’s body Monday in a detached garage on the property, said Bailey worked for First Response Security, which provided security services to American Eagle Outfitters Distribution Center in Ottawa. She said Bailey did not show up for work May 1. Bailey was supposed to leave Lana, her daughter from a previous relationship, with Stout May 1 while she went to work, McGill said.

Jackson Anderson, Andrew Stout’s brother, declined to talk about his brother or the case Wednesday afternoon. He asked that his family be given privacy.

After the initial body was discovered and reported about 12:15 p.m. Monday, investigators began a search of the Georgia Road residence. The Johnson County Crime Scene Unit discovered a second deceased adult Monday, according to a sheriff’s office release. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, a third deceased adult was located. Both men were found inside the residence, the release said.

McGill said Stout had not been seen since late April.

“The last time he was heard from was April 25 — the day he was fired from American Eagle,” McGill said.

An American Eagle representative confirmed Tuesday that Stout was an employee with the company, but declined to say if his employment had been terminated.

McGill said she and her friends had gone to the modular home on the property to check on Stout’s welfare Sunday.

“When a [sheriff’s] deputy opened the door, the smell of death came rolling out of the house,” McGill told reporters Tuesday morning.

She said sheriff’s officers attributed the smell to trash on the premise but found no bodies Sunday.

McGill said that explanation didn’t sit well with her or her friends.

“I woke up sick at my stomach Monday, because I knew something was wrong at the house,” McGill said.

McGill said the “smell of death” was strong on the south side of the modular home where Stout’s bedroom would be located inside, as well as from the garage.

She said she also found it strange that Stout’s dog, a blue heeler named Bandit, would not go in the house, even though his dog food was right inside the door and it was apparent he hadn’t been fed lately.

McGill, Shona Osladil, 22, and Corey Schlotzhauer, 26, Ottawa, called 911 after discovering the woman’s body under a tarp in the garage midday Monday. The trio told reporters they thought the body they found in the garage was Bailey.

Schlotzhauer said the residence was that of Stout. (According to the Franklin County Appraiser’s Office, the 4.7-acre tract at 3197 Georgia Road is owned by Stout’s brother, Jackson Anderson, and by his mother, Karon Anderson, of Galveston, Texas.)

Ongoing homicide case

Richards confirmed late Tuesday only three bodies had been found at the site, despite rumors that a fourth body had been located. Canines from Kansas Search and Rescue scoured the property 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and discovered no other bodies, the release said.

“We are still dealing with three bodies,” Richards said Tuesday night.

Richards said the Major Case Squad, comprised of more than 40 detectives from various agencies, had been activated Tuesday morning to work on the case. Richards said about 7 p.m. Tuesday that about 40 law enforcement officials still were working on the case that evening.

Cyle Bailey, a man interviewed by authorities Tuesday afternoon as a person of interest, was reported to be the brother of Shawn Bailey, the father of Kaylie Bailey’s child. Shawn Bailey currently is held in the Laclede County Jail in Lebanon, Mo., on two bonds of $50,000 each in relation to receiving stolen property, burglary and probation violation, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. He arrived at the jail Jan. 17, 2013.

Richards said investigators had talked with Cyle Bailey to see if he could help with the identification of the bodies and he is no longer being sought by law enforcement. Bailey told investigators he was at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and had not been in Franklin County in months, according to news reports.

Murders shock community

Darlene Dryden, who lives near the scene of the triple murder on Georgia Road, said she was surprised to hear about the homicides.

“This really is a quiet neighborhood, and we have good neighbors,” Dryden said Tuesday night. “I did not know the people who lived at that house, but I never would have suspected something like this to happen here.”

Sandy Waldron, Ottawa, said that the news is sad and disturbing that it happened so close to home.

“It’s very sad,” she said. “It’s so sad to have something like that happen in your community.”

After watching the interviews on TV with the two people who said they found the woman’s body, Waldron said their stories just didn’t add up.

“It was just really a little strange, I thought,” she said. “It was hard to follow and understand what happened.”

The story is getting national headlines, she said. Her son, who lives in Florida, called her to ask about the killings.

“My son called me and asked me what was going on in Ottawa,” she said. “I don’t know where he saw it.”

The part that is the most scary, she said Tuesday morning, is that no one seems to have all the facts.

“You know, they don’t know if there’s somebody at large they need to find,” Waldron said. “Because that affects the safety of everyone in town and around, so keep your doors locked.”

Managing Editor Tommy Felts and reporters Bobby Burch, Abby Crosthwait and Meagan Patton-Paulson contributed to this report.

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