The private investigator investigating Susan and Evan's disappearance describes areas of interest in the search for them.
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Welcome to Secrets True Crime. I am your host, Amber Sitton. What is done in darkness will eventually come to light. That is the purpose of this podcast...to shine light on the story of Susan Osborne and her 14 year old son Evan Chartrand. They vanished from their home in the tiny Alabama community of Holtville on Memorial Day in 2017. They haven't been seen or heard from since and their bodies have not been found. This is episode 10 of a serial podcast with each episode building upon the previous. If you have not listened to Episodes 1 through 9, please stop and listen to it first or you probably won’t understand what’s happening in this episode. Listener discretion is advised. This episode does not contain foul language and the subject matter may involve violence, sexual content, murder and adult themes. It’s not suitable for younger listeners. If you know or have known Jerry or knew Susan after she was married to Jerry, I want to hear from you. Someone knows something. Information you may think is small or insignificant could make a difference in this case and you can remain anonymous. firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are going to discuss Jerry Osborne quite a bit and in this episode we are going to offer quite a bit of speculation. I want to reiterate that Jerry Osborne has maintained his innocence. To my knowledge, he still claims that Susan and Evan left their home with another man.
When I began this podcast, the primary question in my mind was where are Susan and Evan. That hasn’t changed. It is the most important question of all to the ones that matter the most, their family. Private investigator, Michael Fleming, contacted Susan’s family and Hollie to offer his services to help located Susan and Evan. Unfortunately, we believe we are searching for their bodies. Michael is the owner of Echo 7 Foxtrot, LLC. He is a Marine Corps Veteran with knowledge and experience in scene investigation and evidence collection. He’s also had experience assisting with missing persons and cold case investigations. His military experience spans the globe. Prior to opening Echo 7 Foxtrot, LLC he provided private and contract services specific to sensitive site investigation, sampling and evidence collection and search and rescue operations. Michael and I spoke on the phone and we quickly got busy sharing information, theories and making plans. And searching. You will hear about and even come along on some of these searches in the coming episodes. The tips are rolling in and we are thankful to those who’ve provided us this information. In this episode, we want to briefly discuss some possibilities of what happened to Susan and Evan and provide some additional details about the types of places we believe their bodies are most likely to be found. We know there are people local or familiar with the area and people who know or knew Jerry who may have helpful information they don’t realize could help. Our hope is that by sharing this information, we will receive the information needed to lead us to Susan and Evan.
I asked Michael what he thought it would take to find Susan and Evan.
Speaker 2: (00:28)
Well, we've got to go through,
Speaker 3: (00:31)
Speaker 2: (00:34)
the information and evidence that we know about. Um, the, the real critical thing for, for this aspect, um, for finding where they are is to have a solid timeline, um, of the events. Um, both them and anyone involved with them.
Speaker 3: (00:59)
Speaker 2: (01:05)
build, uh, victimology profiles, um, offender profiles, um, and put together all of the information we can gather to start, um, either eliminating some of the possibilities, um, some of the leads, um, and some of the, the theories that, um, that have already come out, um, in the course of doing the podcast and, and all of the other work that's been performed on the case.
Speaker 3: (01:39)
Um, and, and
Speaker 2: (01:41)
try to start eliminating or at least prioritizing, um, where the work gets done. Um, so that we can hopefully find where they are. Um, relatively quickly. Um, I mean it's, it's been two years. Um, it's only going to get harder as time goes by.
Speaker 8: (01:00:04)
we need to establish a timeline of, of the events. And we've spent a lot of time doing that. Um, nailing down, um, movements of everyone involved, where people were, what they were doing, um, at various points along the way, uh, prior to, um, the event prior to Memorial Day weekend and, and after it. Um, so we've, we've done that and, and that, that helps a lot. Um, we re-interview witnesses, um, people that have, have already come forward and, and told what they witnessed, what they saw, what they heard. Um, and we find more witnesses and we talked to them.
Speaker 4: (01:00:52)
Speaker 8: (01:00:54)
we research everything. Um, even if it's something already known that that's part of confirming what we already know. And, and we, we dig deep into everything, um, background reports on everyone involved, um, address histories, work records, um, work history and social security, um, trace reports and stuff. That's, that's how we've been able to eliminate the possibility that Susan did willingly get in someone's vehicle and, and just leave and vanish. Um, very, very difficult to do, especially on a limited budget. Um, something would be out there. Um, so we pull all of that kind of history, uh, criminal histories. Um, we look at similar crimes in the area. Um, we,
Speaker 4: (01:01:50)
Speaker 8: (01:01:52)
even go so far as to, to look at, um, the person of interests, background. We've, we've looked at Ed Jerry's background, we've looked into his military records, um, which w w we, we submitted a freedom of Information Act request to the Department of the Air Force and received his records and, and we've gone through them. We know, um, that he initially enlisted for six years. Um, he was a contract a three. Um, he re-enlisted at one point for four years. Um, he, uh, extended that four year enlistment so that he could affect his, uh, permanent change of station to Colorado. Um, and, and we've looked at, we've looked into, um, what happened while he was on active duty. Um, we know the details of the incident that, that has been described. We know that he was, um, he was on a, uh, on a truck mission and, uh, they encountered a six array explosively perform or explosively formed penetrator.
Speaker 8: (01:03:06)
Um, an EFP, um, six array means there were six of them. Um, uh, they encountered one, um, and it went off and he, uh, was able to evacuate his team and get the truck back out of that area. Um, without any loss of life. There were, nobody was, nobody was hurt. He sustained a concussion apparently during that attack. Um, so in the process of, of confirming what we know and pulling as much background information as we can, that's, that's the sort of stuff, um, that we look at because all of it is, is important and you never know which piece is going to be one of those puzzle pieces that you've been looking for. Um, so we've been doing that.
By the point, we all know Jerry told the investigators that Susan and Evan left with another man. I asked Michael what evidence, if any, he’d found to support this claim.
Speaker 2: (06:56)
Okay. Well, um, so, uh, whatever one that that's up to speed right now knows is that, um, one, the first story that's out there, the, the, the, the answer that Jerry has provided, um, is that they left with another man. Um, another man pulled up in a vehicle. They got in the vehicle and left at some point. Maybe they came back and, and collected their belongings while he wasn't at home. Um, but the, the main gist of, of that potential theory is that they left on their own accord with someone else.
Speaker 4: (07:39)
Speaker 2: (07:40)
and, uh, and that's where they went. Um, and he hasn't heard from them since. Um, and no one's heard from him since,
Speaker 4: (07:48)
Speaker 2: (07:52)
that particular theory, um, with everything else we know. Um, and, and all of the background research that's been done, it just, it really doesn't Jive,
Speaker 4: (08:04)
Speaker 2: (08:08)
there's, there's really only one person that's given that story. Um, and, and as you pointed out in previous episodes, the, the thought that that was out there was, hey, she's, she's done this before. Um, but I think it, as you've shown the circumstances in that case, that's not entirely true. Um, she did not get in a vehicle and leave on announced with another man ever. Um, and then there's, there's a lot of inconsistencies. Uh, the type of vehicle that they supposedly left in has changed over time.
Speaker 4: (08:46)
Speaker 2: (08:48)
no one has come forward saying that, that they saw them, uh, either get in this vehicle, uh, or afterwards.
Speaker 4: (08:56)
Speaker 2: (08:58)
some of the, the background checking and stuff that, that I've done, um, there's never been another address, um, associated with her social security number, um, anywhere in the system.
Speaker 4: (09:13)
Speaker 2: (09:16)
she, uh, she definitely would not have left her daughter that, that kind of gets into some of the, the victimology, the, the victim profiling, um, that we put together. Um, there's, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that knew her, um, that she would of have left her daughter.
Speaker 4: (09:40)
Speaker 2: (09:42)
and, and just the more you consider that scenario of them leaving with someone else, um, other questions come up that just can't be answered. Why did she leave her car? Um, we know that she did not come back and get her belongings. Um, and, and a, I believe that that has actually been admitted to, um, those, those belongings were, were burned or thrown away.
Speaker 4: (10:07)
Speaker 2: (10:09)
and then it doesn't explain the stuff that it was found, um, that we know about. Um, after the search warrant was executed. It doesn't explain, uh, blood evidence. It doesn't explain, um, holes in the flooring, the flooring being ripped up. It doesn't explain the burning, the remodeling or other activities.
Speaker 4: (10:28)
Speaker 2: (10:31)
leaving with another man just does not make sense. It doesn't fit with any of the other information that we know to be true.
Speaker 2: (10:39)
And another possibility, um, is that, um, someone else came in and either abducted them or killed them.
Speaker 4: (10:55)
Speaker 2: (10:57)
that that person could be a jealous lover of the husband. It could be an ex ex husband or ex lover of susans. It could be a robbery that just went bad.
Speaker 4: (11:10)
Speaker 2: (11:12)
I mean you could, you could pretty much take that anywhere,
Speaker 4: (11:15)
Speaker 2: (11:17)
to try and explain a third party being involved in this, um, and, and having either, uh, abducted or killed them.
Speaker 4: (11:26)
Speaker 2: (11:28)
and again, that that scenario doesn't really fit what we know.
Speaker 4: (11:33)
Speaker 2: (11:35)
there was no witnesses for that. Uh, there is no evidence of that. There was no report from Jerry, uh, who we know was home during or shortly after they went missing.
Speaker 4: (11:47)
Speaker 2: (11:50)
there have been no sidings. There have been no recoveries bodies that, that fit their description.
Speaker 4: (11:56)
Speaker 2: (11:56)
and the big kicker is that a third party being involved doesn't explain the, the cover up of the scene, the remodeling, the painting, um, the burning and all of that stuff. Um, the really, the only way to, to logically explain a third party being involved in this is if you consider that the husband was an accomplice. And then naturally we, we look at, we look at the husband. Um, and that's, that's the one scenario where everything basically fits there. There are still some questions that, that during the process of the investigation have to be asked and addressed. Um, I mean this, this was her husband, uh, they live together. Um, so could he really have done this? Um, and I think as we get into, um, some of the profile and, and the, the psychological aspects of crimes like this, um, you can see that the answer to that is yes, even though it can be unbelievable, it can be shocking. Um, and it's definitely not the kind of thing that you want to hear, but that does happen and we know that. Um, and then there's, there's, there's other things in the aftermath that, that kind of show.
Speaker 4: (13:41)
Speaker 2: (13:44)
yeah, he, he could have done that. Um, because there's, there's been a, what I think is a, is a pretty significant effort to, to cover it up, to cover the tracks. Um, and uh, yeah, keep the public out of it to keep the, keep the law enforcement from really finding the solid evidence that that indicates. Yes. Um, he was involved.
Speaker 1: (14:21)
So as we move forward with the rest of these, um, potential answers for where Susan and have a door, I think we have to, we'll be assuming in this that, but Jerry is the one responsible,
Speaker 2: (14:43)
right. Everything at this point, um, strongly indicates his involvement. Um, directly direct involvement.
Speaker 4: (14:56)
Speaker 2: (14:59)
the hen just a, uh, there's, there's a lot of different disciplines that go into an investigation like this.
Speaker 4: (15:06)
One of the other popular theories has been that Jerry used the boat he and Susan owned to dispose of their bodies since the Coosa River and Lake Jordan are just minutes away. There are 2 scenarios with a boat. One is that he used the boat to access land to dispose of their bodies. The other is that he actually placed them in the water. Investigators felt certain that the boat wasn’t mechanically sound but I still get regular communications from people regarding the boat.
Speaker 3: (23:37)
Speaker 2: (23:38)
to, to get there. Um, the, the first thing that, that we probably ought to address are our two major theories that have come out and the material you've already presented. And we still get asked questions about this. Um, the, the first one is, is about the boat. Um, uh, knowing that, that Evan loved to fish, that's how they met. Uh, Susan then and Jerry. Um, and they fished pretty frequently. That's a very popular thing to do in this part of Alabama. Um, and they had a boat and, uh, just a short trip up the road is like Jordan. Um, and so that's, that's one that that came out early, uh, in your podcast. It's one that, uh, is frequently mentioned as, as we're talking to the public. Um, and, uh, so w w w we have to, we have to look at that first. Um, we know that a good bit of effort was made, uh, along those lines by the sheriff's department.
Speaker 2: (24:52)
They, they did, they did find the boat. They did look at the boat. Um, they, they don't believe that the boat was operational. Um, and, and doing more research ourselves and, and re interviewing people and talking with people again on our own investigation. Um, uh, I think that's, that's probably very accurate. It does not sound like the boat was operational. Um, that doesn't necessarily rule it out. There are places in the area to rent boats, um, family and friends have boats that he might've been able to borrow. Um, so you, you come, you, we kind of look at, at other things, um, that would impact doing that. Uh, he had a very short timeframe to move the body somewhere. Um, it was a holiday weekend. There's an, uh, a lot of people in the area, particularly on the water over holiday weekends. Um, we just, we just went through the July 4th weekend and, um, people were all over the, the various lakes and rivers, uh, throughout the state. Um, and I'm sure a lot of people know that there were a few boating accidents and dive teams are still out on the water in parts of the state looking for people, um, as a result of that. But that, that kind of thing,
Speaker 4: (26:25)
Speaker 2: (26:28)
greatly increases the risk for someone who is wanting to move and ultimately hide two bodies using a boat.
Speaker 4: (26:39)
Speaker 5: (26:42)
you, you could cover them, you can do any, any number of things, but the risk is really what drives decision making and knowing that there are 500 to a thousand more people down at the boat ramp on a holiday weekend than there are on a normal weekend. Um, that's, that's a, a huge increase in risk. Um, and to the point that it makes it very, very unlikely.
Speaker 4: (27:13)
Speaker 5: (27:15)
so, uh, you know, we, we go through and we look at stuff like that.
I asked Michael what he felt the likelihood that Susan and Evan’s bodies could have been put into the water.
Speaker 5: (52:59)
I believe that, that if he had put the bodies in water nearby, that there's a very good chance that they would have been found by now.
Speaker 3: (53:12)
Speaker 5: (53:16)
there, there's always that, that outlier though there's always the chance that they weren't, but I believe at this point, um, at least one of them would have been found if we were talking about one, one person missing. Um, I think the odds that that he could have, could have accomplished one of those outliers where the body doesn't surface. Um, after heavy rainfall, it doesn't move down stream or, or, or any other number of possibilities if it were one body. Yeah, the, the possibilities there that, that he had a little bit of luck and, and that played in his favor. But with, with two bodies, I, I think, I think you're greatly increasing your odds there. Um, you're greatly increasing your risk, um, that they're going to potentially be found. Um, obviously there, there are things that could be done,
Speaker 3: (54:24)
uh, planned out, um, to [inaudible]
Speaker 5: (54:30)
to lessen that risk. Um, I haven't seen or heard anything yet that would indicate to me, um, that he did anything like that. Um, again, it, it's not, that's a scenario that I cannot rule out at this point. Um, but I, I definitely think it's, uh, it's a little bit lower on the priority scale simply because, um, like, uh, like I was saying earlier, the Memorial Day weekend, um, and, and most cases, um, and I'll go back and, and cite some statistics here and, and, and at least one study, uh, 31%, uh, of the offenders moved the bodies within one to three hours. Um, all of the other ones, they moved the bodies within 24 hours.
Speaker 3: (55:34)
Speaker 5: (55:36)
even if you double that timeline and give 48 hours where we're talking about Memorial Day weekend, um, there's a lot of extra traffic on the roads. There are a lot more people on the lakes, on the rivers, um, doing recreational boating, they're doing fishing. There are a lot of people out there. Um, and even the three in the morning idea doesn't buy you a whole lot because in a lot of cases, these, these people are up at three in the morning. Um, because it's a holiday weekend. Um, I, I think there's a lot of risk there.
Speaker 3: (56:21)
Speaker 5: (56:24)
that that definitely lowers, lowers the chances of that being the case.
One of the strongest theories has been that Jerry burned Susan and Evan’s bodies in the large, hot fires he had going behind his home in the days and possibly weeks after their disappearance.
The other thing that's come up is, is, um, the burning, we know that there were some very large fires, um, a lot of heavy black smoke, um, for several days, uh, up to, um, even two weeks long, um, that we've heard about. And so the, the question, um, comes up, well, maybe he burned them. Um, and that's, that's a real possibility as well. Um, but there are some flaws with that that we have to take into consideration it that is also very risky. Um, I'm actually a little, a little amazed myself that, that someone in the neighborhood didn't just call the fire department, um, just based on the size of the spires as they've been described us and the amount of smoke. Um, when you, when you burn a human body, it's, it's very different from burning. Um, anything else? Um, the, the smell is something that we would absolutely be hearing about. Um, and, and we've heard, we've talked to people that describe the amount of heat, um, the, the thickness of the smoke and, and even the smell of the smoke. Um, but anyone who's been around, um, a burn patient or, um, someone who's had significant burns,
Speaker 4: (28:53)
Speaker 5: (28:55)
the, the one thing they always talk about is the smell and when, when you're burning it, if you're going to burn a body in your backyard a little own too. Um, that would definitely be something that that was remembered. Um, just recently, um, I had a conversation with one of your listeners actually, who used to work in an er in Montgomery and she described having a burn patient come into the Er, um, that had major burns. And before she'd described anything else, the, the one thing that stood out in her mind was the smell, um, uh, to the point that that scrubs had to be basically thrown away. Um, and, um, getting that smell out at out of your, out of your nostrils, out of your mouth was just, it was such a traumatic exposure that that's something that she remembered from that experience. And, and my experience has been the same thing.
Speaker 5: (30:05)
So that's, that's a big factor in, in ruling that out. Um, the other part of that is, um, if he had done that as, uh, as was brought up with, um, in, in the course of your, your own investigation for the podcast, um, it's almost impossible to, to completely burn away all the evidence. Um, contrary to a lot of people's belief burning something does not destroy it. It's a chemical change. Um, and something always stays behind, uh, when, when you're looking at bone, um, it takes an awful lot of effort to, to try and get rid of bone. Um, so I, I believe that, um, if, if he had done that,
Speaker 3: (30:53)
um, that it would be evident, uh,
Speaker 5: (30:58)
the sheriff's department may not have found a skeleton. They may not have found what to the average human would look like, um, a bone from a body. Um, but I think they absolutely would have found something, um, particularly teeth, um, small bone fragments and that kind of stuff, all the information that came out, um, in earlier podcasts. So I don't, I don't believe that that's really, um, a high priority for, for looking at this point either.
Speaker 3: (31:33)
Speaker 5: (31:36)
certainly I, I'm not, I wouldn't say rule it out completely.
There is one other major theory and I would say it is currently at the top of our list of priorities. Could Jerry have dumped or buried their bodies somewhere? At this time, we believe this to be a very likely scenario. Our goal is to find them but how do we decide where to start searching? Elmore County is 657 square miles and much of it is rural and wooded. Michael is using science to help pinpoint possible locations and this is where locals and others familiar with Elmore County and with Jerry can help.
Speaker 5: (31:43)
I believe that the profile and the evidence that, that we know about all of the indications are, um, that the bodies were moved,
Speaker 3: (31:54)
Speaker 5: (31:57)
at least, at least away from the initial crime scene. Um, and this is where, uh, this is where that prioritization did I keep talking about, comes in, um, looking at the academic material, um, the statistics and then the overwhelming number of, of cases similar to this. Um, the bodies when they are recovered are found within 200 feet of the crime scene. Um, 200 feet. I'm looking at it on the ground. Uh, you're talking about the property, um, that they lived in the, the property, um, and a 200 foot radius takes you about halfway into the neighbors on either side yard.
Speaker 4: (32:47)
Speaker 5: (32:48)
And of course about equal distance, uh, into the, the wooded area behind the house. Um, so that, that's a possibility. Um, it's an area that has been searched previously. Um, it has been gone over actually several times and, uh, it does not look like that. That's what was done. Um, unfortunately what we can't eliminate for our own investigation now, two years later is, uh, anything actually on the grounds. Um, we have to depend on, uh, the search warrant that was executed by the sheriff's department, um, and uh, and go with that. So if they aren't within that 200 foot radius, um, then you're looking for, uh, and this is what the offender profile tells us. Um, he would be looking for a place where,
Speaker 4: (33:54)
Speaker 5: (33:56)
where he feels comfortable, a place that he probably knows and has frequent frequented, um, often, um, because not only would he know that area and know, um, when other people might be there,
Speaker 4: (34:15)
Speaker 5: (34:17)
he would also have some sort of anonymity while he was there. So if someone did see him either going or coming from there, um, it wouldn't, it wouldn't necessarily stick out in their mind because they probably seen him there before or they know that, that he would have a reason to be in that area. Um, but it would be far enough away from the crime scene to give, to give the offender, um, some distance. And that's really what the offender's goal is, is to create distance between where he normally is and, and where people are going to say they saw him and where the remains are eventually found. Um, so you're, we're, we're really looking for a place where those two, those two things, balance, he's got enough distance from the crime scene to, to, to potentially eliminate him as a suspect. Um, Andy's also got enough anonymity and familiarity with that place, um, to where even if someone did link him to that place, it could be explained away.
Speaker 5: (35:37)
Um, and in, in most cases, um, especially in, in this area and in the deep south, uh, you're talking about, uh, bullets are frequently, uh, uh, a wooded area, um, a remote area, uh, of in a rural setting. Um, a place that he could travel to without necessarily going through a major population center where he's potentially going to have to sit at a red light for three to five minutes, um, with a vehicle sitting next to him. Um, so, uh, we can use information like that to, to kind of identify places that, that meet those requirements because we, we really believe based on the offender profile, um, and, and the academic material that is relevant to this case, um, those are the kinds of places that, that the offender would want.
Speaker 1: (36:56)
So if we are speaking of Jerry, where might those places be lived right there and bill eager about the neglectic yeah, his family that still lives on the clock and we understand he visits there frequently.
Speaker 5: (37:21)
So in any of those places are our potential potential sites a place that that he went to frequently? It could be um, a favor, a boat ramp, favorite place to fish. Um, it could be, um, relatives, property, um, in the area places that, um, and the, the thing would with relatives property,
Speaker 6: (37:55)
Speaker 5: (37:59)
it would have to be, it would most likely be a place where he was familiar enough and went to that area enough
Speaker 6: (38:11)
Speaker 5: (38:13)
even the family members would not question him being there like, like the kind of place where he wouldn't necessarily have to call ahead and say, hey, can I, can I go out on the back 10 acres and cut some firewood? Um, he, he would, he would believe that he had carte blanche to go there. Um, but not necessarily, like I said, there's always outliers. Um, but I believe based on the offender profile that he would want to limit,
Speaker 4: (38:47)
Speaker 5: (38:48)
the exposure and the knowledge of other people too to include some family.
Speaker 4: (38:55)
Speaker 5: (38:56)
that's not necessarily the case.
Speaker 4: (38:59)
Speaker 5: (39:01)
if he's close, he now has a close enough relationship with those family members and enough trust in them,
Speaker 4: (39:10)
Speaker 5: (39:11)
or, or enough control over them.
Speaker 4: (39:14)
Speaker 5: (39:19)
in any, anything like that,
Speaker 4: (39:22)
Speaker 5: (39:23)
could definitely be a possibility. Um, it's the, the statistics tell us it's, it's most likely a wooded area. Um, it would have limited, um, public access.
Speaker 4: (39:38)
Speaker 5: (39:38)
if it did have public access, it would have very limited usage,
Speaker 4: (39:43)
Speaker 5: (39:45)
because part of distances time. Um, so he, he would, he would want a place that, that he knew was going to buy him something
Speaker 4: (39:57)
Speaker 5: (40:04)
but yeah, anywhere, anywhere in there, eclectic is not far enough away. It's not too far to eliminate. Um, and there are,
Speaker 4: (40:17)
Speaker 5: (40:19)
it, that would definitely meet, um, that area would meet,
Speaker 4: (40:23)
Speaker 5: (40:25)
the information that, that we pulled from academic sources that indicates that wherever possible the offender is not going to want to travel through a major population center. It would not have to necessarily travel through a major population center, um, to get from the residents, uh, to an area outside of eclectic.
Speaker 4: (40:51)
Speaker 5: (40:53)
there are plenty of back roads,
Speaker 4: (40:54)
Speaker 5: (40:56)
the, that could be taken to avoid the potential of that scenario where you're sitting at a red light and someone's sitting next to you wondering what you have in the back of your truck.
Speaker 1: (41:19)
So specifically in those areas. I mean obviously we're looking for somewhere that Jerry might know when. No, well I went down with that. Well we're looking for, I would have at drinks and things like proteins, crevices, Welles.
Speaker 5: (41:41)
Absolutely. So land features and typography play into it. Um, it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to do dig a grave. Um, and the timeline that we've developed doesn't really give him a whole lot of time to go out and do that sort of stuff. Um, he may have an accomplice to do that, but um, he, even if you throw an accomplice into the mix, I don't believe that this is not the kind of task that, that an offender just subcontracts, if you will. Um, because his life very well may depend on it. So, um, he would be definitely interested in land features that would help, um, with concealing the bodies, uh, deeper veins.
Speaker 4: (42:39)
Um, uh, a well would be, um,
Speaker 5: (42:47)
something that that would definitely catch his attention, I believe, um, something with, uh, with a water source on it upon,
Speaker 4: (42:56)
Speaker 5: (42:58)
not that, not that he would necessarily use it. Um, because that, that's one of those that, um, without some additional information we, we've got, uh, we would have to consider later on. But, um, having a water feature available is sometimes attractive, um, in cases like this, but definitely an area that had,
Speaker 4: (43:24)
Speaker 5: (43:28)
very different typography features on the land, um, deeper veins.
Speaker 4: (43:38)
Speaker 5: (43:40)
and that sorta stuff would definitely be attractive.
Speaker 4: (43:43)
Speaker 5: (43:45)
fallen trees. Um, a lot of times it's because there are so many other tasks that the offender has in his mind that he needs to, he needs to take care of to ensure his, his freedom. Um, a lot of times they don't, they don't really even take the time to dig a real grave there. They're looking for a low lying spot, um, where they can use, um, fallen trees, uh, ground, uh, brush, uh, and, and other natural features to help hide the bodies.
Speaker 4: (44:27)
Speaker 5: (44:29)
ravines work really well. Um, it's, it's a lot easier to move the move a body further away from a vehicle access point, um, with a downhill slope. And so a lot of times, um, and in fact, most of the Times, um, remains are found, uh, if there's, if there is a major slope nearby, they're found on the downhill side, um, that just, that should make obvious sense. Um, and even if they do take the time to dig, um, there, there are, um, features like that help them, uh, with that digging process. Um, the ground at the bottom of a ravine is, is often softer. Um, there are fewer large trees in those areas. Um, and large trees have large roots and large roots make it difficult to dig. Um, that's, and that's where, that's another place where having a water feature like a pond on the property, um, is helpful because,
Speaker 3: (45:44)
Speaker 5: (45:45)
obviously the ground is usually softer around upon, um, easier to move, easier to dig, um, and that sort of stuff. So I, I believe that, that the, the information that we have met would make a place like that very attractive. Um, and would definitely raise that area's priority, um, in, in our mind as a place that we needed to go and take a look at.
Speaker 1: (46:17)
I would need to be somewhat accessible by the vehicle. I would say. Um, he had not one but two bodies. So the likelihood of them, you know, having a marketing, you know, all of your bodies, couple of miles in is that
Speaker 5: (46:33)
no, no. Um,
Speaker 3: (46:37)
Speaker 5: (46:40)
Moving the bodies is, is not, it's not a trivial matter. Um, even even a, a small framed lightweight person, um, can be very difficult to move. It's very strenuous. Um, it's is not the easiest thing in the world. So, um, most likely and, and the, of course the academic material backs this up. Um, they'll be looking, the offender will be looking for a place that has vehicle access, um, and places along that vehicle access that cannot be seen from a major road. Um, obviously they, they don't want to be seen while they're doing this. Um,
Speaker 5: (47:31)
and, uh, and the vast majority of cases, um, the remains are found within a hundred to 150 feet of the vehicle access path. Um, depending on the weight and size, um, of the victim, uh, moving that victim much further than a hundred or 150 feet. Um, that's, that's just about all most offenders can, can withstand, um, unless they have some sort of equipment with them to, to aid in that. Um, I don't believe that would be the case. Um, here, uh, if he were an avid deer hunter and had happened to have his own, you know, sled system or something like that, uh, for his hunting activities, then he could get some extra, some extra distance. Um, but the other, the other factor there, other than the sheer difficulty of moving the victim, um, when, when an offender is doing that, they are in a high state of alert.
Speaker 5: (48:45)
And even if he's frequented that, that property before any, he's very familiar with it. Um, his paranoia level is typically far too high for him to travel so far away from that vehicle that he can't see it anymore. Um, he, because obviously the, the likelihood that someone comes driving down that path and finds his vehicle there, um, he, he, he does not want that. Um, he doesn't want to finish what he came out there to do and, and walk back to his car and find a game warden standing there asking him what he's doing. Um, he doesn't want that to happen at all, but if it's going to happen, he would rather know that the game warden was there when he came walking up. Um, so there, there are multiple reasons why the distance from the vehicle access point to where the remains are located is typically, um, in that hundred, 150 foot range. Um, but, uh, visibility is big vehicle access. Um, and, uh, and, and we can't lose sight of that. Hey, having a reason to be there,
Speaker 3: (50:15)
Speaker 5: (50:17)
that, that is, is very important to the offender. Um, just in case someone sees him. So, um, if he's not an avid hunter, um, he, he probably would not go to a hunting area where no one has ever seen him before. Even if he had access, um, to go and come there, there was no gate on the property. Um, that would be a major part of his decision making process. Um, because he knows that he might have some difficulty explaining why he was there. Um, now if he's an avid hunter, um, then, then he might feel a little bit more comfortable with going to a place like that because if someone were to ask him, you know, I saw you out at the wildlife management area, why were you there? Um, he would know what to say. Um, but in this case,
Speaker 3: (51:19)
um, he may not, um,
Speaker 5: (51:24)
fishing areas though, um, those could be, um, real good places, um, to consider because he did fish a lot. He continues to fish. Um, so he's in and out of those, those kinds of areas. And, um, while a boat ramp, a public boat ramp doesn't, doesn't meet these requirements. A lot of these areas where you can access, um, a place to fish to get there, you have to go through the type of area that, that we're discussing here. They're frequently wooded. They have multiple, um, access points.
Speaker 3: (52:09)
Speaker 5: (52:12)
there, there are places along that route where, um, you could stop for 10 or 15 minutes and not necessarily have to really explain anything.
If you know of a location that meets the description given by Michael, we want to hear from you.
Speaker 2: (02:13)
getting additional information from people that, that probably don't even realize they have important information, um, to help us do that. Um, were in the process of doing searching. We've, we've been out doing searches. I know some people have seen us, there's been some comments made about that on Facebook already. That's, that's no big secret. Um, we're going back in and, and looking at, um, places that have been looked at before we're going and looking at places that, that probably haven't been looked at before. Um, as a result of new information that, that has come to light during the course of this, uh, of this re-investigation if you will. Um, the sheriff's department is, it has, has done what they've done and they're continuing to do what they do.
Speaker 4: (03:10)
Speaker 2: (03:13)
our, our focus is a little bit more narrow than what the sheriff's department is necessarily looking for. I mean, they've, they've got a, they've got a case to build. They're looking, um, to build a criminal case. Um, and that's, that's not our goal. But in the process of, of what we're doing, um, there's a good chance that, that we're going to come across some things that, um, that will help the sheriff's department reached their goal as well. Um, so really putting out there, um, to the public where we are, what our, what our focus is and the kind of information that helps this process. Um, I'm hopeful that, uh, using the podcast I'm using the work that you've been doing will, will help us get closer because there are a lot of possibilities. There are,
Speaker 4: (04:16)
Speaker 2: (04:18)
a lot of different places that seem like they would be good places to do searches. Um, searches are manpower intensive. Um, and, and even before you set foot on the ground, uh, with a team to do a search, there's a lot of work that goes into, into doing that. A lot of research, a lot of, um, obtaining consent from property owners, um, and that, that sort of stuff. So we want to be efficient in this process. We want to, um, when we put together one of those teams and when we put together a search plan, um, we want to, to feel pretty, pretty good that this is a real possibility that, um, there were going out and looking at,
Speaker 4: (05:07)
um, but, uh,
Speaker 2: (05:10)
in some form or fashion, everything's being looked at. Um, I think without getting into specifics, I, I, I think the public might actually be surprised to know that, um, the, the comments, the ideas that, that have been presented, um, through the podcast, through Facebook and that kind of stuff, they, they, they all get considered. They all get looked at. Um, and, and the reality is, uh, we haven't totally eliminated any possibility at this point. Um, we've reprioritized some things based on, um, that background research, um, going out and taking a look at, at different, um, considering things such as, um, accessibility and visibility, um, things like that. Um, where, where we have certainly reprioritized some efforts to try and make sure we're, we're being efficient in the process. But, um, the, I think the more we can educate the public on, uh, on what we're looking for in the kind of things that really help out, um, we, we can all have a chance at, at achieving this goal and finding, uh, Susan and Evan.
Speaker 8: (01:22:19)
Um, and so there are places where, um, we, we all, uh, us on, on our investigation and the sheriff's department need information. We need people in the public to come forward and tell what they know, what they saw, what they heard, what they've witnessed. Um, because without that,
Speaker 4: (01:22:48)
Speaker 8: (01:22:50)
you, you never know if, you know, seeing a certain person in the grocery store on this date and maybe was putting x, Y, z into his shopping cart, um, you, that might be the one of information that one puzzle piece that's needed to make the leap between where we are now and probable cause to make an arrest. Um, and on, on our side of the investigation, that might just be the one key piece of information we need to, to, to nail down our timeline of events and make sure we're searching the right property. Um, so we really need, um, more than ever, um, people to be willing to come forward. Um, even if it's a, I mean there's an anonymous tip line. There's, there are ways to tell what you know, um, if you're afraid, if you're worried, um, if you don't want to get involved, um, there are ways that you can help the investigation regardless.
Speaker 8: (01:24:04)
Um, because we, we know without a doubt that there are people out there right now possibly even listening to this podcast that know something and maybe you've convinced herself as not important, um, or, or for whatever reason you haven't said anything, but you really have no idea how important what you're sitting on could be. Um, to our investigation, to the sheriff's department and ultimately to the families closure. Um, it's been two years. He's these, these family members. Um, I don't think any of us can really appreciate how frustrating. Um, all of this is, and every time I've seen it, when someone has waited and waited and finally picked up the phone and said, you know what, I don't think there's an important, but I wanted you to know that I saw so-and-so at the grocery store doing this on this date. Um, and that's been the, the one piece of information that broke everything open. Um, I think everyone in this business is at some point in Tom seen something similar to that. It's often not very dramatic. It's not very, it's not like it is on, on television shows,
Speaker 3: (01:25:33)
Speaker 8: (01:25:36)
you just never know. So it doesn't matter who you are, where you are. If, if you know anything about this case or the people involved, I definitely encourage you to, to get your portion of the story out there one way or the other. Um, find one of those anonymous routes if you need to.
As Michael and I have both mentioned, searches have already begun and some of these searches are the direct result of tips provided by listeners and other members of the public. Hollie received a tip regarding an abandoned well. Last week, Michael and I made the trip to the property to take a look at this well.
Speaker 8: (01:27:27)
So property owner notified Holly of a well own her property, um, and it falls outside the property falls outside of, of all of the other parameters that, that I've been talking about. Um, but it, it is accessible. Um, and, and she told us this, this well as there. Um, and she, she said that she, she had thought for a long time that it might be a possibility it might be worth checking out. Um, so we did, uh, even though, like I said, even though it did not meet all of the other things that we've been looking for in a potential place to search, uh, we went out and looked at it and, um, we're actually going to be doing some followup with it just in case. Um, so anything like that, um, your ideas, um, are not, are not going to be pushed to the wayside. Um, there's a good chance that, um, it's something that's already been talked about and it may not have the level of attention that it needs right now because it's been a conversation between us. It's been a conver conversation between investigators. Um, but then
Speaker 2: (01:29:02)
when, when someone on the outside, someone in the public, you know, sends an email or makes a phone call and, and says the same thing, then it becomes a little bit different then, you know, when it, when it's coming from the outside and, and the investigators have already been talking about it.
Thank you for listening to Secrets True Crime. If you have any information that could help in solving the disappearance of Susan Osborne and Evan Chartrand, please call the Elmore County Sheriffs Office at 334-567-5546. You may also email me at email@example.com. Like Michael said, even the smallest amount of information could be the missing piece that could change everything. You can be anonomous. I want to say thank you to those who have contacted me with information and those who’ve reached out to encourage me. Each of you has provided a tremendous amount of help and you are making a difference in this case. Not only am I appreciative but Susan and Evan’s families are so thankful as well. If you are enjoying this podcast, please let us know by giving us a 5-star rating and review in Apple Podcasts. I’m active on social media and often share photos of Susan and Evan. Follow Secrets True Crime on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. @secretscrime.