|Trip to Nowhere|
|Original airdate:||May 1, 2015|
|Previous episode:||Lying in Wait|
|Next episode:||Justice Served (2)|
When a daughter returns home from school to find her mother gone without explanation in 1981, the team must sift through clues that are now decades old, making this the oldest missing person's case the team has yet to face.
"What would you say if I told you your mom wasn't coming home?"
That was the question Mearl Mackey asked his stepdaughter, Kelly Carpenter, just a few days after her mother, Evelyn "Laverne" Mackey, vanished from their home in Hernando County, Florida in 1981.
Mearl initially claimed that Laverne was in Ohio, taking care of her brother's sick wife. Later, however, he told law enforcement numerous conflicting statements, including that Laverne had instead gone to Tampa, that she returned home and became involved with a boyfriend, and that she got into missionary work.
"Mearl had more stories than Grimms Brothers at this point," said Hernando County Sheriff's Office Detective George Loydgren.
Confused and afraid, Carpenter asked Mearl to take her to her biological father's house, and for the next year, investigators attempted to track down answers in Laverne's disappearance.
Detectives learned that on the day she went missing, money had been withdrawn from her banking account multiple times. Months later, the account was completely empty.
But while investigators believed "Mearl wasn't telling everything" he knew about his wife's vanishing and that something was "wrong," there was "no physical evidence" or "sense of any crime scene," said Det. Loydgren.
At that point, the case went cold, and it was not until Sergeant Phil Lankin attended the National Homicide Conference 33 years later that an inquiry into Laverne's disappearance was reignited. During the seminar, Sgt. Lankin pitched the case to former prosecutor and "Cold Justice" host Kelly Siegler, who agreed to reinvestigate with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Siegler and the rest of the "Cold Justice" team interviewed multiple witnesses, which further established their belief that Laverne did not simply pick up and abandon her family.
"After 33 years, we believe that only Mearl can explain Laverne's disappearance," Detective Randy Williamson said.
- Kelly Siegler as Prosecutor Kelly Siegler
- Yolanda McClary as Crime Scene Investigator Yolanda McClary
- Steve Spingola as Homicide Investigator Steve Spingola
- Sergeant Phil Lakin (Hernando County Sheriff's Office)
- Detective George Loydgren (Hernando County Sheriff's Office)
- Detective Randy Williamson (Hernando County Sheriff's Office)
- Tim Whitfield (Director of Scientific Investigations, Hernando County Sheriff's Office)
- Angelique Lees (Forensic Technician, Hernando County Sheriff's Office)
- Kelly Carpenter (Laverne's Daughter)
- Charles Trulock (Laverne's Brother)
- Hernando County, Florida (November 5, 1981)
- Evelyn "Laverne" Mackey (40)
- Merl Mackey - sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
Background information and Notes
- Crossover event that begins with the Cold Justice episode "Trip to Nowhere" and concludes with the Criminal Confessions episode "Cold Justice Confessions".
|Cold Justice season 3|
|Episodes||Still of the Night • Miss Congeniality • Burned • Mother Daughter Tragedy • Operator, Hurry! • The Record Keeper • Little League Dad • American Dream • The Alley • Devoted • Lying in Wait • Trip to Nowhere • Justice Served (2) • Beloved Doctor • Smoking Gun • The Good Life • Off the Beaten Path • Room No.10 • The Escape? • Up in Flames • Trajectory • Justice Served (3) • In the Neighborhood, Part 1 • In the Neighborhood, Part 2|
|Other Seasons||Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 4 • Season 5 • Season 6|