LeAnn, in a photo later found on Kimball's computer.
LeAnn Emry leaves her home in Centennial, where she lives with her parents, Howard and Darlene Emry.
She tells them she is going on a caving trip to Mexico with friends.
Instead, she secretly leaves on a whirlwind voyage through five states, intermittently meeting up with Scott Kimball, aka “Hannibal.”
Before heading out, LeAnn called her younger sister, Michelle, with a message: If anything bad should happen, Michelle should know her sister loved her.
LeAnn's Super 8 receipt (Courtesy of Howard Emry)
During a two-week trip across the West, LeAnn Emry writes a cascade of bad checks, overdrawing her account by $4,000.
She bounces checks in Laramie, Wyo., Baker City, Ore., Vancouver, Wash., and Reno, Nev., leaving a paper trail that her father will piece together after her disappearance.
Investigators later place Kimball in some of the same spots at the same time, but he also goes to Seattle on FBI business.
At a pawnshop in Hermiston, Ore., Emry buys the .40-caliber Firestar handgun that will become her murder weapon.
She is back in Colorado by Jan. 27, when she checks into a Super 8 motel in Grand Junction.
She checks out two days later.
LeAnn Emry's abandoned car. (Courtesy of Howard Emry)
A Grand County, Utah, sheriff’s deputy finds LeAnn Emry’s Toyota Corolla abandoned in the remote Harley Dome area off of Interstate 70.
Her belongings — camping and caving equipment, a cell phone, a purse — are still in the car.
“Everything was there, except her,” said her father, Howard Emry.
There are footprints outside the vehicle, but no sign of a struggle or fight.
LeAnn Emry’s boyfriend, FCI-Englewood inmate Steven Holley, writes a letter to her father, telling him he’s worried because he hasn’t heard from LeAnn in more than a month.
“So have you heard from her and is she alright?” he asks Howard Emry.
Holley's letter to Howard Emry. (Courtesy of Howard Emry)
Frantic, Steven Holley writes another letter to Howard Emry from FCI-Englewood.
LeAnn is in “real trouble,” he warns.
“I don’t fully understand what the hell she thought she was doing, but I know she is way out of her league!”
Holley asks Howard Emry to call the FBI and have an agent come talk to him in prison.
An excerpt of Holley's letter. (Courtesy of Howard Emry)
Read Holley’s full Feb. 24, 2003, letter to Howard Emry. (PDF)
Howard Emry (Matthew Cilley / for the Camera)
Howard Emry contacts the FBI in Denver, and talks to an agent about the alarming letter he received from Steven Holley, his daughter’s boyfriend.
The agent calls Holley a liar, and says he will not waste his time visiting him in prison to talk.
(Date is approximate.)
LeAnn Emry’s father, Howard Emry, meets with Steven Holley in prison.
Holley, who was dating LeAnn when she disappeared, again asks Emry to contact the FBI.
He tells Howard that LeAnn was under the care of “Hannibal,” but he won’t say who that is.
Emry calls the FBI again but never hears back.
(Date is approximate.)
Howard and Darlene Emry, with a photo of their daughter LeAnn.
FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing calls Howard Emry at home in Payette, Idaho, and asks to speak to his daughter, LeAnn.
“She’s been missing for nearly five years now,” Emry replies.
He tells the agent he fears LeAnn was killed back in January 2003.
Find “Hannibal,” he says. “That’s who murdered my daughter.”
FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing and Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher interview Steven Holley at the federal prison in Florence, Colo.
They learn that his girlfriend, LeAnn Emry, had been with Scott Kimball in the month before she disappeared on Jan. 29, 2003.
Holley, who spent time in the same unit as Kimball at FCI-Englewood in 2002, said Kimball went by the name “Hannibal.”
The Utah site where LeAnn Emry's remains were found. (Courtesy of Howard Emry)
During a second hunt for bodies, Scott Kimball leads investigators to a wash in Bryson Canyon.
FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing is the first to find a bone and then additional remains. They are later determined to be LeAnn Emry’s, based on DNA from her parents, Darlene and Howard Emry.
Boulder County prosecutor Katharina Booth said coming upon Emry’s bones was extremely emotional and moving.
A fragment of a brass-jacketed bullet is found the next day in the area where LeAnn’s skull would have been located when she was killed.
In a separate search for Jennifer Marcum’s remains, which Kimball insists are nearby, nothing is found.
Amy Okubo, also a chief deputy with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, said Kimball knows exactly where Marcum is and was simply “messing with us.”
Scott Kimball at his sentencing hearing in the Boulder County Justice Center. Camera file photo
Scott Kimball pleads guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of LeAnn Emry, Jennifer Marcum, Kaysi McLeod and Terry Kimball, and is sentenced to 70 years in prison.
In an emotional hearing at the Boulder County Justice Center, the victims’ families finally have a chance to face the man who killed their loved ones.
LeAnn Emry’s mother said her daughter was “no more important to him than the carcass of a dead animal.”
“He made the deliberate choice to murder, and he made that choice at least four times,” Darlene Emry said through tears.
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LeAnn Emry’s family holds her memorial service at Payette Church of the Nazarene in Payette, Idaho, just a few weeks before getting her remains back from the FBI.
Howard Emry remembers his daughter as a smart student who loved animals.
He says LeAnn’s murder “taught me the lesson of forgiveness.”
“I still have moments of sadness for what happened to LeAnn because I will always miss her, but God has given me the strength to forgive the man who caused this grief,” he says.
Read Howard Emry’s eulogy of his daughter. (PDF)
Kaysi McLeod is laid to rest in Wheat Ridge, 6 1/2 years after Scott Kimball murdered her, and a few weeks after the FBI returned her remains to her family.
About 200 friends and well-wishers — including Howard Emry and Bob Marcum, whose daughters Kimball also killed — attend a memorial service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Kaysi’s divorced parents, Lori and Rob McLeod, walk down the aisle together as their 19-year-old daughter’s flower-draped casket is wheeled toward the altar.
“Life was not always easy, but her glass was always half full,” says Mike Harmon, a Baptist pastor and Lori McLeod’s half-brother. “She knew the Lord. She’s with him today.”
Then, the congregation gathers graveside in Crown Hill Cemetery as Kaysi is placed in the ground.