Kaysi as a baby. (Courtesy of Rob McLeod)
Kaysi McLeod is born in Westminster, Colo., to Rob and Lori McLeod.
She would grow up to love jewelry-making, drawing, dancing and music, especially Sarah McLachlan, said her mother.
“She didn’t ever talk back,” Lori McLeod said. “I got very lucky.”
But Kaysi tested her boundaries like any adolescent. She smoked, pierced her bellybutton, got tattoos — a four-leaf clover with the Virgo sign on her foot and a fairy on the small of her back.
Kaysi at age 6. (Courtesy of Rob McLeod)
Kaysi moved to Phoenix at age 15 because she needed some time away from her parents, who divorced when she was 6 and didn’t agree on how to raise her, said her maternal aunt, Donna Harper.
“I gave her consistency,” Harper said.
In Arizona, Kaysi worked at a skating rink in her spare time, even driving the Zamboni around the ice.
Tabetha Blow, her best friend there, said Kaysi had a “passion for life” but ended up falling in with a bad crowd.
Kaysi and her father, Rob McLeod. (Courtesy of Rob McLeod)
Kaysi McLeod graduates from high school in Phoenix, where she had been living with her aunt.
While she was there, Kaysi started dabbling with prescription drugs, then meth. Friends said she was losing weight fast and “wasn’t herself anymore.”
After graduation, Kaysi returned to Colorado to live with her mother, who’s convinced she was getting off drugs and turning a corner in her life.
Rob McLeod (Mark Leffingwell / Camera)
Reading a Westword article about a billboard erected for Jennifer Marcum, Rob McLeod spots Scott Kimball’s name.
McLeod’s ex-wife is still married to Kimball, who lived with their 19-year-old daughter, Kaysi McLeod, when she went missing three years earlier.
McLeod calls Jennifer’s father, Bob Marcum, who mentioned Kimball’s name to the Westword reporter as an acquaintance she stayed with before vanishing.
“Now we’ve got two people missing, and there’s only one commonality — Scott Kimball,” McLeod said.
Terry Kimball in 2002. (Courtesy of Karen Johnson)
Bob Marcum, who has flown out to Colorado, meets with Rob and Lori McLeod to search for clues to their daughters’ whereabouts.
They drive to Scott Kimball’s former condo in Lakewood, where Jennifer had left her furniture, and talk to the manager there.
They scope out his former Adams County property, and a nearby field where Kimball had run cattle. A pit on the property contains the bones of slaughtered cows.
Convinced that Kimball has claimed more victims, Marcum asks the others: “Is there anyone else Scott Kimball has been around who you’ve never seen again?”
In fact, Lori McLeod responds, Scott’s uncle Terry had vanished a couple of years ago after living with them for several weeks.
“She said it like she had never thought about it before,” Marcum said.
(Date is approximate.)
Bob Marcum and Rob McLeod meet with Lafayette police Detective Gary Thatcher, who is investigating Kimball for check fraud, about their missing daughters.
They ask to have a bone pit on Kimball’s cattle pasture searched for human remains, but police find nothing.
The two fathers also meet with the FBI at the bureau’s Denver office and explain the similarities in their daughters’ cases. They tell the FBI about Terry Kimball, too, saying they don’t buy that he ran off to Mexico.
“You can look into this and see if it goes anywhere, or you can choose not to,” McLeod tells the bureau. “It’s your choice.”
FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing. (Marty Caivano/Camera)
After Bob Marcum and Rob McLeod meet with the FBI about their missing daughters, Special Agent Jonathan Grusing is assigned to investigate the missing-persons cases surrounding Scott Kimball.
Working with Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher, Grusing launches an exhaustive investigation, looking for clues that Kimball had transitioned from a white-collar criminal to a serial killer.
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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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.