LONG ISLAND MURDER MYSTERY

December 05, 2018 at 4:30 am

Were bones unearthed from under a Lake Grove home the remains of a father and missing Korean War veteran who disappeared in 1961?

Aired on December 4, 2018.

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>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS," I'M JACK FORD.
A POTENTIAL MURDER MYSTERY IS
UNFOLDING ON LONG ISLAND.
FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS A LAKE GROVE
FAMILY HAD ALWAYS WONDERED WHAT
BECAME OF THEIR MISSING FATHER,
KOREAN WAR VETERAN GEORGE
CARROLL MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED
ONE DAY BACK IN 1961.
HIS SON MICHAEL LONG HAUNTED BY
HIS FATHER'S DISAPPEARANCE TOOK
IT UPON HIMSELF RECENTLY ON A
HUNCH OF SORTS SO START LOOKING
FOR HIM IN OF ALL PLACES HIS
FAMILY HOME.
THAT TOOK PLACE JUST THREE YEARS
AGO, THAT NEW SEARCH.
IRONICALLY ENOUGH, WHAT HE FOUND
AND HOW AND WHERE HE FOUND IT
HAVE SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE
SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS AN
ANTHROPOLOGY GISTS WORK TO
DETERMINE IF THE REMAINS
RECOVERED ARE INDEED THOSE OF
MR. CARROLL.
HERE WITH THE STRANGE AND IN
SOME WAYS INCREDIBLE DETAILS OF
THIS UNRAVELING STORY IS MICHAEL
O'KEEFE FROM LONG ISLAND'S NEWS
DAY.
MICHAEL, WELCOME TO YOU.
>> HI.
WELCOME.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> SO STRANGE AND IN SOME WAYS
INCREDIBLE MIGHT BE AN
UNDERSTATEMENT FOR THIS STORY.
LET ME ASK YOU TO START OFF FOR
OUR VIEWERS BY GIVING THEM A
QUICK RECITATION OF THIS
DISAPPEARANCE BACK IN 1961.
HOW IT HAPPENED.
>> YEAH, SURE.
AS YOU SAID, YOU THIS MAN NAMED
GEORGE CARROLL, HE WAS A FATHER
OF FOUR, HE DISAPPEARS ONE DAY.
HE HAD -- LIKE I SAID, HE HAD
FOUR KIDS, TWO DAUGHTERS AND TWO
SONS, THE OLDEST WAS NINE, THE
YOUNGEST WAS MICHAEL CARROLL, HE
WAS EIGHT MONTHS OLD AT THE
TIME.
THEIR MOTHER, DOROTHY CARROLL,
TOLD THE KIDS THAT HE JUST LEFT
THE HOUSE ONE DAY AND NEVER CAME
BACK.
SO, YOU KNOW, IT HAS BEEN A
57-YEAR MYSTERY.
>> SO WAS THERE EVER ANY MISSING
PERSONS DOCUMENT FILED OR ANY
POLICE INVESTIGATION INTO HIS
DISAPPEARANCE?
>> NO, YOU KNOW, SUFFOLK COUNTY
POLICE WERE UNABLE TO FIND ANY
MISSING PERSON REPORT OR ANY
OTHER REPORT ALONG THOSE LINES.
THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY RECORDS OF
ANY PROBLEMS OR ISSUES, DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE OR OTHER ISSUES AT THE
HOME.
SO, YOU KNOW , THERE'S NO PAPER
TRAIL TO WHAT HAPPENED TO
GEORGE.
>> SO THIS FAMILY THEN GOES
THROUGH LITERALLY DECADES,
MULTIPLE DECADES AND I IMAGINE
THE CHILDREN BELIEVING WHAT THEY
HAD BEEN TOLD, THAT THEIR FATHER
HAD JUST LEFT.
WHAT CHANGES HERE?
WHAT ALL OF A SUDDEN GETS THE
ONE SON TO SAY, I WANT TO START
LOOKING HARDER FOR AN ANSWER TO
THIS MYSTERY?
>> THERE HAD ALWAYS BEEN SORT OF
HINTS AND CLUES AND FAMILY
LEGENDS AND RUMORS AROUND
GEORGE'S DISAPPEARANCE.
SOME PEOPLE SAID THAT HE JUST
ABANDONED THE FAMILY, HE WAS A
KOREAN WAR VETERAN AND SOME
PEOPLE THOUGHT MAYBE HE HAD
RETURNED TO KOREA.
THERE WAS ALSO RUMORS AND HINTS
AND SUGGESTIONS THAT HE WAS
BURIED IN THE BASEMENT, AND THAT
WAS ONE OF THE STORIES THAT
THESE POOR CHILDREN GREW UP
WITH.
SO MICHAEL OVER THE YEARS, YOU
KNOW, HE BOUGHT THE YEARS FROM
HIS MOTHER DOROTHY IN THE 1980s
AND HE BECAME MORE CURIOUS ABOUT
WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HIS FATHER.
AT ONE POINT THEY BROUGHT A
PSYCHIC INTO THE HOUSE AND A
PSYCHIC -- SAY WHAT YOU WILL
ABOUT PSYCHICS, BUT THIS PSYCHIC
SAID, HE'S BURIED HERE.
JUST THIS PAST SUMMER THEY
BROUGHT IN A TEAM OF PARANORMAL
INVESTIGATORS AND THEY SAID THAT
THEY FOUND SOME KIND OF AN
ENERGY IN THE HOUSE THAT ALSO
INDICATED THAT HE WAS BURIED
THERE.
BUT I THINK THE REAL CONCRETE
TURNING POINT HERE WAS WHEN
MICHAEL BROUGHT IN A GUY WHO HAD
GROUND PENETRATING RADAR AND HE
WENT THROUGH THE BASEMENT AND HE
SAID, I CAN DETECT A DISTURBANCE
IN A SPECIFIC SPOT, FIVE OR SIX
FEET UNDERGROUND.
SO MICHAEL HAD BEEN DIGGING UP
THE BASEMENT PRIOR TO THAT, HE
STOPPED BECAUSE HE FEARED IT
WOULD DO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO
THE HOUSE, BUT ONCE HE BROUGHT
IN THE GROUND PENETRATING RADAR,
HIS SONS WHO ARE IN THEIR 20s,
THEY TOOK OVER THE JOB AND THEY
SPENT A LOT OF THEIR FREE TIME
DIGGING AND THEN THE DAY BEFORE
HALLOWEEN THEY FOUND THESE
REMAINS.
>> TELL ME A LITTLE BIT -- FIRST
OF ALL, IT'S INTERESTING AS YOU
SAID, SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT
PSYCHICS OR PARANORMAL FOLKS BUT
THEY APPARENTLY WERE POINTING
FOR WHATEVER REASON IN THE RIGHT
DIRECTION, LITERALLY AND
FIGURATIVELY HERE.
EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENS.
WHAT DID THEY ACTUALLY FIND AS A
CONSEQUENCE OF THIS DIGGING?
>> THEY FOUND HUMAN BONES AND
WHAT WAS INTERESTING IS THAT
THERE WAS NOT VERY -- THERE WAS
VERY LITTLE FLESH, VERY LITTLE
TISSUE LEFT ON THE BONES, THERE
WAS SOME CLOTHING, SOME
MATERIAL, BUT IT WAS PRETTY MUCH
JUST HUMAN BONES.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR THE
INVESTIGATORS IS THAT THE
SKELETON WAS RELATIVELY INTACT
IN THAT, YOU KNOW, IF A BODY IS
BURIED OUTSIDE OR LEFT OUTSIDE,
IT CAN GET DAMAGED BY RAIN AND
WEATHER, ANIMALS CAN DISTURB IT,
FLOOD OR FIRE CAN DAMAGE IT.
SO THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THESE
BONES WERE PRETTY INTACT.
THE BAD NEWS IS THAT THEY'RE SO
OLD THAT IT MAY BE DIFFICULT IF
NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO EXTRACT ANY
KIND OF DNA FROM THOSE TO
DETERMINE JUST WHO THIS PERSON
WAS.
>> GOING BACK TO THE TIME OF THE
DISAPPEARANCE AND TALKING TO THE
SON AND LISTENING TO WHAT HE HAS
TO SAY, DID ANYBODY RECALL THAT
THERE HAD BEEN ANY STRUCTURAL
WORK BEING DONE IN THE BASEMENT
AROUND THE TIME OF THIS
DISAPPEARANCE THAT COULD
POSSIBLY EXPLAIN THIS?
>> YES.
YEAH, THAT WAS ONE OF THE
INTERESTING THINGS HERE.
THE POLICE BELIEVE WHOEVER
BURIED THIS BODY IN THE BASEMENT
HAD UNFETTERED ACCESS TO THE
HOUSE.
THERE WAS CONSTRUCTION GOING ON
AT THE TIME AND THERE WAS A WELL
IN THE HOUSE, THE HOME WAS BUILT
IN 1925 AND AT SOME POINT, I
GUESS, AROUND THIS TIME IN THE
EARLY '60s THEY WERE CAPPING
THAT WELL.
SO THERE WAS BASICALLY A WALL, A
LITTLE STRUCTURE, PUT AROUND
THAT WELL AND THAT IS WHERE THEY
FOUND THE BODY.
SO THAT'S THE CURIOUS THING
ABOUT THIS, THE INTERESTING
THING ABOUT IT, IS THAT WHOEVER
BURIED THAT BODY HAD UNFETTERED
ACCESS TO THE HOUSE.
IT WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS KNOWN TO
THE PEOPLE THAT LIVED THERE.
>> SO HAD THERE BEEN ANY
SUGGESTION -- AND YOU KNOW THIS
AS A JOURNALIST, I'M A FORMER
PROSECUTOR, CRIMINAL DEFENSE
ATTORNEY, I'VE TRIED DOZENS OF
MURDER CASES ON BOTH ENDS AND IT
SURPRISES PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT
YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROVE A MOTIVE
IN ORDER TO GET A CONVICTION IN
A MURDER PROSECUTION, BUT
PROSECUTORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT
WILL ALWAYS TELL YOU A MOTIVE IS
GREAT TO HAVE DRIVING THE
INVESTIGATION.
I KNOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
LITERALLY HALF A CENTURY AGO,
BUT HAS THERE BEEN ANY
SUGGESTION BY THE SON OR ANYBODY
ELSE AS TO ANY POSSIBLE MOTIVE
FOR SOMEBODY BEING INVOLVED IN
THIS WHAT LOOKS TO BE APPARENTLY
A MURDER AND THEN THE BURIAL OF
THE BODY?
HAVE WE HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT
THAT?
>> YEAH, THE SKULL HAD A
FRACTURE IN IT, WHICH SUGGESTS,
ALTHOUGH IT'S NOT A DIRECT
CAUSATION, YOU KNOW, THAT MAYBE
THIS PERSON DIED FROM A TRAUMA
TO THE HEAD, BUT, YOU KNOW, THE
FAMILY HAS BEEN -- THEY'VE BEEN
TRAUMATIZED BY THIS.
SO, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE
SUGGESTED THAT THEY KNOW SOME
THINGS THAT THEY ARE JUST NOT
WILLING TO SHARE.
YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, UNTIL WE
DETERMINE WHO THIS IS, IT'S
REALLY HARD TO SAY WHAT HAPPENED
AND WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE.
THE POLICE HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO
FIND ANYBODY WHO WAS A PEER OF
GEORGE OR DOROTHY'S, SOMEONE WHO
IS ALIVE RIGHT NOW.
DOROTHY DID HAVE A RELATIONSHIP
WITH A MAN SHORTLY AFTER HER
HUSBAND DISAPPEARED AND I
UNDERSTAND THEY GOT MARRIED.
THAT MAN IS NAMED RICHARD DARUS,
HE JUST DIED THIS PAST SUMMER IN
EITHER TEXAS OR MEXICO, LAREDO,
ON A BORDER TOWN.
SO HE -- AND MICHAEL SAID, YOU
KNOW, HE WAS SORT OF THE LAST
GUY WHO WOULD HAVE ANY FIRSTHAND
KNOWLEDGE INTO THIS.
>> SO THEN THE NEXT STEPS WOULD
BE WHAT?
>> I THINK THE NEXT STEP IS TO
DETERMINE IF THIS IS INDEED
GEORGE CARROLL AND IF IT'S NOT
THEN, YOU KNOW, WOW, THIS
MYSTERY JUST REALLY BLOWS UP.
AND THEN IF IT IS HIM, YOU KNOW,
IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR
PROSECUTORS OR, YOU KNOW,
HOMICIDE DETECTIVES TO REALLY
MAKE A CASE HERE BECAUSE THERE
ARE NO WITNESSES THAT THEY'VE
BEEN ABLE TO FIND SO FAR.
YOU KNOW, EVEN THE DNA IS
PROBLEMATIC AT THIS POINT.
SO WE MAY NEVER KNOW WHO THIS
PERSON WAS OR HOW HE OR SHE
DIED.
>> MICHAEL, IT'S A FASCINATING
STORY AND WE APPRECIATE YOU
SPENDING SOME TIME HERE WITH US
AND HELPING TO GUIDE US THROUGH
ALL OF THIS.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME.
WE WILL LOOK FORWARD TO TALK YOU
GO TO YOU AGAIN SOON.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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