When 19-year-old Kaysi McLeod suddenly went missing in August 2003, little did her mother imagine that her remains would be found four years later. ’20/20: Rocky Mountain Horror’ chronicles the investigation that led the police to Kaysi’s killer and reveals how it was someone closer to home than expected. If you are intrigued about the details surrounding the shocking case and the perpetrator’s identity, we have you covered.
How Did Kaysi McLeod Die?
When Lori McLeod began dating Scott Kimball in 2003, she told him about Kaysi McLeod, her daughter from a previous marriage. Although sources said that the latter had gotten into prior trouble with the law and was charged with credit card fraud, she was gradually changing her life around and even recovering from methamphetamine addiction. In fact, when Lori started dating Scott, Kaysi was well on her way toward recovery and even held a part-time job at a local subway. Moreover, friends who knew her described her as a kindhearted and helpful individual determined to make her mother proud.
Besides, the 19-year-old even maintained amicable relationships with most, which made her sudden demise even more shocking. In August 2003, Scott told Lori that he was going on a hunting trip. Surprisingly, Kaysi vanished when he was away on that trip, which took all suspicion away from him. In the meantime, Lori became aware of her daughter’s disappearance when she missed a shift at Subway, even though the police saw her as an adult and refused to register a missing persons case. They claimed that since Kaysi was an adult, she had the right to stay away from home as long as she was not breaking the law.
Once Scott returned from his alleged hunting trip, Lori informed him about the situation, and he tried his best to console her. In addition, he insisted that he would ask his FBI colleagues to look into Kaysi’s disappearance. Still, there was no news of the teen for years, and Lori began fearing the worst with each passing day. In 2007, a hunter found buried human remains in Jackson County, which remained unidentified for a long time. Yet, the police received a significant breakthrough when the remains became a match for Kaysi McLeod. Unfortunately, her cause of death was never determined, but her killer later claimed she died of alcohol, methamphetamine, and oxycontin overdose.
Who Killed Kaysi McLeod?
During the initial investigation, Lori assumed that Kaysi had either run away or been killed by someone who held a grudge against her. Furthermore, she depended on her husband, Scott Kimball, and believed he would use his FBI connections to find her daughter. Surprisingly, he was strangely confident of Kaysi’s survival and assured Lori that she would return safely. Besides, while Scott kept finding the missing girl’s belongings, including her necklace, around the house, he claimed that her makeup kit vanished from her room overnight.
On the other hand, the owner of the property Scott and Lori rented insisted he saw Kaysi and her boyfriend drive by the house. While such developments made Lori believe that her daughter was alive, she soon grew suspicious of her husband. Hence, she started her own investigation and eventually came across Kaysi’s boyfriend, who claimed she was last seen in Scott’s company after she left the motel room he booked in her name. This made him an immediate suspect in the investigation.
Further evidence came forward when Lori searched her husband’s belongings and found her daughter’s handwritten schedule for the last week she worked at the restaurant. Authorities even found Kaysi’s work uniform and personal datebook in Scott’s possession, while a Walden supermarket receipt dated the day after she went missing made things even more suspicious. That was when authorities traveled to Walden and learned that a local farmer had discovered a human skull in Routt National Forest in 2007. It turned out to be a perfect match for the 19-year-old, and the police were convinced of Scott’s involvement in her death.
Incidentally, Scott was also suspected of murdering LeAnn Emry, Jennifer Marcum, and Terry Kimball. Thus, once investigators had evidence that at least one of them was last seen in his company before disappearing, they insisted that they would charge him with second-degree murder if he revealed the locations of his victim’s remains. As a result, Scott led investigators to LeAnn Emry and Terry Kimball’s bodies, even though Jennifer Marcum’s body was never discovered.
Nevertheless, according to the deal, Scott Kimball pled guilty to four counts of second-degree murder and several other charges, including fraud and forgery, which netted him a 70-year prison sentence in 2009. He now remains behind bars at the United States Penitentiary, McCreary, in unincorporated McCreary County, Kentucky.