Kentucky 99 - The Jessica Dishon case
(SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky.) -- It's the case that continues to haunt many in Kentuckiana: the murder of 17-year-old Jessica Dishon. Charges and suspects have come and gone, but the case has never been solved. Now the Bullitt County Sheriff has hired a new investigator in the hopes of bringing the family some closure.
News of a new investigator brings a glimmer of hope to Jessica's parents, Mike and Edna Dishon, who, after nearly eight years, still have no answers in their daughter's death. The teen was found beaten, strangled and dumped in the woods a few miles from her home in September of 1999, 17 days after she was apparently abducted from the driveway of her home as she was getting in her car to drive to school.
The Dishons say they've suffered years of disappointment, including what they believe was a bungled investigation from the beginning.
Mike says "Jessica's car was sitting out there, you know, anybody with common sense knows if you're going to search a car, you have to wear gloves!"
The Dishon's are thankful new Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell has hired former LMPD homicide detective Larry Carroll. "Anything he wants us to do, we'll help him," Mike said. "I have files in here so if he needs to look through our files, fine."
"We're excited and we're hopeful that maybe they can figure out who done it," Edna said.
Carroll, a respected and experienced retired cold case investigator, is anxious to give the complicated case a fresh set of eyes. "It would only serve the family of Jessica Dishon if this could be solved," he said.
Carroll has a difficult task in front of him. In 2003, the Commonwealth dismissed kidnapping and murder charges against the prime suspect, David "Bucky" Brooks after a mistrial. There was no retrial, due to a lack of evidence.
Then, in April 2006, a person of interest in the case, Jason Dunsford, was killed in a car crash. But Sheriff Tinnell believes the case deserves another look, for the sake of the community and Jessica's family. So he found money in the budget, and after talking with other homicide detectives, he knew he had the right man for the job.
"Larry Carroll's name was the first one to come up," Tinnell said. "He's an excellent investigator and he knows what he's doing."
Carroll, a deputy coroner in Jefferson County will work part time on the case.
Edna says any time devoted to their daughter is appreciated. "The hole will always be there but, it will give me some sense of relief knowing that maybe she can rest now."
The Sheriff says he looked outside the department for the special investigator because his current detectives already have so many new cases, they can hardly keep up.
Carroll will also take a look at some other unsolved cases in Bullitt County, but his first priority will be to find out what happened to Jessica Dishon.
Police believe missing teen was abducted
Her car, keys, purse were in the driveway
The Bullitt County Sheriff's Department is treating the case of a missing teen-ager as an abduction.
Sheriff Paul Parsley said Jessica Dishon, 17, was last seen by her family shortly before 7 a.m. Friday.
"Everything we've seen appears like an abduction," Parsley said.
On Saturday, the Sheriff's Department and the county's Disaster and Emergency Services used dogs to search a farm and a wooded area near Jessica's Deatsville Road home and found nothing. Yesterday, volunteers driving all-terrain vehicles searched the same general area with no success.
Jessica's mother, Edna Dishon, first suspected something was wrong when she got home from work about 1:30 p.m. Friday and found her daughter's car still in the driveway.
Inside the car she found her daughter's cellular phone, one shoe and her car keys on the floor. In the back seat were two textbooks, her book bag, her work clothes, a bottle of water and her purse. On the driver's seat, a piece of molded plastic had been ripped away and sat in the well of the seat.
Edna Dishon said no money had been taken from her daughter's purse. Her checkbook was also undisturbed.
Edna Dishon said her daughter usually left the house at 7:15 a.m. for the eight-mile drive to Bullitt Central High School. Jessica's mother and her father, Mike Dishon, had left the house before their daughter.
Edna Dishon said she's upset with Bullitt Central because school officials didn't call her to tell her that Jessica wasn't at school. Bullitt Central principal Ron Dunlevy said last night that he's not sure whether Jessica's parents were called on Friday.
Jessica's best friend, Sarah Bailey, 17, said Jessica was scheduled to work with her at the Hardee's Restaurant in Shepherdsville Friday. She said she had never known Jessica to miss work or to go anywhere without her purse.
"She wouldn't have just left," Sarah said.
On the kitchen table in the Dishons' house, surrounded by baked goods brought by relatives and friends, lay a stack of fliers with Jessica's picture and a description of what she was wearing when she disappeared. Edna Dishon believes she may have been wearing jeans and a yellow Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt with red or orange letters.
Her hair, which in the picture is long and brown, has been bobbed and dyed strawberry blonde. Jessica weighs 112 pounds and stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall.
Jessica's friends and relatives are posting the fliers on church bulletin boards and at convenience stores and gas stations in Shepherdsville, Bardstown and across Bullitt County.
Anyone with information about Jessica's disappearance is urged to call the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department at (502) 955-7804.
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