Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2001

Parents still hope to find missing son

June 21, 2001

Harold and Alberta Leach recently hung another computer-enhanced picture of what their son might look like today at the age of 31.

Hanging the pictures around Linwood has become a routine since their son, Randy Wayne Leach, who was a senior at Linwood High School, disappeared in April 1988.

They hung the signs in hope that someday the telephone would ring and a voice on the other end would put to rest a mystery that has haunted them for the last 13 years. It is a mystery that sparked one of the biggest investigations in Leavenworth County history, pooling law enforcement resources from all over the area.

Yet, the Leaches are no closer to finding Randy than they were the night he disappeared.

The couple has heard all the rumors about what might have happened to their son, but they still maintain the hope that someday he will return.

"Not knowing what happened or where he is, is the toughest thing," Alberta said. "You have to have hope. They have never told us in any way that he is dead, but we still have hope that he is still out there. We need closure. We need to know."

Since his disappearance, there has been no trace of Randy or the car he was driving that night. And, over the years, the Leaches have had to deal with rumors saying Randy met his death through satanic practices, a body hanging in a cave and the possibility of his body being in a lake.

Investigators said none of these rumors turned out any solid leads.

Alberta and Harold have been critical through the years about the general direction of the investigation and even campaigned publicly against former Leavenworth County Sheriff Terry Campbell in 1990.

"We don't want to be critical, we just want them to find our son," Alberta said.

The case now sits with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and according to KBI officials, there is a possibility of reopening the case.

KBI officials said the case is still a missing person's case and that a meeting is being planned for the KBI and the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office to discuss what options are left for an investigation.

"We want to see if there is anything else we can do," KBI agent Bill Delaney said. "We have talked about revisiting the case. There are people out there that know what happened that night. The case needs to be solved for the families sake."

Delaney said although the case is still considered a missing person it could be moved to a homicide investigation without a body.

"Technically, it is a missing person case, but I think it is obvious he has met with foul play," Delaney said.

Leavenworth County Sheriff Herb Nye said although there have been numerous leads in the case that never panned out; the case is not closed and needs to be solved.

"It would be a feather in our cap if we could solve that thing," Nye said. "Someone out there knows something that could help us find Randy."

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