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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  December 21, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PST

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feels like sanctuary. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales. thanks for watching. ks for watc. acet i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie moralis. >> and this is "dateline." >> i don't go undercover every day. that's what made me nervous. >> they had a secret plan. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> to solve a baffling case. a college student on a friday night out who vanished. >> she was a very shy girl but she was something special. >> the possible suspects just about everyone. the friend, her boyfriend, the mysterious older man. even her mom. >> i was shocked that they even suspected me. >> so why were police at a dead end? enter this guy. >> he sees things other cops don't see?
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>> phenomenal. >> they call him the evidence whisperer. he's about to crack this case open before your eyes. >> the answer was in the details? >> it was right there. >> and you won't believe how. >> you walk out of there thinking, i spoofed him. it worked. >> i hoped. i wasn't quite sure. >> hello, and welcome to "date line." 20-year-old lynsie ecland told her mother everything, or so she believed. after a night out of clubbing, nancy thought she was at a sleepover with friends, and that wasn't the only secret she was hiding. it would take years buried in a pile of lies but could they find lynsie? here's josh mankowicz with "the night lynsie disappeared."
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sometimes the facts are as clear as the southern california sky, but other times you have to know where to look to see the truth. this man has made a career of noticing what others do not. >> what's his reputation? >> meticulous investigator. just pours over the volumes of evidence and finds things that other investigators did not find. >> the evidence whisperer? >> correct. >> that night i went out -- >> does this man act guilty? does he know more than he's saying? >> well, i didn't know anything was going on, all right? i was just like, where's lynsie? >> what about this man? can you believe the story he's telling? >> i was supposed to pick her up twice and she was so out of character. she didn't show up on either day. >> the evidence whisperer wasn't present at either of those interviews, but watching them helped him solve the mystery of what happened to a vivacious young woman and bring answers to
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the mother who loved her. >> i was always proud of her. she was a real fighter. >> lynsie ekelund arrived on july 27th, 1980. she was the youngest of three. maybe that fighting spirit isn't visible in her photos, but her mother nancy said it was always there. lynsie had a passion for animals. she helped out in her spare times at the local shelter. kim davidson who worked at lynsie's middle school remembers that she had a sense of compassion. >> i was freezing cold and i didn't bring a jacket that day. i felt these little hands up on my shoulder and a sweater come up around me and i turned. up around me and i turned. she said, i just can't stand watching you shiver. >> lynsie gave back in other ways. she would lie about her age to give blood.
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her left arm was paralyzed. left leg impaired. >> did she ever talk about how she was impaired? >> she had brought it up to me. she said she was in a car accident and thrown when she was a little girl but very, very just like matter of fact. >> but growing up lynsie needed so much care, her mother was with lynsie like a shadow. >> she was my only purpose in my life is to make her as normal as she could be. >> by the time kim met lynsie, lynsie's dad and brothers had moved away. kim remembers a very tight family unit of just two. >> how close were lynsie and nancy? >> unbelievably. extremely. >> when she reached adolescence, she changed the spelling of her name from this to this. by high school there were girlfriends, even some boyfriends, and by the time she was 20 after so many years of mom and daughter being each other's best friends and
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confidantes, lynsie began to keep some things to herself like where she was headed one night in february 2001. >> does it make any sense that she would lie to you about what she was doing that night? >> i've never known her to lie to me but you don't know what you don't know. >> it was a friday night. lynsie was in college part time and working but still living at home. she told her mom that instead of their usual friday night dinner she was staying the night with a girlfriend named andrea, someone nancy had never met. and then a young man named chris came to the door to pick lynsie up. >> she introduces you to this guy chris? did chris say hello to you? was he polite, good manners? >> uh-huh. >> but nancy said something felt wrong. >> i had a feeling about him. >> what feeling? >> i don't know. >> but you put it aside? >> uh-huh. >> of course, nancy was used to
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things feeling wrong. she had spent so many years worrying about lynsie. it was a struggle to let go, but she did. >> the last thing i said to her was remember your seat belt and she looks over her shoulder and she said, back at you, mom, love you. that's the last thing she said to me. >> nancy locked up the house and went to bed. the next day lynsie was supposed to call after she was done tutoring two girls from the neighborhood, but when the call never came, nancy drove over and found out lynsie never showed up at her job. >> all of a sudden my daughter is not where she's supposed to be. she had taught these little girls like for four months about. >> and you have no way of reaching her? >> i had no way. >> nancy ekelund was frantic. >> i started calling hospitals. i called the morgue. to see if there was a jane doe in the morgue. >> there was no jane doe. most people who disappear, they
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come back in a couple of days. >> if not, 24 hours, yes. >> is that what you thought was going to happen? >> i think we did. >> she was a detective with the police department. >> we had no unidentified bodies? >> you checked the e.r.? >> we checked everybody, everything. there was no sign. it was as if she had vanished. >> coming up -- >> when was the last time you saw lynsie. >> a week ago now. >> no, i don't think so. >> when "dateline" continues. only thermacare ultra pain relieving cream has 4 active ingredients to fight pain 4 different ways. get powerful relief today, with thermacare. of a lifetime. it's "progressive on ice." everything you love about car insurance -- the discounts...
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her daughter was missing. nancy ekelund began handing out flyers and counting the days without lynsie ticking them off on little post-it notes. she also went to talk with detective corrine lumis from the police department. nancy wanted corrine to know about her lynsie, about where she was, they were best friends. it was a speech corrine had heard before. >> it's typical with family members when they report a missing person, sometimes they give you the idea that this is an idyllic family life because i think there's a fear that if they don't paint a very rosie picture of this person that we're not going to be sympathetic and look for them. >> that you're not going to work hard? >> that we're not going to work hard.
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i think there was a little bit of that with nancy. >> they were working the case. they brought in the usual suspects, like the boyfriend. >> when you were dating she wasn't dating anyone else to your knowledge? >> no. >> his name is matthew ramirez. he was at college with lynsie. they had been off and on a bit but then -- >> when i went to her house thursday she was like, i want to break up. >> as can happen with young romance, what was off was soon back on. lynsie and matt were back together in time for the weekend but not in time to make plans for that friday night. >> she said i'm going to san diego with chris and everyone. i'm like, have fun. be careful. she's like, okay. >> then in came the last person >> then in came the last person
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to have seen her, chris mcamis, 21 years old, out of school. he told the cops he was unemployed. lynsie had met him through friends four months prior and it turned out he never drove lynsie to andrea's house for a sleepover. chris said that was a lie she made to tell her mother. the real story was to go clubbing in san diego. >> don't tell my mom we're going clubbing in san diego. definitely don't tell her that we're clubbing. >> chris told police that when their night of clubbing went bust, they headed home earlier than expected. he dropped off the other girls, he said, and then headed to lynsie's house. >> chris said it was after 4:00 a.m. when he finally got back here to lynsie's neighborhood. he said lynsie was worried about her mom hearing the truck. chris said she asked to be dropped off at the corner. that sounded strange to police until they heard from lynsie's friends that at other times she had asked to be dropped off right here. chris said he then drove home and police even found a photo
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from a bank atm of what looked like chris's truck heading north on the right street at the right time. to the cops chris's story added up. and that was when police learned matthew and chris were not the only men in lynsie's life. there was someone else both matthew and chris had mentioned to investigators, an older man who drove lynsie around. no one knew his name. they had heard lynsie refer to him as her friend. >> all anybody knows him by. >> as her friend? >> yeah. >> nancy had no idea lynsie was friends with any older man. she was about to find out. >> two die >> you get a phone call? >> yes. >> you're pretty much at your whit's end. >> yes. >> the phone rings and it's
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marty. >> yes. >> did you know a marty? >> no. >> did lynsie know a marty? >> no. >> marty went to pick lynsie up and she wasn't there. he had money for lynsie's that she needed for tuition. none of that made any sense to nancy. >> nancy, the mother gets a phone call from a guy named marty. >> marty rossler. >> what did marty say? >> marty says he's befriended lynsie. he's a friend of lynsie's and he's concerned because he hadn't heard from her. >> what did you learn about marty rosler? >> marty rosler was not marty rosler. he had a relationship with lynsie he hadn't told his wife about. he told police he would pick lynsie up and give her rides but that was about it. marty was 58. >> she was 20? >> she was 20. >> they were boyfriend and girlfriend? >> don't think so. >> so police brought in marty. over two days they recorded
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interviews. sometimes on video, sometimes on audiotape. >> you saw lynsie? >> a week ago now. >> no, i don't think so. >> absolutely. >> absolutely not. >> marty said that he had last seen lynsie the day is that she went to san diego on that friday. >> did you believe him? >> we really didn't believe him. >> they didn't believe him because of a tip they had received, a clerk at a local clothing store had said she had seen lynsie and a much older man who matched marty's description together at her store after the day lynsie went missing. >> i wasn't there on that day, okay? i have been in that store, all right and i'm -- i said, i'm -- i'm -- i'm identifiable. every place that i went would know that i was in there with her, okay? >> it was a very long interview.
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>> friendly? >> no. i remember drilling down on him because i really thought that he lynsie was. >> you're a parent? >> yes. >> how many children? >> two. >> if you had a child that vanished, vaporized in thin air, would your heart not be broken? >> oh, absolutely. >> do you not feel some compassion for nancy. >> unbelievable. i think this is a nice girl and, you know, this family's had their share of hard -- you know, hardships. i feel so helpless. >> i don't think you are helpless. if you can help us. >> marty insisted he couldn't, that he didn't know what had happened to lynsie. detectives weren't buying it. >> have you harmed lynsie?
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>> no. >> each by accident? accidents happen? >> i never touched her. never touched her. >> okay. >> this girlst -- >> have you put her someplace where she's left? >> no, no. >> police searched marty's home and found nothing, no proof that marty had anything to do with lynsie's disappearance, so they moved on to a new suspect, someone closer to lynsie than anyone else on earth. "dateline" returns after the break. man: sneezes
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♪ nancy and lynsie had been
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together all lynsie's life. now alone, nancy waited, ticking off the days, in the dark about where her daughter was and about the pace of the investigation. police were not keeping her in the loop, so nancy was delighted when they called to say they were coming to visit. >> you look at the boyfriend, matthew? >> uh-huh. >> you look at marty, the older guy, the relationship nobody knew about, he denies it? >> right. >> you look at chris. he says, i dropped her off, i never saw her again. >> right. >> and you look at lynsie's mother. >> we did look at lynsie's mother, you have to. >> so i made my cookies and all this kind of silly stuff that i always do. >> coffee, right? >> yeah. >> the cops weren't coming for coffee. they arrived with a search warrant, shovels and cadaver dogs. >> i was shocked that they even suspected me.
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i didn't know what even a search warrant was. >> the house nancy and lynsie had once shared was torn apart. >> how much of a suspect was nancy? >> i don't know that nancy was on the radar for a long time. she was on the radar long enough to be able to set her aside. >> after that search, they did just that. they believed this anguished mother had nothing to do with the disappearance of her daughter, so they took nancy off the list. they also took off the boyfriend, matthew. he had an alibi that held up, putting him somewhere else at the time lynsie went missing. so that left just two. >> i haven't seen her since that day. >> marty, who police didn't trust because of his secret relationship with lynsie and because he had lied about his identity, and the man who dropped lynsie off at that corner, the last person to see her before she vanished, chris mccanus.
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>> go on in here. do you remember connie loomis? >> yes. >> april 2002, more than a year after lynsie went missing detectives decided to start over. they brought chris mccanus back to see if his story still held up. >> i really would like to think that lynsie has been like either abducted or something happened to her, i'd really rather think that she's with friends or something like that. >> police turned up the heat. >> let's cut the bull and get down to nitty-gritty and strip away the unlikely things. my pollyanna mind all things in a perfect world, aid like to focus. >> it's a possibility she's dead. >> right. >> police thought chris seemed oddly calm talking about a friend who may have been murdered. >> if it turns out stb killed her, what do you think should happen?
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>> find them. >> when i find them, then what? >> they go to jail. >> how long do you think they should go to jail? >> as long as it takes. >> like what? >> for a while. should go to jail for a while. >> that's as strong as you could get out of him? >> that's as strong as we could get out of him. >> not he ought to go to heel or i'd personally electrocute him. >> i'd personally electrocute him, i should get the gas chamber, she was my friend, she didn't deserve that, she wouldn't hurt a fly. there was nothing. >> his lack of emotion was suggestive that perhaps chris should move to the top of the list, but it was not evidence. after the interview chris mcamos was free to leave and detectives weren't any closer to learning what happened to lynsie ekelund, and neither was nancy, who remained convinced her daughter would one day just come home.
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>> you thought that one day she would walk back through the door? >> yes. >> she believed it because she wanted to and because over the years several people had told her they'd seen lynsie. >> they never saw the front of her face. they always saw the back of her, and i held on to every word they said. >> it was torture for nancy, no matter what version of events you believed, and police still weren't telling her anything. >> nancy during all of this time feels like she's been sort of cut out of the loop. >> yes, nancy was pretty angry. we worked this case diligently for a long time. at some point you hit the wall. >> at the time there were nine detectives in placentia working everything, drugs, gangs, rape, murder and cold cases. by 2008 it was clear placentia pd had hit that wall. they would need help on this one, and who they needed was a
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guy named larry. >> tell me about larry. >> larry is phenomenal. >> phenomenal because, what, he sees things other cops don't see? >> phenomenal because he sees things cops don't see. i don't know anybody who could have done a better job than larry. >> the evidence whisperer was about to listen to what the facts of this case were really saying. was there something that police had missed? you bet. coming up, that picture of the truck spotted on the night of the crime, something about it just doesn't seem right but the evidence whisperer is all over it when "dateline" continues. filled with soft surfaces that trap odors and release them back into the room. so, try febreze fabric refresher febreze finds odors trapped in fabrics (bubbles popping) and cleans them away as it dries. use febreze every time you tidy up
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air force's space program. facebook is removing hundreds of fake accounts it says originated in foreign countries. tech companies have stepped up efforts to tackle disinformation ahead of the 2020 election. now back to "dateline". ♪ welcome back to "dateline". i'm craig melvin. where was lynsie ekelund? the investigation was at a standstill. detectives had two possible suspects but no evidence linking either to her disappearance. enter cold case detective larry montgomery, also known as the evidence whisperer. could he uncover crucial clues so many others missed. here again is josh marchinkiewi
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with "the light lynsie disappeared. >> by 2008 lynsie ekelund had been missing for seven years. the case had gone from cold to frozen in time, so the placentia pd decided to outsource the investigation to the cold case unit at the orange county da's office to a guy named larry montgomery. with more than 30 years working homicide, larry's put away his share of bad guys, not usually by knocking on doors. instead, larry works by looking very closely at the evidence. he doesn't work fast. in fact, larry is meticulously slow, and that was just what this cold case needed. >> was there anything in the original investigation that struck you as something that you needed to reexamine? >> everything. >> everything that had led placentia police into that wall, trying to decide between two suspects. >> i mean i'm concerned about this girl, okay, you know? and she's missing. >> marty, lynsie's older friend who kept their relationship a
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secret and lied about his name, and chris. >> in my heart it seems like she might be still alive. >> the last person known to have seen lynsie when he dropped her off at that corner. >> at that point, any idea on your part which of those two was the more likely suspect? >> no, i don't know until i get into it and see the details. >> you're no doubt aware that you have a reputation for believing that, i don't know, god's in the details but guilt is in the details? >> and innocence. >> guilty or innocent, was it marty or chris? larry even considered another possibility. could it have been random, someone who had seen lynsie at just the wrong time? >> so you've got a bad guy just waiting, hoping that a girl drops out of a car at 4:25 in the morning. >> it happens. >> yes, you consider it and then you weigh it. is that a good possibility? probably not, but still you keep
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an open mind. >> so larry sat down and read through the entire case file, all of the witness statements, all the interviews. he did that for two years. >> here we go down the road again. >> he watched the february 2001 interview that police did with a very unhappy marty. >> doesn't it strike you as tremendously suspicious that marty would call after lynsie disappears, talk to lynsie's mother and give a phony name? >> if you didn't know the background of marty, then absolutely. >> when i talked to the mother on the phone, i just gave an identifier, okay. i mean marty resler, that's what i said. >> which is a lie. >> which is a lie. >> watching that interview, larry chalked up marty's dishonesty as an attempt to save his marriage. >> i don't want my wife to be brought into this thing. >> larry also took a closer look at the idea that marty and lynsie were together at that
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clothing store after she went missing. >> i flat wasn't there on that day, okay? >> no one ever found any security video of that and larry's learned over the years that well-meaning people often get dates wrong, and larry learned a key fact. marty had actually participated in those early searches for lynsie. >> you eliminated marty fairly quickly then? >> yes. >> marty's behavior matched up with that of an innocent person, not with a guilty one? >> that's correct. he is actually doing exactly what you would do if you were looking for lynsie. he was searching. >> so larry mopt gomntgomery tu his attention to chris mcamis. guilty or innocent? chris was the last person known to be with lynsie. he told police he drove straight home after dropping lynsie offer, and police found that photo of what looked like his truck heading north away from lynsie's neighborhood which took him past this atm camera.
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>> the video from the atm camera, police at the time saw that as not iron clad proof that chris was telling the truth but suggestive that what he said he actually did? >> correct. >> but when larry compared photos of chris's truck with the photos from the bank, he saw something no one else had noticed. the paint on the back of the side view mirrors on chris's truck was white. >> what about the truck in the photo? >> the truck in the photo had a dark spot in that area, which means whatever mirrors were there, if there were mirrors there, they were black. >> so it is not the same truck? >> that's right, it's not. >> suddenly chris's alibi had a very big hole in it. larry moved on to chris's history with women. two ex-girlfriends talked to police about how chris would become unhinged by rejection or what he called disrespect. larry heard about how chris had once crushed a pet crab with a
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hammer right in front of one of his girlfriends because he thought the crab had killed one of his fish. >> this is a guy with some significant anger issues. >> it certainly appears that way. >> she told me it was from a car accident. >> larry listened to chris's interviews and caught him talking some of the time about lynsie in the past tense. >> hand was pretty much stuck like this. >> okay. >> then larry found something in the paperwork from placentia pd that proved chris mcamis had lied to the police early on about his whereabouts on saturday, fen 17th, t -- februa 17th, the day lynsie didn't come home. chris had told the cops he stayed close to home, but larry checked chris's credit card statement. >> there was one entry on february 17th and it turns out it was santa clarita which is 50 miles north of where chris lived. >> why would chris be in santa
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clarita? >> well, that's what i wanted to know. >> digging through the reports, larry found information about chris's dad, that he was in construction and that in 2000 and 2001 he had a job site in santa clarita. >> you can't tell now, but back in 2001 this was a major construction site. now, chris had told police that he did not work for his dad that winter, that he was on unemployment, but larry saw some big cash deposits going into chris's bank account in addition to his unemployment checks, so he thought that chris might have been working for his dad off the books, and larry came up here to ask around. >> and they told you that it was chris's father's construction company? >> chris's father did some of the tractor work at that tight. >> and chris worked there? >> and chris was one of the tractor drivers that the superintendent said was there every day. >> is this where you thought to yourself, that's where lynsie ekelund is? >> i thought chances are excellent that if i had killed
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lynsie and i was in chris mcamis's situation and i had use of a tractor out in the middle of nowhere, i might use that tractor to dig a hole to put her in. >> now all the evidence whisperer had to do was prove it coming up -- an undercover operation. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> when "dateline" continues. on. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair.
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it was october of 2019, nine years after her daughter disappeared. nancy ekelund was still waiting and doing what she could. she was not at 3,535 days without lynsie. she didn't know it but a few miles away larry montgomery was tightening the noose around chris mcamis. larry had recruited a motorcycle cop from a nearby town to go undercover. >> they needed a police officer who looked like a college student and didn't have the mannerisms of a police officer. >> spring sandelli was that officer. >> how were you dressed? >> jeans on and just a little shirt. something that a college student would wear. >> were you armed? >> yes. >> and you were wearing a wire? >> yes. >> hi. are you chris? >> yes. >> hi. my name is nicole anderson.
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i'm from the "college sports magazine." >> okay. >> officer sandelli was posing as a student reporter complete with a phony press pass. she knocked on chris's front door. chris had talked to a student reporter from lynsie's college in the past about the case. >> did you use your real name? >> no, i used a fake name. told him who i was. >> we just received word at "the torch" magazine that remains have been found that they believe belong to lynsie. i guess they're doing dna testing right now, and in the meantime i'm supposed to go contact friends, family, to get their initial reaction for a story. >> okay. >> when i told him that the police believed they found lynsie's remains his demeanor changed. >> how? >> quite drastically, actually. i could see that the color in his face went white. >> the police had not found lynsie's remains, that was a lie. police do it all the time and it is legal.
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in fact, larry had tried to find lynsie up at the construction location where chris had worked and he had gotten some interest from cadaver dogs, but nothing more. just down the street from chris's house, bryce angel of the placentia pd who had been assigned to work with larry, was listening and keeping an eye on the action. >> so you're watching him while this interview happens on his front doorstep? >> yes. i was sitting, you know, ten houses down watching the reporter or the undercover police officer. once she left the area, we were in business. >> what happens? >> later that night he was seen come img out of his house and going into the garage. lights go on, and we're talking like 3:00 in the morning. it was clearly a sign of somebody who couldn't sleep. >> detectives were sure that they had rattled their suspect. the next day they trailed chris when he left his house. >> at some point it became apparent that he knew that we were following him. >> they broke off surveillance
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and brought chris in. >> chris, have a seat. >> larry had red all about chris mcamis and he had looked at tape of every time chris had been in for an interview. >> here is what the situation is -- >> today he and chris were going to meet for the first time. >> i have been investigating this case for about two years now as a cold case investigator. >> larry had a plan to get chris to talk without asking for a lawyer. >> you probably want to know what is going on, what is happening, why you're sitting here. >> larry promised to fill him in on the case in detail, thinking chris would want to know if the cops had the goods and then maybe he would have something to say. >> since you are under arrest i do have to advise you of your rights, which i will do in a moment. after that i would like to explain to you everything. >> larry read chris his rights, and then before chris could really respond, larry laid out his case. he said he knew chris had never dropped lynsie off that night because the atm photo that had
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first fooled investigators actually proved chris wasn't there. >> it wasn't your truck, but for years it was thought of that it was your truck. it is not. matter of fact, your truck did not go by that night. it wasn't there. >> he told chris about the credit card statement and how he found someone who remembered chris working on the job site. >> all of a sudden big red flags. you know, you are working, you are out there when you said you were not, but he said you guys don't work on saturday. lynsie disappeared on a saturday morning. none of your credit card usage up there is on any weekend. all of it is on weekdays except for the day lynsie disappeared, so you're not up there working that day. >> he told the chris the lie about lynsie being found. >> we went and recently got dna from mother and dad of lynsie and had that checked against the body, and it is lynsie. so now we've got lynsie up there right in the area where you
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were, right at the time when you did not drop her off, and we have enough to prove the crime. >> and knowing about chris's anger issues with previous girlfriends, larry summoned up a little empathy to draw chris in. >> i know that you have that ability to be angry, but i don't know what would cause her to get you that angry or what she could have done. >> chris didn't say much until a little body language revealed that larry was on the right track. >> was it a premeditated thing? i didn't think it was. so what did she do? >> larry finished talking. he was hoping chris would give it up. >> i think i need a lawyer to talk to you about this with me. >> well, it is up to you. >> the supreme court has made it pretty clear, if someone
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declares that they want an attorney the interview is supposed to stop until one can be hired or provided. but in this case larry was walking a line, believing that asking for a lawyer isn't the same as wondering if you need one. corrine loomis was watching from another room. >> that's about as close as you can get to the i want a lawyer line without crossing it. >> saying that you want it, yes. >> were you holding your breath? >> yes, it was a make-or-break interview. if he didn't confess he was going to walk again. >> "dateline" returns after the break. break. [sneezing]
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so i do the right thing, because something happened then. >> larry montgomery spoke for 45 minutes. he had given chris everything he had. >> take a look. credit card usage. >> the photo. the job site. >> how long did you know lynsie? >> it is not a very convenient time. >> the phony story about finding the body. and then the interview had suddenly stopped dead. >> i think i need a lawyer to talk to about this, i think. >> well, it's up to you. >> and because chris said i think i need a lawyer, and not i want a lawyer, larry thought whatever came next would be admissible in court.
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detective angel, who had been letting larry do the talking then spoke out. >> i knew that was a moment of trust and interject something quickly. >> nobody wants to be labelled a monster and in this case, that's the way it's pointing. only you have the other side of the story. nobody is going to be able to speak for you. that's why we're here now. the reason everything happens. i'm sure there were some circumstances that happened that night or that morning. >> he kind of sighed and he laid out a story. >> all right, what happened was -- >> and sudden you will, you realize -- >> this is it. he is going to give tup. i was sitting next to the detective from the other agency, and i reached over and grabbed his arm and i said he's going to
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confess. >> it was sad. and it was ugly. >> i was going to take her home. she was telling me why don't we sleep over at your place because i don't want to upset my mom. >> makes sense. >> as larry had suspected, chris never dropped off lynsie at that corner. >> i was kind of, i kind of kissed her and then she elbowed me in the chest. and then i went to my, i went to my kitchen in my apartment, and i drank a lot of vodka, and then i went back and i tried to do the same thing. she pretended to be asleep. and i pulled her pants down, and i was totally drunk.
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she got up, said oh, my god, what are you doing, i'm calling the police. when i got up and walked to her, she tried to knock me out with my phone. with my own phone. >> did she -- >> yeah, like this. to my face. >> okay. >> and being drunk, it enraged me. it set me on fire. and i grabbed her, threw her on to my bed, and i got her into a headlock. >> okay. >> and she died. >> then what did you do? >> then i tried to figure out what i should do because i couldn't believe how it just happened that way. >> quickly, huh? >> i couldn't believe. it i thought she was going to pass out. and i ended up killing her. >> that was it. lynsie had been killed before
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anyone realized she was even missing. chris says he then drove up to the work site, and used a skip loader to dig a hole. he held on to lynsie's body for a few day, and then when no one was around, he buried her. >> does it feel any better to finally know? >> no, because i was really, that was really devastating, there was a reason, but i wasn't any happier because of it. >> after the confession, detectives left chris in the interview room with another detective to watch him, and chris simply could not stop talking. >> unbelievable. >> what's that? >> it's been so long. finally, you know what it feels me better tore me finally just say what you were supposed to say, you know. i know my life is ruined now. you know, if i'm going to get
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the death penalty for this? >> you're going to have to ask them those questions. >> then larry came back, all was meticulous, he wasn't done. he wanted that final detail. >> where approximately did you dig the hole to put her? >> where exactly chris had left lynsie. >> right up in here. >> he explained to chris that even though they found her remains, which wasn't true, the grave site had shifted over the years from flooding. >> we want to look exactly where he dug the hole. >> with the detective, chris had returned to the site that had become lynsie's final resting place. >> and right where this tree is, i pulled my truck over. parked it. >> this tree to our left here? >> uh-huh. right where this tree is. it didn't used to exist there when we had construction. >> okay. >> he wasn't sure of the exact
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spot. >> it's over in this vicinity. >> it should be way up there or way over here. >> from that tree all the way to that brush. >> that brush over there. >> yes. >> it took more than a day of digging to find what was left of lynsie. first, they found a shoe. then a jacket. then a bracelet. that's how nancy knew they'd found her. the coroner confirmed it using dental records. >> the back of my truck was over here. >> two years after he confessed, chris pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. his sentence? 15 years to life. >> you told me that you thought you had let this consume your life too much. >> oh, it did. it does to this day. >> now it is over. what are you going to do? >> i don't know. i knew life is opening up to me, and i don't know, i don't have any answers.
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i just have to get a hold, to get over this. >> that's it for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning, at msnbc world headquarters in new york, it is 6:00 in the east, 3:00 out west and here is the latest. what happens now? new questions about what is next in the president's impeachment case, especially the chances of a speedy trial. >> and what we're talking about now is someone who is morally abusive and a dangerous way. >> trump fights back, after a prominent christian magazine argued he should be removed from office. new light shed on the president's relationship with vladimir putin. did the russian leader plant a seed that blossomed in that phone call with the president of ukraine? >> the first daughter on defense. when asked about how the


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