Skip to main content

tv   Dateline  MSNBC  November 5, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

11:00 pm
drank too much. it was irresponsible, it was reckless. it was short-sighted and regrettable. but i didn't kill joel. >> the idea behind this night at the end of october, is that all that fear, danger and horror are supposed to be imaginary. manufactured for the child living in every one of us. but of course, there is evil out there, sadly, sometimes the horror of halloween is the real thing. >> that is all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie morales. thank you for watching.
11:01 pm
>> something wasn't right at our house. i saw a lot of police cars. that woman was a fighter. she would never make her daughters, she would never do it. >> michelle ran the home. >> she was very proud about how she was going to -- >> law it helped with the kids. >> they had wonderful girls, amazing. >> the end came much too soon. >> she -- and i'm concerned. >> there could be a body hanging from the banister. from first look, it appears that it was a suicide. >> but then they looked closer. >> it appeared there was a struggle. my gut was telling me, there's something wrong here. >> did someone want michel dead? was someone else willing to help? >> at that, point -- >> a bond forged in blood. >> we had the conversation.
11:02 pm
>> betrayed by blood,. >> what are you hoping for? >> some conversation between the two of them of death and we had video surveillance and i didn't like what i see. >> are you theorizing the darkest scenario? >> yes. >> evil. >> the long road to ballerina, the cascade of roses. it begins for ballet school in -- stretching, stressing. >> it's very disciplined, >> an athletic discipline of concentration and body control. earning poise under pressure. >> it took a lot especially when we were young to stick with it, but it was worth it. >> a ballet academy in upstate new york was when she got to know her friend carrie.
11:03 pm
>> i met her when she was very sweet, very bubbly personality. >> both of them were girly girls, but wanted to grow up to be like their dads. >> our dads were both engineers. so we were both going to become engineers. and be professional ballerinas on the side. >> and everyone could see that karrie was very close to her dad, lloyd neurauter. every saturday he'd not only drive his daughter to class in corning, new york. he'd stay to help out. >> he was the only father there that was bringing the kids in the morning at that time. >> mena's mom, cynthia, would see him on those saturdays but rarely his wife. >> instead of doing the children's hair at home, he would always sort of bring them there and brush their hair out and put these buns together. >> with some skill and art? >> yes. and he definitely enjoyed the admiration of the other mothers around him. >> as their daughters rehearsed for the annual nutcracker, cynthia and another friend, rose coluccio, became friendly with lloyd. >> lloyd was, i would say eccentric. always the center of
11:04 pm
attention. >> of course we eventually asked about his wife, and he said that saturday was really her day off. >> lloyd's wife, michele, had a full plate of her own. she had a master's degree in literature but chose to be a full-time mom. home-schooling their kids and taking an active role in charity work. here she is making thanksgiving dinner for the needy at their local church. >> it would be really odd to have thanksgiving at home, just us, and not be here. thanksgiving is celebrating with the community, giving back. >> michele had met lloyd in high school. her mom jeannie remembers a teenage boy who was smitten from the first date. >> i think she thought he was intelligent and she could have intelligent conversations with him. >> so maybe a peg above the other kids in the schoolyard or her circle? >> yes. >> the high school sweethearts married when michele was just
11:05 pm
20. they'd later settle into a farmhouse in upstate new york and have three girls. karrie, the middle child. michele's younger sister, also named karrie, admired her so much. >> tell me about your sister as a mom. >> she always wanted the best for her girls. she was always very supportive because of course, when i had children i asked her all my questions and looked up to her. i always looked up to her. >> though they lived close apart, michele's sister and her husband were close with the nieces. >> the oldest one really bonded with kevin, and karrie and i very much bonded. >> but as with so many people, the neurauter family ran into lean times, diminished prospects during the great recession. lloyd moved out of state to find work as an engineer. >> what happened is lloyd, it was a tough time in corning, new york, and he took a job in new jersey. >> michele stayed behind with the girls out in the country in corning. but the separation put
11:06 pm
a strain on the marriage, and in time michele and lloyd divorced. >> she was always positive and going to make the most of everything, and then one day out of the blue she called me and said we're divorced. like okay. >> right, it was very random. >> after the divorce, michele sold the farm and the kids split up. the oldest went to live with her dad in new jersey, while karrie and the youngest daughter stayed in corning with mom in a new house. but the divorce was hard on everyone. karrie and her mom sometimes butted heads. the arguments could get heated. >> the issue was living with her mother, finishing high school, but it got more and more strained as the years -- as she approached her senior year. >> by late august 2017, karrie, the one-time ballerina, had left home and was a sophomore at r. i. t. in rochester. her younger sister still lived with her mom. it seemed like a typical monday afternoon when a
11:07 pm
family friend came by the house to pick up the youngest for swim practice. but something looked very wrong. he called 911. >> she's motionless. and i'm concerned. >> the friend said he glimpsed a shadowy female figure on the stairway. >> she's just standing there not moving? >> kind of hard to tell. dark. >> something very dark had happened in that house. and when the curtain was pulled back, it would reveal a monstrous story. like something out of a greek tragedy. with an ending no one could fathom. this is absolutely ghoulish. >> yeah. >> coming up -- >> there appeared to be a body hanging inside the door about 15 to 20 feet, hanging from a banister. >> this is as they say, a house that's known to law enforcement? >> yes. >> and somebody was missing. >> no 14-year-old was discovered. >> so where is this child? >> that was one of the first concerns. >> when "dateline" continues.
11:08 pm
11:09 pm
11:10 pm
11:11 pm
>> august 28th, 2017. police officers responded to the home of divorced mom michele neurauter. a friend of hers had called 911 to report a disturbing sight. >> there appeared to be a body hanging inside the door about 15 to 20 feet, hanging from a banister. >> corning police chief jeff spalding says his officers got in and found the body. a woman with a rope tied around her neck. it was michele. apparently a suicide? >> from first look, yes, it would appear as though it was a suicide. >> no reason to think not? >> no. >> officers searched the home. they found no suicide note. and the house was empty. daughter karrie was away at college, but the youngest, who lived there with michele, was nowhere to be found. >> no 14-year-old was discovered. >> so where is this child? >> that was one of the first concerns. >> it turned out the youngest was actually with karrie at school in rochester 100 miles away. police learned that when
11:12 pm
karrie called them herself after a friend gave her the shocking news. >> my mom hung herself. >> we are looking into it. can you give me any insight into what might have happened? >> i don't know. i decided to go home. >> karrie told police she had stopped by the house that night. >> when i got there, they were freaking out. >> in karrie's words they had a fight. her mom went yelling and screaming. >> karrie told investigators she stormed out of the house, taking her teenage sister with her. not all that unusual. police learned that raised voices in that household were sadly routine. a bad divorce with kids caught in the middle. this is, as they say, a house that's known to law enforcement? >> yes. >> there have over the years, been 911 calls to the location? >> probably in the course of two or three years a dozen, a little more than a dozen calls. >> so chief, i'm thinking even with this brief history you have, fragmentary history of trouble inside the house, mother, daughter, something's going on, it does maybe give you an explanation of why she's a death by suicide. >> exactly.
11:13 pm
>> investigators also got in touch with michele's ex-husband lloyd, who lived in new jersey. he was rushing to upstate new york to be with his daughters. >> the last time i spoke with her i couldn't even say. >> lloyd told a detective by phone he wasn't completely surprised to hear the news. he said that despite her cheery demeanor, michele had actually contemplated suicide in the past. >> from before we were married she made suicide plans with high school friends, and that was something that alarmed me way back then. >> police continued to process the scene. while michele's body was taken to the medical examiner for autopsy. what is she finding? >> the words again "consistent with suicide" are used. >> in a round of phone calls michele's sister out in california got the news about the suicide. when you first heard, that did it make sense in any kind of way to you, that maybe she'd gotten in a bad place and -- >> i mean, i knew that she'd been fighting with the girls. i
11:14 pm
really thought like maybe she had a bad moment. >> then she had to relay the awful news to their mom. >> she said michele died. and i said, no, she didn't. i said no, she didn't. that's a lie. don't say that. i said don't say that. >> the friends back in corning could hardly take it in. michele gone. and by her own hand. >> my mom called me. she didn't want me to see it online or on social media before i heard it from her. >> and you went to see her? >> i did. i went home. it was so shocking. >> as funeral arrangements began, michele's friends were haunted by a request she made just months before her death. >> she said, well, promise me that if anything ever happens to me that you'll look out for my daughters. and then i reassured her, naively perhaps, that she was going to live a
11:15 pm
long life. but she was pretty persistent. so, i said okay. and we left it like that. she got me with that story. >> sorry, she got me with that story. >> but even in their grief there was confusion and doubt. the friends thought the michele they saw in her final days was anything but suicidal. >> what were her plans? was she forward-looking? >> constantly. we were always working on what was next. >> that wasn't where she was in her life? >> i'd say she's a fighter. that woman was a fighter. >> on saturday morning when the rest of us would be lounging around in her sweatpants she'd say it's a good day, we're going to get up, we're going to get dressed and we're going to make the best of it. >> even if michele were suicidal, they just could not see their friend hanging herself like that in a way that her daughters could find her. >> i started googling means that females use for suicide,
11:16 pm
and i think it was -- what i could find was around 9% of females will actually hang themselves. the most popular option by far is pills. >> but michele's mood and statistics aside, they kept coming back that lack of a suicide note. >> michele had a master's in english as well as an mba. she was a prolific writer. michele would have written a note of explanation. so once there was no note i think -- >> right. >> we just said something's wrong. >> little did they know exactly how wrong this would all turn out to be. >> coming up -- maybe it wasn't suicide. >> apparent suicide. did that
11:17 pm
make any sense to you? >> no. >> my gut was telling me there's something wrong here. >> maybe it was murder. >> the weight it went around her chin did not seem consistent with a hanging. on her face it looks like scratch marks, like maybe she's pulling at whatever as round her neck, trying to get it off. you can see where her bed was pushed out of place. it appeared that there was a struggle. >> when "dateline" continues.
11:18 pm
11:19 pm
11:20 pm
>> police were investigating the hanging death of michele neurauter as a possible suicide. but they still needed to know more about her final weeks and days. >> hi, how are you? >> good. just cautious about how i approach a car. i don't want to startle anybody. >> the deceased's ex-husband lloyd, resettled in new jersey, had rushed to upstate new york after michele's body was found. now sitting in a police car he seemed eager to talk. >> how long's michele lived at the residence over on deloitte? do you know? >> it's about five years. >> okay. >> she bought that after we
11:21 pm
divorced. >> he told them about his early relationship with michele. >> we went away to school together. we did everything together. so i never thought like that, like oh, under some circumstance i'll just walk away. >> when did you guys divorce? >> we divorced in august 2012. >> he explained that while the divorce had been finalized years earlier, their custody issues were far from settled. they were still fighting over their youngest daughter. >> she wanted to live with me. her mom threw a tantrum. >> lloyd suggested his ex-wife was unstable. an emotional wreck. >> michele was screaming and furious. i know of that from past behaviors that there was an occasion where michele was having a tantrum that she would open the door and scream things down the stairs and then slam her bedroom door. and she did that so many times she actually broke the door frame from doing that. that she was just completely out of control. >> but lloyd admitted his information was secondhand. he'd heard the stories from his children. >> i don't even know if she was seeing anybody or who else she was doing things with. she really pushed me out of her life. >> lloyd spoke with police for
11:22 pm
over an hour. as the interview ended, he had a question. when could the kids retrieve their stuff? >> in case i could pass on word there any idea when the kids could get into the house to -- >> we'll look into that too. >> if it were a simple suicide, the investigation wouldn't take long. but new york state investigator eric heard, who was among the first on the scene, thought not so fast. >> my gut was telling me there's something wrong here. >> it wasn't just cop intuition. there was physical evidence in his experience inconsistent with a suicide. starting with a position of the thin nylon rope on michele's body. >> the way that it went around her chin did not seem consistent with a hanging. >> he noticed wounds on michele's head, too. >> on her face it looks like scratch marks, like maybe she's pulling at whatever is around her neck, trying to get it off. >> and then there was michele's friend rose. she rushed up to the scene with something urgent to say. >> apparent suicide. did that
11:23 pm
make any sense to you? >> no. >> she had told me, she's like i know her friends, she would never do this to herself. we were just with her the other night. we were having a great time. she wouldn't do this. >> it's not exactly evidence, but it's a piece. >> it's not evidence at that point. >> and when police formally interviewed the friends she got a different picture of michele and their divorce. they said lloyd was the crazy one. relentlessly badgering his ex-wife with dragged out custody fights. >> i was at their house and i think lloyd had just served another petition for child custody of the younger child. and she was frustrated. her life was looking very positive and then this came up again. >> objective appraisal or friends taking sides? either way, they insisted michele wasn't a frazzled, out-of-control single mom. she was making the best of a bad situation. and dealing with an ex who'd demeaned her for years. >> basically, everything she
11:24 pm
did was criticized. he made her feel she was really ugly. he made her feel that she couldn't make any right decisions. she was a lousy mother. that she couldn't do anything right. >> so, homicide versus suicide. on the one hand, a nasty divorce may have given michele plenty of reasons to be depressed and want a way out. but it was a police photo of michele's bedroom that caused investigator heard to think otherwise. >> you can see where her bed was pushed out of place. >> he spent hours poring over the pictures. >> looking at the wall and kind
11:25 pm
of zooming in, you can see things that maybe not visible to -- >> they didn't jump out at first. >> they didn't jump out at first, but it looks like we see something, it looks like blood on the wall. so that was concerning. >> blood on the wall and a bed out of place. to heard it pointed to only one scenario. >> it appeared that there was a struggle. >> he believed michele had been attacked, the suicide scene staged. at the house there was no sign of forced entry. nothing taken. and investigators theorized that a random intruder wouldn't bother arranging such an elaborate scene. >> an unknown intruder, the one-armed man doesn't figure in here either, right? >> no, we never thought that. >> no, they thought. someone close to michele had to be responsible. >> so what do we do now is the question, right? >> yes. >> it was time to go looking for suspects. >> investigators start with the obvious suspect, michele's
11:26 pm
ex-husband lloyd. and he had an alibi. coming up -- >> he said he'd been to rochester to help his daughter move in to college. spent the night in a hotel. stayed in the hotel all night long. >> i think i have every receipt for the last seven days. >> michele liked to save things, too. could the mystery be solved from beyond the grave? >> i started finding court documents, and i started finding screenshots of texts. my daughter documented everything. everything. >> what was the narrative i love san francisco, i'm dara brown, here's what's
11:27 pm
11:28 pm
but i'm working overtime to stay here. now is not the time to raise taxes. i'm voting no on propositions m and o, because the cost of everything is going up. san francisco collects more tax revenue than nearly any city in america. but our streets are dirty and public safety is not getting better. i'm working hard to live within my budget. the city should too. join me in voting no on m and o. now is not the time to raise taxes in san francisco. vote no on m and o.
11:29 pm
happening republican crossed congresswoman liz cheney -- in her reelection bid for virginia senate congressional district. cheney is also endorsed to other democratic endorsements ahead of the 2022 midterms. congressman tim ryan and congresswoman elise is slotkin. pfizer is working on an experimental rsv vaccine which the company says was found
11:30 pm
infective in preventing severe infections in infants. the vaccine is given to expected mothers for the second half of their pregnancy. now, back to dateline. now, back to dateline. >> what was the narrative picture that had come together for you of what had happened in her life? ten years before -- >> i missed, or a love tried to know is going on, because we never had a fight. and hung up on each other you know you get over it but we did not have that fight >> jeannie didn't know exactly what had gone on in michele and lloyd's marriage, but she knew she'd never liked him. >> okay, she can do better than this. why is she -- what does she see in him? >> looking back, what makes you say that, jeannie?
11:31 pm
>> he was arrogant from the beginning. he was always arrogant. he was full of himself. >> michele's sister agreed. >> he wanted to be like oh, i'm going to put you in your place. >> did you talk to her about how things were? with her and lloyd. >> no. >> or do you just seal that away? >> i knew -- >> is that a no-go topic? >> that's a no-go topic. >> michele's family says lloyd's my way or the highway attitude extended to the way he disciplined the children. the doting ballet dad wanted his girls to be a little too on point. >> he kind of raised his kids with a military bearing? >> yes. i mean, they had to -- he would snap his fingers and they'd line up and they would stand there like little soldiers. >> he would make them kneel with their nose to the wall, hands behind their heads, like they were being executed. like this is -- >> i'm sorry? for a minor
11:32 pm
household infraction? >> like for nothing sometimes. he'd just be mad at them. >> after michele's death jeannie flew out to the east coast to be with her granddaughters. that's when she finally learned just how bad things had become for michele. it was all there in her daughter's journals and boxes of court papers. >> i started finding court documents and i started finding screenshots of texts. my daughter documented everything. >> what was the narrative picture that had come together for you of what had happened in her life? >> that she was just constantly abused, emotionally abused. >> by her husband, lloyd? >> mm-hmm. yes. >> and you believed that he ganged up the children against her? >> mm-hmm. mm-hmm. yes. >> michele's mother read how the unhappy marriage turned into an unhappy divorce. >> he was taking her to court over and over and over. >> the acrimony between lloyd and michele had been well known to michele's friends for years. they'd seen it up close. if her death was a murder, the history of that marriage and divorce told them exactly what happened. >> when asked at the scene what i thought, my answer was i think he did it. >> the husband? >> yes. absolutely.
11:33 pm
>> no problems. >> the very same lloyd who had calmly and clearly volunteered so much information to investigators. >> she was just completely out of control. >> demeanor. what are you hearing in that? >> he was very cooperative. >> would you like me to move up a little? >> no, you're fine. >> are you sure? >> police had reason to believe michele died sometime after midnight saturday going into sunday. so the question, where was lloyd? >> tell me the way you came up at first. >> to go to rochester. >> he told police he'd driven up from new jersey to rochester to help karrie move into her college apartment. >> she couldn't fit everything into the car. so i had totes back in princeton that i had to bring. so, when i arrived on saturday, i went to the apartment and i unloaded her car. her stuff. >> karrie's apartment? >> yeah, karrie's apartment. >> and then he said he spent the night in a nearby hotel. >> from 11:00 to 7:00 you're in the hotel? >> yes.
11:34 pm
>> by yourself? >> yes. >> and he said he'd been to rochester to help his daughter move into college, spent the night in the hotel, stayed in the hotel all night long. >> lloyd said he drove home the next day and only returned to the corning area after michele's body had been found. he could account for all of his movements. >> i think i have every receipt for the last seven days. >> now they needed to put lloyd's timeline under a microscope. police pulled his phone records, and guess what. his cell never left the hotel that night. so far so good. and the story told by the phone meant he couldn't be an hour and a half south in corning as michele was about to die. so police had to consider others in michele's inner circle. and that included the last known person to have seen michele alive. it was someone who'd admitted in a phone call with police to fighting with michele that very night. her middle daughter, karrie. >> when i got there, we were freaking out. she was yelling
11:35 pm
and then she got quiet. so i waited for her to come out and talk to me. >> i know you're upset. but if you can take a breath for me so that i can understand what you're saying a little better. >> yeah. yeah. okay. i'm sorry. >> sure, karrie sounded distraught. but the officer who first took down her account of that night didn't like what he was hearing. >> he said right away, something's not right. >> what was he referring to? >> karrie specifically was not telling the truth about what happened that night. >> coming up -- >> you can see that she's at the house for about two hours. a lot longer than we anticipated her to be there. >> what was karrie hiding? >> the younger sister says, "i get woken, it sounds like somebody's in the house attacking my mom." then her sister comes in the house, tells her, "we've got to leave, mom's upset, she's really mad, we've got to go back to rochester, you're coming with me." >> when "dateline" continues. that's our thing. ♪ ♪ >> here's a truism.
11:36 pm
11:37 pm
11:38 pm
11:39 pm
cops don't like to be lied to. especially cops investigating an unsolved death like that of the corning mom, michele neurauter. especially if they're suspicious that the victim's 19-year-old daughter is the one doing the lying. in a statement to investigators karrie, the middle child, admitted she had arrived at her mother's house just shortly before her death. >> she had initially told us that she got there and had a fight with her mom and she left. so, she led us to believe this was a 15 or 20-minute stay at her mom's house. >> the thing was, her cell phone records said otherwise. >> you can see that she's at the house for about two hours. a lot longer than we anticipated her to be there. >> so, was karrie hiding something about what happened after that argument? those who knew her best never considered karrie to be anything but honest. family friend rose was one of the first people to speak with karrie after michele
11:40 pm
was found. >> we just sat on the phone together for about a half hour and just cried. >> and mina said there was no way her smart and kindhearted friend would have played any kind of role in a murder. >> i could never picture her being violent. >> but police had a different take. they remembered there being turmoil in michele's house. all those calls to police years earlier. had that shouting finally boiled over, ending in murder? and there was an ear witness of sorts. karrie's kid sister, the 14-year-old, had been sleeping downstairs. she told a detective she remembers hearing screams. >> the younger sister says, "i get woken, it sounds like somebody's in the house attack my mom." >> she used that word? >> yes, she did. then her sister tells her, "we've got to leave, mom's upset, she's really mad, we've got to go back to rochester, you're coming with me." >> karrie's story was way out of whack. as hard as it was to wrap their heads around it, the detectives were coming to believe that the college
11:41 pm
student daughter may have murdered her own mother. unthinkable. this is her mother. i just keep coming back, this is her mother. >> the mother, her own mother. that to me was the most chilling part of this whole thing. >> but if it were true, the young woman was too petite they thought to have pulled it off alone. >> there's no way that karrie could have physically carried out the act. if it was to be homicide, she would have needed some help. >> but from whom? they naturally looked to those closest to karrie. and who was closer than her dad, lloyd? going all the way back to those ballet school days. cops also knew that lloyd had been in the area that weekend helping karrie move into her college apartment. >> any more detail you could tell us about things, obviously it's helpful to us. >> but what about his apparently ironclad alibi backed up by his cell phone records? that he never left his hotel that night. >> from 11:00 to 7:00 you're in the hotel? >> yes. >> all right. >> investigator heard sent a colleague to spool through the hotel's security cam footage.
11:42 pm
>> he goes, i don't like what i'm seeing. it looks like the dad and karrie left together about 10:00 that night. >> what was that? the dad and the daughter together, leaving? and when they fast forwarded the hotel security video, there was lloyd neurauter seen again walking through the parking lot at 6:30 a. m.. more than eight hours later. are you theorizing the darkest scenario, that dad and daughter are in on this thing together? >> yes, we are. >> that's a monstrous theory. >> yes, it is. >> the authorities held their cards close to their vest. none of their suspicions leaked out. steuben county district attorney brooks baker was consulted as investigators got search warrants so they could tap father and daughter's cell phones. >> where are you now, sweetie? >> i'm still back at the denny's rest stop. >> what are you hoping for? >> what we're hoping for is some conversation between the two of them about the death, about money. >> hi. >> hi, sweetie. i'm sorry i didn't get your call right away. >> and? >> we didn't get much. >> investigators decided to ratchet up the pressure. what's
11:43 pm
called in cop talk, tickling the wire. >> is this karrie neurauter? >> yes, this is she. >> we have an investigator from corning pd call karrie saying i want to talk to you. and the hope is that that will get a conversation going between lloyd and his daughter. >> i didn't know if she had time to meet up with mep. i know it's break time and i didn't know what your plans were. >> had will we be able to talk on monday? >> okay. >> with her wire tickled would karrie take the bait and call her father with the latest? she did exactly that. >> hi, sweetie. >> hey. i just got off the phone with officer whatever from the corning police department. he called and he's like oh, i'd just like to meet face to face as well. >> you know, i'd like you to not do that if you can avoid it. tell him i'm sorry, i've got a counseling appointment back in new jersey tonight, i've got to get to my counseling appointment. tell him this has been really hard on me. >> yeah. >> could you cry?
11:44 pm
>> i might. >> we call it the lie and cry conversation, because it's when all of our hackles kind of went up. >> he's telling his daughter to lie. >> he's telling his daughter to lie to the investigator and by the way, if that doesn't work can you cry? >> cry and say, i'm sorry, i have to go. god, it would be nice if it was just over. >> that would be a dream. >> well, that's really all i've got to suggest right now. >> by now, investigators had a working theory of the crime. that it was probably not the dad helping the daughter but the reverse. that dad, they theorized, was the mastermind. but authorities lacked hard proof of anything. they needed more. >> yeah. >> after two more months of we get it but some pieces. lloyd talks when i was gonna buy a tesla, and have it at some point in the near future. running his financial. >> let's talk about that, what's the picture of lloyd's finances?
11:45 pm
it's pretty bleak. the reality is that lloyd he's got a good income he's an engineer >> six figure guy. >> he's doing pretty well. but is actually upside down. he's basically robbing people peter to pay paul incentive money. >> after two more months of tapping the phones, they decided showtime had arrived. they would simultaneously appear unannounced and it interview both carry and lloyd in separate locations and confront the two directly. in late january 2018, like commandos synchronooidsing their watches they swooped down. >> nice to meet you. >> in new jersey, two fbi agents >> we have a group ready to search lloyd carr in new jersey, we have another group ready to search carries car. >> you have everybody movement fission wildlife. >> i've never seen law enforcement cooperate like this on a multi state and federal level. >> in new jersey, two fbi agents appeared at lloyd's workplace. he agreed to meet with them in a conference room. the agents gave him an update
11:46 pm
on the case. >> the medical examiner determined it to be a homicide, not a suicide. >> my god. >> and in conjunction with that, i want to ask you, did karrie have something to do with her death? >> no. i just don't think karrie has it in her to kill another person. >> can you think of something, whether it was things get out of hand. she gets in a fight. it's a self-defense thing? i mean, can you see that happening with karrie? >> it's hard to imagine. but can i picture it? i can. >> and instead of jumping and saying no, this is my daughter, she wouldn't do something like that. >> but can i picture it? >> it's the longest pause in the entire time he talked. >> i can. >> so he's not papa lion protecting his cubbies here? >> no. he's sort of how can i toss her under the bus kind of
11:47 pm
thing. >> lloyd had to realize the walls were closing in. still the interview ended with handshakes. >> well, we appreciate you sitting down with us and interrupting your day. >> well, my goal is to help. >> the agents allowed lloyd to leave after his very bad day at the office. then they tailed him and listened in as he phoned his daughter. >> how are you? >> not great. >> i'm not great either. >> 250 miles away in syracuse, new york, daughter karrie had also been confronted by police. and she, too, had had a very bad day. what did she tell her inqu inquisitors? >> coming up, would this one be real? >> there he is out on ledge. five stories down on the concrete, he's threatening to kill himself. he's got his phone and he wants to talk to his daughter. >> when "dateline" continues.
11:48 pm
11:49 pm
11:50 pm
11:51 pm
>> karrie neurauter, who had always been on script about the night her mother died, said they'd had a fight, she'd left, end of story. but now she sat in a room with new york state investigators determined to get the truth. >> can you tell us what you observed, what you remember? >> karrie quickly caved and admitted she'd lied. her dad had been there with her. >> who went in the house first? >> my dad went in the house -- well, we went in the house at the same time. >> okay. >> no, that's a lie. i'm sorry. i went in. >> and there was more. >> my dad went upstairs in my mom's room. and she was like, "what are you doing? why are you here? " so she was yelling. and she was like, "why? why? " >> then it started to tumble
11:52 pm
out, the nightmare story. she told investigators her dad, drowning in alimony and child support payments, had given her an ultimatum, him or her mom. >> something along the lines of without money, he can't pay rent, he can't pay for stuff. so, basically he was going to kill himself. or there was this way to make it so he wouldn't kill himself, which was killing my mom. >> why at the crossroads did she decide to help? she says she saw no other alternative. >> when did you guys discuss it was supposed to look like a suicide? >> the first time he told me about this. >> then she told investigators what her father did. >> he said to me be quiet, and then put the rope around her neck and hanged her. >> karrie's job was to disable
11:53 pm
any security devices and to distract her younger sister, asleep downstairs. totally unaware of what was going on. >> she woke up. so i had to take her out. i was freaking out. i didn't know what was going on. then i put her in my car. >> now, we had the framework of the story together now. >> i mean, what a bombshell. in the room and the ears that are listening at this point. >> at that point we're shell-shocked. >> this is all premeditated. >> the whole room kind of went silent. you think it be a high five moment, but it wasn't. it was like air went out of the room. it was just so sad to hear that this really happened this way and there was no good thing that was gonna come from this. >> at last the authorities had enough to arrest lloyd. he'd left work, seemingly unnerved by his chat with the fbi. and new jersey state police had tailed him as he drove to the top of a five-story parking garage, got out of his car, and sat on a ledge. apparently,
11:54 pm
suicide seemed a better option than prison. >> and there he is out on the ledge. >> on the ledge? >> five stories down on the concrete, threatening to kill himself. >> he's going to be a jumper. >> he's going to jump. he's got his phone and he wants to talk to his daughter. >> you've been covered with a very poor side effect, now i'm gonna kill myself. >> rhoden this in person due? they walk in and take that polygraph and say i didn't do anything wrong, if they didn't pass that they yell and scream and say you're wrong. lloyd says, i mean i could go near anywhere a polygraph because i'm gonna kill myself deserve no way out now. >> after a 90-minute negotiation, a homicide detective tackled lloyd and put him under arrest. back in new york, authorities read his daughter karrie her rights, too. murder charges for both. michele's mom across the country was in disbelief. >> i said not karrie, not karrie. please not karrie. >> the friends in corning couldn't absorb it either. him of course. but her, too? the little ballerina they'd watched grow up. now charged with murder. >> that's the unbelievable
11:55 pm
part. we love this child. >> as time has passed, >> it was really hard to hear that carrie was involved. >> could you wrap your head around? it >>. no i really couldn't. i was angry and's said. just because it was so far out of character for the carry that i knew. >> this is your tiny dancer. friend >> my tiny dancer, friend ye. >> as time has passed, michele's friends are starting to learn of a family's brainwashing. of a controlling father who poisoned his daughters'minds with the drip drip of a phony story that went on for years. that their mother was no good. crazy. that they'd all be better off with her out of the picture. a father's manipulation that went all the way back to ballet class days and probably earlier. >> what flashed back to me was that time i saw a 7-year-old karrie standing front and center, shaking, and i personally believe it was this
11:56 pm
accumulation of control. i felt that she had been brainwashed. >> and looking back, michele's mom is now certain it was lloyd who was behind the unexplained rift with her daughter. >> i think that he'd already started alienating her, manipulating her mind. >> putting a false narrative in her head about who she was and who her people were? >> i have often referred to him as jim jones. >> it's almost cult leaderesque >> that is the control that he's created in that child for years and years of programming. years of difficult disciplined, years of telling them how bed mom is. years of telling them how right he is. years of breaking down personal barriers. it's almost cult leader asked what he has done to carry in her sisters. >> it appeared that father and daughter would be tried together. both entered pleas of not guilty. but as the case moved forward, karrie alone in her cell, removed from her
11:57 pm
father, it was as though the spell was broken. karrie flipped and decided to testify against her father. >> at what point did your dad first approach with you this plan? >> now she gave a second, even more detailed confession, and prepared to be the star witness at her father's murder trial. and a new wrenching detail. she had helped move her mother's dead body. >> we dragged her around the corner and he tied the rope to the one prong of the banister and lifted her up, and we both threw her over the side. i'm sorry. >> that's okay. >> but her dad's trial never happened. lab results came back showing the ex-husband's dna was all over michele's bed clothes in that house he claimed never to have been inside. in october of 2018, lloyd neurauter pleaded guilty to murder one. >> i was stunned. he gave it up. he told us exactly what happened. >> lloyd gave a full statement. owning up to being the master
11:58 pm
manipulator that friends and family said they'd witnessed all along. >> he described the process by which he would abuse michele in front of his girls. belittle her. convince them she was insane, that she was dangerous. he's a narcissist. the world revolves around him. his password to all of his accounts was all my girls love me. >> you're kidding. >> no. that's how he operated. ultimately, that power led karrie to say yes because you know, dad says it's so. if dad says it's so, it must be so. >> lloyd was sentenced to life without parole. >> any last words, lloyd? >> district attorney baker allowed karrie to plead to a lesser charge of manslaughter. she was sentenced to one to three years. the d. a. sees the daughter as a victim, too. >> you want to be sympathetic, because she's a sympathetic character. she deserves sympathy for where she was. but she's still guilty of murder. and that's the -- and justice has to happen. >> and friend cynthia can't shake that emotional
11:59 pm
conversation she had with michele just before she died, the one where she promised to take care of her daughters. if anything happens to me -- >> yeah. that came back very strong for me. >> cynthia kept that promise, visiting karrie in jail and trying to help a bewildered young woman find her way through this. >> she's very remorseful. she misses her mother very much. and she has said that her mother would know what to do right now. she would know how to help me. it's very complicated situation, but she really has my admiration because she assumes full responsibility. she doesn't try to pondered off on anybody. and she's working very hard to try to rebuild the life and to be a better person. >> still grieving over the death of her daughter, michele's mom is now facing
12:00 am
another kind of sorrow. coming to terms with this unthinkable crime. and the granddaughter who said yes to a father's deadly ultimatum. >> she is a human being. she's still a child. she might be considered an adult. but i hear the child. >> and yet she killed your daughter. >> and she killed my daughter. she's a victim. i struggle with this. i struggle. i asked michele. i said michele, what do you want me to do? what do i do with this child of yours? and i honestly believe that my daughter would want her to be accepting responsibility for what she did. and she is. i don't know if i forgive her. but i understand her.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on