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It was rough, it was a rough time for the whole community. It hit her town like a lightning bolt. The strange disappearance of Carrie Olson. It was scary. Everyone loved Carrie. It was so painful. You reach out to Dateline. I did, yes. We started getting people following our page.

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Where was she? What was behind this? Far from home. I saw the tattoo and I said, That's her tattoo, isn't it?

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And three caught on camera clues. Someone's in her car. Someone's at her back.

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But most jaw dropping of all, someone's up on stage with a song turned sinister. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing. Could karaoke be a key to this case? My heart was just pounding and pounding. I was sweating. I was nervous. We need to figure this out fast. Here is Andrea Canning with Without a Trace.

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It's a sad fact of American life families separated from their loved ones gone without a trace. Nationwide, there are almost 100000 active missing persons cases since December 2013. Dateline's Online Missing in America series has been telling some of those heartbreaking stories.

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One of the first came from the heartland, where not everything is serene and pastoral. This is the Quad Cities urban industrial. Gritty four cities split by the mighty Mississippi River, two on the Iowa side, two in Illinois. These days, the Quad Cities is a sometimes uneasy mix of old fashioned Midwestern values and modern urban life, where crime is an inescapable part of the landscape. This is where Carrie Olson went missing in December of 2013. She had a heart of gold and she made you always feel welcome.

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Amanda Smith and Carey were BFX from the moment they met as 11 year olds at a neighborhood pool. We were just swimming together one day and sparks just flew. How two little girls have sparks. What was it about Carrie?

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She was outgoing and fun. She'd push you in the pool, she'd splash it. She'd give you the best bear hugs, you know, just would send tingles through your body and made you feel so special.

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The vivacious Carrie was a people person.

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And according to Sarah Paxton, another friend, a dog person, too, she loved her Kolby, her dog, and Colby, Jack Colby, Koichi's.

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She loved love, love. Colby Colby was like her child.

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29 year old Carrie worked in her father's flooring and carpet store. Carrie was a bit of a mommy and daddy's girl to us.

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Is that fair? Yeah. Her dad seemed to do a lot of things for her. He did. If she needed something, he was there taking care of it.

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But Carrie was trying to find her own way. She lived in her own house and dreamed of one day walking down the aisle.

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She wanted to be loved. She wanted a family. She wanted something stable in her life.

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The outgoing Carrie had no trouble meeting guys, but hadn't found Mr. Right.

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Carrie was such a sweetheart. She's always bubbly. Kelly Hornik is a nurse who moonlights as a bartender at a karaoke joint named Jimmy Was. Carrie was a regular. She was always well behaved, always there, just hanging out with her girlfriends, having a good time. I think they came here for karaoke and that's a fun crowd. It was at Jimmy Jimbo's where Carrie met Tim McVeigh. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were smitten.

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They're flirting with each other. You could tell that they were both interested.

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Cute. Tim studied theology at Augustana College. He planned on becoming a minister, but felt he was just too young and inexperienced to live up to the responsibility. So we took a dramatic U-turn and found a very different calling in bars and clubs as the karaoke king of the Quad Cities. He was very good at running karaoke. He was funny. He entertained the customers. He got out there and danced with them. He would sing songs. Yeah, he he's he's a good guy.

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Tim, a divorced father of two, was ten years older than Carrie, but that didn't seem to matter. They were having fun and Kerry could imagine a future together. She saw everyone around her getting married and having children, myself included. And I know she wanted that.

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But Tim wasn't interested in having more children, and that was a deal breaker for Kerry, so they decided to go their separate ways. Kerry soon started dating Justin Muehler, an Iraq war vet with a very different personality from the gregarious, fun loving Tim. He seemed very quiet and pleasant. He was polite. He was nice.

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He seemed a little awkward despite his quiet and awkward demeanor. Justin look like a good fit for Kerry. He was closer in age, hard working, loyal, and he seemed to find a place in her heart. So they moved in together. It was a big step for Kerry. It was the first time she had set up a house with anyone.

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But right from the start, it wasn't the happily ever after kind of life Kerry dreamed about. The Iraq war left Justin with a difficult case of post-traumatic stress disorder. I felt like it wasn't a good match.

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All he wanted to do is stay home where Kerry was always wanting to go out and do things. Did you sort of see that as like I can see this is going to be a problem? And I saw like a clash.

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Then just three weeks after Justin moved in, there was a problem and it was a big one. Kerry suddenly disappeared. It was a Monday, December 30th, 2013, the start of a workweek. Kerry didn't show up at the store and didn't call in. Not like her at all. Something was wrong, right? I called her, I could tell her phone was off, it was going straight to voicemail, and I thought about calling hospitals. I just was scared.

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Not home, not at work, not in touch. Where was Kerry coming up?

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It was in the news. It was on Facebook. I even contacted Dateline, a frustrating search for Carey. It's traumatic and it's overwhelming. It just felt like a needle in a haystack and maybe signs of trouble stopping out, slamming a door. Gary was upset. Grief can sneak in like a thief and steal your joy. That's what seemed to happen when Carrie Olsen disappeared. Grief gripped an entire community and didn't let go.

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Everybody knew about it. It was the talk of the town. Dennis Harker is the founder of the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network.

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Whenever there was anything newsworthy. It was posted. It was in the news. It was on Facebook.

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Carrie's best friend, Amanda, was a big part of that.

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On New Year's Day, I did create a friend, Carrie Olsen, Facebook page. People were sharing it left and right. So her story was getting out. I even contacted Dateline and they published her story when we posted Carrie's story. As part of Dateline's Online Missing in America series, it reached one point nine million people and was shared 42000 times. Did you feel like that was something that could help just getting it out on a national level?

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I think it helped out a lot. Thousands started to follow Amanda's page. Kerry story united the Quad Cities in a remarkable way. Everyone wanted to help and everyone was hoping for a break in the case, but they were also on edge. Did you just start to have worse and worse thoughts as you waited?

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I did. What are you told about what's going on with Carrie?

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That she did not show up for work. The family was concerned. The family was so concerned, they called the police. The case went to detectives Rick Voyt and Bill Thomas of the Davenport Police Department. They say carries live in boyfriend. Justin told them he had no idea where she was.

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Justin didn't have any answers.

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Justin said he and Carrie had a fight. She stormed out of the house and he hadn't seen her in two days. Carrie was upset. What did she say to him? She said something to him about being stupid. Carrie's ex, Tim McVeigh, was in Las Vegas on vacation when he was told she was missing.

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He and Carrie were still close friends. Tim said he wanted to help and had an idea. He talked to Carrie's father, Dave, about where to look.

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Tim told him, hey, she could be at my place. Go over and look. There's a window open. You can crawl into the window and search the house. Dave went over there and searched through the window. Did he see anything?

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No. No Kariya Temes, no carry anywhere. And one thing left behind at her house was a sure sign. Something was terribly wrong. Her beloved dog Kolby her everything was call me just like a little kid.

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And if she did go somewhere, Colbie was either with her or she would make arrangements for called me.

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There was she would never just leave Kolby being at home without Kerry led detectives Voyt and Thomas to a grim possibility.

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As detectives, do you have to consider that someone might have taken their own life in a missing persons investigation?

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That's always a possibility.

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Amanda gave that theory some weight. She said there was a sadness behind Kerry's bubbly personality. I started thinking that maybe she'd commit suicide somewhere. Did you think that Carrie was capable of taking her own life? Well, she seemed depressed at times.

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Still, detectives needed to know more. They executed two search warrants, the first at the house Carrie shared with her boyfriend, Justin.

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The search warrant that we prepared for Carrie's house included everything that Justin owned and Justin's vehicle, Justin's truck was checked and photographed and a sweep was made of the house.

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It was tidy, undisturbed, didn't look like a crime scene. Another search was done at ex-boyfriend Tim McVeigh's house. We wanted to get into his residence and see what she there was you not there. Were there any clues that we need to go on?

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Detective Tina Know, executed the search on Tim's home.

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We took lots of photographs because you never know what's going to be important. Possibly later on.

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Tim was in the middle of a major renovation. The house was a mess. Random things were strewn everywhere. Clothes, construction materials, rolls of carpeting. But nothing look like a good lead. Carrie's family was growing increasingly desperate. They wanted to do something, anything when they reached out to Dennis Harker of the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network.

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Sadly, he knew just what to do. It's dramatic. I mean, if it's just a crisis and it's overwhelming.

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His own son went missing just a few months earlier.

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You find yourself being tireless and you can't sleep anywhere. You might as well be doing something.

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Dennis offered suggestions and organization to help find Carrie and keep her story public. It was a remarkable effort. A reward was offered. A prayer vigil became a moment of peace and faith. And of course, there were endless searches. Dennis led one at the Mississippi River where his son's body had been found.

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The Mississippi turns to collect a lot of people that go missing.

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Amanda was with Dennis for one of his river searches.

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Maybe she had drowned or been dumped in the river. So we started looking along the river and I was lifting up everything, looking for her.

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I had to do something for her. She would have done it for me.

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Sarah Paxton was searching, too. She remembers the frustration of trudging through a huge park covered with a fresh blanket of snow.

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Every search I felt smaller and smaller and the world felt bigger and bigger. She was one of my closest friends. I loved her dearly. It just felt like a needle in a haystack, a needle in a haystack.

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But Kerry's friends and family would not stop looking or hoping. Dozens of tips came in from strangers, well-wishers, even psychics. But it would be something much closer to home that would finally lead to the first clues about what really happened. Coming up, have you ever heard anything about Justin stalking Carrie? She had told me that he would drive by her house. New questions about Kerry's new boyfriend.

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The people of the Quad Cities were desperately searching for Carrie Olson and law enforcement on both sides of the Mississippi were doing their best, pushing the investigation as hard as they could for Detective Tina, no solving the case became a mission. Finding someone quickly is very important.

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It is very important that it was bothering me. Where were is she what could have happened to her? We need to find answers and murder investigations.

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Eight out of ten suspects and victim know each other.

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And that meant taking a harder look at Carrie's boyfriend, Justin Mueller. Detective started by talking to Carrie's family about him.

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We rely heavily on the information that families give us early on in an investigation.

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But Carrie didn't share details of her love life with her family. They didn't even know Justin had moved in with her. It turns out the person Carrie did confide in was her ex-boyfriend, Tim McVeigh.

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To me, it appeared that they were best buds. They talked daily. Sometimes they would talk over 20 times a day. Their main way of communicating was text messaging.

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Tim drove straight to police headquarters when he flew back from Las Vegas saying he wanted to help.

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I want to talk to you about Carrie. Absolutely. You know, that's why you're down here. And anything you want to know, I don't know where she is. I don't know what she's doing. I very much want to know because I am concerned.

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It turned out Tim also had a lot of concerns about Justin, which he shared with the detectives. He said the problem started even before Justin moved into Carrie's house.

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She called me out of the blue one afternoon freaking out because this guy, Justin, that she had been dating was kind of stalking her.

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It was something best friend Amanda also worried about when Carrie went missing. Who did you think would want to hurt her?

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I immediately thought, Justin, had you ever heard anything about Justin stalking Carrie? She had told me that he would drive by her house before he get moving in. He wanted to be with her so bad.

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And then there was Justin's post-traumatic stress disorder. Carrie had talked to her about it and she could relate. Amanda's own military husband also struggled with PTSD.

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That could be a lot to handle if you're not used to that. And then you you start dating a guy with PTSD, it is a lot to handle.

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Tim told police that Carey thought her relationship with Justin had reached a tipping point. And she was. Yeah, I just I can't do this anymore.

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I can't even keep pretending, you know, that this is going to be OK.

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Tim then speculated that the problems in the relationship had escalated into that Saturday morning fight.

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Her and Justin got in a fight. She didn't really want to go back and get into Mauro's. She wants to she was still in school and had to learn his lesson.

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And how did Tim know about that fight, Kerry had gone to his house after running out on Justin in a huff and told him all about it.

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It sounds like she was getting ready to maybe end the relationship with Justin.

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Temme went on to tell police that he dropped Kerry back home the next morning.

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I just watched her walk into the garage. He then borrowed her car and headed to the airport for his trip to Las Vegas. But when detectives spoke to Justin, he said after Kerry stormed out, she never came back home and he hadn't seen her since. And that made a tip called in to police.

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All the more intriguing, you all get a tip that there's a man looking for Carrie in the milind area. Yes.

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That deserved a close look, because two days after she disappeared, her phone, which hadn't been connecting to her cell network, suddenly started pinging in the nearby town of Meilin. The man with the tip said the searcher was Carrie's boyfriend.

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Did you think it was Tim at first or did you think it was Justin? Justin. But Justin had another story to tell.

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He said he wasn't in Milen and insisted the fight with Carrie was no big deal, that it was about something trivial or were some burnt eggs.

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And she had left that day, slammed the door and called him stupid. Yes.

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Justin insisted he never saw Carrie again after that fight. And the morning Tim said he dropped her at home and watched her go into the house, Justin said that never happened.

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When one guy tells us I dropped her off here at six thirty in the morning and the other guy says she never came in the door. We know there's a problem. A boyfriend who had a blowout with Kerry and an ex who gave her a shoulder to cry on, one of them was lying. But which one? Coming up, a caught on camera stunner, who's that using Kerry's bank card he has seen on video trying to get four hundred dollars out and a song turned sinister clue, the karaoke moment that no one could believe it was sickening.

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Carrie Olsen's boyfriend and ex-boyfriend had given conflicting stories about the day Carrie went missing and now police were taking a close look at both of them.

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That's kind of a tough thing to have to figure out when you've got two potential suspects.

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One of these two individuals is not telling the truth.

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Detectives were trying to figure out which one when they came across. A significant clue, a trace on Carrie's debit card led them to a gas station where they looked at security camera video. It was chilling. There was Carrie's car. Her debit card was being used, but there was no Carrie. Instead, the person using the card was Tim McVeigh. He is seen on video at the pump trying to enter a number several times, you could tell it's unsuccessful.

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Tim also tried the card at a drive thru ATM at the Mississippi Valley Credit Union, but he had problems.

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Carie's bank has seen on video over their three separate times trying to get four hundred dollars out. The pin is not working. The PIN is not working.

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Why was Tim driving Carry's car and using her debit card? Tim told Detective Voight there was a simple explanation. Even after they broke up, he and Kerry always had each other's backs.

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She's the kind of friend I have. She called me. I would drop whatever I was doing and go help her out, shirt off my back kind of thing. Tim said that's why he had taken care of Carrie when she came to his house after storming out on Justin. And it also wasn't unusual that she lent him her car and debit card.

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He said she gave me her debit card.

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Should I go to the Mississippi ATM and get out for four hundred dollars, then go and top off the gas tank, whatever it takes to fill it up?

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Tim said Kerry had also promised to drive him to the airport in Minnesota that Sunday, but then she changed her mind at the last minute.

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She says, Just take my car, drive yourself up there, drop me off at home.

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So according to Tim, he goes back up to his house and he and Carrie get into the car and he takes Carrie back to her residence.

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And when they pulled up to the house, Tim said Carrie told him she didn't care how Justin might react to her, doing him a favor. She was saying, I'm going to walk in the door and say, hey, I like to borrow my car to get himself up to the airport. You need to shape up, ship out.

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Detective Voyt questioned Tim's version of events, saying security camera video from the Genesis Health Clinic next to Kerry's house did not show him dropping her off at home. He explained to me then the video cameras on the side of the genesis where you dropped her off. It does not show you that. It has to show that the car was there.

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Tim didn't realize it, but Detective Roy was testing him. There was actually no video camera at the clinic. Tim stuck to a story insisting he dropped off Carrie not in the video.

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And Justin said she never came in that house. He's home, but I don't know. She didn't walk into the garage and then walk away. I'm thinking Justin's probably not being very truthful with you.

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It was clear one of them wasn't telling the truth and it was time to find out which one.

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Did you ask Tim to take a polygraph? Did did you give Justin a polygraph? Did.

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But when Justin and Tim took those lie detector tests, they both passed and then they both went back to their lives. Still, detectives kept an eye on them, hoping one might slip.

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One night later that winter, Tim McVeigh, the karaoke king of the Quad Cities, was back singing in front of a crowd. He sang. I used to love her by Guns N Roses. I used to love. And a woman at the bar who was aware of the case knew McVeigh was a suspect, shocked by his performance, she said she shot this video to document it, then gave it to detective. No.

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He says, I used to love her, but I had a killer.

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And I put her six feet under, six feet under.

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Tim knew what he was doing. And to get up there and sing that song, it was sickening. But that song was played frequently at the bar and Detective No knew that Tim's performance didn't prove anything. So with no physical evidence connecting Tim to Carrie's disappearance, there was nothing she could do. The investigation had hit a wall.

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It was a mystery. We felt something just wasn't right. Something was going on and we needed to figure this out fast. Kerry was still missing. Winter was settling in and it would be a long one. Coming up, a brand new clue, this tattoo I emailed, Amanda, there's a definite match, where will it lead? Police are poised for a major break in the case.

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That was a huge piece to our puzzle.

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[00:28:06]

Lately, when I'm trying to fall asleep, I'm listening to Memoirs and Misinformation, the new novel by Jim Carrey, which is narrated by Jeff Daniels. What a reunion. It's kind of a weird fever dream of a book, but in the best way, there are thousands of titles for you to choose from. Try it out. I promise you, there's something for you on Audible to start your free 30 day trial visit audible dot com slash Dateline or text Dateline to 500 500.

[00:28:31]

Again, that's audible dotcom dateline or text Dateline to 500 500.

[00:28:47]

April 5th, 2014, warm weather finally after a merciless Midwestern winter melting snow led to a terrible discovery, a body had been found in Minnesota that was similar to Kerry's description.

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It was found unclothed in a wooded area off a country road in the town of Hastings, 300 miles from where Carrie Olson went missing.

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Police circulated a possible identifying image, the dead woman's tattoo. I emailed Amanda and I said.

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I hate to say it, but I that's that's her tattoo, isn't it? I had one picture of her tattoo. I sat and compared it to the drawing on that news report.

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What is that moment like when you look at the photograph of your friend and the photograph of the tattoo in the news report?

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I was completely empty. I called my mom and dad and I said there's a definite match for Kerry in Hastings, Minnesota, this is where Kerry Olsen's body was found on Saturday night.

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And tonight we had mixed emotions. Obviously, we wanted to find her, but then finding out what had happened, it was rough. It was a rough time for the whole community. I just sat there. I cried. I lost a confidante, someone I could laugh with. I lost.

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I lost a very good friend. The funeral was at St. Paul's Church in Davenport. She got to come back home again. It was a day to lay Kerry to rest and remember a beautiful life. But there were still so many unanswered questions. Now we need to find out why. We need to find out what happened.

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First up, an autopsy, but it couldn't answer the key question for detectives, the doctor that did the autopsy called it a homicide by unspecified means, no cause of death, no cause of death.

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Are you thinking, come on, there's got to be a cause of death?

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It's rare, but we had seen the photos of the scene and you can tell that she didn't walk up there and just fall over dead. Her body was placed there.

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But the autopsy did offer a possible clue. The doctor had found a chunk of carpet in her hair. We remember from January search warrant that Tim had beige carpet rolls in his house.

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But they also knew that Carey worked in a store that sold carpeting so it might not mean anything. Still, the carpet, Kerry's hair and the carpet and Tim McVeigh's house were sent to the lab for analysis. How long did it take you to get your answer?

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That it takes a while. It doesn't come back after the commercial break. Like on TV.

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While detectives waited for results, they explored the most tantalizing clue they had received. And it didn't come from Carrie's body. It came from where she was found. Hastings, Minnesota. We knew that's where Tim parked his car before he went to the airport. When Tim McVeigh flew from Minneapolis to Las Vegas the same weekend Carrie disappeared. It turns out he left Carrie's car in Hastings. Why? That's where his girlfriend at the time lived. A pretty big coincidence.

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Yeah, that's what we call a clue.

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But detectives needed more. They had to tie McVeigh to the very spot where Carrie's body was found. They did have one long shot clue. Just a few feet from Carrie's body, investigators discovered this four dollar price tag.

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A Google search showed the tag was for a kid's shovel sold at the discount chain Big Lots. Detective Thomas found a big lot store in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where that kind of shovel was bought on the same day McVeigh drove to Minnesota. La Crosse is about two thirds of the way between the Quad Cities and Hastings, but the store's security cameras were broken. No video. So how could detectives tie McVeigh to this purchase? They decided to work backwards inside a tobacco outlet.

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He is seen on video.

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McVeigh had told police that before driving to Minnesota and the airport that Sunday, he stopped to buy a cigar at this tobacco outlet in the Quad Cities.

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So you knew exactly what time Tim had been here exactly and where he was going, correct. The big lots in La Crosse is a three and a half hour drive up Highway 61 from the tobacco outlet, and it turns out the shovel was purchased exactly three and a half hours after McVeigh bought that cigar.

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That was huge for us. You leave the tobacco outlet, which is the exact amount of time to get to La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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But detectives still needed something more concrete to connect McVeigh to the purchase of the shovel.

[00:34:00]

So then we asked for the actual sales receipt on the receipt was not only the shovel, but a black bag, black bag, a discharge brand, travel bag. It cost only ten dollars, but it was the big payoff police had been looking for.

[00:34:16]

We found it in the garage Atom's Parents house. That was a huge piece to our puzzle.

[00:34:23]

So on July 18th, 2014, three and a half months after Carrie's body was found and seven months after she went missing, Tina No and the other two detectives went to a construction site where McVeigh was working.

[00:34:37]

Tim was up on a ladder and I said, we have a warrant for first degree murder for you and concealing a homicide.

[00:34:44]

Tina also brought along her signature accessory, pink handcuffs.

[00:34:50]

You chose to cuff them with your hot pink cuffs. Yes. How did it feel seeing him in pink handcuffs? Good. Was that an extra little jab?

[00:35:03]

Yes. Yeah. For Tina. That was a good moment for us. Come on, Tim McVeigh pleaded not guilty. He was denied bail and put in the county jail. That's where Dateline found him for his first television interview.

[00:35:19]

I did not kill Carrie and I did not dump her body. Tim said the wrong guy was behind bars pointing to the fight. Carrie told him that she and Justin had that Saturday morning.

[00:35:31]

Did she say what the fight was over romantic issues? I guess that would be the best way to put it of a sexual nature. That was my impression, yes. And then what happened after that? There was some throwing a couple of things have gotten broken. There was a little bit of a physical altercation between the two of them.

[00:35:49]

Tim said the last time he saw Carrie was when he drove her back to her house just before he went to the airport.

[00:35:56]

She was walking into the garage at her house, a live happy as well as could be.

[00:36:04]

Tim said he still loved Carrie, even though they'd broken up. How could he explain this seemingly damning lyric, I used to love her, but I had to kill her, that he sang at the karaoke bar while she was still missing.

[00:36:18]

Maybe not the best choice of song ever. Agree with that? I told my brother in law he was with me that night. I said, why didn't you slap me when I put that song in kind of a bonehead move just but had nothing to do with Carrie? It was nothing to do with anything.

[00:36:30]

It was a song. But to prosecutors, it was more than a song. It was a look inside the mind of a killer, and they were determined to prove that in court, Tim McVeigh was about to stand trial for murder.

[00:36:46]

Coming up, a showdown in court, one boyfriend accused and another on the stand, she stormed out of the door and I thought maybe I upset her.

[00:36:57]

What really happened to Carrie? Tim McVeigh's murder trial started in June of 2015. What I would like to do, there was no jury.

[00:37:18]

Judge Michael Merriman would decide. McVeigh's defense attorneys believe they held the winning hand.

[00:37:25]

He had passed the polygraph. So we thought this could be a truly innocent accused.

[00:37:32]

Her prosecutor, John McGehee, knew he was facing a tough test.

[00:37:37]

You had no cause of death. You had no weapon. You had no ironclad forensic evidence.

[00:37:44]

I did feel that it could be an uphill battle, that it was going to be a real challenge.

[00:37:49]

As far as the trial began, McGehee presented the prosecution's theory as to how Tim did it. Even though there was no official explanation for how Carrie died, the state presented something called Borking. A method of suffocation designed to leave no marks by sitting on someone's chest and covering their nose and mouth do solemnly swear or affirm to support that scenario.

[00:38:15]

The state called one of McVeigh's ex-girlfriends, Katie Smitty, a little bit nervous.

[00:38:19]

Yes, ma'am. Scared of Katy described an incident one night in 2013, she said she was startled awake by McVeigh sitting on her chest.

[00:38:35]

I couldn't breathe. He'd cut off my ear. I couldn't. He was he's a big man. And I'm not a very large woman. I couldn't I couldn't inhale.

[00:38:45]

Yes. The evidence and Prosecutor Magalhaes case was largely circumstantial, but he still felt it was strong. He believed McVeigh was the last one to talk to Carrie. He had her car, used her debit card, and her body was found just minutes from where he parked her car at his girlfriend's house. And the prosecution had the test results for the carpet fibers found in Carrie's hair. They matched that rolled up carpet in McVeigh's house.

[00:39:14]

How does a piece of carpet get lodged with someone's hair who remain in her hair? Her head must have it on 21st floor at the time of her death.

[00:39:25]

The prosecutors also used McVeigh's Internet searches to show how he was constantly checking the website of the newspaper in the distant town where Kerry's body was found.

[00:39:35]

He knew that you could still see her body suits, so he started accessing the used stories that Jane wanted to know the headlines when her body was discovered to access that Web site 100 times that connection. Afternoon. What were you looking for?

[00:39:54]

You live in Hastings. It's kind of a newspaper, a newspaper.

[00:39:57]

But I'm not going to answer any questions about that. And why not? All I can say is the newspapers, the newspaper. I don't have any other comments about that.

[00:40:05]

Just interest in Hastings. Move on to your next question.

[00:40:10]

Finally, prosecutors called to the stand Carey's boyfriend, Justin Muehler. He testified about the last time he saw Kerry did say goodbye.

[00:40:21]

I didn't really have a chance to say goodbye to. The way she left, I mean, I tried to say goodbye. Yes, Justin acknowledged that she was upset with him in the way she stormed out of the door. And I thought maybe I upset her and maybe some minor way or because I wasn't paying attention to her somehow.

[00:40:39]

And as the hours of Carrie's unexplained absence and silence grew, so did Justin's concern and his texts. Prosecutors had him read them in court.

[00:40:51]

Baby, come home. I love you. I'm sorry for whatever I did. I love you, Kolbeinn, I miss you. Does everything OK? I gave Kobe a spill response. No. I was 17 and 18 when you started puberty then. Yes.

[00:41:13]

Although there was no evidence presented about McVeigh's motive for murder, in closing arguments, the prosecutors offered their theory to kill Kerry in a twisted fit of rage because he demanded her car to get to the airport and she'd said, no, we see it all the time that people are murdered for sometimes the smallest little things.

[00:41:39]

And you're just surprised that another human being can do this to another human being. But that's what happened.

[00:41:47]

McVeigh's attorneys, Aaron Dyer, Dan Dalton and John Rood argued that the prosecution's theory of motive was preposterous.

[00:41:56]

The idea that he could kill her and take her car to just get a ride to Minnesota. I think is laughable. They didn't have a cause of death. So how do you point the finger at somebody? The defense didn't produce any witnesses of their own. Instead, they aggressively challenged the state's witnesses like that former girlfriend. The defense tried to show McVeigh was more playful than violent.

[00:42:20]

You said, and I say, get him off me. He said he was just playing around. But you didn't find that funny. Yes. He was striking you, right?

[00:42:27]

No, he was not striking me. He's never struck that. Defense attorneys also attacked Detective Bill Thomas, who traced that kid's shovel to a big lot store in Wisconsin.

[00:42:38]

You have no videos of that transaction, right? No. You have no receipts with Tim's name on any of that, right? No, it's paid by cash.

[00:42:47]

The defense confronted Justin Muehler. Police said he was spotted in the town where Kerry's phone last pinged, but he wouldn't admit it.

[00:42:54]

Do you remember being in the millenary at all that during that we know his phone records put his phone at the very least in Meilin, another person indicated to police that he was seen in Milen.

[00:43:08]

What do you make of that? I think it's a huge hole in the prosecution's case collected.

[00:43:13]

The defense also challenged the state's evidence, like the carpet fibers found in Kerry's hair that investigators said matched the carpeting in McVeigh's house.

[00:43:23]

She worked in a carpet store. So just because it happened to be in her hair certainly doesn't indicate anyone intentionally killed anybody.

[00:43:29]

They even challenged the idea that a crime had been committed at all.

[00:43:33]

How did she get there? We don't know. How did she die? We don't know. It's one of the biggest mysteries that not even Sherlock Holmes I don't think would solve. Tim McVeigh declined to take the stand in his own defense, but he maintains that he's a family man who loves his kids, not the violent thug described in court. I'm just not that kind of person.

[00:43:57]

I couldn't inhale. You were accused by Katie Smitti, though, of. Well, that was a lot getting violent. That was a lie. Did you kill Carrie? I did not. There's a lot of coincidences there going on. Terrible coincidences for you. I agree. What do you say to those people watching who just maybe don't believe you right now? All I can say is what I know. I know that I did not tell Carrie she was a beautiful person.

[00:44:24]

A wonderful friend, a lover, a confidant. She was she meant the world to me, and it's been the end of a long trial.

[00:44:34]

After more than two weeks of testimony and argument, Judge Marshman was ready to give his verdict.

[00:44:40]

Timothy McVeigh, I find you guilty of count one, murder. Count two, concealment of the homicidal death.

[00:44:47]

I jumped out of my seat. I was so excited and happy. Tim McVeigh was stoic, showing no emotion. And three months later, he was just as stoic when the judge sentenced him to 45 years in prison. I believe you killed.

[00:45:03]

And the saddest part is you killed her for a car and some money. For Justin Mueller, the cloud of suspicion finally lifted for Kerry's family and friends, the verdict meant justice and bittersweet relief. I just grabbed my head and started crying and it felt just like this huge weight was gone.

[00:45:32]

But justice for Kerry still couldn't explain the why. If it was over a ride to Minnesota, a car and money, it's not a very good why. What will you miss most about Carrie when I ultimately miss is she's not there pulling in the driveway, honking, no, announcing that she's here. She had a heart of gold. She was there for everybody. She had a lot of hope for her future. She had everything to live for. That's all for now.

[00:46:12]

I'm Lester Holt, thanks for joining us. Hi, I'm Chuck Rosenberg. This season on my podcast, The Earth, I spoke with 10 remarkable public servants, men and women who sacrificed for the common good, who do things that are hard, like former National Security Council official Fiona Hill. We can have a serious discussion about where we want the relationship with Russia to go, but we have to stop using Russia as part of our domestic politics. Civil rights activist Maya Wiley.

[00:46:44]

When police officers are not protected, when they tell the truth, that creates a culture of silence that makes them accessories. And Flight 15 49 pilot Captain Sully Sullenberger to know that we had been in the cockpit of that airliner over Manhattan at that low in altitude when we had lost thrust on both engines with so few options. It was just astonishing.

[00:47:09]

Catch up on season three of the OK, with all 10 episodes now available, Search for the Truth, wherever you are listening right now to subscribe and hear all 10 episodes for free.