New leads in murder case after national exposure - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New leads in murder case after national exposure

By Holly Brantley
BENTON, MO (KFVS) - Moments after 48 Hours Mystery on CBS aired it's investigation of the Mischelle Lawless case, people called the Scott County Sheriff's Department with new information. Lawless was brutally murdered in Scott County in 1992.
At the time, several people pointed the finger at Joshua Kezer, a boy from Illinois. Kezer went to prison for killing Lawless, but was released last year after a judge ruled he was wrongfully convicted.
Now, Sheriff Rick Walter hopes national exposure could help investigators find the clues to solve the mystery.
"An eyewitness, a smoking gun," said Sheriff Rick Walter. "We have quite a bit of information. We need more. We've got emails from all over the country right now."

He says within a few hours he had about a dozen emails and a lot of phone calls. Walter says he hopes to meet with some of the people who say they have new information about Lawless's murder this week.

He commented on Kezer's release from prison: "Nobody wants an innocent person behind bars. Some people may look at this area in a bad light, but we're trying to fix it. We're trying to make it right."

Walter says to give both the Lawless and Kezer family closure, he wants to find the real killer.

"Stepping forward is not always easy. But, people have done it," said Walter. "I really think this year is going to be very interesting. I hope before the end of the year we make an arrest."

 Searching for the truth and launching the case into the national spotlight hasn't been easy for Walter either.

 "I've had threats. Some have been not only against me, but towards my family. I'm doing my job. I guess that comes with it," said Walter.

 Walter says the case is complicated with plenty of twists and turns.

"You can call it a cover-up. Call it whatever you want. But if there are people involved in them we're coming for them. I have no problem with it and I don't care who it is."


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