Investigators working to solve 20-year cold case - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Investigators working to solve 20-year cold case

Posted: Updated: 7/20/2012 7:46:50 PM
It's been almost twenty years since the murder of Mischelle Lawless. It's been almost twenty years since the murder of Mischelle Lawless.
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

It's been almost twenty years since the murder of Mischelle Lawless. It's a case Scott County investigators continue to work every day.

This case is so challenging because of the huge gap in the investigation. Those were gaps that came while an innocent man, Josh Kezer, sat in prison for 16 years.

And many potential leads to Lawless' murderer sat cold.

Then a part-time deputy, Sheriff Rick Walter, discovered Lawless beaten and shot in her car near the Benton exit in November 1992.

He says now new leads ranged from pieces of paper or old reports in a room of files. He's dedicated to the case to anonymous tips.

In the last few months they've been able to trace details in old reports and eliminate some potential persons of interest.

They've also had tips that generated leads Walter wishes would've been looked at further 20 years ago.

"We had information on a person of interest that was impersonating a law enforcement officer that was similar to the way Mischelle had been stopped," said Walter. "So we had to follow upon that. We then had to contact another law enforcement agency we discover that they had done a report in a week of when Mischelle had been killed. So that was a good suspect bit had to be chased down and cleared."

Walter says they have to clear every clue. But what he really needs is solid information to eventually find the killer.

"That's something that I need," said Walter. "I don't need hearsay. I need someone to come and tell me this is what I know let's do an interview and let's go to court."

Lawless' father Marvin Lawless says Mischelle's family prays someone will find the courage to come forward. He says he's confident someone out there knows exactly what happened.

Many in Scott County say there's real fear surrounding this case.

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