LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, Kan. — A Leavenworth County couple, worried they are running out of time, is urging Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to help them find their son.
Randy Leach disappeared in April 1988, just weeks before he was set to graduate from high school. His disappearance from a party in rural Leavenworth County has never been solved. His mother’s car he was driving that night, never found.
His disappearance sparked rumors of drugs, satanic cults, and sacrifices to the devil. But Leavenworth County and state investigators downplayed those rumors, saying they could never be substantiated.
The 17-year-old’s parents, Harold and Alberta Leach, believe not enough was done to locate their son in the first few weeks of his disappearance. And while they recognize he probably’s dead, they say they want to know what happened before they are gone.
Their efforts over the past three decades have included pressuring county and state investigators, pushing to get investigative records opened, and even using private investigators. So far there are no traces of their son or the car he was driving.
Now, in a letter to the governor, the couple is asking that Kelly appoint a special independent “master” from out of state to convene a cold case task force.
They’re seeking an executive order to allow the investigation to re-interview witnesses, review all records, and have the power to prosecute if necessary.
“Something needs to be done and we will not accept that this is an ‘ongoing investigation’ and we need to keep quiet,” the couple said in a letter to supporters obtained by FOX4.
They’re asking others to write or call the governor’s office to support their efforts to obtain the order.
Support has come in the form of a letter to the governor from Park University Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Eugene Matthews. Matthews reviewed the findings of FOX4’s “Where’s Randy” investigation, and concluded there were discrepancies and missteps in the investigations that probably cost the efforts valuable time.
In his letter to Kelly, Matthews notes: “My efforts have revealed some information as well as inconsistencies in the investigation.” He goes on to say that law enforcement’s claim that the search is an “ongoing investigation” is blocking efforts to get to records that might help solve the case.
A spokeswoman for the governor says the request will be reviewed before a decision is made, including bringing the governor up to speed on the case facts and status.
It’s not known when a decision on the Leach’s request might be made.