A search spanning over 3 decades continues in Leavenworth County cold case


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In the early hours of April 16, 1988, 17-year-old Randy Leach went missing after attending a pre-graduation party at a rural farm.

His disappearance has never been explained.

Individuals are speaking out on the resurgence of focus on the case. The people, motivated by a growing number of videos posted to YouTube, say that with enough effort someone is bound to find evidence of something.

Not only did Leach disappear in that morning in 1988 but so did his mother’s 1985 Dodge 600 Sedan.

Though satellite images can give anyone with internet a lay of the land, you get a much better view on the ground in Leavenworth County.

“We covered several bridges on that. We had 12 or 13 bridges total that we’ve covered,” Dennis Ruble said.

“So, you’re an outdoors guy?” FOX 4’s Jacob Kittilstad asked.

“Yeah. Hunting. Fishing,” Ruble said.

Ruble founded his group “Muddy Waters Search & Recovery” to help in cold case searches.

The story of Leach has gained interest online and Ruble, planning to go out one day a week, is getting involved.

“Facebook groups, there’s people all across the country working together trying to find locations that need to be searched. And that’s where people like us come in,” Ruble said.

“We’re local. I mean, a 30–40-minute drive, we can go in and do the searches for them,” Ruble said.

“They’ve all got ideas and we’re not ruling anything out,” Ruble said.

But the open mind is a blessing and a curse. The truth is that Leavenworth County authorities cannot say what happened after Leach left the pre-graduation party. That is why any evidence would be considered valuable in a faded memory.

“Those who know, they do show concern for it. And there’s a lot of people that I don’t think really know,” Ruble said.

“And that’s one of our purposes is to ensure that it’s not allowed to fade, and it stays in the public eye,” Ruble said.

There has also been a long-standing reward for information leading to a conviction: $5,000 offered by the Kansas governor’s office. But many of the searchers say instead they are motivated only by bringing closure to family members of Leach.

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