Archive for Monday, January 29, 2018

Documents in 30-year-old Randy Leach case to stay sealed, judge rules; parents remain in the dark

Linwood high school senior Randy Leach vanished from a graduation party in 1988. His parents, Harold and Alberta Leach, are pictured in November 2014.

Linwood high school senior Randy Leach vanished from a graduation party in 1988. His parents, Harold and Alberta Leach, are pictured in November 2014.

January 29, 2018

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A judge has ruled against the parents of a child missing for nearly 30 years who sought to obtain records related to the case.

The parents, Harold and Alberta Leach, filed a lawsuit in Leavenworth County District Court in August to force Leavenworth County and the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department to release records from the investigation of their son's 1988 disappearance.

In his decision to not release the records, Leavenworth County District Court Judge David King cited the Kansas Open Records Act, which does not subject criminal investigation records to mandatory public disclosure. King said that the law makes the release of such records discretionary and not dependent on the status of the case.

“The limitations on the disclosure of criminal investigation records is not dependent on how old the investigation is or whether the case remains unresolved or not,” King said in his ruling. “It is not dependent on law enforcement showing a certain level of continued ongoing investigation activity in the case.”

The couple's son, then 17-year-old Randy Leach, was last seen April 16, 1988, at a party in Leavenworth County. The case remains unsolved and the family has sought the records for years. In November, Lawrence attorney Max Kautsch, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Leach family, told the Journal-World that the number of pages at issue was around 2,000.

Kautsch argued in the lawsuit that the records should be released under a provision of the law that allows for criminal investigation records to be made public when in the public interest. Kautsch said in an email to the Journal-World that his clients are disappointed in the decision and are considering all their legal options.

Comments

Steve King 2 months, 3 weeks ago

30 years has passed and they can't share the information with the parents? Shameful.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Why shouldn't the parents see these documents? This is disgusting. I can't believe victims can't see criminal records. What do they have to hide? Their own ineptness? Is an officer's kid involved?

Steve Jacob 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Just terrible. They have the right to know.

Bob Summers 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Michael Kort 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I think that the parents have a right to know, as this is obviously a dead end investigation that the sherifs office has not been able to move foreword within the last 30 years .

Maybe the parents or their own private investigators could notice something that the sherifs failed to notice ?.......stuff just sometimes gets missed and not necessarily by some evil hidden intent ......the more eyes, the more minds, .......who knows what that outcome might be.?......and I assume that the sherifs dept..would like to see this case solved .

Does the Sherifs offices really think that releasing possibly 30 yr old investigation records could jeopardize some potential future prosecution effort ?........which is the only reason that I would assume that they have for being so less than open with their investigation records to the family .

This doesn't sound like a cold case.........but more like a frozen solid case..... and that the Sherifs office is running on SOP or standard operating procedures which is serving none at this point in time .

Steve King 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Not funny Bob. Pretty insensitive. Really insensitive. Flat shameful. What if it was your child and some blogger made the remarks you did? Do you know the family? I do. Neighbors. My mail lady for 20 years. I've seen the sorrow and anquish in their faces. They have agonized over the loss of their child for 30 years. Not knowing. Denied information. No plot in the cemetery to visit. No closure. Have you ever buried a child? I have. You usually post some cutting remarks but this was over the line. I'm sure I speak for many, shame on you. They should remove your post.

And why? What's going on in your brain that you thought it right and proper to make a joke about this? Have you no shame? No honor? You can be better than this. You've shown an inquisitive mind. You should apologize.

Richard Quinlan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

ljw please ban the above idiot permanently

Bill Turner 2 months, 3 weeks ago

There's really no insensitivity here, this is just a straight-up technicality. The law says that release of the records here is discretionary, and the sheriff has decided not to release them, plain and simple. If the judge did it once, he'd have to do it every time. I would say that after 30 years, no progress, and no interest on behalf of the sheriff in attempting to solve the case that the sheriff should do the decent thing and release the records. I would equally say that the judge was correct in declining to force him to do so.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A responsible, caring police force would bring the parents in with the judge, if necessary, and sit down and go through the all the records. Maybe not let them have copies. Maybe not let the press have them. But, at least, let the parents, and maybe their lawyer see them. My heart really goes out to this family. It's bad enough to lose a child, but to never know what happened would be torture.

Brock Masters 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I can’t help but wonder who the police are protecting?

Chris Bohling 2 months, 3 weeks ago

My guess? One of their own - who may even still be on the payroll.

Louis Kannen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Monumental, blatant and disgusting egregiousness (Adjective, 'outrageously bad, shocking' ) on the part of your apparently imbecilic, back-woods Sheriff's Department. Unless the real possibility of other pertinent details that might somehow MAGICALLY come into view after THIRTY YEARS can be shown, those responsible within the Command-ranked Staff of 'Andy Taylor' wannabes should be brought up on charges ( gross derelict of duty, major incompetence etc etc ), and do some 'hard time' for 'crimes against humanity', most recently, the ongoing inhumane treatment of Harold and Alberta Leach. We had our ways of dealing with these types in Viet Nam, it was called "casualty of friendly fire"...

Brandon Devlin 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Ridiculous. . .and yet totally not surprising coming out of Leavenworth County. . .

Louis has it right. . ."Andy Taylor" mentality in the 21st Century would be the way to describe this. Just read the Leavenworth Times recount of this same story (http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/news/20180129/judge-denies-release-of-records-in-disappearance-investigation) and the Sherrif's reaction:

"Sheriff Dedeke said his office continues to investigates Randy Leach’s disappearance. Andy Dedeke said he was pleased with the decision. 'It is our hope that at some point this can be resolved,' he said of the case."

Louis Kannen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"Sheriff Dedeke said his office continues to investigates Randy Leach’s disappearance. Andy Dedeke said he was pleased with the decision. 'It is our hope that at some point this can be resolved,' he said of the case." If someone, ANYONE, amongst the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Departments' 'Senior Staff of Stiffs' has even taken a dull #2 Ticonderoga pencil to doodle on their desk calendar, that alone would be nothing less than miraculous. I'll conjecture that Sheriff Andy's true "hope" obviously has nothing to do with consoling the Leach family. Rather, he fervently "hope"s that the ongoing, glaring spotlight on his and his Senior Staff's grossly insensitive ineptitude's would just stop pestering him and simply go away...

Louis Kannen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

On a less somber yet coincidental note, our Boulder County Sheriff from 1970-1990 was a Brad Leach... My sincere thoughts and condolences to Harold and Alberta Leach with the fervent hope that soon there will finally be resolution for you.

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