Hearing Set in Decade-Old Murder Case of Oregon Teen
(Oct. 11) -- The former boyfriend of an Oregon teenager who was found dead more than a decade ago is expected to appear in court later this week for a hearing to determine if and when murder charges against him will go to trial.
Nick McGuffin, 28, will appear Thursday before Coos County Circuit Court Judge Richard Barron, murdering Leah Freeman, a 15-year-old high school sophomore who disappeared in 2000.
According to the website LeahFreeman.com, Leah was walking near her Coquille home on June 29, 2000, when she vanished. The only clue to her disappearance was a single tennis shoe that was found on a sidewalk.
Multiple searches were conducted for Leah, but authorities uncovered no sign . Then, on Aug. 3, 2000, her body was found in a wooded area roughly . Then, on Aug. 3, 2000, her body was found in a wooded area roughly eight miles from Coquille.
An autopsy revealed that she died as a result of "homicidal violence."
On the day of her disappearance, Leah was supposed to meet with McGuffin her boyfriend. Police questioned him and executed a search warrant on his her boyfriend. Police questioned him and executed a search warrant on his vehicle and home, at which time they discovered that he had allegedly vehicle and home, at which time they discovered that he had allegedly removed the trunk liner from his car. McGuffin's father reportedly said that his son had removed the liner and other items because of a fuel leak. Neighbors also told police that, McGuffins had a bonfire in their yard the day after Leah disappeared, CNN reported.
Police were unable to uncover enough evidence to make an arrest, and the case quickly grew cold.
October 2009, Leah's mother, Cory Courtright, asked the Coquille Police Department and nd the district attorney's office to reinvestigate the girl's slaying.
" They need to have a dedicated team go back and look through all of the files again, re-interview everyone involved, and re-examine all of the evidence," Courtright said in a statement to the news media.
Court right's plea was answered in January when authorities formed a cold-case squad to take a second look at the case. Authorities have yet to comment on what they found, ut the investigation ultimately resulted in a grand jury what they found, but the investigation ultimately resulted in a grand jury indictment on Aug. 24 in which McGuffin was charged with on Aug. 24 in which McGuffin was charged with murder.
"We've examined the evidence with newer technologies now available to us and certain witnesses, due to maturity and time, have been able to come forward and provide more information about that night," Coquille Police Chief ark Dannels told a producer for CNN's "Nancy Grace."
McGuffin is being held on $2 million bail. The status hearing in the case was originally scheduled for today, but the judge agreed to postpone it until Thursday at the request of District Attorney Paul Frasier.
Leah's family members did not respond to a request for comment today from AOL News. In an interview with CNN, Courtright said she is relieved that some progress has been made in the case.
Words cannot express how relieved I am that they finally arrested Nick," Courtright told the news network.
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