Off the Cuff – with Lindell Kay
Lindell Kay is a reporter with (I think) the Jacksonville Daily News, one of the local North Carolina papers and web sites. There is a blog called Off the Cuff with some really good stories and entries. I don’t believe I haven’t run across the site prior till today but now that I have I will be returning.
Anyhow, Capt. Rick Sutherland from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department has been answering some questions over there and you may be interested in reading them. Here are a couple of his answers from over there:
I will try to answer the questions in order. If I skip a question, I can’t talk about it or I have already addressed it. I appreciate all of the questions and the interest in the case. I will do my best to visit this thread a couple of times a week. Also, if some of my answers seem short, they are not a reflection of the question or the person asking the question. They are a reflection of the amount of questions that I am trying to respond to.
Luminol is a chemical test that is very sensitive to the presence of blood. It is used to try to locate blood where visible blood is not present. The SBI performed the luminol testing in this case for us. They used these tests where necessary to discover evidence and to try to recreate some portions of the crime scene. After the processing of the house, I had a chance to speak to the CSI guys from our Office and we discussed some theories as to what occurred, where it occurred, and then what happened next. The luminol testing was used to prove/disprove those theories and to locate blood evidence not visible to the eye. Evidence developed after the processing of the house validated one of the theories proposed by the CSI guys. We feel confident that we know what happened. The SBI performed the tests we needed to help us to arrive at the facts. That is as specific as I will be.
The Sheriff said that there were nails/staples in the grave and that they appeared to be from a burned section of the fence. No idea whether more fence is missing or why.
We feel comfortable that we know who the shoe belongs to and that it will be available to prosecutors if they decide to use it at the trial. It appears to have evidentiary value.
The El Paso question. There are some answers in this case that could only come from Cesar or Maria. Maria, sadly, is no longer with us, and we don’t know if Cesar will choose to answer some of the other questions that we have.
I am not sure at what point OCSD/NCIS had contact with Maria’s biological parents. The homicide investigators would know if they had information material to the case and make contact with them at the appropriate time. I can not answer for NCIS.
We have reviewed the video with our forensic tools and do not think that there is more than one person.
KDB. I am sorry; I don’t understand the context of the question about the table. Ask it again next round and expound a little.
There are a lot of people who believe with all of their hearts that Christina is guilty. I won’t begin to try to change your minds. Our Office has access to all of the info in the homicide case and we don’t believe that she had any part in the homicide. There is no cover up; there is no “deal” in exchange for her testimony. We have access to info on Cesar, Christina, and Maria for the time surrounding Maria’s death and our homicide guys drew a warrant and testified before a Grand Jury that they had probable cause that Cesar killed Maria, and that is why we were seeking to apprehend him. There is no way that we could let people look at the case file before trial, but if we were able to fully disclose our info to the public it would change people’s minds. But, our first duty is to proceed with the trial of Cesar and not to reveal all the info we have collected. If we received info tomorrow that implicated anyone in this case, we would discuss that info with the DA’s Office and recommend charges based on the info.
The DA answered the question about the law regarding communicating with a fugitive.
We are very confident that Maria bought the ticket.
Some times given in this case are approximations. Like “he left around 4:00am”. Other times are more concrete based on the supporting evidence.
We feel that we have identified Cesar from the ATM footage to the point that we could prove our case to a jury beyond reasonable doubt. I have not seen evidence of a second person.
If you are referring to Christina being a witness in the future (at trial) there is no way for me to speculate on that. If you are referring to the present, any witness, in any case, can provide information that is useful to an investigation even if they do not appear to be 100% “on board” with the investigation.
We believe that the Pathologists have explained and accounted for the condition of the bodies and we will rely on their examinations, opinions, and testimony as we move toward trial. There may be other “theories” that seem to be consistent, but the ME’s opinions are the answers to our questions.
No exact time of death, just time parameters.
Some of the remarks at the Conference were to try to answer questions that have been asked of our Office and some were because of information that is set to be unsealed.
I can not begin to speak for Christina’s emotions. I can only imagine that she has had to deal with enormous burdens in this situation and she is also suddenly a single parent.
The truck is still functional.
The SBI Lab will perform most of the forensic testing and make their experts available to testify at trial.
In any investigation, we would like to talk to the persons involved to get the story from them. In this case, we believe that we can prove our case beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence to support that belief will be introduced at trial.
The notes brought to our Office were handwritten.
The dog is fine, to the best of my knowledge. No idea on the gender or the name. (Can neither confirm nor deny the info posted in this thread on the dog and OCAS)
I choose not to repeat any info, but the Incident Report by my Office is public record and there is a link on this web site to some info released by the Marine Corps.
I can check with the homicide guys on the rh/lh question. There is no evidence to support that anyone killed Maria other than Cesar. That is why the Grand Jury found probable cause based on what we presented to them and indicted him.
Now, allow me to babble a moment. I can not begin to tell you what a great job the FBI, NCIS, the Marshals, and hundreds of state and local entities did in supporting us on this case. It is mind boggling to think of all of the leads that we have investigated in the last 90 days. We could have never reached the point we are at without support from these great law enforcement entities. The resources and intellect that are represented in these agencies and the way we were able to work together despite having different administrations and polices should make people proud of the LEO’s that they have and that fact that our LEO’s are the finest in the world. I am deeply saddened that I had to investigate the death of Maria, I am extremely proud to have worked with these excellent men and women across the country.
If you want any more information from the thread or want to read some more of the reports you need to head over to Off the Cuff as I certainly don’t want to steal the thunder. It’s a pretty good site and Lindell makes a damn site more sense than I do.
They have also started a new thread over there with new questions for Sutherland. If you do drop by don’t leave any stupid theories (in that particular thread) as he will not comment on your theories. Pertinent questions only and make sure you read the previous threads to see if your question has already been answered.