Let the Search Begin — Well, Kind of

YORKTOWN, VA, June 5, 2010 — Not far from historical Yorktown, a search is underway for the remains of Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey, a couple who had left an April 10, 1988, party about 15 miles from the Colonial Parkway but were never seen alive again.

A park ranger and Call’s father later observed Keith’s 1982 Toyota abandon on the Colonial Parkway.  Investigators later observed the couple’s clothing piled, as if they were dropped, on the rear seat.

Today’s organized, private search — conducted with very little expense to taxpayers — is being hindered by bureaucrats being bureaucrats.  National Park Service Ranger Steve Williams explained that the families permit allows cadaver dog-handlers to search only two limited areas of the Colonial Parkway.  “This is a historical park with sensitive areas,” Williams explained to SF. 

During the Spingola Files’ (SF) visit, SF spoke with sources that presented various theories  — some of which overlap — pertaining to these complex investigations. However, the National Park Service (NSP) is unwilling to show some flexibility, prohibiting a search of any additional areas under their jurisdiction.  Six cadaver dogs and their handlers from K-9 Alert Search and Rescue (www.k9alert.org) made extensive preparations to handle a detailed hunt for the remains of Call and Hailey, but the rules-are-rules bureaucrats have put a damper on the overall operation. 

About an hour ago, Burt Drummond, search and rescue organizer, held a briefing for the families, volunteers and members of the media.  Updates on the search are forth coming. 

On another note, the families of Colonial Parkway murder victims held a get-together last night at the Ocean Breeze Restaurant.  SF would like to thank the families for their hospitality.  The restaurant’s staff did a wonderful job hosting the private event.  During the meeting, I discussed the cases with family members, all of whom are looking for closure.

Prior to the meeting, I spoke with Channel 12’s Tara Morgan regarding SF’s efforts:


Check this site throughout the day, as I will post updates regarding the search.


Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI 2010

2 Responses

  1. Bill Thomas

    Many thanks to Steve and Mike for their hard work in the Colonial Parkway Murders case.

    The FBI held a press conference on the Colonial Parkway– 1:00 PM EDT Sunday 6/6 regarding the discovery of human remains yesterday (Saturday 6/5), and will hold another press conference later today. Despite every roadblock presented by the National Park Service, a all-volunteer, family-run search using cadaver dogs was able to find human remains in less than 4 hours.

    The Colonial Parkway area was not properly searched for Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey. This family run search proves that. If these remains are not those of Keith Call and Cassandra Hailey, then more searches need to be conducted now.

    The National Park Service needs to begin cooperating with the Colonial Parkway Murders families, and not presenting one roadblock after another.

    Bill Thomas
    Brother of Cathleen Thomas

    June 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm

  2. NCdoglover

    It would be nice if the various agencies would allow more searching but the Park Service also has the burden of maintaining the historical areas they are responsible for. The latest update I heard said that the FBI excavated 20 feet down into the area where the dogs hit and did not recover any human remains.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

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