The Mongo Murders: Questions about the investigation
MONGO, Ind. -- With any cold case, family and friends are bound to question the investigation. This case in particular, there are serious questions about how the crime scene was handled. And, if important evidence could have been destroyed.
“They said it was okay to be on this property and it’s okay to get rid of the couch that Darleen was on, um, rip the carpet up where the blood stain was! People were coming to the house! We didn’t want them to see this!” Sherry Musilek, the daughter of Terry Anderson and step-daughter of Darleen Anderson, said.
“Why did those investigators allow me to clean up this property hours after they removed their bodies?” Eric Musilek, Sherry Musilek's husband, said.
It's one of the main questions family and friends have for investigators. 13 1/2 years after the murders of Terry and Darleen Anderson, the quick clean-up of the property has continued to haunt the Musileks.
“I didn’t want Amanda or my wife or my 2-year-old, or anybody else for that matter, to see this.” Eric Musilek said.
After getting news of the crime and arriving on scene, Eric says investigators asked for his help. They wanted him to look around the property to see if anything was missing or changed.
“They brought me across the yellow tape and walking up the driveway. It seemed like I was with an army. You know. It seemed like I was with 5, 6, 7 guys, maybe more. I’m not sure. Before we get to the pole barn, I stopped for a second and said ‘Terry’s not in there is he?’ They go ‘No, no, we removed the bodies.’” He explained.
He says it was just hours after the bodies were removed when the investigators handed him the okay to start cleaning up, unless he wanted to wait for a professional cleaning crew.
“The investigators said I could. They can get a clean-up crew here, but they didn’t know if it was going to be a day or two and I didn’t want my wife or Amanda or anybody… I don’t know what I was doing. But we did.” He said.
He did it with the help of Tom Christian, a long-time friend of the Andersons. He had pulled up to the property to following morning and offered his help. At the same time, investigators were back on the property to check a safe that they couldn't get into the day before. Eric and Tom say they were aware of the clean-up efforts.
“Just shock and bewilderment. What do you do? I thought it was odd as hell that they said go ahead and clean it up. I thought, you know, maybe I watch too much TV or something, that’s what the cops said when I said that to him. He said 'Ah, you watch too much TV.' Seems like they shut that down for, a couple days anyway." Christian said. "The cops told me, 'we have everything we need. We took pictures and everything.' I said, ‘Well, I guess you know what you’re doing.’”
“(Tom walks in and he's) freaking out. I’m freaking out. We embrace. We’re crying. We’re grown men in the middle of this double homicide not knowing what to do. So I explained the investigator said I could clean them up. Tom says ‘I’m going to help you.’ I’m like ‘Tom, thank you so much.’" Eric Musilek said.
Instead of trying to save anything with blood stains, they decided to burn it. The couch, where Darleen was found was first.
"So, we take the couch out to a burn pile. The end table, the bowl of popcorn that had Darleen’s blood in it. I took the whole bowl of popcorn and we’re chucking it into the fire. The curtains, I just ripped them down and threw them onto the fire pit. Not thinking that I’m destroying potential evidence!” Eric said. "We eliminated all of this stuff. We cut the carpeting out. The padding. The blood soaked through to the wood. The only thing we did at that point, we did get a throw rug and put it over it along with a chair, so nobody would see it.”
"I think they thought someone was going to walk in and confess in a day or two. They’re just waiting around. Never happened.” said Christian.
“If I knew of any criticism, I wouldn’t discuss it with you, but I don’t.” Prosecutor Greg Kenner said.
Kenner was not the elected prosecutor at the time, but he was working in the office at the Chief Deputy.
“I’m good with how the sheriff’s department is handling things and the state police. The state police is part of it too. To be honest with you, any investigation I’ve been a part of has never been perfect. There’s always some little something that doesn’t go right. But, I think whatever’s going on, whatever’s happened in the past, if we get a little more evidence, we’ll be okay. I have confidence in the investigation.” Kenner said. “We have good guys here. They do a good job. It’s not like we do that many murder cases and sometimes things could be done better at certain times, because we just don’t do that many, but overall, I’m sure we’ve done well enough to get a conviction if we can get a little more evidence. I don’t think the past is going to hurt us, whatever you may be talking about.”
But the case is still missing evidence. Potentially small by key pieces, that, according to Kenner, could finally land charges on a prime suspect who is already in prison for a separate homicide.