MEDFORD, Ore. — An investigation into the murder of a Rush teenager, Kaelin Glazier, took 15 years to complete and now the evidence in that case is line to be returned to investigators; during that time, mounds of information stacked up.
During an exhibit purge, court officials say, they check the status of a case to determine if the items are okay to be released. During Wednesday’s purge, it was determined the evidence collected in the Simmons trial will remain on hold, as the case remains in the appeal process.
In March, more than a decade of investigative efforts came to a peak: William Simmons was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Kaelin Glazier.
“There are eight binders full of information that have come to this conclusion and I am hoping that we will rest in this,” says Kimberly Waller, Kaelin’s mother.
Months later, all of that evidence collected is set to be handed over to investigative agencies. In other cases the retention period might span 2 years with one exception.
“A murder investigation or any type of homicide investigation we retain that property for actually 99 years,” says Medford Police Lieutenant Mike Budreau.
Although there was a conviction, the Simmons case is currently in an appeal process; that’s why this evidence is stored.
“We found that appeals could come up much later after the conviction,” says Lt. Budreau. “The person can be incarcerated for years.”
In a homicide investigation a persons remains could be considered critical evidentiary items and held under the same statute as material evidence.
“Bone chip that could indicate if a weapon was used would be of more evidently value than just say the remains of a deceased person,” Lt. Budreau explains.
Officials say there are special considerations given to the family of victims to have their loved ones returned to them, along with items that are of sentimental value.
“The D.A. has to agree to it and the judge also has to agree to it so in some circumstances we can do that,” Lt. Budreau says.
Officials say remains are photographed and documented in an effort to give families the opportunity to say their final goodbyes.
“We need this to be over with we all need this to be put to rest so I can actually give her a proper burial,” Kaelin’s mother says.
Court officials say if an appeal is granted, then evidence will not be disseminated to the investigative agencies. If the conviction is upheld in the Simmons case, then those items will be handed over to investigators in October.