Police Investigation

Evidence of the police investigations into the disappearance and murder of Hae Min Lee, by Baltimore County and later by Baltimore City police departments

Missing Persons Investigation – Baltimore County PD

Hae went missing in Baltimore County, so the Baltimore County Police Department (or BCoPD) were responsible for this case from January 13, 1999. On February 12, 1999 they were officially stood down following the identification of Hae’s body.  The available records are limited, and include a small folder of mostly handwritten reports, mostly calls to/from Hae’s family. Also some very brief write ups of interviews by Sergeant Joseph O’Shea of the Missing Person’s unit, although the interviews were not written up until after Hae was found and the case had officially been handed over to Baltimore City Police. O’Shea didn’t appear to produce daily reports, or personal notes, or any other records.

Some County Police actions we can trace although they don’t appear in their own records: O’Shea’s “daily” communications with Mandy Johnson of the Enehey Group; communications between O’Shea and Hae’s family (whether or not these were done through Johnson); officer visits to Woodlawn High School to talk to various teachers; O’Shea’s meeting with City Police to debrief and hand over the interview records; results of any subpoena’s to AOL or other internet companies; any later communications with City Police about Hae’s computer after permission to work together had been granted by the Commanders; any records about the Crimestoppers reward which was paid out.

Multiple MPIA requests have been made and these are all the known files. Vickie Wash (who made the State’s original “xenophobic” arguments “without basis in fact” at Adnan’s bail hearing) is now working for Baltimore County PD as their Legal Director, so she has ultimate responsibility for MPIA/freedom-of-information responses.

County Police File – Missing Person Investigation Records

The original version of these files contained 10 pages (also see the City Police MPIA files, p802-811 of 15 459 version).  Undisclosed made an MPIA request directly to the County Police, and the response received in late 2015, had three additional pages (the last 3 shown below).

As well as the major difference of 3 additional pages, there are various smaller differences between the two versions.

County Police file on Hae’s disappearance, 13 page version.
Contents:

  • Off Scott Adcock 1/13/99 17:12
    Initial Missing Person Report: cover page, contact details, etc.
  • Off Scott Adcock 1/13/99
    Missing Persons report continued. Includes a narrative description of family’s report, Adcock’s phone calls to Aisha P and Adnan and being unable to contact Don C
  • Off Scott Adcock 1/13/99
    Continuation of Missing Persons report, narrative description. Hae’s brother noted this was her first disappearance, Adcock tried but failed to contact Woodlawn High School
  • Off Scott Adcock 1/13/99
    Follow up. Spoke to Don C at 01:30 a.m., Don “advised he did not know the whereabouts of Ms Lee”
  • Off Waters 1/14/99
    Contacted hospitals, “all hotels, motels and high school parking lots” with no success by 02:30 a.m. Requested Harford County Sheriff to check area surrounding Don C’s home in Bel Air, also with negative results
  • Off Harris 1/14/99 10:30 a.m.
    Spoke to victim’s brother, no updates.
  • Off DuHadaway  1/14/99 21:21 p.m.
    Spoke to victim’s brother, no news, no suggestions
  • Off Harris  1/15/99 12:00 noon
    Spoke to victim’s brother, still no news or leads
  • Off Harris 1/15/99
    Spoke to victim’s brother
  • Off Feher 1/15/99 10:40 a.m.
    Spoke to victim’s brother who had not heard from Hae
  • Off Garner 2/06/99 09:00 to 13:00 (NEW)
    Dog search (using K-9 “Clue”) of brush, stream and wooded areas in the grounds of Woodlawn High School. Negative results
  • Det Byrd 2/08/99 (NEW)
    “The undersigned is assisted the Homicide Team with searching the computer of a Missing Person”, “The computer was tagged and brought back to the computer crimes unit for forensics.” Also mentions AOL and email. Screening Factors section completed
  • Det O’Shea 2/12/99 (NEW)
    Hae Lee’s body found in Leakin Park, now a homicide under City PD, cc# 8B5801. Teletype sent to close the county case.

County Witness Interviews

Interviews by County Detective Joseph O’Shea. These brief reports were not written up until after Hae’s body was found on 2/9/99 and were not passed on until 2/23/99 when the BPD detectives went to County PD HQ at Towson, met O’Shea and collected the reports.

  • Adnan – interview conducted on 1/25/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Aisha – interview conducted on 1/27/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Cathy M. Don’s manager/stepmom – interview conducted on 2/1/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Coach Russell – interview conducted on 2/1/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Debbie – interview conducted on 1/28/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Don – interview conducted on 1/22/99, report submitted 2/11/99
  • Hae’s CA stepfather – interview conducted on 2/2/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Hope Schab – interview conducted on 2/1/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Inez B-H – interview conducted on 2/1/99, report submitted 2/14/99
  • Mr. Kim (Hae’s uncle) – interview conducted on 2/1/99, report submitted 2/14/99

County – Miscellaneous items

Homicide Investigation – Baltimore City PD

February 9, 1999 to February 2000
The involvement of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) began with the telephone call reporting that Mr S had found a body in Leakin Park. There were several ‘Freedom of Information’ requests made to BPD, at least two were successful. You can view those files in the order they were provided on a separate wiki listing out the complete MPIA files, which can sometimes provide some context. However, be aware that the different MPIA versions provided different documents, and often different versions of the same documents, and that we have other police files that do not appear in any MPIA files. Plus, there are a good number of files which the officers’ habits (and logic) suggest were created, but now seem to be missing, perhaps lost, or perhaps now in the prosecution file, or elsewhere.

Leakin Park Crime Scene Reports

Miscellaneous

Notes

Records showing what physical evidence was collected at each crime scene or site of search warrant, where, by whom and if it was photographed. Includes Crime Lab tech reports, detective’s reports, Evidence Control Unit records, photographs, hospital records and Warrant Returns. Also any records of either requests for forensic testing or test results / reports on test results. See subpage.

BPD homicide detectives normally write regular Progress Reports to their supervisors summarizing activities or developments, although some significant events in this case did not get mentioned in the reports.  The Progress Reports are all detailed on a separate subpage, but we included a few here which demonstrate a relevant event with no other evidence, or when the various evidence is contradictory or potentially misleading.

Subpoenas & Productions in Response (other than Phone Records)

Telephone/AT&T Work

Warrants

Witness Interviews and Statements

BPD interviews may have several different types of evidence: Formal interview cover sheets (Information Sheets), Explanation of Rights (Miranda warnings), handwritten notes, typed notes, cassette recordings and transcriptions of cassette recordings, though the amount and type of documentation varies greatly. Many Woodlawn High School staff were interviewed over 3 consecutive days and are listed separately below.

In the front of the BPD investigation file there is an Index Sheet which mentions just eight “Witness Statements” in “Section F”: Jenn, Jay, Ann, Debbie, Aisha, Kristi V(aka Cathy), Jeff J and Patrice F. For Ann, Aisha, Jeff and Patrice we only have the cover-sheets but not handwritten police notes, typed notes, tapes or transcripts or anything resembling a “statement”.

The typed, all-caps notes (not cassette transcriptions) all have one set of page numbering, running from p3 to p127 (p1 was the “defendant’s schedule” and p2 is missing) and are replicated in the MPIA 15 459 file, p908 to p1032.

Progress reports are only listed here if there is some confusion in the record, but their dates are not reliable. Other progress reports (not listed on this page) show calls or face to face contacts with (these and other) witnesses but that didn’t have records of an “interview”.

Seating diagrams, attendance / library records and other school documents were provided by these teachers, as follow up to these interviews, and can be found in the MPIA pages