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Trace Evidence

Author: Steven Pacheco

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Trace Evidence is a weekly true crime podcast that focuses on unsolved cases, from chilling murders to missing persons. Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines each case, diving deep into the evidence and exploring the theories which revolve around them. For each unsolved case, there are the victims and their families, who want answers and the abductors and murders who hide the truth.

For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.com
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78Β Episodes
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073 - The Vanishing of Deanne Hastings
Thirty-five year old Deanne Hastings was finally putting her life back together. After a long battle with bi-polar, a divorce and time spent in an in-patient treatment facility she was back on the rise. She was in love, enrolled in school, looking forward to the future and excited to establish stronger relationships with her children.Living with her fiance, Mike Tibbets, in Spokane, Washington, life just seemed to be back on the right track. However, on the night of November 3rd, 2015, Mike returned home to an empty house. He found a note from Deanne explaining that she'd be running to the store and she'd be back soon. She didn't return and as hours passed, Mike began trying to track her down.Deanne's car was found in a parking lot, locked up. He purse and cell phone were inside, though her license and credit cards were not. Over the course of the next thirty-six hours, Mike will stake out the car, print up fliers, try to track his fiancee down and run into multiple people who believe they'd seen her. When all else fails, Mike files a report with the Spokane Police Department and the search begins.The investigation raises many questions about Deanne's mental state at the time of her disappearance, but also the people she was known to have spent her last known hours with, including two men who tell a bizarre story about where they last saw Deanne, and how they came into possession of her credit cards and license.Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines this heartbreaking story.*****This episode brought to you by Cove. Visit WithCove.com/Trace to get your first month for free.Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
072 - The Disappearance of Ray Gricar
Fifty-nine year old Ray Gricar had worked as the Centre County District Attorney for nearly twenty years. Having given most of his life to law, he decided that this would be his last term and in January of 2006 he was set to retire... but Ray would go missing nine months before his last day in office.On April 15th, 2005 Ray decided to skip work and to go for a drive down to Lewisburg, a quiet little town some fifty miles away. He had been there often, and enjoyed visiting the local antique stores. On this particular day, though, Ray never came back.After being out of contact for twelve hours, Ray's girlfriend, Patty, contacted police who immediately began searching for Ray. Nothing would be found until the next day when his vehicle was discovered in a parking lot in Lewisburg. The car smelled of smoke, and there were cigarette butts outside, but Ray was not a smoker.The deeper law enforcement probed into the case, the more questions they had. When they discovered that Ray's county issued laptop was missing, and he'd been google searching on how to destroy a hard drive, their interest was piqued. When his laptop was discovered in the Susquehanna river, without its hard drive, investigators were baffled. What was so important that the drive needed to be destroyed?In the years following, many theories came forward. Could Ray have taken his own life? Was it murder, either by someone he'd sent to prison or perhaps a trusted friend? Or, did Ray choose to leave his life behind, fleeing the country in hopes of avoiding some yet to be discovered issue?Join host Steven Pacheco as he explores all of the chaos and confusion surrounding this sad and confounding disappearance.Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
071 - The Horrifying Murder of Paula Sladewski
Twenty-six year old Paula Sladewski was making plans. After several attempts at a modeling career, leading to some success, she wanted to get back in the game and see what could happen. She hoped to start moving on her plan after she returned from her New Years Eve trip, but unfortunately, Paula would never make it back.Along with her boyfriend, Kevin, Paula flew to Miami, Florida to see a New Year's Eve concert, after which the couple planned to spend a few days on south beach before heading home. They'd had their problems in the past, but somehow, the couple had always found their way through it. The concert went well, and things were moving smoothly until the morning of January 3rd, 2010.Paula and Kevin attended Club Space, a nightlife hotspot in North Miami. After a few hours of drinking and dancing, Kevin tried to get Paula to leave but she wanted to stay. Kevin was ultimately thrown out of the club and took a cab back to their hotel room. Paula exited shortly after, was engaged in conversation by a man and disappeared.When Kevin awoke and found Paula missing, he began trying to find her, spoke to police and even hired a private investigator. Police didn't seem overly concerned about a young woman who had been missing for only a few hours. When Sunday night came, police had their hands full with a terrible crime scene: someone had been placed in a dumpster and burned so severely that the individual was completely unrecognizable. While police tried to solve their murder case, and Kevin tried to locate Paula, neither side knew that they were working on the same case. Who murdered Paula Sladewski and burned the beautiful young woman beyond recognition? Join host Steven Pacheco as he explores this disturbing and haunting case.Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
070 - The Vanishing of Niqui McCown
Twenty-eight Niqui McCown was a loving mother and sister. She was eagerly anticipating her upcoming wedding in August of 2001. However, just three weeks before she was to be married, on July 22nd, Niqui went to a local laundromat and was never seen again.In the weeks following her disappearance, Niqui's fiance became a person of interest, and then the father of her daughter and, finally a former co-worker with a violent streak. Despite theories and suspicions, no evidence could be found to pin the crime on any particular person.Three months later, Niqui's vehicle was discovered abandoned in a parking lot and through investigation, law enforcement was able to make connections between her disappearance and one of the person's of interest, who would later become the subject of an unrelated homicide investigation. However, before police can move in, a shocking twist brings the entire investigation to a halt.What happened to Niqui McCown and will we ever know the truth?Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines this heartbreaking case and tries to sort through all of the chaos and confusion.For 6 free meals across your first three weeks AND free shipping on your first delivery, go to EveryPlate.com and enter the promo code traceevidence6Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
069 - The Disappearance of Brandy Hanna
Thirty-two year old Brandy Hanna had recently gotten out of a six year long relationship. Having lived with her fiance, Ray McAdams, she couldn't help but develop feelings for a friend, Zeke Lankford. The situation became complicated and ultimately Brandy moved out, choosing to find an apartment to rent with Zeke.Just weeks after leaving Ray, Zeke told Brandy that he was leaving her. The young woman was now living alone, in an apartment in a bad part of town that her mother, Donna, didn't want her staying in. Brandy decided to use this alone time to put her head straight and figure out what she wanted to do.On Friday, May 20th, 2005, Brandy worked the morning shift at Alex's restaurant. When her mother arrived that afternoon, she headed home and planned to go out to the beach for the weekend. Brandy would never make it to the beach and instead would vanish under bizarre circumstances.The investigation would find a witness who described the man and vehicle who had arrived to pick up Brandy the night she disappeared. The only problem was the vehicle and description fit two men: Zeke Lankford and Ray McAdams.For the next fourteen years, the investigation will grow cold and heat up. Lies will be uncovered and alibis destroyed. A suspect will die prematurely and another will admit to trying to frame him. A dedicated investigator will uncover a shoe believed to have belonged to Brandy and charges will be filed for obstruction of justice, and yet, all these years later, the truth of what happened to Brandy remains concealed.Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines this difficult and heartbreaking case.Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
068 - The Vanishing of Susan Walsh
Thirty-six year old Susan Walsh wanted, more than anything, to be a journalist. She'd put herself through college by dancing in bars and adult clubs. It had been a rough road, and Susan struggled with addiction but when she got married and had her son, everything changed.Working alongside an acclaimed journalist, Susan was finally getting into the world she wished to explore. Assisting in the writing of an expose, and later a book, about sex workers, Susan operated as a spy, using her connections and infiltrating clubs. Unfortunately, this closeness to the scene slowly drew her back in and soon, she was off the wagon and dancing.In July of 1996, Susan asked her now estranged husband, Mark, to watch their son David while she walked down the street to use a payphone. Susan was never seen again, and her disappearance launched an investigation that scoured Northern New Jersey and Manhattan. The list of possible suspects was endless from obsessed clients, stalking ex-boyfriends, Russian mafia associates and even so-called 'Vampires.'What happened to Susan Walsh that hot summer day, and why for more than twenty-three years have the answers eluded authorities? Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines this heartbreaking and baffling case.Use promo code TRACE19 for 10% off a standard pass to CrimeCon! Visit CrimeCon.com to register now.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
067 - The Disappearance of Amy Wroe Bechtel
Twenty-four year old Amy Wroe Bechtel was putting the future together. Along with her husband, Steve, they had moved to the picturesque town of Lander, Wyoming and in the Summer of 1997, they had just closed on the purchase of their first house.On July 24th, both had the day off from work and while Steve planned to go rock climbing, Amy was going to run errands and then go running, her favorite activity. This day though, it was partially work as she was mapping out the path of a 10k she was organizing. Amy drove up into the Shoshone National Park and never returned.Steve returned home and after waiting for hours, grew worried and called the Sheriff's Department. Amy's car was discovered parked on the side of the road but there was no sign of the young woman. Amy's disappearance kicked off a massive search and rescue effort but after days of searching and yielding no results, investigators began looking at her husband.Over the next twenty-two years many theories would develop, Steve's connection to investigators and his in-laws would be severed and a convicted killer would become a possible suspect. Join host Steven Pacheco as he asks what happened to Amy Wroe Bechtel on July 24th, 1997?This week's episode brought to you by Zola.com . Visit Zola.com/Trace for $50 off your wedding registry today.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
066 - The Mysterious Death of Mitrice Richardson
Twenty-four year old Mitrice Richardson wasn't making sense. She was sending cryptic text messages and indecipherable social media posts. Her mother was concerned, and on September 16th, 2009, she received a call explaining that Mitrice had been arrested in Malibu.After speaking with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Mitrice's mother was told her daughter wouldn't be released until the morning. With plans of picking her up the next day, her mother went to sleep. When she awoke, she was startled to discover Mitrice had been released and now, no one knew where she was.Over the course of the next year the anger between the family and Sheriff's department continued to grow as lies were uncovered and Mitrice's family felt the Sheriff's department was conducting a coverup. On August 9th, 2010, eleven months after she disappeared, Mitrice's body was recovered down a remote Canyon some six miles from the Sheriff's station. The discovery sadly confirmed that Mitrice had died, but the question of how would become the center of a firestorm of controversy.Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines the details of this deeply tragic and confusing case.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
065 - The Disappearance of Brandon Swanson
Nineteen year old Brandon Swanson had just completed his first year of college. Planning to spend his evening celebrating with friends, Brandon drove from his home in Marshall, MN to two separate gatherings. After leaving the second, near midnight, Brandon made the choice to take back roads rather than the faster and easier route of Highway 68.While driving on gravel back roads, Brandon got his car stuck in a ditch. Calling his parents for help, Brandon gave them directions to come and pick him up but when they arrived, neither Brandon nor his car were anywhere to be found. It wouldn't be until later that Brandon's parents would learn their son was actually twenty-five miles away from where he had thought.During a 47 minute phone call with his father, Brandon explained that he saw lights and was going to walk toward them. At some point, during the call, Brandon screamed out an expletive and the phone went dead. Neither Brandon, his phone or any shred of evidence has ever been found to explain what may have happened.What happened to Brandon Swanson? Did the young man die of exposure due to the cold Minnesota night? Did he fall into the Yellow Medicine River, unable to escape its surging waters? Or, did Brandon come upon someone who had malicious intentions? Join host Steven Pacheco as he examines this haunting and disturbing story.***This week's episode is brought to you by Care/of Vitamins. Visit TakeCareOf.com and use Promo Code Trace for 25% off your first order of vitamins.For more information please visit: https://www.trace-evidence.comhttps://www.patreon.com/traceevidence Social Media:https://twitter.com/TraceEvPodhttps://www.instagram.com/traceevidencepod/https://www.facebook.com/groups/traceevidencepodMusic Courtesy of: "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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CommentsΒ (32)

Judi Kingsman

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Mar 14th
Reply

Judi Kingsman

what an incredible twisting turning story. I'd like to know where he's at! πŸ˜€

Mar 14th
Reply

kristy

can't wait to get more episodes to listen to. starting to have withdrawal issues

Feb 13th
Reply

Judi Kingsman

scary stuff 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Feb 7th
Reply

Judi Kingsman

amazing stories 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Feb 7th
Reply

Judi Kingsman

thanks Steve. what an horrific episode! I don't know why but I think it's the other guy on the second floor.!? 😯⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Feb 2nd
Reply

Judi Kingsman

how horrible for all involved. I don't think anyone here is guilty!

Feb 1st
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Judi Kingsman

53...the Donovan family seem suspect to me. I don't believe the other theories. well told Steve πŸ˜€πŸ™‹from Tasmania

Feb 1st
Reply

Nicole Everwine

I am only half way through this episode, but this stinks of the police doing something to this poor woman, 4 months ,no body, no scrap of her?

Jan 29th
Reply

Judi Kingsman

wow! what a twisted tale! I could hardly keep up. your best yet! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Jan 27th
Reply

CR

Even if Terry's dad wasn't a great person and had a less-than-stellar past, none of that is relevant to her disappearance. As for the accusation that he sexually abused Heather, that was put forward by the main suspect. The suspect who was on record lying to the police about his actions the night of the disappearance and who was convicted of obstruction of justice. I'm disappointed that time was spent detailing the smear campaign therefore legitimizing it. Given the evidence and history of Heather and the suspects it seems pretty clear they are guilty. The wife sounds like a psycho,and the husband is just pathetic. Personally, I wouldn't have gone near him again, single or not, considering the wife. Though if Heather were pregnant she may have wanted to discuss her options with the father.

Jan 26th
Reply

CR

I feel you're being way too harsh on the arresting police in this case. In most jurisdictions, unless someone is judged to be an immediate threat to themselves or others they can't be hospitalized. Acting odd in itself isn't sufficient, and she was an adult who chose to leave. As for giving her a ride, I doubt they regularly did that for non-celebrities. She could have called her mother if she needed a ride. People want someone to blame . Given her prior bizarre behavior it's unfortunate no one close intervened to get her help . Although homicide is a possibility. Given the location of her body ,the fact she was seen walking far from police, and no evidence she interacted with police after being released I doubt the police were involved .

Jan 23rd
Reply

Nicole Everwine

Nicole Everwine *Mitrice

Jan 29th
Reply

Nicole Everwine

CR this is assuming she didn't get a ride from an agent with in the sheriff's department..my gut tells me someone in that office that night saw an opportunity for something dark & nefarious in Mietrice. horrifying

Jan 29th
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Kymmjellybean

The fact that the mother admits to leaving her child unattended, at night, in an unsecured apt. is neglect at best. Seems odd that she offers up that detail so that "no sign of forced entry" could be immediately dismissed. Also that she just so happens to "swim" and take a shower, thus removing and destroying and evidence on her person.

Jan 22nd
Reply

Kymmjellybean

Kymmjellybean Two words. Casey Anthony.

Jan 22nd
Reply

Kymmjellybean

Just wondering if these parents were so concerned, and rightly so, why one or both of them didn't get in a car and drive to his location since it's only 3.5 hours away? They could have done so three times over.

Jan 22nd
Reply

Anne Bertram

Awesome show! Great production and objectivity!!! Where is Monday's shoe?

Jan 21st
Reply

Alaskan Brighteyes

Did the hotel have a restaurant with a freezer? Jesse Ross case reminds me of the Ken'neka Jenkins case.

Jan 17th
Reply

M Parthew

There is no mention of the other residents of the apartment complex. Someone living nearby who saw or knew Zach or saw Leah leave that night. Did the police ever investigate that?

Jan 12th
Reply

Kymmjellybean

M Parthew They did say something about neighbors seeing her come and go from her apt. multi times that night, in her vehicle. But no other details. Seems odd.

Jan 22nd
Reply

Kymmjellybean

Ok I know it was 2008, but if he said "name picked out of a phone book" one more time... Geesh! Like this was 1978 or something. No one her age in 2008 had their name in a phone book.

Jan 11th
Reply

Rose B.

wow, what a tragic and bizarre mystery. I hope someday her killer(s) will be known. And yeah, the sheriff's department reeeeally fucked up. So sad.

Jan 10th
Reply

mia blu

So glad your healthy n back in the new year!

Jan 9th
Reply
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