National exposure on 1992 Scott County murder coming to KFVS

Mischelle Lawless
Mischelle Lawless
Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter
Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter
Joshua Kezer
Joshua Kezer

By Kathy Sweeney - bio | email

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - It's a case that's been with Rick Walter for 18 years, ever since he found Mischelle Lawless' body in her car.

"I believe it's more than one person," Sheriff Walter said. "I believe that there's other people out there that have information, that know what happened."

Walter's decision to re-open the case back in 2006 will bring national attention to the crime, when it's featured on the CBS News program "48 Hours" Saturday night.

"It's highly unusual that a sheriff would re-open not a cold case, but a closed case," said "48 Hours" Correspondent Erin Moriarty, who is reporting on the Lawless case. "And, that's what interested us in this case, and the fact that when you did start looking at the case, the evidence that looked so good back in 1992, 1993, just kind of fell apart."

In February of 2009, a judge exonerated Josh Kezer, after he spent 16 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.  Now, Sheriff Walter hopes the "48 Hours" piece brings the focus back on the victim.

"This is Mischelle's story," Walter said. "This is not about Rick Walter. This is not about the Scott County Sheriff's Office. This is about Mischelle Lawless and her family. I'm hoping that maybe somebody out there will see this and maybe they'll call in and tell us, 'This is what I know.' And I anticipate getting several phone calls after this is over. And we'll see."

"I think most people know that Josh Kezer has been found innocent," Moriarty said. "But, there are six, seven suspects that are being looked at right now.  And we talk to some of them as part of the hour.  And we take a look at the evidence that exists against some of these suspects."

In the end, Sheriff Walter says Mischelle Lawless' family deserves to learn the truth.

"This has been a long time and they've suffered a long time," Walter said. "So, they need it. And the community needs it. You know, this is a small community. We need, the people that live here, they need to know what happened and who done this to this girl."

"48 Hours Mystery-The Girl Who Knew Too Much" airs at 9pm CDT Saturday, March 13, on KFVS-12.

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