Sunday, October 8, 2006

If this is "secured evidence" at the Marshall Police Department you can only imagine how they are handling the rest of the investigation?

Many people across the country have written and called asking about the condition of Mary's vehicle and the position by Chief Mike Olson and Marshall Police Department that it has always been held in a secure location and is legal evidence?

The family and I have no idea if anything of evidentiary value was found in the vehicle when it allegedly was examined by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab in Lansing, Michigan in early 2004? Under proper law enforcement protocol it is understandable that any information remain confidential. If any forensic evidence was found it hopefully is properly stored by the Marshall Police Department.

However if this is the manner in which the chain of custody and the continuity of evidence is preserved by the Marshall Police Department the entire 15 sworn officers should go back to the police academy and learn about evidence preservation. The department should also think about the position of detective. None are listed in the official web site for the city

For quite some time the family of Mary Denise Lands has been asking that the Marshall Police Department give up jurisdiction of their daughter's investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The incompetence and inability of the Marshall Police Department to even want to properly investigate Mary's disappearance and murder defies logic. Would you want these type of individuals investigating any crime in which you were the victim?

After another inquiry on October 2, 2006 on behalf of the family concerning the status of this vehicle it was quietly relocated on October 3rd from the open yard of the tow company to an undisclosed location. On October 6, 2006 a family member personally spoke to Chief Olson and was advised that the vehicle is being held as evidence. I'd like to see the evidence log and documentation for this article that has been retained as evidence for nearly 2 1/2 years. It may be under Chief Olson's, "Marshall Law" but no court in the United States of America or any prosecutor could conclude this is legal evidence.

December 18, 2006- Today the family received a letter from Chief Olson regarding the disposition of Mary's Dodge Durango. This was in response to my correspondence of December 9th, which actually was the 3rd letter concerning Mary's vehicle. A recent article in the Marshall Chronicle made reference to the position that the Marshall Police Department wanted to continue retaining the vehicle as it might contain evidence. Chief Olson reiterated that no decision has yet been made and he would review the matter with his investigators and John Hallacy, Calhoun County Prosecutor later in the week to see if it could be returned? His belief is that the vehicle may contain "trace evidence." Although we maintain that it would be impossible to legally use any contents on this vehicle as evidence after two years in the open storage lot of Bud's Towing we do appreciate the fact that Chief Olson is seriously reviewing the matter.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Are these more shenanigans by the Marshall Police Department or policy in the Rules and Regulations of the MPD?

October 6, 2006- Today's latest shenanigans by the Marshall Police Department have trumped their numerous blunders and incompetent conduct over the last 30 months.

Mary Lands' vehicle has been unlocked in an open and unsecured yard of Bud's Towing in Marshall, Michigan. According to Chief Mike Olson the vehicle has been considered "evidence" since March 2004 and would not be released to the family. Mary's parents have been trying to document its status and work with the lien-holder in an attempt to keep Mary's vehicle within their family. Chase Bank has been kind enough to also examine the circumstances and provide assistance to the parent's. After the Marshall Police Department received yet another one of my inquiries on behalf of the family on the status of the vehicle this week it was immediately removed from the property of the tow company and is now in a secure location.

The Marshall Police Department claim today that the vehicle is being retained by their agency because it is evidence. Evidence and its documentation is a crucial responsibility of any law enforcement agency. Is the Marshall Police Department going to falsify some evidence tag to show that the chain of custody for this vehicle will verify that it is a piece of evidence?
There is no court in the United States of America or any prosecutor that would take this position especially after the way the vehicle has been improperly stored for over two years. It appears that the Marshall Police Department are doing even more to botch any successful future prosecution of the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands.

In looking at this situation objectively it could be concluded that there was some type of scheme in place to defraud the lien-holder of the payments of this vehicle, and deprive Mary's family to ever come into possession of something that once belonged to their dear daughter.

I know that someone reading about the Mary Lands case might have doubts to our statements and theory. No law enforcement agency in 2006 would ever operate with such incompetence, and lie and deceive parents who have suffered so much. The one thing that the family and I have always done was to be honest with the public and all the media. You couldn't even begin to make up these type of ludicrous circumstances, but they are all sadly very true. People ask us all the time, why do you feel that the Marshall Police Department must turn over jurisdiction of this case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation? If you have followed the story for any amount of time you would see why? As I have said many times before, and it is once again verified today, Barney Fife of Mayberry would have done a better job than anyone in the Marshall Police Department.

Jim Carlin
Justinian Investigative Service

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Grand Larceny? Lack of Professionalism? Arrogance? You can make the decision.

Update, October 3, 2006- The latest antics of the Marshall Police Department. It gives a new meaning to the term "Marshall Law." If any citizen had engaged in similar conduct they could be charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny. A police-officer failing to turn in recovered property/evidence such as a knife or IPOD, and converting it to their own would be fired and criminally charged. This is very similar but on a grandeur scale.

----- Original Message -----
Jim Carlin, Justinian Investigative Services
Chief Michael C. Olson, Marshall Police Department
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: 1993 Dodge Durango, Vehicle of Mary Denise Lands

Dear Chief Olson:

This correspondence was originally sent to the City Clerk under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. It was denied and being re-submitted to you, your department, and the City Attorney.
I have previously submitted written communications to you regarding the release of the vehicle of Mary Denise Lands, which has now been stored in the open tow yard of Bud's Wrecker in Marshall. The vehicle has no wheels and the location of the four tires are unknown. It was unlocked and numerous individuals have been in and out of the vehicle in the periodically unsecured storage lot.
On behalf of the family I attempted to ascertain the status of the vehicle. You have informed individuals that the vehicle was no longer evidence and in the improper manner in which it is being presently stored that statement would appear to be correct. You have previously advised the family that it is evidence. Bud's Wrecker claims it is evidence, according to your position, and under the control of the Marshall Police Department. Depending on the listener, you alternate between statements the vehicle is evidence, or no longer considered evidence? The proper chain of evidence and the securing of that evidence clearly indicate that if the vehicle was once of evidentiary value, it has now been breached. Further, we cannot ascertain why the wheels were removed and where they are presently located? In a previous written response you further responded that the vehicle is not a concern of the family, or myself and it is a matter between the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker.
We vehemently dispute that claim, and it is on record that Clifford Marshall, Mary's father, is the conservator of her estate, and we ask for the vehicle to be released, as according to Bud's Wrecker, it is in the control and possession of the Marshall Police Department.
I have spoken with the owner of the dealership where the vehicle was purchased and they report the lien is with Chase Bank. Sgt. Scott McDonald was provided all the documentation related to this vehicle.
It is nearing the 3rd winter that this vehicle has been stored outdoors and Mr. Marshall would like to have a statement and release so that he may be able to contact the lien-holder and resolve the issue. It makes no sense for this vehicle to be up on jacks in the rear of an open storage lot.
The Marshall Police Department has acted arbitrarily and callously for over two years in not working with the family to release this vehicle. You and your employees should have had more empathy for the family, especially in this particular matter. Clifford and Anita Marshall have very few items that belonged to their daughter. They would like to have this vehicle released and if they can manage it would like to give the vehicle to Mary's children and keep it in the family. If this issue had been addressed two years ago the family would have been able to work with the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker to pay the costs for towing and storage. The Marshall Police Department should actually pay these fees and the family is asking for you to do so. A 1993 Dodge Durango with approximately 11,000 miles on it is today valued at approximately $13,000.00. If your agency had examined this issue properly two years ago it would have been one less piece of frustration for the family.
We understand that the files of the Mary Lands case are not subject to inspection or FOIA because the Marshall Police Department claims it is an open investigation. If the vehicle is not evidence we would like the tires to be returned and for the vehicle to be released. We also request that the contents of the glove compartment and vehicle documentation also be returned. The charges for towing and/or storage should be paid by the City of Marshall. The Marshall Police Department has absolutely no legal standing at this time and should not be involved in any civil issues related to this vehicle, Mary Lands' estate and Bud's Wrecker. Any other issues regarding the vehicle could then be resolved between Mr. Marshall, Mary's conservator, the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Jim Carlin
Justinian Investigative Services
344 Clayton Avenue
Battle Creek, Michigan 49017-5218
269.441.7068 (Voice/Facsimile)