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 www.cityofmarshall.com
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.