Major breakthrough in the cold case of 14-year-old Cayce McDaniel
The investigators in Tennessee now finally named a suspect in the case of 14-year-old girl Cayce McDaniel.
The case of Cayce, who disappeared from her home on August 16, 1996, has been cold for more than twenty years as police have never been able to find her body and no arrests ever made.
Now Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers has publicly named a suspect: 66-year-old Finis Ewin Hill, as reported by Jackson Sun.
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Recently, Hill was indicted on two counts of child exploitation charges, which were filed after a series of events that began with police employees working on Cayce's case.
“We had an officer looking into Cayce’s case, and working on it when he got some spare time, who was also on the FBI’s task force for missing and exploited children because of work he’d done in the past," Sellers said. "That situation allowed us to have access to resources and help from the FBI in the case after they opened up their own investigation."
“They looked at all the materials we had from when Cayce first went missing, looked at the list of suspects and eliminated the ones they could based on testimony of different people."
He added: “Like this person couldn’t have done it because they were seen here at this time or something like that. And when the list was narrowed down and the dust settled, Pete Hill was the suspect that made the most sense, because the alibi he gave at the time has since been dispelled.”
Cayce disappeared from her home after her parents came home to find her missing and the back door open.
According to reports, Cayce's mother, her mother's boyfriend, and Hill were all together at a different party that night.
However, rumors about Hill's involvement have been swirling for years.
Though the police could never pin the crime on Hill, they have been suspicious of him since then.
Once Hill was released from jail after serving 15 years for attempted kidnapping in 2003, the investigators set up a sting operation with the help of the FBI.
In order to catch Hill, the officers conversed with him online under the disguise of a mother of a 15-year-old girl.
Some of Hill's messages to what he believed was a young mother was detailed on an affidavit.
According to the document, the 66-year-old said that he loves to rape, chase down and hit women until they no longer move.
At one point, Hill admitted of having sex with a 14-year-old girl twice - who could have possibly been Cayce.
He then said that he loves to have sex with the mother's 15-year-old daughter.
Because of Hill's disturbing messages, the investigators planned to pin him for Cayce's disappearance as they had no choice but to arrest him.
Sellers said: "We wanted to draw this out and try to get more information from him, but some of his actions prompted us to make an arrest a lot quicker than we really wanted to."
Hill was arrested at a hotel in Southaven after driving across lines to meet with the fake mother and her 15-year-old daughter to have to sex with them.
Investigators are now expecting to get more information from Hill about Cayce's disappearance to bring closure to her family.