The World has a story about Jeremy Bright who disappeared from Myrtle Point 21 years ago at the age of 14. Unlike Leah Freeman his remains have not been found and he is listed as a missing person and probable homicide. The article which will expire tomorrow so I will not link to it describes Jeremy’s mother, Diane Beatty and her frustration with the investigation as handled by Myrtle Point PD
After three months of hanging onto the case, Myrtle Point investigators turned it over to the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, which Beatty said, tracked Jeremy’s whereabouts through part of Aug. 15. Investigators won’t reveal that information, but Zanni said some people of interest have never been cleared due to their lack of cooperation.
Investigators, Beatty and her family still hope one day the case will break, as it did, partially, with the case of Leah Freeman, a 15-year-old girl last seen alive in Coquille in 2000. A little more than a month after she disappeared, her body was found about nine miles east of Coquille. But police have yet to make an arrest in the case, due to lack of evidence.
While Beatty feels the Sheriff’s Office has done everything it could on the case, she still can’t help but express grave frustration over the lost time that transpired while the case was in the hands of the Myrtle Point Police Department.
Like Cory Courtright, Diane Beatty appears to feel that the local police should have reached out for other resources much sooner. Dave Hall, lead investigator in Leah’s murder apparently had never led a murder investigation before, though I have not been able to confirm the source linked here.
Many of us choose to live in rural areas and small towns precisely to avoid the violent crimes more prevalant in larger communities. Thankfully, murders are few and far between here and the need for experienced homicide detectives low. Nevertheless, when a murder does happen it seems vital to reach out to experienced detectives in the early hours of any investigation to avoid the loss of fresh evidence and leads.
Cory Courtright’s understanding is that Coquille PD has refused to share information or fully cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and she believes that this further stymies the investigation. Adding to this frustration is the fact that Cory still does not know her daughter’s cause of death. Was it a gunshot wound? Was Leah hit by a car? A motion was filed to seal the autopsy ‘pending investigation’ yet no investigation has been underway for years.
Diane Beatty said, â€œMy personal opinion is that if (Myrtle Point Police officials) had turned it over three months earlier – we would have had a whole lot better chance of finding out what happened”.
Cory and many other concerned citizens feels very much the same way about Leah Freeman’s murder in Coquille.