Archive for Sunday, May 12, 2013

Body of missing Franklin County toddler believed found

May 12, 2013

Body believed to be toddler Lana Leigh Bailey found in Osage County

May 12, 2013, 1:09 a.m. Updated: 12 May 2013, 1:24 a.m.

Authorities said early Sunday they believed they had found the body of 18-month-old Lana Leigh Bailey, who was killed last week with her mother and two men at a home in rural Ottawa.

Speaking at a hastily called news conference shortly after 1 a.m., Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said the body had been found in Osage County Saturday evening. Final identification had not yet been made, he said, pending a medical examination.

"It is not the outcome we'd hoped for, but (we) knew we couldn't stop searching until Lana was home," Richards said.

An Osage County sheriff's deputy was checking an area believed to contain items related to the homicides and found the body. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office crime scene unit was requested to respond and process the new crime scene, Richards said.

Kyle T. Flack, 27, has been charged with murder in the killings of Lana Leigh; her mother, Kaylie Kathleen Bailey, 21; Andrew Adam Stout, 30; and Steven Eugene White, 31. Their bodies were found Monday and Tuesday in and around a house at 3197 Georgia Road, about five miles west of Ottawa.

Osage County, where the body was found, is about 20 miles west of where the other bodies were discovered. It's near Emporia, where Kaylie Bailey's black Toyota was found after the killings.

Flack, who served four years for attempted murder in a previous case, is being held on a $10 million bond. He faces charges of capital murder in the quadruple homicide that could lead to the death penalty.

The Ottawa killings, which have gripped the local community and drawn national media attention, were discovered early last week, when the bodies of Bailey, Stout and White were found at the Ottawa home. All had been shot, police have said.

But toddler Lana Leigh was missing, touching off a huge search that involved as many as 150 law enforcement officers, including the KBI, the FBI and members of police departments from surrounding communities, including Lawrence.

They combed the farmsteads and fields around the rural Ottawa property on horseback and all-terrain vehicles, and with dogs. At first, there was hope the child would be found alive, but late in the week, after Flack was detained, officials said they believed she was dead, and began searching for her body.

"We're not giving up yet," Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said Saturday afternoon. "Every time we go out, we're hoping that's the spot."

Richards said Saturday that the case is taking a toll on the officers, many of them parents, beyond physical fatigue. While some searchers have needed medical attention, the sheriff's office has also made chaplains available to the officers for counseling.

"It's tough for people," Richards said.

More than 400 hundred people attended a candlelight vigil in Ottawa Friday night to honor Lana Leigh and the other victims, and to support their families.

"Deep down, there's a lot of hurt," Scott Dickinson, pastor at Ottawa's Wesleyan Church, said at the vigil. "A lot of pain, a lot of questions."

Shaun Hittle contributed to this story.

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