Chris and I invited Erica McAvoy and her stepfather, Tom Ashcroft, to attend the October 27 conference. When we arrived, the four of us were shown into a small conference room. After half an hour we were asked to join the attendees. Present were Captain Harold Love of the Michigan State Police and four or more additional officers including Garry Gray, the Task Force commander, Oakland County Prosecutor, Jessica Cooper and two of her assistants including Paul Walton, Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy with her assistant Robert Moran, a Wayne County inspector and several Livonia policeman, including the recently retired Cory Williams. Once the introductions were complete, I asked the following five questions which I confirmed in a letter to Captain Love on November 9.
• Are there any other persons being investigated currently except for Busch and his possible cohorts?
• Who are possible cohorts and what do we know about them?
• What additional polygraphs do you wish to take and what is time schedule?
• Who is the Oakland County prosecutor currently handling this case?
• Give us the name, address and phone number of the responsible lab personnel.
• Do you have the name and address of the informants who turned in Busch? We would like to thank them.
The Task Force did not answer any of these questions.
McAvoy then asked the Task Force about the DNA match between a hair found on her sister’s jacket and Vince Gunnels. At that time, I had no knowledge of DNA. Walton then gave a lecture on Mitochondrial DNA (“mDNA”) and stated that it was not good evidence and compared it to blood type. I later learned mDNA is received from your mother and will include anyone with her heritage unlike true DNA which is almost 100% good evidence of a match. My supplemental research indicates that mDNA evidence is admissible only if there are other sufficient facts involving the suspect.
It was apparent to me that we were being stonewalled and I made inquiry as to whom I should direct additional questions. The Michigan State Police said the Prosecutor and the Oakland County Prosecutor said the Michigan State Police. However, Love volunteered to accept that role and I did have further contact with him in November.
I first filed my FOIA case against the Michigan State Police and the second one later against the Oakland County Prosecutor. The Oakland County Prosecutor immediately filed a Motion to Consolidate the two cases. This Motion was denied by the Oakland County Circuit Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. I had no original reaction as to the reason for filing this Motion, but I have now concluded that it was filed to deny me access to the search warrant affidavit and all other information and for no other reason.
In the typical lawsuit much more time is related to discovering matters and pretrial preparation than to the actual trial of the case. If the cases have been consolidated, Oakland County taxpayers would have spent funds on these pretrial matters in the Michigan State Police case and the Michigan taxpayers would have similar payments in the case against the Oakland County Prosecutor. Judge O’Brien and Judge Potts delayed any activity on my cases until the consolidation matter was settled by the Michigan Supreme Court.
After I obtained access to the search warrant affidavit on April 1, 2013 and the other information discussed in the search warrant chapters, it is my conclusion that the Oakland County Prosecutor, and perhaps other Oakland County agencies, filed this Motion to Consolidate to take control both cases and to deny me any access to the OCCK case. Fortunately, the Michigan State Police honored their FOIA obligation and gave me 3,411 pages on December 15, 2010. Admittedly this is conjecture on my part but I cannot think of any other reasonable conclusion.
When the Oakland County Prosecutor would not discuss the status of the investigation with me, I wrote Oakland County Sheriff, Michael Bouchard a short note in August 2012 asking for a meeting with his lead investigator. Sheriff Bouchard and I exchanged emails and I met with Deputy Sheriff, Gary Miller on August 29, 2012. Sheriff Bouchard volunteered to attend but I told him that I did not think it was necessary. No prosecutor attended the meeting.
At the meeting, Miller advised me that his office took no further action after the trace evidence at the former Busch residence did not contain anything which might relate to the four children. The Michigan State Police documents delivered to me on December 15, 2010 contain a report that a phone call had been made to the Montmorency County Sheriff dated March 19, 1977 in which a citizen reported that, Christopher Busch, a known pedophile, was at his vacant family cottage in Montmorency County with three small boys. Tim was missing from March 16 to March 22. This supports some comments I have heard over the years that the children may have been taken to a summer cottage because all four deaths took place during cold weather. My family has been further advised that the Busch cottage in Montmorency has been destroyed after April of 2008 and has been replaced by a new cottage. Is this just coincidence?
When I later discussed this matter with one of the investigators, he advised me that he requested the search warrant to be issued for both locations, but he was successful in obtaining only having the search warrant for the former residence.