Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

Hit and Run? (William

Hit and Run? (William "Billy" Brown)

Tue, 24 May 2022 07:00

A young father’s roadside death pushes his family to question the crime scene. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Lima Allen County Crime Stoppers at 419-229-STOP.

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If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. Before we get started, we want to remind you for the latest on AOM. You can follow our social media accounts at Weinberger Media and at Anasia Nicolazzi. After my nephew left us, I started listening to the anatomy of murder and I thought, you know, I wonder if I reach out to him, if so actually get a hold of me and stuff. So I just like, send a message out there and next thing you know, I'm like, whoa, I'm getting a text message. Is this for real? Super excited. Like I was geeking out, like calling everybody I know. Guess what? They actually got ahold of me. I've got Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Belasi former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. As you know, almost always we're talking about cases that have been solved, and that reason is why we want you to know about the victims in life. We also want to shine a spotlight on the work that goes on behind the scenes, the triumphs and the bumps along the way to get that justice. However, today's case is an unsolved case and we felt so compelled to share the story, and there are several reasons why. First, this is a family desperately searching for answers to what happened to their loved one, and after many attempts to get the story told on television and other podcasts, they reached out to us and we just felt there wasn't even a question or even a hesitation for us to be able to use this platform to have all you listening out there. Help them so as you. Listen to the episode. Please listen for each and every detail, because you never know what or who might lead to new information that just might be able to turn this unsolved case into one that gets solved. Our case takes place in Lafayette. OH, and it's not known as a city or a town. It's a village. And that should give you a pretty good idea of the size of it. There are only 120 families living in this village, one of which is Elizabeth Annie Williams, who always goes by Annie, and her son William Brown, who goes by the name Billy Rylov. Now is where I grew up from kindergarten on one of the safest places you can imagine. As far as I understand, there's never been a homicide. In this Township, either. And if you've never heard of Lafayette, Ohio, maybe you've heard of the closest city which is Lima. OH, still not sure? Well, how about the television show Glee? Because Glee was set in Lima, and just as like a little side fact, the creator chose the town because he had passed by as a child, and it struck him as exactly the town that he wanted his high school scenario to take place in. Annie had four kids, but Billy was her first. He was born in Wapakoneta. OH, and I must say I was pretty excited when I talked to Annie to get that pronunciation correct. We're way out of the country here. Most of his school years in Wapakoneta. OH. And in describing Billy, what comes to mind is 3 words that begin with the letter S sweet, sensitive, and social. Billy was a social butterfly who could talk anyone out of anything wherever he went. He came back with stuff or people. I'm reminded about a story Annie told me about when Billy was eight or nine years old. They were at a big outdoor event, and Billy loved being the center of attention. We're at a campground and they have this coloring contest, and he comes back with fidget spinners and lollipops and necklaces and five girls behind him say, mom, these are my new friends, and look at all the stuff they gave me. And for Billy, his father was not always in the picture in his life, and it might have been one of the reasons that Annie was so protective of him, sometimes, maybe even to a fault. One time he caught me a stalker, but yeah, I had to keep an eye on him and I tried to explain to him that it wasn't him that I was worried about, it was the others and the people in this world that that aren't psychologically right. That would come out of nowhere. In describing Annie, I really would describe her almost as this lioness, just ready to pounce. You know, at the moment she thought that her cub, her son, might be in any danger or trouble, and it certainly bore out in some of the stories that she told you. One time I got word that Billy was to be in this fight down the road, and it was supposed to be happening like right now. So I got on a bicycle and I went down to this wooded area where there's a circle of kids and everybody's got their phone. And I stepped in there and I told all those kids to put their cameras away and get the hell out of there. And nothing about this was cool or funny. And anybody dare lay another hand on Billy, I was going to crack their butts back. He's like, Jesus Christ, mom. Even. You can't choose this. Was this an embarrassing moment for him? I'm sure. But you know, a mom's got to do what she's got to do and be protective of her child. Well, you know, some people want to say that their kid is their best friend. And I always told him growing up that my job wasn't to be his best friend, it was to be his mom. But after he became an adult, I realized, you know, how much he was my person as an adult. He used all the tools that I taught him about being a friend and he was able to give that back to me. Although he was my son, I would always build a snow and something. Something wasn't right and then he would end up pulling out of the situation without me even having to, hunting down or warring him. And then I was able to stand back and say that's my son. And, you know, there's this saying that our executive producer brought up to that a mother is a child's first love. And when I look at these two, as Billy now became a man almost if you turn it on its head, that I could also see it as a child becomes the truest love of a parent. And it really was this simpatico relationship that they really seemed to totally get one another and be there for one another, through and through, thick and thin. As you grew into his teen years, he began to put himself out there and started to date, and he quickly found out. Like many, it's not as easy as it sounds. Got sad and said he wasn't going to do it anymore because the girls always break up with him and he never breaks up with the girls. He was very sappy and emotional that way. And if we look at Billy as a dater in a relationship guy, he was the guy that would become the girlfriend's best friend. He was warm and he was all in, but also seemed very easy to break his heart. Well, there was this first heartbreak, which the girl, I cheated on him and he's still thought he loved her and went back with her, and then she cheated on him again. And so he was devastated and laid on the couch for a couple weeks, you know, that kind of thing. But once Billy met Becca, there it was, and you hear this phrase all the time. For them, it really was love at first sight. His first serious relationship was the relationship with Becca. She's strawberry blonde hair, freckles. And while for Billy and Becca it was love for Annie and her son's new girlfriend, they weren't exactly seeing eye to eye. I couldn't stand her and she couldn't stand me, you know? I felt like Billy was changing. Himself and who he was in his views and in the way he went about life, the longer that they were together. Billy so wanted his mom to accept Becca and he made that clear. He approached me crying one day, and he he begged me. Mom, can you just please get along with her? Two people I love most in life and they can't get along with each other, and that just breaks my heart. So I in turn, you know, got along with Becca and I found out that we could get along really well, and we became very, very close. It really says something about him that he cares so much about these two women, the two people that meant most to him in life, that it wasn't just that he had each one of them separately. He wanted that triangle of closeness, and I think that really talks about the type of person that he was. And then it wasn't too long after that Billy had some truly exciting news. I was on vacation in Virginia and he called me to restaurant and he said that I was going to be a grandma. I said, wow, you know, I'm, I'm happy for you. Congratulations. It's like I'm happy for you. You get to be a grandma. Whether you're listening to this podcast in your 20s, thirties, or younger or older, we all know that as we get older, we see things differently, and young couples have different strains on their relationship just because of the life changes going on for each of them on their own. They were having a difficult time and living in a camper on her mother's property and it wasn't going good, so I asked them to please come live in the apartment. And then on March 1st, 2018, Billy became a father to Cedar. Anthony Allen Brown and this new family moved into an apartment just downstairs from Annie. A beautiful grandchild and you know, that was the happiest moment in Billy's life. He just held that little boy and cried. I like to think back on that day sometimes and smile. His son was the most exciting thing that that ever could have happened to John. You know, we've had the opportunity to look at Billy's Facebook page and the photographs and the videos that he has with his son really talks about the type of father he was and how much he loved his son. Come here, love you. That little boy loves his dad, and his dad loves that little boy. We use all that. Yeah. I think you made a mess. Wow. Yeah. Oopsie. Huh? Now we're jumping ahead a bit to now. November of 2020, Billy was working at a grocery store as an order collector. He was 22 years old, and the relationship between Billy and Becca had gone S they had broken up, but they were still staying in one another's life, at least as far as their son was concerned. Becca lived with their son, Cedar, and she still lived in the apartment below Annie, while Billy was basically floating around, staying place to place. Billy didn't get to be with Cedar all the time, but the times that he did spend with cedar, those two would light up for Cedar. It's like it's like somebody getting to see somebody famous for first time. I hate cheating, but oht. There's Dad shows up and he's just so beat red and giggly and you look at Billy, and Billy is just the same way. That takes us to November 7th, 2020. It was Saturday night. Annie and her boyfriend Mark were at home, not doing much at all. It was a boring night and we thought it would be a neat idea to go get a couple alcohol drinks at a gas station and bring them home. So we're sitting there drinking and playing cards and having a good time. Annie's grandson, Becca Sun cedar, were also there and Becca had told Annie that she had a surprise for her and the next thing they knew, the door opened and someone unexpected arrived and Billy burst in the door and Becca said surprise and I was so excited to see him and hugged him, probably too much According to him. And then we had a great time. I mean, he brought along some ranch dressing, a big old bag of carrots and a bottle of Jack and then we shared that Jack. And laughed and had a good time. He was thrilled, and his plans were also to stay the night and spend the next day with his son Cedar. As the evening now turned to midnight, one by one, everyone turned in. The next thing I know it was 53540 in the morning and our dogs are going crazy and there's some beating at the front door and we never use that door. As they opened the door, they were met by a group of people who told them they just found a man dead in the road in front of their home. And they say hi, we are here to find out who belongs in this home and if they are accounted for. I said, well, Becca and the baby, I said they're here. And then I said, there's me and mark, yeah, we're all accounted for. And Mark come out of the bedroom and he said, no, Billy is here tonight. So the the four or five volunteer people that were standing around the stairway of the door, I'll drop their heads down at one time. And they said Billy who? And I said Billy Brown. And they became even more somber because Billy had his ID in his back pocket. That's where the shot came in and I said, Oh my God, this is it. So people in the area had found Billy dead on the road right in front of Annie's home. That was the 700 block of North Phillips Rd. And the call came into the Sheriff's Office calling for a hit skip accident. Now basically that's the same thing as a hit and run. Then, because they thought it was a hit and run, they had State Patrol out there. And that's not unusual for small towns or villages. They usually have mutual agreements with larger county or state agencies to assist in major case investigations. They offer specialized units like crime scene processing canine and of course, SWAT units if they're ever needed. Early in this investigation, members of the Ohio State Police responded and began to investigate. Was this a hit and run or something else? These were trucks parked down the road, dump trucks and things like that. So first initial thoughts was maybe he, you know, got hit by a sybian mirror and they didn't know it. But here's what stood out about Billy Brown's death scene. When investigators started to process it, they found outside empty gun shells. Meanwhile, Annie and everyone home that night were brought to the local police station, separated and questioned. And I had no idea or understanding of what was going on. And I'm still thinking this is just some type of bad dream. And then I didn't know where Beck and the baby were. I didn't know where Mark was. Then we ended up down at the police station and we all got questioned in different rooms. You might be saying, well, wait a second, why if this is a hit and run, or are they being brought in question? But remember, they're trying to get information. They don't really know what this is and why. And of course they're going to start with the people that are right in the home outside of where he's lying, and that is his mom, his ex-girlfriend, and his mom's boyfriend. They wanted me to tell the story from the time Billy showed up because there were some empty gun shells outside because Mark and Billy had went outside and thought it would be fun to shoot an old couch. Just, you know, man, play stuff. So, as it turns out, the casings found in the front yard were not related to this incident. They were previously fired from a rifle when Billy was just indiscriminately firing that rifle at a couch that was in the backyard. And while Annie was more than happy to give investigators any information she had, she wasn't able to give them much assistance at all. We added some alcohol or systems, so we may have been sleeping a little heavier, but we didn't hear any arguments in the House. We didn't hear any door slams, we didn't hear anything in the in the driveway. And here's a few things that I can tell you. I've handled hit and runs over the years. Normally what they do is they have special teams, depending on where they are that are accident reconstruction experts, and again, depending on the resources, they're going to have more or less to go on. Now, I've never handled a felony hit and run investigation, but it's investigated like most cases. Were there any witnesses, any physical evidence that was left at the scene that could be tied to a vehicle? How about transfer paint on a mailbox or another car that could have been struck before or after? You're a victim. It is no different where you start, and it's also no different where it happens. But for Annie and her family, a random hit and run in this small village between the hours of 12:30 and 5:30 AM, it made no sense. And then there's this what would Billy be doing walking and standing out in the roadway in the middle of the night? Him being outside in the dark, out there in the property and out by the road, that was just really off to me. So whether this was an accident or even perhaps purposeful, Annie and her family wanted answers as to who did this, and it was Annie's younger brother Tony who stepped in. Ohh yeah, I did my own detective work. Within just the first few minutes of my conversation with Tony for the podcast, I started to call him Detective Tony. Now, that's not because he was an actual detective, and to be clear, he has no law enforcement experience, but when you end up listening to a lot of true crime podcasts, you start to pick up some tools of the trade. I just listened to podcasts, so I was like told my wife was like, I'm a detective now. And even to a person like Tony, the crime scene wasn't adding up. Real busy Rd, not much traffic. And that the person responsible might be an all too familiar face. In your podcast, you always say the reference of big Red flag BRF. So here's where my big red flag come to play. He'll uncover a piece of video evidence before investigators do. Surveillance from that night. It looks like a truck had stopped. And shut the door. Then they drove off. So here's what you need to know about Tony. He's a truck driver and the person who initially reached out to us about this case, and his nephew Billy, was the son he never had. I love that kid. I got four daughters. He was like a son to me. He did wrong. I scolded him like he was my son. He helped mold me into the father I am today with all my daughters. When Tony talked about his four daughters, 4, Billy, as we know, lacked a father figure for most of his life, and that's what drove this nephew and uncle closer together. I Remember Me and my buddies when he was just a toddler, would take him to the mall and he'd be our little chick magnet. All the girls would come up to us and. Are you so cute? And Billy wasn't just a son to Tony, but he was also able to be a Big Brother to Tony's four daughters. And he's great with Sam. I remember one time I was taking my daughter to the movies because she went on a date with this kid and. He got out of the car and he's like, you mess with my little cousin, you're gonna be messing with me. He was pretty much being like, the protector of him. He loved him. On the morning of November 8th, 2020, the news of Billy's death hit Tony and hit him hard. How was at home? It was, you know, Sunday morning. And then Annie calls me and says Tony, he's gone. I said, who's gone? What do you mean she goes, Billy, he's gone. I said no, yeah, he's gone, Tony. I said no, he's not. And Becky gets on the phone. She's like, yeah, Uncle Tony, he's gone. Now that Billy was gone, so many unanswered questions remained and Tony would find himself using his amateur skills in a real time crime investigation, hoping to find answers. Now. I want to be clear here by stating that homicide cases are investigated by trained investigators and while interfering with an investigation is never advisable and we obviously would never condone that, we do understand that when a loved one is taken and you're not getting answers, it's natural to be inquisitive. As long as it doesn't jeopardize the case and you share what you learn with investigators, remember the trust likely goes both ways. And I can just tell you first hand, I have seen far too many problems when civilians, including family members, have kind of stepped on the investigation, even though they have the very best interests at heart. So it's more like if you hear something passed it along. During my conversation with him, I asked him about what information he was able to get, and he said his experience of how we explained how investigators build a case was his own road map, if you will, able to ask very important questions, beginning with something right out of my playbook and yours. Anna Seeger for sure is developing that timeline. I had the timeline down from when Billy left the bar he was at to the time he got to Annie's house to around the time he walked out of the door. So let's break that timeline down. It's Saturday, November 7th. In the evening, Billy was at a college bar in Lima. But it's 2020, which was not long ago, and there were strict COVID rules in place. And you know, because of COVID they shut down early. So he was out of there about 8-9 o'clock that night. And from there Billy got a ride to the grocery store and aunt to his mom, Annies. He was supposed to go some girl's house that night, but we asked somebody to drive him out to his mom's house. They was telling me that he kept telling them, like, hey, my mom really wants me to come out to her house further down the timeline. We know, according to Annie, that Billy arrived at her house sometime around 11:30 PM, and about one hour later, Annie and her boyfriend go to bed and they would learn to learn that someone did see Billy lying in the roadway and his story is an important piece of the puzzle. It's 5:15 AM and one of Annie's neighbors, a young man, leaves his home for work. And he said he got in his car and he was going down the road and he was messing with his radio, you know, still wiping the sleep from his eyes and everything. And he said he looked off to his his left and he didn't think nothing of it. He thought it was just a bag of trash. But when he got closer, he was able to make it out. It was a man, and he wasn't moving. You're all his windows down, he yelled out the window. Like, hey, hey man, you all right? He quickly turned around, ran back into his home, and frantically woke his parents. He could hardly speak. He was shaking so bad he couldn't open his phone, and his dad went back down there with him. Meanwhile, the mom she was calling 911. After Tony, through his own conversations with this neighbor, had found this out, he wanted to go back and check the scene himself. Now, again, remember this as well after local police and state troopers have already processed the scene, so their work is done. I was looking for pieces of plastic or skid marks or anything like that and I really thought that that, you know, we talk about people wanting to get involved and do their own investigation. That was him being smart about it. Additional eyes can never be a bad thing as long as it is being done. Safely and without impacting the investigation. So as Tony searched the crime scene, he didn't find any pieces of vehicles in the bushes, anything that would lead anyone to believe that a car had struck Billy. And I was like, there's nothing out here that indicated that it would be a hit and run. So I walked back inside and said he wasn't no hit and run. If it was a hit and run, it was somebody that was driving by and just whacked him upside the head as they went by. I also started to think about this. You know, I don't know the type of vehicles that travel down that roadway, but sometimes, depending on the type of truck, if it was something like those large, heavy mirrors depending on height, well, that might not leave any, you know, impact marks or other things behind if it just kind of clipped someone on the head. But of course, yes, normally, just like if a car hits a deer, well, a person is a heavy object too, and you would expect some sign of damage left behind unless investigators and state troopers had cleaned it up. And they processed the scene. You know, things just weren't adding up to me. I just started getting a hold of Billy's friends, finding out who he was at the bar with that night, who dropped him off. Even though this had been done early on by state investigators, Tony pulled another chapter out of our investigative playbook. It's called canvassing. And you know, we talk about it in many of the cases that we do, which is going door to door, asking questions and getting people to talk. I actually went up and down the road asking people if they have any surveillance from that night. And some people, they did have surveillance, but it was too grainy or their security system was disabled. I knew a guy went to school with, I knew he lived on that road and he went and checked his ring doorbell. And the neighbor that had a doorbell camera sent Tony the video, and what it showed him was a truck. I told Detective I said dude, they thought it was a semi that might hit him with the mirror and all this. There was all that speculation or jacked up pickup truck and that could affect us, said dude. The semi own is a smaller semi and I said I can walk underneath the mirror and Billy was about my height and it doesn't even touch my head. So the video was like you can't really see it all that well, but yeah, it looks like a truck had stopped and shut the door because you could see the light. Come on. The video was timestamped 1:30 AM and it didn't just show the truck driving past the house, it also showed the vehicle stopping by Billy's house. Then they drove off. I started to think about it. You know, Scott here, we know it was a pickup truck, but that's really all you could tell from the video because, remember, this is in the dead of night. And I started to wonder, you know, was this someone being dropped off? Was this someone that came and did something and left? You know, those were some of the questions that I had when I thought about that truck. You know, it is a great lead, but it also comes with issues. The video is low resolution and grainy and dark. It's impossible to tell if anyone steps out of the truck was a white or like a light Gray truck. But you can't tell what the make and model is of it. You can just tell it was a truck. So what? This possibly suggests that he was not hit with a vehicle, that somebody who got out of the vehicle actually caused his injuries and it may have been the attacker. Well then we're looking at something much different because if it was that person that committed the injury that then caused Billy his life, well then it is more likely personal and intentional. And while all of these questions were swirling around. And he did get information that would turn this case completely on its head. We had a doctor's appointment that morning, and mark, it's a call. And he said that a neighbor had called his dad to let them know that detectives were busting down the door and going in and out with gloves. And I'm upset, you know, I thought, gosh, you know, they could at least said something, you know, why they had busting through and acting all that out, which I was already in shock and traumatized and so forth. We pulled in and I just jumped out of the car and I'm like, what you couldn't have least called when you why is this necessary? This is this is just so much. Hearing Annie talk about the fact that a search warrant was executed of her home, you now start to wonder if investigators are looking into things a bit differently than at least appeared from the outset. And then the detectives, Detective Donovan Geiger, pulled up some papers that said murder based on this search warrant and what it lays out that investigators are not looking at this as anything. Random or any accidental hit and run, the detective told me at that time. That was blunt force trauma to the left back of the head and his skull was split. And he said that he believes that Billy didn't see it coming. That was, you know, the ultimate hope, and that he believes that Billy was hit right where he stood. He told them flat out that Billy didn't die the way that they had thought he did. Yeah. And then add one other element is the warrant is to search her own home. So who within that home could have been involved in murder? And so you may be asking yourself, why wasn't this information released to Annie earlier? And then there was a reason why he wasn't given any much information is because the person of interest was living with Annie. After Billy's death, Tony took matters into his own hands by interviewing those closest to Billy. I was talking to one of Billy's friends, you know, asking her questions because she had talked to Billy the day before he left us. At the end of it, I told her I was like, well, don't tell Becca because I can't completely trust her word. And that's all I said to her. So after that, she had told Becca what I said, that I couldn't completely trust her word. And at that point in time, she started distancing herself from me. Every other Sunday we have family dinner at my mom and dad's house. She stopped coming to that because I was there. She ended up blocking me on Facebook. She quit talking to me. That's where my TERF came into play. That was my big red flag. You know, Antigo, with the lack of answers in any investigation, everyone and everything is always on the table. But, you know, I have to look at it another way than the way Tony's perspective was. You know, I don't know. If you tell me that someone in my life had died and maybe there's a mystery involved and someone saying that I'm not trustworthy, well, I might kind of remove myself too. That just doesn't want to be a part of that or doesn't want to be suspected or accused or whether it's hurt feelings or just wants to be away from any, you know? Toxicity? I just. I don't know. I don't think that in and of itself says much to me in a circumstance like this. How about you? I think Tony's assessment was spot on. I think he believed that someone wasn't being fully truthful. To understand how Becca fits into the investigation, if at all, we need to really look at her relationship with Billy. It was a a toxic, very toxic relationship. I mean, so much so that any of the good times they had were nowhere enough to make up for the bad times and the ugly times. One thing that both Annie and Tony shared was that their relationships went S in part because they were struggling as parents and parents at such a young age. Him and Becca, they got together early and they didn't get a chance to go out and be a little wild or live their life and so forth. I told them, morning, you two, it. At some point it's going to break free and want to live out some of those things that you've missed. And it turns out that it was Billy. There were other reasons, you know, why he left the home. He went off and he partied, you know, did some drinking with high school buddies and other people that he had met. Well, ECHO was at the apartment. So you may be asking what was Becca's reaction to the news of Billy's death? And while there's no clear indication of someone's involvement, it's something we always know, and in this case, it's what you would expect. Her reaction was shock. So I I turned around to walk and as I get into the kitchen area, she's on the other side of the counter and she goes, Oh my gosh, this just can't be real. I can't believe this. But here's something else. The morning that the volunteers knocked on the door and gave the news of Billy's death, well, Becca had disclosed to Annie and the police something else that had happened that night that no one else knew about after everyone else went to bed. She told me that they had gotten into a fight because he wasn't acting like himself and that he was accusing her of the baby not being his. We do know that a fight between the two got heated. In fact, it got physical. But because this is an ongoing investigation, we're just going to leave it there. So, you know, Scott, just right there knowing that there was a problem between the two and that there was a disagreement, slash a fight of some sort hours before the murder. You know, how do you think, if at all, that might play a role? So we do know about this altercation, but the timeline will remain the most critical key in the investigation, and the reason is? There is a four to five hour gap between the time others in the home went to bed and Billy was found dead outside. And that is the key to answer this question. And it also may answer another question, which is why Billy was outside at all. Again, we all react differently, but just think about yourselves or someone you know you get in a fight with someone, especially someone that you are in a relationship or have had a relationship in the past and someone takes a walk outside to cool off. Then she said the fight ended up being in the living room. And then he said, you know, I'm out of here and said he left and slammed the door. So she sat there on the couch for a while. And then she said she opened the front door and looked out to see if he might be sitting in Mark's car. And she said she didn't see him, so she went back to the bedroom and went to bed. The initial thought was that, yeah, they had an argument and maybe he actually did go out there in the dark. To the road and was waiting for, you know, an Uber or something to come out there. And the question really comes down to a few potential theories. Now here's mine, not based on any information from law enforcement or the ongoing investigation. They're just basically what I've ascertained from reading through the materials. Did Billy and Becca have the type of physical altercation that led her to call someone for help, and potentially that person showed up to defend her? Could that be the someone in the truck or #2? Did an earlier fight at the bar bring something back to Billy's house? Did that fight spill over to the home, or did it really spill over to text messaging between the two asking Billy to step outside? And mine are similar with a bit of a couple twists, which is that we know about the fight. Everything we know about Billy that we're hearing is that he wasn't a violent guy. He's not the type that would go being physically abusive to a woman or to Becca. He would walk off somewhere else and blow off steam or go somewhere and punch something. You know, if anything, he was overly sensitive for his own good. So while he might very well be the one who would go outside to cool off, and that's exactly how Annie explained, did it just then put him outside to then be met by something random, even if intentional? Or was it something because of that fight now that led someone else to come to get involved? Based on the information that law enforcement was working with? Becca was now becoming their person of interest in the investigation. That fact was so disheartening to Annie, and she was the one who let Becker into her family, into her heart, and into her home. And then it all came to light to me that so many things, in this case just keep pointing back to Becca Geiger had that talk with me and then my whole world had changed. And now, I think it's really important that right now we point out that the detective, in this case, Donovan Geiger, he wasn't just looking at Becca, Billy's ex-girlfriend, but at every lead that he had remembered. This happened in 2020, and Billy was 22 years old. So you can just imagine that social media was ablaze with tips, leads and rumors. You know, I've always said that web sleuths could be a blessing or a curse. And the reason is, as an investigator, you can't discount anything unless there's obvious reasons why they're not worthy. Looking into this is a village of 120 families. Everyone knew everyone else, and I'm sure we've seen this before. Families taking sides, speculation running rampant, and police interviewed 20 different people just to find out that it had nothing to do at all with Billy's death. Conversation with him shortly after Christmas and he said, Annie, I follow every lead. I, you know, I do this, I do that. Now let's go back to the actual investigation. Because what the investigators did next was they asked Becca to come in and if she'd take a polygraph test, and she agreed. Once again, this was an investigation with an agency without a tremendous amount of resources. So when it came down to giving that polygraph test, Detective Geiger decided to bring in the FBI to conduct this extremely important evaluation. Now remember, a polygraph is never something that can be used in court. Its utility is really often how good the examiner and but it certainly does give authorities information and a direction to go in to help them rule. Someone in or out? He called me and he told me he's like Tony. We just got done with the polygraph test. He's like, I watched it from the next room. And the results of this test found that Becca was non deceptive. As of now, Becca is not a person of interest. So the question at hand is where do we go from here? And you know, Scott, I came back to something that you and I had talked about before we were recording the episode, which is some of the things that you read about when you were looking at the autopsy. I have a copy of the report in my hands and the diagnosis by the Lucas County Coroner, and it makes it clear that blunt force trauma caused his death. Another interesting fact in the autopsy was abrasions involving his right forearm, his right hand and left hand, his 4th and 5th fingers. The reason I bring this up is it could be seen. As potential defensive wounds, his toxicology report only noted muscle relaxers in his system. He had no other drugs. All of his injuries were consistent with being struck by one blow, by a heavy object, except the potential defensive wounds that Scott just laid out. So you have to say, well, wait a second, if there was an altercation between him and the ex-girlfriend in the house, was it defending against something there or was it now someone else, whether they are there because of her or for some? Unrelated reason, you know, Scott talked about he had been in a bar earlier or maybe something else going on, and so he's met by someone outside where he's now gone to cool off after the fight and there is the beginning of a physical confrontation, but that person now has a heavy object where he strikes him once to the back of the head and that causes his death. In the report it talks about his time of death being between 3:00 AM and 5:41 AM obviously that's when his body was found by those. Volunteer searchers remember also that the video Tony located had a timestamp of 1:30 AM, which was several hours prior to his death, and according to the autopsy, the injuries would have caused death pretty quickly. That led investigators to completely rule out the vehicle that was seen in the surveillance. Now they believe that had nothing to do with Billy's murder. While there's so many unknowns to this case, we need to remember this isn't just an incredible. Loss for Annie, a mother who lost her son. But there's also a boy out there who lost his dad. It's amazing how much that he does understand that. I would never have guessed because one night when he was sleeping, when they still lived with us, he come out of the hallway and he just was served. His face is all puckered up. Tears were pouring down his face. And I said, what's the matter, baby? And he said, I'm just so sad my daddy died and I'm, I'm just so sad. We're going to circle back to where we began in this podcast, Annie's attempt to keep this case alive, reaching out to the media asking for someone to focus in and remind people that Billy's homicide is still unsolved. There was nothing, no media, no news anywhere until when I started going to different news organizations and started fundraising. The reward fund we have 1000 that was initiated by Billy's Pastor, and then another thousand came from a family friend, somewhat of a father mentor. The third one came from Crime Stoppers, and once I call Jerry at Crime Stoppers and let him know that I've reached a total of. 5000 then he's gonna put another article in the paper. And Annie definitely has it right that it is the spotlight attention on her son's case which just might hold the answer to these mysteries. So now there is a glimmer of hope from the work that Annie, Tony and Detective Geiger have all put in, and it may be paying dividends. There is a new person of interest, a person that Becca may have been seeing now. They are no way there yet. Tunnel vision doesn't do anything until they have enough evidence to put someone in handcuffs. If that's where this investigation leads. They need information, evidence, and everyone out there not to forget Billy. So if you or someone you know. Those information, please call Lima Allen County Crime Stopper at 419-229-7867. That's 419229 stop. This was a big, big loss for us. I mean, Billy was just, he was an amazing, outstanding person. He was everybody's friend. I don't ever expect justice to come just because I don't think I want to get let down for that. So I'm going to stick with finding out what happened will be really big for me. It'll be huge. I'm going to take a bit of a different approach that I normally do in these unsolved cases because we've already made an appeal to you, the listeners, to help in this case. But I also want to make an appeal to someone else. This is a village of only 120 families, and as I mentioned earlier, everyone knows everyone else. And the fact that this podcast is now out there, it is possible that the person or persons responsible for the murder of Billy Brown may be listening. And to that, I'll say there is still time to come forward and do the right thing. There is still time to tell investigators your story and what brought you there that night and how things unfolded. This family deserves answers. And like most cases, the truth will come out one way or another. We want to end this podcast by talking about Billy Brown, and this case started with listeners reaching out, so we want to end it by you hearing directly from them. I miss his humor. He just had a way of making everybody laugh. I've always been in that third grade kid for having followers and handfuls of goodies. I miss how like gullible he was. I tell you how gullible he is, though. I told him when he was hit puberty and stuff. I said belly. You know, if you twist your armpit hairs and you twist them up real tight and you pull the middle one out, that all of your armpit hairs will fall out. He's like, no way. It's like, yeah, just try it. So he twists his armpit hairs up and he pulls that middle on his Yanks as hard as he can. And he said nothing happened. Uncle Tommy, I said, well, you must not have pulled the right one. You got to do it again. He was a great friend. I feel that they also deserve closure on this. I've known Billy for eight years now. He's like one of my first real good friends. I was friends with Billy since we were probably 14. He was live for the party. Light up the room. He's a really cool dude. To be around was always trying to lift people. I do believe I was 16. And I attempted suicide. I mean, I spent three days on a ventilator. And. Billy was there all day, every day. When I woke up, my mom said you have to tell this boy to go home. I said, what do you mean? And she said I can't get him to leave. He he just sits at your bedside and holds your hand. He just says he can't leave you. I mean, even when he was here I couldn't thank him enough for that and I hope he knows today that I'm still very grateful for that. I want people to remember him as a caring, loving dude that, you know, just loved everybody. Friends, family, whether he knew you didn't know. Sometimes I go up and I tell him he wasn't allowed to leave. Billy's journey wasn't done. Sometimes I just tell him how much I miss him. And then one time I went out and I put my hands on the ground where it was that he would have laid and I laid down there. Yeah, and I actually let loose and just cried and cried. Sometimes I tell him I'm sorry I couldn't save him. I'm hoping that, you know, you guys have such a big following that, but once this episode comes out, it's going to get shared all over and it's going to get recognition like, and I'm hoping that somebody who knows something after hearing you guys talk about it and everything, it'll touch a nerve and want them to come forward and talk to the detectives and stuff. And if not, then people will know about Billy. TuneIn next week for another new episode of Anatomy of Murder. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and Forseti Media. Ashley Flowers and Summit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?