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Leroy drieth1

Leroy Drieth

Real Name: Leroy Drieth
Nicknames: No known kicknames
Location: Mead, Colorado
Date: May 30, 1968


Details: Leroy Drieth was the oldest of four children. At the age of seventeen, he fell in love with a sixteen-year-old Hispanic girl named Patty. A year later, they were engaged. On Memorial Day 1968, he attended a party at her house in Mead, Colorado. In the early afternoon, he left. A block and a half away, he was found semi-conscious behind the wheel of his car, which had crashed into a tree. His father, Henry, and brother were on the scene within minutes. When the ambulance arrived, one of the paramedics asked the gathering crowd about the scene. One witness claimed that Leroy had fought with Patty and said that he was going to kill himself. he passed away at the hospital. Shortly after, the coroner spoke with one of the paramedics, who told him about the witness's statement. The coroner decided that no autopsy was necessary and labelled the death an "auto suicide".
Leroy's family was certain that it was not a suicide. His mother, Freda, went to the D.A. and asked them to investigate this case. They rudely denied her request and told her to "get over it". Leroy's sister, Vickie Mahrling, was just eleven at the time. She noticed that Freda was deeply upset about his death. She was also certain that he did not commit suicide. Years later in June 1988, she decided to start her own investigation into this case. She visited the Boulder County Coroner's Office and was surprised to learn that they were also suspicious of his death. An official noted that there were only three recorded "auto suicide" cases in Colorado, and the other two had been investigated for months. This one, however, was barely investigated for a week.
Vickie questioned Patty's neighbors about the day of Leroy's death. Several people remembered that there was a fight between him and some of Patty's relatives during the party. Some of them were drinking that day and did not like that Leroy and Patty were dating. Several witnesses told similar stories about the party. However, not all of the people that Vickie talked to believed that there was more to the story. The original coroner's son believed that his father's ruling was correct and that he had done everything that he could to help with this case.
Vickie decided to place an advertisement in the local newspaper, asking for Patty to contact her. It worked. A few weeks later, they met, and Vickie asked Patty about Leroy's suicidal remarks. She claimed that he never stated that he wanted to kill himself. However, Patty was reluctant to talk more about his death. Despite this, Vickie was certain that something happened to him while he was at Patty's house that day.

Leroy drieth5 autopsy report

Leroy's revised autopsy that showed knife wounds

Henry and Freda agreed to have Leroy's body exhumed for an autopsy. On August 9, 1993, the exhumation took place. The new coroner found two knife wounds on his neck; one was a two-inch stab wound and the other a four-inch slash that severed his windpipe. The cause of his death was changed from "auto-suicide" to "undetermined." Vickie is certain that one of Patty's relatives is responsible for Leroy's death. His relatives are still searching for answers in it.
Suspects: Patty's relatives are considered suspects in Leroy's death. Vickie learned that on the day of it, he arrived at Patty's house at around 5pm. One of the party guests was Carolyn Wertz, Patty's sister-in-law at the time. She lived at the house for several months before and after Leroy's death. She remembered that several of Patty's relatives were drinking at the time. Apparently, there was a racially-based argument between Leroy and some of Patty's relatives, presumably due to the fact that Patty was Hispanic and Leroy was White.
Soon after the argument, Patty escorted Leroy to his car. Vickie believes that one of Patty's relatives attacked him with a knife shortly before he left. She believes that he was fleeing from his attacker(s) when he crashed into the tree.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 12, 1996 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Vickie claims that Patty contacted her again and offered to provide an account of the party. But when she called to set up a meeting, she found that Patty's phone had been disconnected. Vickie is hoping that Patty will come forward again. Sadly, Henry died in 2003 without learning more about Leroy's death. A reward is being offered in this case.