Everyone occasionally does something they wouldn’t want to be caught doing. We all just hope we can have a private moment once in awhile and what we don’t tell people isn’t supposed to hurt them. In this true crime story, one man had to out himself as a Peeping Tom in order to come forward to police and give evidence about what he saw.
The real life horror show played out on August 26, 1995 on a remote beach in Spottsville, Kentucky when a man on one side of the Ohio river was using his telescope to watch the beach on the other side of the river, probably because a woman, Heather Teague, was using the beach to sunbathe. The vibe of the man’s voyeurism shifted suddenly a little after noon when he noted a shirtless white man emerging from the woods behind the beach. This man’s face was obscured by the mosquito netting and wig he wore.
The Peeping Tom watched in horror as the man who emerged from the woods and pulled the sunbathing woman back into the woods by her hair. He also had a gun. The Peeping Tom waited 45 minutes before calling police, likely because of the strange circumstances surrounding how the Peeping Tom happened to witness the crime through his telescope. However, after calling police he was active in the investigation, meeting police officers at the beach, giving a full statement, and working with a sketch artist.
Heather Teague was never seen or heard from again. When police searched the beach and woods, the only evidence they found were pieces of Heather’s red plaid bathing suit.
A local farmer happened to be taking video footage of crop damage the day of Heather’s disappearance and happened to catch the parking lot to the beach and surrounding area. In the video, Heather’s car is seen. Next to her car is a red Ford Bronco. Police think that there may have been two abductors and one was ransacking Heather’s car while the other man raped her in the bed of the Bronco.
Ray “Marty” Dill was a local man who drove a red Ford Bronco. During a “routine traffic stop” (searches aren’t performed during routine traffic stops and it’s unclear if this search was performed because he was a suspect in Heather’s disappearance or if it truly was an unrelated “routine” stop) a treasure trove of damning evidence was found in his vehicle. Police found “a few hairs resembling Heather’s, two guns, two knives, rubber gloves, duct tape and rope.” His tailgate was stained with blood. The man with the telescope worked with a sketch artist and created a sketch that looked like Marty Dill. When he was shown a photo of Marty Dill, the man identified him as the person he saw dragging Heather into the woods. When police went to his home to question him, Dill shot himself in the head, ending his life.
Subsequently, a grand jury investigation was held. Marty Dill’s wife was questioned, but she declined to answer any questions, exercising her fifth amendment rights to not incriminate herself.
Heather Teague’s family believes there was a police cover-up or negligent police activity in her case. Her mother says:
“I have FBI files which say that Heather’s abduction is linked to drugs, prostitution, public corruption and (strip clubs). [The] FBI has told me to ask the OIG in Washington, DC. They cannot explain their own files.
I was told in 2009 that Heather had been sold. Three men, including the eyewitness attorney, were all busted and this information that Heather was with one of these men in 1998, which would’ve been 3 years after she was abducted.”
In 2013 Heather’s mother sued the Kentucky State Police for negligence. In 2018 she was awarded $24,000 after a judge found police illegally failed to release evidence (specifically, 911 calls the day Heather was abducted) when it was requested by Heather’s family. The $24,000 was a “25 per day penalty for violating Kentucky’s Open Records Act” along with the family’s legal fees.
Heather’s mother and her lawyer were able to listen to the 911 calls twice before suing the police department for copies of the tapes. Her lawyer explains the need for the lawsuit by describing the tapes they heard: “in the 911 recording police played for him [the family’s lawyer] and Sarah Teague in 2008 the caller described the abductor as having “mosquito netting or a wig” over his head. He said the call played to them in 2016 did not include those descriptions and that the dispatcher heard on that recording was a male and not the female dispatcher heard on the call played in 2008… police have said there is no record or reproduction of a 911 call played for them (Heather’s mother and lawyer) in 2008.”
Heather’s family does not believe Marty Dill is a good suspect in Heather’s disappearance.
Chris Below is also a person of interest in Heather’s case. Below is a 39-year-old man native to the Kentucky County (Henderson County) where Heather was abducted. He was convicted of manslaughter for the disappearance and suspected murder of a woman he was having an affair with at the time of her disappearance, Kathern Fetzer. He says he shot her though her body has never been found. He is suspected of murdering other women as well: Mary Kushto, Shaylene Farrell and Kristina Porco. Chris and Heather may have been casually acquainted with each other.
Heather Teague and Kathern Fetzer were similar in appearance. Both were petite women with long brown hair. They were both around 5’0 and 100 pounds. Below’s friends said that he had bragged about “knowing how to get rid of bodies”.
For whatever reason, Henderson County seems to attract evil. In addition to the very real horror of whoever kidnapped Heather Teague, Marty Dill and Chris Below had other victims in the area. Additionally in 1799 and in 1955 (different) serial killers struck the small county. In 2008, a 25-year-old mass murderer entered the Atlantis Plastics plant and killed five people before killing himself. There is a local legend about a bigfoot-like monster that lives in the Spottsville, Kentucky area referred to as The Spottsville Monster. It may be local’s way of explaining how so many horrible crimes have occurred in such a small community.
The beach where Heather disappeared is now closed to the public. She would be 49-years-old today. Heather’s family runs the “Where is Heather Danyelle Teague?” Facebook page where you can get updates on her case or send in any information you may have.