It would take 6 rainy, warm weeks to finally prove this was a double murder and reveal the undeniable similarities to the CPM cases. In a deeply wooded hunting area just off Route 155 about a mile from the rest area, two deer hunters came across a blanket. Underneath were two skeletons. Daniel and Annamaria had been found.
The State troopers and Feds swarmed over the site. The weeds along the dirt road matched those found under the Nova. The killer had driven them out here, probably to the dirt crossroads and then marched them further into the forest along a logging road. Here he killed them.
Only one thing had been missing from all the stuff Daniel had in his car. This was a blanket from the trunk. It was this blanket that covered their bodies. Supposedly most of his clothes had also been found in the car. I do not know if that is true. Nothing is said about Annamaria’s clothes, but her purse was there and yet the wallet inside was missing. One of her possessions was most definitely found in the car. It was her roach clip with feathers. It was dangling in the driver’s side window, almost as if it was left there as a boastful taunt on the killer’s part.
Until the bodies were found, Littreal was on good ground to insist there was no connection here with the CPM cases. This was about 30 miles away from the I-64 cutoff to Colonial Parkway. Lauer and Phelps weren’t dating. They weren’t at a lovers’ lane or skinny-dipping. When the bodies were found, however, the similarities became obvious. It is not openly stated— few things are in these CPM cases— but we can deduce that since there is no mention of tattered clothes, the bodies were nude at the time they were killed. The manner in which Lauer died could not be determined, but it was felt that Phelps had been stabbed. If they were clothed, there would have been stabbed wounds in the clothes and dried blood. Apparently one of Phelps’ bones had been scored in such a way it indicated a knife had plunged in.
All facts coupled together, this seemed to be the Keith Call and Sandra Hailey case, only in this instance the bodies were found.
Since Daniel and Annamaria had to have been at the rest stop when first approached, the fear this was a cop or someone playing cop came to the fore. It was the only link the location had with the others. But in this case there was no doubt that the car had been driven to the forest where the murders occurred and then driven back westbound to the rest area a mile away. How could a cop on duty do this? It seems unlikely. This was another drawn-out murder like the other CPM killings. If he had an accomplice, why take the car back to the rest area at all? The accomplice could have followed the killer to the crime scene in their car and then both could have driven away.
Like in the Call-Hailey disappearance the killer here did not want the bodies found or found quickly. The dirty road could have revealed footprints, stride, etc. Yet why not take the car and dump it elsewhere, especially if he had an accomplice?
From the sequence of events the clues point to a single perp who at gunpoint made Lauer drive from the rest stop to the next exit, hang a left on Route 155 and then soon a right into the wooded area’s access road. After killing them he then drove the car back onto Route 155, entered the onramp westbound and returned to the rest area just a mile down the road, though on the westbound side. He parked the car in back past where the rigs parked. In the dark early morning hours no one would have seen him park on the truck ramp. Then, somehow, he crossed the highway to the eastbound side or had already parked on the westbound side, got his car, and drove off.