Season 2 | Episode 6 | “Other Side of the Tracks” | Aired August 1, 2014
Robin Stone of Cambrige, Ohio, was seven months pregnant when she went missing on August 2, 1991. Four months later, the 17-year-old’s skeletal remains and those of her unborn child were found near a lake.
As part of the investigation into the disappearance and murder, authorities tried to determine who the father was, but were unable to at the time because Robin was dating more than one boy. Robin also kept a diary—a very honest diary that detailed her relationship with her long-term boyfriend, the number of times they broke up and reconciled, and the other boys she was involved with when she wasn’t with him.
Ultimately, the district attorney felt there wasn’t enough to prove the case, and the case went cold.
Twenty-three years later, Kelly and Yolanda are here to get justice for Robin and her baby.
They start by meeting the investigators, Det. Sgt. Jason Mackie and Det. Sgt. Sam Williams, at the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office. Kelly and Yolanda have asked investigators Steve Spignola and Johnny Bonds to help out with the witness interviews.
Here’s what we know so far: On the first day of her senior year, Robin attended school and, when she returned home, got an urgent phone call. She told her mom she’d be back in about an hour. She was never heard from again. Four months later, her body was located on December 28 and identified through dental records.
Their first suspect is Lee Savage, whom Robin had been dating the longest. Robin claimed he was the father of her baby, but Lee denied it. Lee was very familiar with the lake where her body was found, it was half a mile from his family’s property, and he’d been to it numerous times. Additionally, the Savage family is connected to various locations related to the case.
To that point, the second suspect is actually Lee’s father, Jack Savage. Jack didn’t approve of Robin and wasn’t happy about her claiming Lee was the father. He also has a history of having a volatile temper and a short fuse.
Both Kelly and Yolanda are convinced that those are their only two suspects. The questions they need to answer are 1) Was Lee the father and the killer? and 2) Did Jack Savage help Lee kill her, or did he kill Robin on his own to protect his son?
With that, the team goes to visit Robin’s family. This is always the part of the show that I both like the best and that always makes me cry. It’s very clear how much her family loved her and misses her. Robin’s mother also tells them that they never found out if her grandchild was a boy or a girl, and that breaks her heart. Kelly and Yolanda, both mothers themselves, clearly empathize. They promise that they’re going to do everything they can to get justice for Robin.
Their next stop is the crime scene. When they walk it and talk to the witnesses who originally found the body, it’s pretty clear that it was really just luck that she was found. She was found within a copse of trees and was only located because animals had scattered the remains. What they can’t determine from the remains is the cause of death. There’s no sign of a weapon.
Our heroes then meet with Marigold Marsh, the mother of a girl who was friends with Robin. Robin’s mom called that night looking for Robin and, after she hung up, Marigold called Jack Savage to tell him Robin was missing. Jack’s response? “Well, I hope that bitch is dead.”
They speak to Lee’s former mother-in-law, and we get some news that really causes some shock: She says Lee told her about the baby and that it could be his baby, but it could also be his father’s. Jack’s involvement as a suspect just went way up.
But they need to get DNA, and getting it from either Lee or Jack isn’t going to happen without a search warrant. So they decide to try to get a sample from one of Lee’s children. If they get a match, they can get the warrant for DNA from their suspects.
They do get the DNA, but it will take time for results, so they go to talk to Lee’s ex-wives and girlfriends to get a better idea of what Lee is like. We find out that Lee, like his dad, has a violent temper and even choked some of his exes during sex. He also abused several of his exes and was violent. He seems to be all about control and, when his control is questioned, he snaps.
But things get really interesting when they hear from an ex that Lee told her, “Well, you’re just lucky that I didn’t do to you what I did to that other girl.” Wow.
The DNA results are in from the swab they took from Lee’s daughter and, with a 99.8 percent match, they have probable cause for a warrant for Lee and Jack Savage’s DNA. Warrants in hand, their first stop is Jack Savage’s house. I’m thinking we’re going to see some fireworks.
Instead of fireworks, Jack’s story is that he had met Robin once or twice and that Lee didn’t begin dating her until she was four months pregnant. He’s definitely going the “She tried to trap my son” route even though it’s common knowledge that Lee and Robin dated before she was pregnant. But as the conversation goes on and they tell him they have a warrant for his DNA, he says he’ll agree to the swab, but that they’d better not come back and involve him or “Buddy, I’ll blow your ass off.”
He said this. To a police officer. Yeah, no anger issues there.
Finally, it’s time to talk to Lee Savage. Lee’s story is that while he and Robin dated on and off, they hadn’t been together when she got pregnant, and he didn’t know until she told him. He even says that they never had vaginal intercourse, so he doesn’t understand how it could be his baby. When they hit him with the news that he’s a 99.8 percent match and that they tested fetal bones, he seems genuinely shocked that the baby was there. He even seems upset that someone killed his kid. So he submits to the DNA test. But Kelly is still skeptical, because Lee’s answers to the questions change whenever he’s confronted with a fact that contradicts him. Pretty convenient.
Two days later, the results are in.
Jack Savage is excluded. Lee Savage is confirmed as the father with 99.99 percent probability.
With the history of violence, the lies and contradictions in his stories over the years, where the body was found, and the fact that he was the father, they take the case to the D.A., and the D.A. agrees that they made progress. However, he’d like them to get a bit more evidence and tighten the case up before he can take it to trial.
Still, this is way more progress than we had before Kelly and Yolanda came to town. They go meet with Robin’s family to give them the news. They let them know that the baby was a boy and that Lee was the father, along with some of the details they discovered. The family is glad to know that they have answers to many of their questions so they can begin to find peace and heal.
Cold Justice airs Fridays at 9/8C on TNT.