- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - An attorney for the family of a missing Kentucky woman has filed an appeal aimed at gaining access to the chain of custody of a 911 tape from the day the Webster County woman disappeared more than 20 years ago.

The appeal brings the matter before a circuit judge who potentially could order Kentucky State Police to produce the chain of custody document and the tape itself for the judge to hear before making a decision, according to media reports.

Attorney Chip Adams said the family of Heather Teague filed an open records request with state police for the chain of custody of the 911 tape but the request was denied. Adams said the Kentucky attorney general’s office upheld the KSP decision on appeal.

Teague disappeared off Henderson County’s Newburgh Beach in August 1995.

At the time, one witness watching through a telescope from across the river in Indiana told police that he saw the 23-year-old woman being forcibly taken by a man from the isolated Ohio River beach where she was sunbathing.

Five days later, a Henderson County man considered a suspect fatally shot himself when law enforcement officials attempted to serve a search warrant at his rural home. The man was linked to the abduction by his description and his ownership of a red-and-white Ford Bronco reportedly seen next to Teague’s car on the road to the beach the day she disappeared.

Adams said he and Teague’s mother, Sarah Teague, are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 23 to request a hearing date from Henderson Circuit Judge Karen Wilson. At the hearing, the judge can hear evidence as well as arguments on why state police should produce the document, Adams said.

The Teague family and Adams contend that the chain of custody document is important because they believe they’ve heard two different 911 tapes generated from the day of Heather’s disappearance.

“We were allowed to listen to the 911 call in 2008. We went to Post 16 and the tape was played from a computer,” Adams said.

The attorney said he and Sarah Teague went to the KSP post in February 2016 to again listen to the 911 tape but said it was different from the one they heard in 2008.

When asked by The Gleaner in Henderson what differences were heard between the tapes, he said, “I know what the differences were but I can’t release that information.”

“I’m not speculating about anything, and I’m not trying to accuse anyone of wrong doing,” Adams said. “We’re just trying to find out what happened.”

State police officials said the investigation into Heather Teague’s disappearance is ongoing.

As recently as 2014, authorities received information that led them to excavate two areas, but Teague’s remains were not located.

Due to the status of Teague’s disappearance as an active investigation, officials said they can’t comment on the chain of custody of the 911 tape or on any pending court action.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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