Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Joey Lynn Offutt: Disappeared

I watched it the other night. This was yet another episode of Disappeared in which one of my fellow Pennsylvanians has gone missing.

Here's a capsule summary of the events leading up to this disappearance, taken from the website dedicated to recovering this missing and possibly endangered woman:

Four years ago, in the early morning of July 12, 2007, authorities responded to a fire at Joey Lynn Offutt's Sykesville, PA home. After the fire was extinguished, the remains of Offutt's six-week-old son were discovered, but Offutt and her car, a red Saturn with Virginia license plates, were missing. Police found Offutt's car four days later in State College, PA, parked at the Nittany Gardens apartment complex, where Offutt had previously lived. 

Offutt's other two children, who were not in the home at the time of the fire, have been living with family members.

In the four years since Offutt has been missing, there have been no substantial leads in the case. Offutt's family believes Joey would not willingly leave her children, and they fear someone killed her and then tried to destroy evidence by burning the house down.

Offutt's family has increased the reward being offered for information on the whereabouts of Joey to $25,000.

At the time she went missing, Joey Lynn Offutt was 33 years old and is described as a petite woman, approximately 5' 3" with a thin build. She has brown eyes and brown/red brown hair. She may or may not have been wearing glasses.

Offutt's family has established a toll-free number to field tips from the public. Anyone with information is urged to call 1-877-440-JOEY (1-877-440-5639) or to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at 814 371-4652.

The family also runs this website to help bring public attention to the case. Visit FindJoey.org for additional information or to contact Offutt's family with information.

Interesting to see the substantial reward offered for information here and compare it to the mere thousand dollars offered by the McStay family for information leading to the recovery of their loved ones, even though they have almost certainly made a substantial amount of money from that case by now. And if you think I'm being cynical by writing that, I refer you to the McStay family website where Michael McStay solicits television interest in the disappearance of his relations with the line, "Any serious offer will be entertained." If that, coupled with the low reward money, isn't enough to make you suspicious that the whole McStay disappearance is a hoax (or that someone knows they are alive and well) you must be pretty gullible. I wouldn't want to give a hundred thousand away either, if I knew there was a great chance those who willingly disappeared could slip up and be caught. Better to pay out a pittance. That fact alone would have made me seriously suspicious about that case. But I believe that family is all alive for numerous other reasons.

With the disappearance of Joey Lynn Offutt, I'm not so sure.

I do think there is a very great chance this woman is alive, even though her mother's thoughts seem to be going in the opposite direction, that of despair-- after all this time. Her mother's pain is very apparent on this show. I tend to think she was coached by the FBI or someone in law enforcement on the words she used at the end of the episode where she spoke directly to a theoretical abductor. They seemed calculated to be exculpatory and forgiving, which is probably a smart tactic. Well, it's a smart tactic if the hypothesized abductor and/or murderer has some semblance of a conscience.

I tend to believe that Joey Lynn Offutt solicited the assistance of a man with whom she had prior familiarity to assist her in abandoning her life and "starting over."

The show states that the way this woman's car was parked in an apartment complex (where Offutt had formerly resided) was not typical of her driving skills. And the seat was set not for the petite Offutt but for a driver who was probably a larger man.

The show doesn't draw any conclusions from the fact that Offutt's car was found there, but I find it hard to believe any rational viewer would not immediately draw a number of inferences from that highly significant fact.

The odds that this car randomly ended up back at a place where Offutt once lived are about zero.

The distance is considerable, so it's almost certainly not random.

Offutt had had a bitter fight with her current love interest. She stopped speaking to him and went into one of her typical withdrawals. She was known to have attacks of rage. Offutt might have been suffering from postpartum depression. Young children under the care of a mother suffering from postpartum depression may be in mortal danger.  The last fight with her on/off romantic partner had been over the bathing of the baby (in a dirty sink). That is when Offutt stormed off and stopped speaking with this man.

This baby was later found dead in a bathtub after the fire. The fire marshal said the baby had most likely died prior to the fire (so probably drowned).

Offutt's loved ones repeatedly said things that indicated this young woman had some cognitive difficulties and possibly mental health issues. They didn't explicitly state whether it was a mental health or mental retardation (hate that word, is there a newer medical term?) issue. But it was clear that people had to do a little extra "looking out" for Joey. And I was really impressed with the love with which her family did this for her. I was really moved by her mother buying her that house to give her security. Joey seemed to love that house. But she clearly was unstable, and I think this latest birth might have sent her over the edge.

The car returns and vanishes from Offutt's Sykesville home several times during the week of unsure whereabouts. Offutt may or may not be the one driving the vehicle during this time. The car was seen there roughly an hour prior to the time the house fire was called in, which was at approximately four a.m.

I honestly believe she solicited the help of a man she knew from before. Someone who lived in or near that apartment complex. I believe this was a romantic involvement. Men don't put themselves in situations like this without there being a romantic involvement usually. Probably this guy is not that bright. Because there seem to be a number of bad decisions.

I don't believe she happened to reach out to someone from her past and he just happened to kill her baby and then come back and burn down her house and then park the car at an apartment complex where she once lived.

Here's the problem though. The car parked at that location could be a red herring meant to throw us off the trail. But a random person she met on the internet (Offutt had a tendency to do this) would almost certainly not know she had lived in that apartment complex, how to find it, etc.

Her partner Alexis, however, would have known that. Watching the show, I got the impression that he was genuine and that his grief over what happened was genuine. But you can't go by intuition. He did fail the first lie detector test, but those are notoriously unreliable. People have spent half their lives in jail because of the faith juries have put in the results of these tests and, in some instances, the results have later been completely and unequivocally invalidated.

Let's just entertain a scenario. Offutt storms off because her partner tells her she is not taking care of the baby in a suitable manner. Let's say (unlikely possibility) she drowns the baby in a fit of postpartum depression. Her partner discovers this and kills her in retaliation. He disposes of her body and later returns to burn down the house to dispose of evidence. He parks the car in the apartment complex where she once lived to send police down the bunny trail.

It could have happened that way. I'm not sure how likely that is.

I tend to think the death of the baby, accidental or otherwise, was at Offutt's hands. The fact that it was a bathtub where the baby was found. When you consider that the last fight had been about bathing the baby, this is a disturbing "coincidence." And there's also the possibility that she was suffering from postpartum depression. Was it only Alexis who alleged this, or was there an actual medical diagnosis somewhere in there?

The police didn't mention finding Offutt's partner's fingerprints in that vehicle, but it looks like the seat was last set by a man of about his size (yeah, I know, "and the size of about half the population of America").

But it's one of only two possibilities, really.

Either he did this. Or she knew another man from her past and returned to that place she once lived because she wanted his assistance.

If this other hypothetical man from her past murdered her, why would he leave the car parked where he lived? Or even in the part of the state where he lived?

If Offutt decided to go on the run with this man, then it didn't really matter where they left her car. It might almost be a signal to her mother stating "I am still alive." Because it speaks of a deliberate flight.

My guess is that if she did flee after the accidental or postpartum-related death of her child, you'd want to look for tenants in that complex (or even nearby apartment complexes) who vacated or even broke lease in that period or immediately thereafter. Because they probably moved on from there. They knew her vehicle had to be left behind.

The arson would make sense with either theory: the partner murdering her and leaving the vehicle there as a red herring OR with her trying to hide the baby's death at her own hands--or an accidental death. In either cases the arson makes a type of "sense." Evidence is being destroyed.

What I do NOT believe happened is that she was murdered by a random man who then came back (DAYS later) to burn down the house.

A random murderer (say if this were your typical sex crime) would probably not have murdered the baby and we would probably have just found Offutt's body as well in that house. Plus, days would not have elapsed. Murderers who do this tend to start the blaze immediately after the commission of the crime.

Offutt was seen in a distracted state sometime in the week of non-communication pushing a stroller with no baby in it and did not respond to a greeting from an individual she usually greeted. This points to her deliberately hiding and really draws a picture of postpartum depression for me.

I think it is more likely she fled than that she was murdered.

My intuition (and my intuition has been wrong before) is that her partner Alexis is exactly what he seems.

The only thing that really made me suspicious was his meekness in not trying to get inside that house for such an extended period of time. The police said the notes he left were found and they have even stated he is not a suspect or "person of interest" in this case.

So I tend to think this is a case of a tragic death from postpartum depression (and these women are really not fully responsible when this happens) or an accidental death which sent Offutt into a total panic.

I think Offutt fled with another individual. Possibly they did not even flee. I know they posted fliers all over that apartment complex, but she could still even be living there, only coming out under cover of darkness. It wouldn't really surprise me. Stranger things have happened.

I think there is a much greater than 90% chance that this woman is still alive.

My intuition tells me she is alive as well. If that counts for anything.





55 comments:

  1. Due to restrictions, I have to split up my response into multiple comments. For the record I am Joey's nephew and a spokesperson for the family.

    PART 1:

    Very nice, thorough analysis of the case and your theories on what happened.

    I want to correct one of your assumptions, however. There was ABSOLUTELY NO "coaching" of family members by law enforcement. And the FBI is not, and has never been, involved in this case. What you saw from her mother and sister is genuine desperation for answers, if that means reaching out to the person who may have been involved in this to come forward, so that our family can have answers and begin to have some sort of closure, then so be it.

    One other note, the witness who told police that he saw Joey with a baby stroller did not say that the stroller was empty. Rather, he could not say for sure, one way or another, whether he could recall if there was a baby in the stroller. It's a small distinction, but an important one. Which I know, unfortunately, only makes things even more murky.

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  2. PART 2:

    Also, while it's easy to focus on the location of where the baby's remains were found, and assume the baby drowned (that's what we thought at first too!) the autopsy was inconclusive. No cause of death could be absolutely determined, nor did it indicate whether the baby died prior to or during the fire. The police believe the baby most likely died prior to the fire (but have not told us why they believe this, as again, the autopsy did not indicate either way). Though they believe the baby died prior to the fire, they have given us no indication that they believe the baby drowned, accidentally or otherwise.

    One theory (and trust me, we have about a hundred of different possible theories which is just maddening because they all make sense and line up with the facts, but only up to a certain point) is that an intruder (likely someone Joey knew, at the very least as an acquaintance) tried to get into the house, or was already in the house, and Joey ran upstairs for safety to escape harm, with her baby in her arms. She enters the bathroom and places the baby in the empty bathtub so she can block and reinforce the door. The person gains access, in a fit of rage perhaps strangles or strikes Joey, killing her, perhaps even unintentionally. I agree with you, this was not a "random" act by a stranger, for all the reasons you mention. But the killer then tries to bide some time, but did not count on the home health nurse coming to the house multiple times, and family members are now getting worried. The person (or people) involved now have a few days to think about what to do and how to do it. To protect themselves, but make it look like Joey did this as some postpartum thing. They dispose of Joey's body elsewhere, and then set fire to the house, focusing in the specific areas where the crime actually took place, to destroy evidence. Why not just leave Joey's body to burn with the house? Because then it would absolutely be known that someone murdered her and her baby. By disposing of her body elsewhere, the facts on the surface surely make it seem like a postpartum act (or baby accidentally dies and the mother freaks out or has some kind of mental breakdown and then flees) and thus lead police and others to always have doubt whether Joey was responsible for the entire act. The car being parked at the apartment complex was no accident. But I don't think we ever considered that to be some sort of "signal" from Joey to us that she was ok. We thought the car was planted there, again, in an attempt to make it look like Joey was responsible for all of this. But in their rush or stupidity, the person driving the car makes it obvious to those who know Joey that she did not drive the car.

    Again, just a theory. No one knows for sure. At least not yet. We hope that SOMEONE out there will be able to tell us the TRUTH in what happened. Her children deserve to know what happened to their mother.

    Thanks again for the very thoughtful and insightful analysis. I hope that one day soon we will be able to know which of the many theories out there is the correct one. Either way -- dead or alive -- victim or criminal -- the family wants to know the truth.

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    1. Its all judt weird!!!!!have u guys gotten anu kind of leads lately?

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  3. Hi Jason. Thanks for the clarification. I know that show tries to get things right but like any other news programs they make mistakes. And then bloggers like me writing about what we saw will also make mistakes.

    I really believe your aunt is alive. If she's not alive, then I believe Alexis is responsible. But I don't think it's likely he is. I doubt he would have conducted himself the way he did during those first days when your aunt was not responding to him or anyone. I don't think the car would have appeared and disappeared several times. I think that would have only happened once then. Plus, he just comes across as very truthful in the interview and he did comply with the show's request.

    Even if your young cousin died (and R.I.P., my condolences) by accident, that might be enough to push someone over the brink with fear that others will blame her. Or that she will be prosecuted. So she might be hiding for that reason. If it was your aunt getting help from another man she knew from some time back, I don't know why they would leave the car in plain sight. Probably because they weren't sure how much time they had before it would be found or possibly while they were still trying to come to a consensus on how to proceed.

    If the man who assisted your aunt was going to kill her, I think he would have ditched the car in a place very far from where he lived and I have never really heard of even a careful murderer returning a car to a place where a victim once loved, as opposed to where they live now. Plus, he would have changed the seat setting.

    It's possible this was a willful disappearance and then later something tragic happened to her, but I don't think that's what happened. I think she's alive.

    Do you have a connection to or live in Utica, NY? A lot of people have read this story but the most returns came from Utica, New York. Of course, that's the internet connection. It could be routed from a city not that close to there. It's probably just randomness but I thought I'd mention in case either you or your aunt ever traveled there (or maybe that's where her family is from? I missed the very beginning of that show).

    My best wishes that Joey will be found soon...and alive!

    If she knows she won't face charges she might return sooner if she is alive and afraid.

    Might be a great idea to have the police state on the record that she will not face charges if she returns?

    I mean since they can't rule the child's death a homicide.

    The arson might be a different case but I guess it would depend on whether the insurance was paid out? Not sure how that works with that charge.

    I think she's alive and afraid. I hope she contacts someone soon.

    If she watched the show, she must realize how much people love and miss her.

    And that no one is judging her.

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  4. I watched the show and I got a sense that Joey is alive as well. I think she was very upset, enraged, depressed and coupled with a very immature emotional quotient to handle complex situations like motherhood and on/off relationship she drowned her baby in retaliation for her frustrations. This seems like something she would do-as some people explained she was very immature-and then runaway. Its not coincidence that last time Alexis saw Joey the baby was being washed in a dirty sink (she was already harming the baby then), the details of a person helping Joey are murky-its all hypothetical. The think the way the car was parked is irrelevant-I think she might have been with someone else who parked it or she managed to park it like that even 15 year old girls can park straight once in a while right? And what if she was moving the car seat to see if there was anything in the car? Then in the cover of night she went to live with someone else or took a bus somewhere in the early morning, and now keeps to herself and doesn't speak to anyone in fear of being discovered wherever she is.

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  5. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm glad you think she's alive as well. It would be nice to have some of these stories end with people being reunited with their loved ones, and I think there's a good chance of that here. I don't think she was fully responsible for whatever happened. She was clearly was dealing with circustances which were a little bit beyond her capacity (imho). I think she had good reason to fear the police considering how they treated her last time. Just because she had spit in anger they arrested her. That had to have been a terrifying experience. So I can only imagine what she thought when faced with something even more serious this time, even if the child's death was accidental. She probably figured her life would be taken from her. She might not have been responsible for the child's death at all--it could have been an accident. I think she's running scared and is with someone she can trust to hide her. I said a man but it could have just as easily been a trusted female friend. I hope she is safe and is reunited with her family soon. I think she will be one day.

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  6. Joeylyn was bipolar and did not take her meds during the time I knew her. She frequently had fits of rage and manic episodes. She was discharged from the military on mental stability grounds. I pray that she did not meet any harm by some evil man that took advantage of her, by the same token I pray it was not her that took the life of her child. Based on the experience I and my family had with her, I would find it easier to believe she found a male accomplise to take her away.

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  7. Thanks for your comment. I don't think they mentioned "bipolar" illness on the show, but I'd believe it (I'm bipolar) since she showed classic bipolar type behavior (the rage, internet addiction and sexual promiscuity). They sort of played it off like she was "slow." I believe she's alive. I hope the child's death was an accident and she just panicked and fled. I mean that doesn't make the loss of a life any easier to take. But it might explain why it appears someone was trying to cover up a murder. Maybe there was no murder, but she never believed she would get a fair hearing (after her previous run-in with the police which ended so badly). I could see her paranoia causing her to make a decision like that even if it had been an accident. I think she's one of the people of DISAPPEARED that is most likely to actually be alive. I don't think that about many of them. The McStay family I also believe are all alive. Maybe Steven Koecher. A few others. But it's a small number where I think "This person (or these people) are probably still alive."

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  8. I knew Joey in the 90's and she was always a little "unstable".I hope and pray that she did not hurt her child, but I really can't say with 100% certainty that she didn't. I hope that she can be found alive and well,and the truth comes out.

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  9. Thanks for your comment and I'm sure her loved ones appreciate your prayers. Cheers.

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  10. My sister-in-law is Joey's sister. She did not do this. If you didn't know Joey, you really can't understand the situation. If you want a better overview of Joey's story, watch the 'America's Most Wanted" episode. It's a much better version of the story. Unfortunately my opinion is that Alexis had something to do with Joey's disappearance, she never would have left on her own. I had spent time with Joey and her girls at a family event the summer before she had Lex, and I can tell you that she would not ever hurt her children. She would never leave them willingly - they were her world. Alexis's whole ploy is that she had post-partum depression - but that just isn't true. It's true that Joey had some mental issues, but not at the time that all of this happened.

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  11. Thanks for your comment. It could have been an accident. I don't presume anyone harmed the child, really, since there's no evidence either way. I'm glad to hear you say she would not hurt her children. But I'm thinking you think she is no longer with us, which I hope is not the case. So many wrenching stories on that network. If she had the sort of "mental health issues" most say she had, that doesn't really go away. It can change the complexion if you're world on Tuesday when Monday everything was fine. I know because I live with it myself. I guess you can't really go by intuition but Alexis seemed very honest and forthcoming on the show. It was a little troubling that he might have failed that lie detector test (often people do when they're completely innocent) and that he sort of later shut the police out, stopped giving assistance. But it could be he needed to do that for his own mental well-being. it's hard to dwell and live in the past and especially a tragic part of the past. I don't really know in this case. I tend to think she's alive but I wouldn't give odds. I think she fled. I feel like there are probably avenues of investigation nobody is thinking of with this case. But I have no idea what those are.

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  12. I just watched this episode again for the second time. I also believe she is still alive. Sometimes even the people closest to us do not know the whole truth about someone until it is too late. Part 2...... Postpartum depression is a mysterious illness that works in ways that even the closest of family members cannot perceive as true suffering. There are too many stories of women with this who have always been great mothers to their previous children and suddenly snapped with the birth of another. Most of them have a history of depression as it was, and it sounds like Joey did as well. I do believe the third child was too much for her to handle and she quite simply "lost it". While I understand it may be a tough realization for anyone of you who thought you knew her, I can personally say from experience in dealing with women with PPD that this scenario does in fact happen all too often. For the family's sake, I do hope she is still alive and will eventually come forward to give her other children some peace of mind. My opinion of Alexis was that he was more afraid of her than she was of him, and would not have anything to do with this. We all have deep dark secrets, and I suspect she has many. I do hope if she is still alive she can stop torturing her family and make contact. The stress and pain this has caused them must be unbearable and I wish them nothing but hope and healing when they do finally get some answers. Every mother loves their child just as much as the next, but sometimes mental illness can wreak havoc on someone to the point where they believe they have no way out. Godspeed.

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  13. Thanks for your comment. I think exactly along the lines you do on this, and like you I know of many cases which mirror the facts here, if we are right in suspecting what happened. Even Candice DeLong (who never "goes easy" when judging criminal behavior) has talked about how women suffering from this disorder really can't be judged in the same way as someone who does this act who does not suffer from the disorder. I can't speak for her, but I believe what she was saying was that it was tantamount to the legal definition of insanity, hence exonerative.

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  14. The boyfriend says he has moved on with his life and is trying to forget all that.
    The mother says she thinks of her DAILY.

    The mothers sentiments makes perfect sense to me.

    The boyfriend is trying to forget it all is disconcerting to me.
    His child was MURDERED!
    The mother of his child is missing! Her car was found, but not her. She still has living children, a living Mother that obviously loves her very much.
    It's definitely foul play.

    The boyfriend I guess was the LAST one to see her alive.
    He's just trying to forget it all.
    Really????? Son murdered! The mother is missing!!!?? And just trying to forget it all????

    Either lives mean very little to him which is very calloused, or he's trying to forget it all, hoping everyone else will to.

    I really hope the CASE is solved.

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    1. Everyone handles grief differently. That being said, I think he knows more than he has said (or knows more than he thinks he knows, if you take the he is innocent stand point). I've watched this episode twice and am trying to find the America's Most Wanted episode. I think her possible diminished mental capabilities are a red herring making people believe she is responsible for her son's death and disappearance. I unfortunately believe she is deceased (God rest her soul).

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    2. Yeah, you have a lot of great points in your statement here. I was also thinking about another key point in this case. Alexis says, 'she wanted another baby'....at some point in the story.....and speaking about it all in a manner that could indicate....as mentioned, loved being Pregnant.....etc.....maybe the Baby comes along, as they were saying, at a Rocky point in the relationship.....No Marriage already....with already a Young Child....to me.....this can also indicate less than commitment to her, and, possibly a judgement by him, that she was keeping him 'entrapped'....or, trying to force a marriage....something in the air like that, seemed possible....watching the other implications, that she may not have gotten a job, when she should, or been focused on the 'stuff that mattered', and, more fixated on playing on the internet....These feelings may have been lingering for Alexis.....AND, I do not for a minute believe that Joey left with 'keys only and no purse', its almost instinct, for women to bring their purses....I think....anyway....

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  15. It's hard to judge someone in A's position. We dont' know who we could react. Maybe "moving on" is the only scenario that makes sense.

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  16. It's hard to believe that her boyfriend did not alert the police sooner, and that is questionable! The father of a new newborn baby and does not see that baby for almost two weeks?? Very suspicious to me! As the person above said you just don't say I'm trying to forget it all. Lie detectors results are use to further investigate suspects and are used to solve many cases! Husband and boyfriends kill their partners more often then a stranger does! Statistics show this. I believe that Alexis did this and in order for him to get away with it he had to kill his son. As sad as that is their is no doubt!! I also hope and pray this case is solved.

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    1. Just saw this in Australia. It's hard to believe Alexis is innocent. So much about him didn't seem right. I agree with the above.

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  17. The documentary made the passage of time before notification seem less sinister. Alexis was allegedly used to being "shut out" for periods of time by that point when she went on her jags. And he had been checking the house and seeing things change, so he figured all was okay but that she just wasn't ready to "make nice" yet. Lie detector tests are notoriously unreliable. Many individuals have spend decades in prison because they repeatedly failed lie detector tests and have then later been exonerated by DNA testing, which is so much more reliable. Yes, you're right about statistics. But I don't think she's dead. I think she's alive and in hiding.

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    1. I really believe Alexis is guilty. Joey accidentally killed their child and he reacts by killing her. That's my opinion. If he knew she was depressed why in the world would he wait so long to contact police? That's his new born son and you would think he would have wanted to protect the child? When I watched Alexis talk and saw his tears I could easily see him crying because his son is dead. You don't leave your new born with a woman who is mentally slow and has post pardon depression. That's absurd to me! The guy gets away with murder wow! IMO anyways.

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    2. This case is very sketchy. I live in Pennsylvania and in a small town myself, so its scary when these things happen. I hope the case gets solved so these families and friends get some answers and some closure.

      As for polygraph tests I don't think they are admissible in any court. So I'm just wondering in which cases did people sit in jail?

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  18. I just watched this episode for the first time and have done some research about this case. I strongly feel that Joey met someone on the internet. I think it was Joey who put the baby in the bathtub, most likely Alexis's comments about bathing in the sink caused her to start to bath her son in the bathtub. I think that like so many people that say "she could never kill her kid" that she probably did, but had an accomplice. I think she suffered from severe postpartum depression and that was coupled with some mental instability. I think it is likely that Joey wanted to leave what she thought as an overwhelming life behind. She was not with her children's father Alexis, she had a lot of the duties of a single mom and she probably was sick of it. I think she ran away to start a life with someone off the internet. Burning down her house and leaving her child and family I see a clear signs she was done with her current situation and wanted out. I think Alexis is the easy target, but I genuinely believe that Joey willingly ran away and was the passenger in her own car when it was dumped. She most likely told her accomplice where to dump the car and how to get there. After all, Joey was not painted as very innovative or creative on "Disappeared" so it makes sense that she would dump the car somewhere she was familiar with. Sad story, but I think she is alive.

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  19. I just watched Joey's episode on Disappeared, and even though this post is from quite awhile ago, I just wanted to add my thoughts to the mix. First off, because the baby was found in the bathtub, and the way that Joey was bathing her son was the cause of her fight with Alexis, it unfortunately does seem possible that Joey was, in a manner of speaking, responsible for her son's death. Perhaps she went upstairs to give him a bath in the clean tub, due to Alexis' complaints, and being angry with Alexis and distracted, ended up drowning the baby. My guess, though, is that it was more of an accident than anything else. By all accounts, Joey was handicapped and didn't handle criticism well. I think her mind would have been so preoccupied at that point that an accident easily could have occurred. Still, why then were the carseat and diaper bag all gathered by the door? And was the bathtub full of water when they found the baby in it? If not, it could be as someone suggested earlier- she set the baby in the empty tub when someone was coming after her. I kept thinking that the baby may even have been left there alive. If Joey WAS abducted, the infant could have been left to starve to death. Granted, had that been the case, someone may have heard him crying at some point. Still, a newborn certainly can't survive anywhere near as long as an adult without food- or water, of course- so he probably wouldn't have lived more than a 2-3 days, and as time passed, his cries would have grown weaker, quieter, and more feeble.

    Since so many people seem to think it's likely Joey is still alive, and just on the run, I thought I'd share my thoughts on that as well. This simply doesn't seem very likely a scenario to me at all. Joey's family indicated she was very immature- with the mental capacity of about a 14 year old- so, for lack of a better word, she suffered from some sort of mental retardation. I just don't see how a woman of her intellect and maturity level could go on the run and evade the police for so long. Many young people who commit crimes go straight to confessing and asking someone for help- even if it's not the police they confess to. I just can't imagine Joey able to take care of herself and outsmart police for all this time. And even if she had a male 'partner' she asked for help in covering up the deed, even relationships under the best circumstances are strained- I just can't imagine there is a man out there that was so enamored of her, and still is, that he was willing to cover up her crime, and give up his entire life, just to go on the run with her indefinitely. Seems highly improbable.

    If Joey did have something to do with the death of her son, I doubt she's still out there. I'd say it's more likely that in her grief she may have took her own life. More likely than that, though, I think, is that she was attacked by someone... probably not a complete stranger, but rather an acquaintance. As for where her car was found, well... I think people are making too big a deal out of the fact that it was found in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she used to live. Coincidences do happen, people, and the town she disappeared from is small and surrounded by amish country right? There probably aren't very many good, inconspicuous places to dump a vehicle.

    What is so excruciatingly frustrating about this case is that someone could have done something to solve it. Someone could have been sitting on that house, watching it, since the car kept disappearing and then reappearing. If it wasn't Joey, all someone had to do was stake the house out for a few days and the culprit would be caught. And why that Alexis guy didn't break in to check on his newborn baby after a day went by without hearing from Joey, I'll never understand. What if the baby was there, abandoned and left to starve? It's just such a sad case... hope for family's sake you all get some resolution!

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  20. Also just wanted to point out her internet had been off for a month when the house burned down.. So to all those thinking she met someone online, it's possible, but it would have had to have been before that time, and she would have had to have been keeping in touch with them another way. I'd be curious to know what information her phone records yielded....? If she had an "accomplice," or any relationship with another man, there should have been evidence of it somewhere, especially in her phone records. Plus, they did confiscate the computer, and you would think that they could have found evidence of an online relationship, even if her internet hadn't been working for a month. Again, I just don't see her and this mystery accomplice still out there living on the run together and I definitely don't see her able to survive on her own, evade the police, and not speak to her family for so many years, not ask them for help, money, etc, considering her mental limitations. Didn't the show state that the nurse saw, through the window along with the carseat and diaper bag, and note to someone? I'd be curious to know what it says...

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  21. If you want to help with this case please join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/202436456466193/ This page was created to share Joey Lynn's story. Please help us!

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  22. Based on all that I have read, my gut feeling is that there was an accident with the baby. Perhaps she was bathing the baby and there was a distraction; she went off to get something for the baby or answer the phone or the door and the baby drowned. She had already had a fight with the boyfriend about how she bathed the baby, she didn't handle criticism very well, she had a bad encounter with the law in the past. Her mind was not 100% and she panicked. Maybe stayed there for a couple days, pushed the stroller in the neighborhood to make things look normal. The more time that would pass the more intense her fear would be. The house was set on fire and she ran. Maybe she had help or maybe she met up with someone at her old apartment after the fact. My guess is that she was not a victim of foul play, at least not at the time of this incident. Whether she is OK now, hopefully her family will find out.

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  23. Samantha.. Joey lived in Sykesville, pa. Her car was found in State College. its close to two hours away. I doubt its random.

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  24. It's not logical to me that her boy friend is totally innocent. Think about it. If she was so mentally I'll why oh why did he not step in and save his child? Why did he allow so many many days to go by before calling the police? I'm a father and I can't imagine that. He acts like she was really unstable. Well if that's true then it was HIS responsibility to step in and do something. Instead he just lets days go by? Y'all if he was the "more mature" parent then wow he totally fail his child. It really bothers me how people point out Joey's mental condition but the ones around her did not do anything to intervene!!! No body else see this!?!

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    1. Exactly! any father with a newborn would not be waiting that long to see it and to make sure all is well. Too bad if she was shitty and wouldn't open the door.

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  25. I really think Joey is alive, I'm nit just saying this but I swear I saw her before!!! I downloaded her picture so I can keep it with me....maybe we can bring Joey home

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  26. Comming from pa myself, I cant see a father concerned about his son being bathed in a dirty sink and letting her continue caring for the child... pa offers a program called child protective services anyone can call and also be annoamyse! Also if I seen a women I knew who was pushing a stroller wo a cgild in it Id probably call and make a police report. Another thing I dont understand is alexis not reliazing her mail not being picked up for 8 days you didnt see that earlier! Things arent adding up alexis..... either way this is very strange and I hope for the best god bless the family

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  27. What about the fires..Two..come on set by Joey really..more like a man..and to burn her baby not happening..she never ever hurt her other kids..to me a bath accident and later Alexis found out and hurt Joey dumped the car and when the heat got close to getting into the house Alexis burned it...just saying..could have been..

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  28. One thing bothers me about Alexis, the show states that when he calls the police he reports Joey missing, not his son, also when they tell him about the fire he says was Joey in the fire or house can't remember which one, but yet again says nothing about his newborn son? Does he ever mention his son in reports? Or did he already know he was dead? These little things I wonder about things I don't hear someone say....

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  29. I just watched this case on Netflix...I think something happened with the baby, maybe the baby drowned or some type of accident occurred and Joey froze or flipped out? Alexis I feel miht have had something to do with covering it up, so to speak. Maybe he made sure Joey got to a safe location and then handled the situation on his own (setting the house on fire). I really feel th situation escalated, and although they don't seem like bad people or anything, they panicked and attempted to cover up the situation because it was an accident. I think he truly does feel remorse for his sons death but is hiding something as well

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  30. Just wanted to say that with the recent confirmed deaths of the McStay family, your speculation of this being a hoax was wrong. Sickening to think that probably many felt they were intentionally missing and the case wasn't given the attention it deserved. Maybe the family just didn't have the money for a big reward. And yeah if you had a missing family member, you would want all the TV appearances you could get to keep their pictures out there.

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    1. I weighed all options and I chose to HOPE that they were alive, because they had MANY reasons to voluntarily disappear. Proof of that is that there are so many suspects now as to who murdered them. And most of these people were very close to the family. I'm not quite sure why you posted this McStay comment on a post related to the disappearance of another individual. And I am still EXCEEDINGLY SKEPTICAL of the pitiful reward amount that was offered. Some family members made SIGNIFICANT money off this and yet that reward remained pitifully low. I had always hoped this meant the one offering the reward knew they were ALIVE and didn't want to make a big pay out at the inevitable slip up and discovery. But I always knew it could ALSO mean he knew they were dead. That reward is not anywhere near typical the amount offered even for a single individual, let alone an entire family. And this case, like it or not, turned into a cash cow.

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  31. watched the show in oz last night. Would be interested to know how old Alexis' older son was at the time?

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    1. Wow. That's quite a way away. I don't know the answer. Maybe someone will read your question here and respond, if they know. Cheers.

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  32. She's still alive? Really people?! I don't even have to finish the show to know that the boyfriends 100% responsible. I believe he'd like u to think she was mad and stormed out, but the giving a bath n a dirty sink is complete hear say from his point.
    I don't believe he loved her, and I think he tried to make her seem more unstable then what she was. She was a good mother with Christian morals. I believe he probably belittled her intelligence n used her IQ as a reason for him being a better parent. N he knows he has the upper hand given her mental state. But to believe she was so mentally incapable of parenting is outrageous. She had her own place, drove, n knew how to use the internet! So,say the argument was true.
    I think Alexis came in the kitchen n seen what she was doing. He strikes me as the type to probably over react due to his belief that he's the better parent, n probably went off. I don't think he just said "the sink is dirty ", I think he went off! N I believe the sink wasn't as dirty as he says if at all. I think he yelled n probably called her names n belittled her parenting skills. IF she left I think she did not just n anger but fear. N he could have also told her to just get the hell out.
    He might have got so mad he pushed or hit her.
    She goes home.
    I don't believe she killed her own son. I believe he killed him. I think he either came back with the intent to rid of her finally so he could b the sole parent, or to finish the fight. She probably threatened to call police, or her mother, or his n tell what just happened. He gets anraged n kills her. Obviously bad enough that evidence needed to b destroyed by fire.
    As far as the baby n the tub, he may have forced her to rebathe him or might havecontinued the fight. Or he could have caused a bloody mess n tried bathing the baby's dead body to clean it up. Either way, I think the baby was caught n a fight at the wrong time. I don't think he was ever intentionally meant to b harmed. If he wasn't,Alexis wouldn't go to great lengths to hide the evidence.
    As far as a secret lover she may have had or someone helping her, that's complete bull. And n intruder is even more unbelievable. The odds of a mother just leaving her children, or another man helping her do so, is so factually low. To me that all spells cover up as clear as day.
    I just believe Alexis, as n her life, is just as suspicious out of it. He's moved inn doesn't care, BC he got what he wanted. Full custody.
    N so what about the "model internet incident ". Big deal, it was a skam. Her mom might not have believed she had the look, n I'm sure Alexis didn't, but maybe the poor woman did! Is it so wrong to think n believe someone thinks your pretty if YOU think u are?! For Alexis to go running to tell her mommy, makes him just as immature as she was! I can't believe they'd make her seek counceling over it! Which was probably Alexis jealous idea BC he couldn't stand another man saying that stuff to her. True or not.
    He didn't call right away BC he knew he had dead bodies to take care of n a car to hide.
    I just don't like the Guy BC gut knows he's sooo guilty!

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    1. Hey, anonymous....I absolutely love your thinking. I don't want to sound crazy, but I believe (in my family runs some psychic abilities)....I am not a paid psychic or anything like that....BUT, I DO, get feelings and pictures about certain things....In this one, I tended to see a man, (but like in shadow, if that makes sense)....almost something trying to pull me away from Joey having done it. Yet on the other hand, I have studied the some psychology, and, remember a class about the phenomenon of postpartum, and how the MOM truly LOVES the Child so much, but feels nobody else can take care of them, and, when she feels not capable....And, the fact that 'drowning', certainly ranks up there with the cause of death by the Mom....because in these states of mind, we tend to view 'drowning', as the least painful for the Child....And, it may also go back to 'putting them back in the womb'....Kind of 'root'....So as many on this board seem to be aware of all this as well....Of course, this throws me too....BUT, yet....from a 'gut feel', or the intuition part of me....I keep seeing that man....I see deception too....And, frankly I did suspect from gut....something about a more 'conscience' driven sadness from Alexis...I do believe that the death of the Child was probably not on purpose....no matter how the Little One died....If it was JOEY....IF.....Then, I would absolve her of the wrong doing, because she was not of her right mind...and, IF, she did do this....and freaked out, at the realization...kept going back and forth, not knowing what to do....and then burned the house....It is possible....but she is not at fault in the sense of it being on purpose.....HERE is another thing?.....Was any 'GAS' residue found in the car, 'trunk' or elsewhere....? If this was her only transportation....it would make sense....Gas could have been on the premesis already, but its something to be considered.....Was there 'old' water in the tub?.....
      gas in the tub?....

      Certainly the connection to bathing, in both locations screams at me....

      What if, the 'other house', where the reported argument over the dirty sink, is where everything started....maybe even a struggle....Baby might be dropped or killed accidentally then.....on way or the other....and anger or otherwise, and, Joey is killed....

      I had some other thoughts on this....but it seems that the focus is on....Alexis' description of "MY SON", she was bathing, "MY SON", in a dirty sink....

      If the family wishes to ask any questions of me....or to see what I can pull up in feelings on this....I would be happy too....I wish all the innocent here including the Loving Child that died, nothing but Blessings from Heaven, and, the same for Ms. Joey...and all that are suffering.+





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  33. Plus it's odd Alexis failed his polygraph n declined to take another. He's also already remarried. Even the cops admitted his "over cooperation " has become less n less.
    Its so obvious he killed her. I just believe cops are waiting for him to get too "over her."

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    1. I had this strange feeling that you might be Joey. In support of your theory, statistically it usually turns out to be the spouse or partner.

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  34. I don't think she is alive. I'm sorry for Joey's family. This is a horrible situation and I hope you all, one day, will have answers to what happened to Joey. I certainly don't mean to be insensitive, but I don't think Joey was smart enough to disappear and stay away for this long. Not many can pull that off. I doubt I could.

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  35. I agree with you William. Those two Anonymous posts are disturbing. Creepy.

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  36. Alexis is guilty. It is written all over his face. He genuinely mourns the baby. He has cleverly deceived law enforcement by playing the "slow" card. But he knows exactly what he's doing. I'm sure of it.

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  37. I don't think Alexis is guilty. I think the reason he did not force his way into the building was because he never thought anything was actually wrong, just that she wasn't speaking with him. If you have an argument with your significant other and they don't talk to you for a few days, do you think omg, they have been murdered and are dead? No, you think damn, they're REALLY pissed at me. I think the coincidence of the baby being found in the tub is too great to ignore. I think after Alexis left after his comment to her (which really didn't even sound like an argument, just a statement that pissed Joey off), she probably attempted to bathe the baby in the tub. This might have been the next day or even the day following that. I think she got distracted most likely and left the baby for just a moment, returned and found the baby had drowned. Panicked, I think she stayed in her home and was afraid to answer the door when the home nurse came calling (I think they said it was a few days later). Didn't they mention the car was still there at that point? After that I think she knew she was stuck and reached out to someone, anyone she knew could possibly help. Maybe someone she had met prior on the Internet (let's face it, you don't talk to just ONE person on the internet and they turn out to be some scammer trying to lure her for porno). Chances are, she talked to many people on the internet (especially since she was such a loner in real life) and contacted one of them to meet her and convinced them to take her in temporarily. Maybe she eventually confides to the person what happened and they agree to help her dispose of the evidence or even COACH her into doing it herself and then returning to stay with them. Let's face it, there are some sad, lonely men out there who would be thrilled to have any woman they could call their own - they would know she was pretty much stuck with no where else to go so had to stay with them. I think if anything she was a passenger in her own vehicle and that explains the seat position and also the parking job. I think the house burning down was done because someone observed that probably Alexis was getting a little too restless and inquisitive and thought maybe he would break in and discover the evidence. Wasn't it the same day that he reported her missing that they informed him of the overnight fire? I do think Joey probably was responsible for the baby's death and fled out of fear. I think was probably accidental, but who knows maybe she got so upset and with the postpartum depression felt like I can't care properly for this baby and harmed the baby on purpose. Who knows. The other theory that is in my head is what if a neighbor somehow had some involvement - it seems like the house was burned down at the most crucial moment right before the police would have been entering to search it soon. If harm did come to Joey, I think it's more likely that the baby dying somehow occurred first and in an effort to find help, someone took advantage of and harmed her. A random person would have killed HER before any baby, especially a newborn who could not be a witness and would have burned the house with Joey in it. The fact that there were 2 fires, one concentrated in the bathroom tells me someone was trying to cover up the evidence in there, and the second fire in the basement was probably meant to engulf the house to be doubly sure.

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  38. I missed something watching this again today but at what point did Alexis see that the house has been burned? Had it been burned when he was going to check on her?

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  39. He never saw the house had been burned. He reported her missing and then was told.

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  40. Lisa, if you need this family you wouldn't say that and if you knew her. She loved her kids more than the world and Alexis didn't mean more to her than her kids, She left her other kids which she would never do. I am not saying he is guilty but she didn't just vanish she would have called for help to save her baby or at least to try not panic. Her kids were the most important thing to her they were her whole life.

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  41. I think its funny how you all say she drowned her kid then panicked and left. She was not that type of person and would never have left she has other living kids all young and she was not a mental person she had a disorder not a dangerous one by the way. I think whoever knows info needs to come forward because someone knows and her mother and kids and family need her. They cant get through a day without thinking about her. I see a lot of complaints because the reward was so small it shouldn't be about the reward it should be about bringing this woman back to her kids and family. Money will not get you anywhere in left nor can you take it with you.

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    1. Hello there, I appreciate your points here. I am working in Psych and, also deal with the issue in my own family. There is really no 'type' of person, that would do something like this. If you think of 'Postpartum Depression', it is chemicals in the brain, and, these chemicals are the same things that go wrong to cause people to feel like killing themselves. I hear all the time, when something happens, (like this), or a person gets angry and shoots a bunch of people....just another example....that....it was the way they were raised, etc.... And, Post Partum is a mental illness that is usually a temporary condition, but develops into, Post Partum Psychosis....in this state....(not saying Joey did this).....Mothers can kill themselves, and, their Children....and, its not a choice they make, rather or not they are like that, or were Christian....It's a chemical....darkness....logic.....it is not in there then....it is out of their control....if you think of all your normal thoughts, we think of ourselves in 'control'....and that the world is logical....Mental Illness, temporary or otherwise, can make things, illogical....makes the thoughts people have, dark....feelings they cannot control.....And, as I mentioned earlier....in another post here....Women for whatever reason, often, often, often, view drowning....during this state of Psychosis....as a painless death for the Child....They love them too much to let someone else look after them, and, see themselves as incapable.....It is possible Joey did this....and, realization came when the Baby was no longer alive....the Baby could have been in the bathtub for days.....I am not sure of the details of the case....or at what point, if they could 'pinpoint' an exact time of the Baby's death.....Alexis reported, hearing, 'no crying' even.....at some point only in the last couple of days of turning up there.....(Had he heard it at other points, earlier?).....Car seat not in the car, and, remains in the house?....Hmmmm'......There are simply many unanswered questions in this case, and, I cannot say, either way....rather Joey did this or not....or any involvement in her Sons death.....She loved him though....even IF this is the case!!!! This is well studied....it is the INTENSE LOVE they have for the Child....that the warped thinking of the depression and/or chemicals in the brain make them feel that if they can't look after them, nobody else will be able too.....Often, these cases result in murder-suicide for obvious reasons....but not always....and, odd too...Joey still had other Children....Often again, when this type of thing is done.....we do see many cases....where the Mother will bring, 'All' the children to kill them at once....No matter their ages.....

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  42. One funny piece of this I do find odd....She didn't bring her purse, but the 'KEYS' were missing. If a man had taken the car....had access to it, and, was the driver....all along.....it would make sense, he only needed the keys....also could have been in and out of the house at will.....they could have been kidnapped....Maybe the stroller walk, she was watched....and told not to communicate with anyone....(THUSLY, the odd run in with the neighbor)......That did sound out of character for her....OR, she wasn't in her right mind then....the Baby in that case, could have already been deceased....?......BUT, I can almost guarantee you....BY INSTINCT....Because women are gathering by nature....A women would NOT have left with ONLY the keys.....the purse is a natural thing to take with you....(when your not even thinking of it).....

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  43. Alexis was also the father of Joey's middle child who was only around 2 or so at the time. He had that child with him while all this was transpiring. The oldest was not his and was with her grandmother while this was transpiring. Joey was given some bonding time with her baby during this time. If she'd needed help, she would have asked for it. She had it coming to the door with the visiting nurse. She wasn't a stranger to her limitations. The oddest thing to me is that the car was coming and going from the residence and nobody ever saw who was driving it or whether there was another car at the house when hers wasn't. That her vehicle ended up in a place she used to live screams that who ever drove it there, knew her when she lived in State College and was still part of her 'inner circle' while she was in Sykesville. There were no signs of 'forced entry' observed by Alexis or the visiting nurse during the time Joey was 'missing' so she either allowed someone in or they had a key. Who had a key to Joey's house?

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