I had notified authorities in Brunswick County, NC in the spring of 1998 that I had information that might help solve the murder of Amy Frink of Brunswick, N.C. My son had been with Amy not long before her murder had been announced in the Brunswick Beacon newspaper. We lived in North Carolina from 1985 - 1993, having been transferred there by the railroad.
We visited Ocean Isle Beach for several years to vacation. My husband kept a fishing boat there, we had purchased a lot there on a natural canal, and our son had met Amy there. She had written to him when they were in school as they'd met as teens in the summer at vacation time in the early 1990's. He had known her the summer of 1991 because I remember retrieving a letter from the mailbox written to him during the school year.
He had held within him information he had regarding her death for many years, but finally in 1998 spoke about it. He had been afraid of the person she had introduced him to the last night he saw her alive.
It wasn't long after that I had given Brunswick N.C. authorities information about Amy's possible killer, that my own son was, like Amy, was last known to be at a phone booth at a convenience store, and was later found dead in an adjacent state. In speaking with Amy's mother later, she admitted she had never identified her daughter's body saying, "They wouldn't let me see it." Rex Gore, the local district attorney, at one time later had a blog that described Amy's mother as a good friend, and another account indicated they were friends and neighbors.
An article had appeared in the Brunswick Beacon newspaper in 1992 about Amy. We had received the newspaper in our mailbox in Matthews N.C. and it was the summer after our son's junior year. Amy had been stabbed, raped, run over with her pickup truck. My young son was devastated with the news. She'd taken him out, and driven him back to the beach house in her Subaru brat. The next day we left the beach and went home to Matthews, NC.
Accounts online show that Amy was murdered in 1994. This I cannot explain but am certain that in 1992, I was standing in my N.C. kitchen when I read the account in the Brunswick Beacon newspaper beckoning anyone who knew anything to please come forward. My son walked in and I gave him the news, and he walked through the den and up the stairs quietly to grieve. We moved to Georgia the next year.
After Amy's death, her mother became a Crime Victim's Advocate traveling the state of N.C.
Some of the accounts online written in 1994 about Amy's death were created by a journalist named Scott Gold, who today is a writer for the Los Angeles Times.
In 1991, Crystal Todd had been murdered in Horry County, S.C. and her murder was sensationalized at TruCrime TV and with a book. Amy's and Crystal's murders were very similar in that they had been stabbed and eviscerated, suffered terribly and left on the ground to die.
One of the Crystal Todd book, "An Hour to Kill" authors was later found dead in a river.
Although Amy had originally been reported murdered in Brunswick, N.C., her body later was said to have been disposed of in Horry County, South Carolina––just over the state line. This explained both, the South Carolina autopsy and the North Carolina home town trial.
Both Amy and Crystal had Horry County, S.C. Detective Bill Knowles investigating. From the best I have been able to determine, both had Dr. Jamie Downs involved in the forensics labs with their autopsies. The autopsies were performed at University of South Carolina.
Amy was last known at a phone booth, calling her sister, and the phone booth was at a convenience store. Her sister was in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area. Most accounts indicate Amy had left her mother's home after midnight. Another account says she'd left work.
Soon after I notified Brunswick County, N.C. authorities of the new information in 1998, there were two men who were arrested in 1999 and later tried and sent to prison. They were released after less than 10 years. Accounts indicated three other suspects had never been arrested at all.
I had phoned the Sheriff's office, District Attorney's office, and the Brunswick Beacon Newspaper to give them the information. The sheriff, Ron Hewett, was not the sheriff when the actual first announcement of the murder occurred with Amy. My best information is that the sheriff at that time was John Carr Davis.
7/12/2014: Former Brunswick Sheriff, Ron Hewett was found dead in a jail cell.
Online news accounts indicate Ron Hewett had the nickname "Hollywood Hewett" which is curious. It appears a movie was made of him as a tough sheriff.
William Rembert "Billy" Carter
A Private Detective, William R. "Billy" Carter, involved in my case was also a friend and business partner of former Atlanta attorney, part time judge Fred Tokars. The story of the Cobb County, Georgia Sara Tokars murder has been compared with the movie, "Cape Fear." Nick Nolte, an actual resident of Holden Beach, N.C. in Brunswick County at one time, starred in the movie. In the Tokars murder case, there were movie deals offered to Cobb police officers, and the family of the victim. Book deals were discussed by Tokars himself.
George Erick James
It was only a few months ago that I learned about an Alabama's missing person, George Erick James.
His disappearance mimicked my son's in so many ways. Both, like Amy Frink, were last known at a phone booth at convenience stores. Both young men were having relations with an older, married woman. Both left abandoned cars on interstate, and both cars were Nissans–– one black, the other white.
Both had records disappear from the police databases. My son's Baldwin County, Alabama police investigation is questionable and my son's body did not match police records, or the body autopsied by Alabama Forensics.
George had been last seen one hour (65 miles) away from where a dead body was found about two weeks later. That dead body was said to be my son's. George James files were "mistakenly" removed from computers during the period of time the body was identified. On discovery, his mother reentered the information. George has never been found.
A man named Tommy Schlette contacted me in 2003 saying, "Your son isn't dead." He told me I should stop trying to get the answers because there was a police investigation going on. For three years we spoke by telephone. Tommy worked in Stuart, Florida for Pinkerton Government Security. He said he worked for Pinkerton at the airport at Vought Air Craft which was located at Stuart. He said he had been involved with Sicilian mafia members in New Jersey in moving fireworks across state lines. He also admitted he had been in trouble with prostitution in Florida.
He urged me to pay close attention to the autopsy report. When I told him the report said there were two well-healed, three inch scars at each knee, Tommy said, "See? Did your son have knee surgery? I told you he's not dead."
In 2006, Tommy's life began to go awry. He had lost his job at Stuart, and moved to Grant, Florida and was staying at the home of a friend, Deb Rickard. He was taking care of her dogs, and her home, and she had recently told him to find another place to live. He had no place to go and many other adverse things happened, including he was beaten with men in a limo who had baseball bats who told him to keep quiet. Soon his dead body was found decomposed beyond recognition behind the home.
After he died I spoke with some of his family and verified much of the information he'd given me as true. A brother didn't believe he overdosed on his medicine he was taking for a shoulder injury because the bottle had never been opened. A friend said he had fireworks in an apartment beneath hers, and she was afraid of a fire.
I researched to find that one of his late relatives, Beverly Marines, had worked at the Horry County, S.C. sheriff's department. From all I can tell she was married or related in some way to Tommy's brother.
At some point in time Tommy had lived in Floral Park, Long Island, NY––curiously where my father-in-law had grown up. My ex-husband had grown up in West Hempstead, Long Island, NY.
Deb Rickard had said Tommy told her I was his "girlfriend," and I told her it was absolutely untrue. In fact he had said he was waiting for a friend to get out of prison and planned to marry her on her release. Deb offered the name of a detective handling Tommy's death case and I took the information. She didn't know I had already had experience trying to "help" police in the Frink case and would never get involved with any police again after the loss of my own child.
One of the last things he said before he died in 2006 was, "I play golf with Mark Foley." And I remember wondering how he golfed because he had a shoulder injury and had never mentioned golfing before. At that time I had no idea who Mark Foley is but it wasn't long that Congressman Mark Foley was on TV and I couldn't help wondering if that's who he was talking about.
Dr. James Upshaw "Jamie" Downs
It was just a few months ago that I discovered Dr. Jamie Downs, the forensics specialist, had been in Charleston, S.C. working at the University of South Carolina when Amy Frink and Crystal Todd died. One account said he performed Crystal's autopsy, and another source has said she's sure he performed Amy's.
From there Dr. Downs moved to Alabama to work in forensics. A few months before my son was said to have died, Dr. Downs became Director for the State of Alabama's forensics. From Alabama, Dr. Downs moved to Savannah, Georgia to work for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Downs had been brought in from Georgia and paid to provide expert testimony in Alabama's Baldwin County Steve Nodine, Angel Downs murder-suicide case. Steve Nodine was a Mobile County Commissioner standing trial for the murder of his mistress, Angel Downs. Few knowing the details from news accounts probably realized that while employed in Alabama, Dr. Downs actually worked with the Baldwin County police who had performed the Angel Downs investigation.
While in Savannah, Dr. Downs, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, participated in the investigation of the death of County Commissioner, Tom Sublett. Tom Sublett had died with his hands bound with zip ties in front of him, a bullet to his head. His body was found in the water and the gun was never found. Dr. Downs ruled the death a suicide.
Tom Sublett was a distant cousin of mine that I never knew personally. He was from my hometown in Virginia. Our kinship was through the French Huguenot Sublett family that settled at Manakintown, 1700.
Investigating Dr. Jamie Downs further, I found he is associated with crime writer Patricia Cornwell and in archaeology with the Civil War's Hunley Submarine excavation. Along with Ted Turner, both Cornwell and Downs had an interest in the preservation of the Hunley.
Going back to the scene of Amy Frink's crime and the 1998 incident that I believe may have been one of the reasons my son disappeared, I researched to find that the outgoing D.A. at the time of the initial Frink death announcement was Mike Easley, who became Attorney General, 1993 -2001, and then Governor of N.C. until 2009.
The Sheriff Ron Hewett whom I had tipped off, later went to prison on federal obstruction of justice charges. Hewett succeeded Sheriff John Carr Davis.
The D.A. was Rex Gore who was voted out of office and who ruled suicide in the Officer Davina Buff Jones case–– another questionable suicide disputed by her family.
In 2010 the entire state of North Carolina's SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) was investigated for corruption.
Below is the phone bill where I contacted Brunswick Authorities hoping to help solve the murder of Amy Frink.
Below is a note taken from a man who contacted me and said I should keep quiet. He said he was a prison guard and had been to a sheriff's association meeting where he met with Baldwin County, Alabama Sheriff Hoss Mack and that Hoss Mack was worried about what he was going to have for breakfast. His screen name on AOL was Jeff53.
While we lived in North Carolina, between 1988 and 1991 I had been a freelance editorial cartoonist and contributed to several newspapers, the main one being The Enquirer Journal, in Monroe, N.C.