Looking back in the Riley Fox case it is always easier to point out how many mistakes police made during that investigation. Some goof-ups need to be exposed especially since it could have prevented an even bigger one. This ignored piece of evidence in the case of Riley Fox could have spared her father a traumatizing interrogation.
In June of 2004, the body of Riley Fox(3) was pulled from a creek near her home in Will County, Illinois. As police attempted to build a case against Riley’s father, evidence that could have helped them find the real killer was right under their noses. Within an hour of finding Riley’s body, police had in their possession a pair of shoes with Eby’s name written inside. Combined with other evidence, it could have led to Eby. Within days, if not hours.
Scott Eby, a jailed sex offender who confessed to Riley’s murder last month, left a pair of mud-covered shoes at Forked Creek, where he allegedly raped and killed Riley Fox. Police collected the shoes and put them into evidence but never followed up. They focused their case instead on the girl’s father, Kevin Fox who confessed to her murder. Charges were later dropped thanks to DNA evidence that excluded him.
Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick, who covered the Fox murder case for years, told WGN that the shoes were not the only clue overlooked by misguided investigators. For example, Eby lived only about a mile from Riley at the time of her murder. Eby’s mom had called police the morning Riley was reported missing. She was concerned about her son who was vomiting and agitated. Dardick said that when police arrived at Eby’s home he was vomiting and asked the cops ‘Have you found that little girl yet?’ ” Dardick told WGN. Read about more ignored evidence here.