Case Study- Part 4c: The Witnesses

*These case studies are a continuing series by a guest author who is a 22-year veteran researcher of the Heather Teague case.

Michael Alan Shelton, who died in 2016, apparently played a major role in the abduction of Heather Danyelle Teague:

In the last segment (Part 4b) we covered how, Glen Steven Rackley revealed on his deathbed, in Nov. 2011, how he recognized all four men in the two vehicles he saw abducting Heather Teague. He said he stopped the Dill Bronco and spoke to Mike Shelton, the driver. Shelton told him not to mention that he saw a girl in the red Chevette, behind the Bronco.                     

In Part 4a we covered how the camper saw Heather taken west down River Road in a small car being followed by the Dill Bronco. Searchers the next day found a 10 foot circle of grass padded down and two cigarette butts at the end of that road. The camper also remembered seeing both vehicles come back by a while later.

In 1998, Mike Shelton was visiting the home of a couple named (omitted) in Sebree, KY, with a visitor nicknamed “The Professor” and another nicknamed “Redbeard.” A witness overheard Shelton say that Heather had accidentally been run over. This was reported to KSP Post 16, but nothing seems to have ever come from the lead. This scenario makes more sense than an intentional murder committed by four guys who paraded the victim down River Road at noon on a Saturday in late August. Dozens of beachgoers might have recognized them, and they would have gone to prison. And besides that, four guys never could have kept the secret.

Evansville Courier reporter, Lou Bubala, reported that a second witness, Michelle Morgan, told KSP that she and her husband saw a woman she believes was Ms. Teague, struggling with the driver of a red Chevette between 2:30 pm and 3 pm, that Saturday. This was two hours after the abduction. She said the man had a beard and sandy-blonde hair, and seemed too big for the car. She reported to KSP that the Chevette pulled out from one of the river roads, and followed behind them east on Highway 811. Then, where the road turns right (south) toward Reed, KY, the Chevette turned left toward the Ohio River. She guessed they may have then turned left onto a farm road that circles a cornfield along the river, upstream from Newburgh Dam. The locals refer to it as “2.9,” named after a mile marker. It’s conceivable that Heather might have then jumped out of the Chevette and tried to run, hidden by the corn. If she had fallen, with the Bronco chasing her, she could have been run over by accident.

According to friends, the night before Heather was abducted, she was at Newburgh Beach, acting like she and Mike Shelton were a couple. That night, Marty Dill and Ernest Green were arguing about money, and it escalated into a fight which brought blood. Marty told Green to go wait at his house and he would bring the money. That’s also when Heather revealed to her friends that she was dancing at private parties and doing drug runs for James Hendricks, to make extra money. She would do something with her hair to let her friends know she was recording, so they didn’t incriminate themselves. Several hours later, Heather reportedly met with James Hendricks at Hayes Boat Ramp.

So which issue blew up the next day, that caused her to be abducted at gunpoint, then driven away by four guys in two vehicles? And was still being driven around in the red Chevette hours later? Was it something about a debt? Was it something about her late night meeting with Hendricks? Or did it leak out that Heather was working as a narc? Were the four guys who took her, demanding to know who she told, and what? And how could she be working as a narc for Hendricks when he wasn’t a detective? Was he using her for blackmail? And was she accidentally run over in that cornfield?

Searchers on Sunday searched all the river roads in the area. Maybe someone remembers seeing the obvious signs someone had driven through the cornfield in a truck. The road around the cornfield at 2.9 heads down to the Ohio River, then runs along the river and then turns back almost to Hwy. 811. The back stretch would be hidden from the barges on the river, and the woods along that edge would be one of the likely place to conceal a grave.

That Sunday morning, Mike Shelton came to the house of a friend of the Dill’s demanding the husband’s help. The wife said he was acting strange, pacing back and forth, agitated. He told her his truck was hung up in the “bottoms” and he needed someone to steer it while he pulled it out. Her husband wasn’t home, so he pleaded for her to do it. She had to watch her kids, so she refused. She said Mike got mad and cussed her.

After reading about Marty Dill’s apparent suicide on Thursday night, the friend went to KSP Post 16 to file a report, but the officer didn’t write anything down. He didn’t seem to think it was important. He just ushered them out, saying they would be in touch if he needed anything. “How could he get in touch with me? He didn’t even write my name down!” They said they never heard from anyone. Twenty-one years later, they spoke to Sarah Teague, who got them to go back to KSP Post 16 and tell them their story, again, and get it written down. 

In 2008, Mike Shelton killed two people in a head-on, DUI wreck, reportedly due to his addiction to Xanax, anxiety medicine. He was badly hurt in the wreck. Then he had to  serve about ten years in prison. Shortly after getting out of prison, he died from what some suspect was an OD. Maybe he tried to clear his conscience by telling someone.

In Channel 25 – WEHT-TV’s coverage on the one year anniversary, Bill Mellander, the first reporter on the scene, recalled “a bloody truck stuck in a swamp.” Wouldn’t KSP have impounded such a truck? Was Mellander overstating the evidence of blood on the truck? Why hasn’t a lead this importance ever been cleared up? Was Mellander exaggerating the evidence of blood? And could that have been Mike Shelton’s truck, the one the witness reported to Post 16, which they didn’t think was important? One could speculate that Shelton’s truck got stuck trying to find a location to bury Heather’s body. That would explain why he was in such a panic Sunday morning trying to get help pulling his truck out of the “bottoms.” KSP couldn’t possibly not know about the truck Mellander was reporting, could they? There should be a record of KSP running the the plates to see who the owner was. But we haven’t had much help with KSP’s records, or Bill Mellander’s memory.

So if any searchers recall where this truck was that Mellander reported, or if any searchers recall seeing tracks from where a truck got hung up in the bottoms, please comment on this blog or contact Sarah. It might be a critical clue to finding Heather.   

In October 2021, a couple found a skull with a bullet hole in it, along the Ohio River, just below the mouth of the Green River. A friend of Shelton’s said that that was the area he called “the bottoms,” but there’s a lot of bottomland. And this is on the west side of the Green River, but Heather was abducted from the east side. The skull looked like it had washed up from being buried. Forensics proved it’s not Heather, because it’s a male with wisdom teeth still intact. There’s a possibility it could be James “Mousie” Morris, who went missing in May 1977. His remains have never been found. It’s a very secluded spot, 1/4 mile downstream from Green River Barge Company. They might be the nearest ones who could have heard a gunshot. And the soft sediment at the mouth of the Green River would be easy digging for a grave. It’s possible there could be other skulls found if authorities can be persuaded to search with something like ground penetrating radar. 

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