Details of Disappearance Hamilton was last seen in Owensboro, Kentucky on August 20, 2003, when she was stopped by the police for a traffic infraction. She was reported missing by a relative on September 4. She has never been heard from again
A few weeks after her disappearance, Hamilton's silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix with the Kentucky license plate number 195 KBM was found in a rural pond on Shreve Road in Fordsville, Ohio County, Kentucky. It had been cut into over 30 pieces. There was no sign of Hamilton at the scene.
In August 2005, several people were charged in connection with Hamilton's murder. Rodney Wayne Lyle, his wife Michelle Lynn Gaddis Lyle, and William Ashley Yeagle, who was Hamilton's boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, were charged with murder. Mary Annette Coy was charged with tampering with physical evidence.
Photographs of all four defendants are posted with this case summary. Investigators announced they believe Hamilton's death was methamphetamine-related. All three defendants initially maintained their innocence, but in 2006 the Lyles admitted their parts in Embrey's murder.
Michelle pleaded guilty to facilitation to commit murder and was sentenced to four years in prison. Rodney pleaded guilty to facilitation to commit murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of being a persistent felony offender, and was sentenced to eighteen years in prison. Both of them agreed to testify against Yeagle and Coy.
Yeagle's trial took place in December 2006 and January 2007. Rodney and Michelle both testified against him as agreed. They said he injected Hamilton with cleaning fluids, poured mercury into her ears and strangled her with an electrical cord.
In January 2007, Yeagle was convicted of Hamilton's murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. He admitted he helped dispose of Hamilton's body and dismantled her car, but denied having harmed her. Yeagle said he put Hamilton's body in a plastic box and dumped it in the Green River. Several searches of the river have not turned up any evidence, however.
Hamilton was employed as a beautician and attended Madisonville Community College at the time of her disappearance. She resided in the 600 block of Loft Cove in Owensboro in 2003. She is a former cheerleader at Central City High School.
Her body has never been found. Coy is still awaiting trial in her case.
- Owensboro Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 12, 2011; alternate weight added, distinguishing characteristics updated.