Details of Disappearance
Gary was last seen in Cassville, Missouri on May 11, 1999. He reportedly left in his unlicensed flat-bed pickup truck en route to Diamond, Missouri to buy a fighting rooster from a Mexican person. He has never been heard from again. On May 14, his truck was found abandoned on a dead-end road in Pulaskifield, Missouri.
Gary was married to Sandra at the time of his disappearance; she was his brother Albert's ex-wife. (She was Sandra McCullough at the time and has since taken another husband's name, Klemp.) The couple lived on a farm with cattle and horses, and Gary had a job in a chicken processing plant.
The McCullough were having serious problems in 1999 and Gary told his work supervisor he wanted a divorce and was going to move out of the house. He also said Sandra had forged checks in his name and he'd been arrested because of it. He was secretly moving his belongings in with some friends.
On April 30, 1999, three years into the marriage, Sandra allegedly tried to shoot Gary. He didn't tell the police about the incident, but did tell a friend. Gary disappeared less than two weeks later. Sandra did not report him missing for two days, and then only after two sheriff's deputies visited her home on another matter. She refused to cooperate with the police in the investigation.
Sandra contradicted Gary's statements and claimed their marriage was a happy one, but she was having an affair with Kristopher Klemp at the time of Gary's disappearance, something Kristopher later admitted to the police. Gary was allegedly aware of the affair.
Within a few days of Gary's disappearance, Kristopher had moved in with Sandra. In June 1999, authorities charged Kristopher with conspiracy to commit murder; he allegedly tried to hire someone to kill Gary. The charge was dropped for lack of evidence in August 1999, however.
Kristopher and Sandra married each other in May 2000, one month after she obtained a divorce from Gary. Kristopher was Sandra's fourth husband. Gary's brother Albert had been her second, and Gary was her third.
Sandra has six daughters. One of them, Liehnia "Lena" Chapin, was thirteen years old at the time her stepfather went missing. In 2003, Chapin went to Albert, who was both her former stepfather and her former uncle, and told them her mother had shot Gary three times in the head and then made her help clean up the crime scene.
Chapin said she and Sandra cleaned up the blood, pulled up the carpets and bleached the floor, and they wrapped Gary's body in plastic and burned it in a brush fire until only bone fragments remained. She had told a similar story to one of her sisters. She said she did it because she didn't want her mother to go to prison and leave her five sisters without a caregiver.
Albert recorded Chapin's statement without her knowledge and took the tape to the authorities. When the sheriff's office contacted Chapin, however, Sandra hired a lawyer for her, and Chapin exercised her right to remain silent and refused to speak to the police. She did not recant her statement, however.
On February 14, 2006, over five years after Gary's disappearance and three years after she made the tape-recorded statement, Chapin vanished without a trace from Dent County, Missouri. She has never been found. She wasn't reported missing for two and a half years, and the Dent County Sheriff's Office didn't actually begin investigating her case until March 2012, six years after she was last seen.
Gary was declared legally dead in 2005. In 2012, his two daughters filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Chapin, Sandra and Kristopher, as well as Kristopher's former wife, Jennifer Lee Brattin-Klemp. The lawsuit alleged Sandra and Kristopher conspired to kill Gary. Jennifer allegedly picked Klemp up outside the McCullough property in the early morning hours around the time Gary disappeared, and Kristopher had a gun with him at the time.
Although a summons was issued for Chapin to testify in the civil trial, it was never delivered. The tape-recorded statement she made was not played before the jury, although Chapin's sister testified that Chapin had made a similar statement to her. Two of Sandra's children stated they had seen Gary's truck still parked at home on the evening of his disappearance, after Sandra said he had already left.
In the summer of 2013, the civil jury unanimously awarded $7 million in damages to Gary's daughters in connection with his wrongful death. Kristopher and Sandra divorced in 2014 and Sandra has since married her fifth husband and lives in Mount Vernon, Missouri.
It's unclear whether Gary and Chapin's disappearances are connected, but foul play is suspected in both cases.