Details of Disappearance
Randy was picked up by Kenton County Police Department officers on August 15, 1980, the night prior to his disappearance. He got into a fistfight with another individual at the Kenton County Fair in Independence, Kentucky and charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The officers believed he was under the influence of drugs. According to them, Randy struck one of them after he was put in the squad car.
The police dropped Randy off approximately one mile from his family's home in Visalia, Kentucky. Some reports state that Randy provided unclear directions to his home and other reports claim that the officers dropped him off at the location as a favor to Randy. He never arrived home that evening and has not been heard from again.
Authorities initially believed Randy had drowned; footprints near the Licking River matched a set of hiking boots owned by one of his relatives, and there were marks indicating someone had slipped and fallen into the water. A search of the river turned up no evidence, however. Investigators now believe the footprints were left by people searching for Randy.
Donald LeRoy Evans, a former drifter sentenced to death for the murder of a young child in Mississippi, claimed he picked up Randy along Kentucky Route 177 and drove him to Kincaid Lake State Park in Pendleton County, Kentucky. They drank beer at the park together, then Evans shot Randy in the back of the head and buried his body in a shallow grave at the park.
Evans also claimed he was responsible for additional unsolved cases, including the death of Kimberly Dawn McClaskey, who was 17 years old when she disappeared from Illinois in 1983. Her skeletal remains were found in 1989, but not conclusively identified until 2006.
Authorities have searched Kincaid Lake State Park for Randy's body multiple times, but nothing has been located. Evans has never been charged in connection with either case and police are not sure if he was involved. They called his claims "credible," however. He drew a crude but accurate map of the park, and the park is also near to where Randy's mother was visiting a friend the night of his disappearance. His mother believes Randy hitched a ride with Evans to the park in hopes of getting to see her.
Investigators have also heard tips that officers with the Kenton County Police Department were involved in Randy's disappearance. Each time they receive any tips implicating the department, they ask the Kentucky State Police to investigate it. So far, the state police haven't deemed any of those tips credible.
Randy's disappearance remains unsolved.