Family Continues Search for Remains of Missing Woman

By: Zakk Gammon Email
By: Zakk Gammon Email

Jack Lee searches desperately through land near off Old Gallatin Road, just outside Scottsville, for the remains of his niece, Karen.

"I can't say she's there because we haven't found her, but I have every reason to believe she's there," Lee said. "And we're not going to give up until we're convinced she's not there."

Karen Jo Smith disappeared from her Indianapolis home in December of 2000. Her ex-husband, Steve Halcomb was convicted of her murder on circumstantial evidence, without a body or even a murder weapon.

"We're trying to uncover as much land as we can trying to make sure she's not contained into a grave," said Lee.

Smith has family in South Central Kentucky and Lee is sure this is where Halcomb disposed of her body.

"We've had overwelming support of trying to find her remains here," he said.

Jack says he's traveled near and far to find his niece's body. He's searched through several states, in bodies of water, on plots of land and anywhere he can think of.

"We've been to the Ohio River, we've been to Illinois we've been to Indiana. Anywhere we thought she could have been, we've been there," said Lee.

For years, Halcomb denied anything to do with Smith's disappearance. In the last few months, however, he's admitted to killing her, saying her body is here. Between that and cadaver dogs sniffing something here, Lee's confident, this time, he'll find her.

Lee says if and when he finds her body, he and his family will finally have answers, ten and a half years later.

"We know we're ready for closure. It's time to bring her home and put this chapter of the book to a close," Lee said.

Lee says the search is being let completely by volunteers. Right now, the family's biggest need is a track hoe to dig in a ravine on the property. Lee asks anyone willing to donate his or her time or equipment to call him. He can be reached at (270) 889-4502.

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