EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Follow-up on the New Information About Hae's Plans on January 13, 1999

Last Thursday, I posted an entry with new information about Hae's plans on January 13, 1999, which tended to establish that:

1. Hae picking up her cousin was a daily, prearranged task, not something she only did occasionally or as needed;

2. On January 13th, after picking up her cousin, Hae was supposed to take her cousin to her uncle's workplace, not home; and

3. On January 13th, after taking her cousin to her uncle's workplace, Hae was supposed to babysit her cousin for some period of time.

The entry was posted on reddit, prompting the following response by Hae's brother:

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 3.28.58 PM

I believe Hae's brother, which makes the information I received all the more confounding. I previously said that I would not name the source of my information, but the last thing that I want is Hae's brother thinking that I might be making something up. I also don't want misinformation to be out there.

The source of my information is the Director of The Enehey Group, who, among other things, consulted with Detective O'Shea on a daily basis during the Missing Persons Investigation. Here is a relevant excerpt from her:

"I knew Hae Min through her family, who were my friends at that time. I was asked by them to help find her the day she failed to show up to babysit her cousin after school. Her family was frantic and I am an investigative researcher, I knew PI's and law enforcement professionals, and I occasionally worked on cold cases and missing person cases. Hae Min's failure to show up was reported by her uncle (she lived with her uncle and mother) to the police in the county where she lived; as is the norm, the authorities did not take the matter seriously because she had not been missing for 36 hours. Her family contacted me to call the police and beg for immediate action and so I impressed upon the police that Hae Min was not a US Citizen, her Embassy would be contacted and this could look very very bad if they did not take this more seriously. It was unlike Hae Min to fail to be home at the right time, clearly something was wrong, she was a dutiful daughter, responsible family member, and daily picked up her cousin after school to take to her uncle's business." 

Given that some of this information seemed at odds with what had been reported, I of course confirmed with her the three pieces of information that formed the basis for my prior post. I know that the Director has received negative attention in the wake of Serial, and I hope that readers see that, at least in this instance, she was trying to be helpful, even if that helpfulness tends to establish that the investigation of this case might have been fundamentally flawed from day one.

[Edit: I just wanted to note that the information in my prior post (and the information in this post) was not given under the promise of anonymity. I left my source unnamed in the initial post because I thought that the information spoke for itself. Given today's response, I decided that the source needed to be identified.].



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I wonder about her... In the big picture, though, to what extent do these two details matter?

Posted by: Chris | Jan 19, 2016 1:37:39 PM

So Hae's brother posted that on reddit that your information was not reliable? I'm confused.

Posted by: angela | Jan 19, 2016 1:38:42 PM

Chris: They could depend a great deal if the entire investigation of the case from day 1 was based upon faulty factual premises. Franky, I don't know what to think at this point.

angela: Yes, someone posted the prior entry on reddit, prompting him to comment that #2 and #3 were wrong.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 19, 2016 1:42:43 PM

It seems like the director of the Enehey Group proactively offered 'help' because she happened to be friends with Hae's uncle.

I'm assuming she has documentation, notes she took back then, indicating that Hae was supposed to take her cousin to her uncle's workplace and babysit her?

Posted by: Lagertha | Jan 19, 2016 1:43:42 PM

I greatly appreciate any help or additional information that [], the Enehey Group Director can provide.

It sounds like she was involved in the investigation from the very beginning and she may hold critical information that nobody else has. Her knowledge and investigative material may prove critical to finding out what really happened to poor Hae.

[] or her investigators may have documented information in her files that Haes family have since forgotten in the tragedy of her death and the trial.

Because of []'s unique perspective, and the fact that she was consulted by Detective O'Shea during the very important early days of the investigation, her insight may be invaluable.

Many millions of people across the world would be grateful for any help [] can provide.

Posted by: CLarence | Jan 19, 2016 1:46:07 PM

i'm so entirely confused

Posted by: Jen | Jan 19, 2016 1:51:42 PM

Can you confirm that the Director of The Enehey Group requested you to keep the information they provided to you private?

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2016 2:16:03 PM

Lagertha: Yes, this is why I found her information trustworthy.

CLarence: Yes, additional information could be so helpful, one way or the other.

Jen: Me too.

Ben: The information was not initially provided with a promise of anonymity. After the information was given, the Director asked that I not name her in my post. As a result, I made the initial decision not to name her. After the comment posted today, I felt it necessary to name her (or at least her position).

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 19, 2016 2:33:33 PM

I still don't see how this information helps Adnan.

Also, so now how does one pick which piece of information given by Enehy group is correct and which one is not.

Posted by: S | Jan 19, 2016 3:18:17 PM

"The information was not initially provided with a promise of anonymity"

then why did you previously say

"and hope that this eventually happens because the source has additional helpful information unknown to the public, but I will respect the source's request to keep the information private at this point"

Aren't you contradicting yourself? They either requested for you to keep the information private or they didn't.

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2016 3:46:15 PM

S: I don’t think it does really help Adnan, which is why I regarded it as trustworthy. The information at issue is mostly neutral.

ben: The Director initially gave the information without any promise of anonymity. I subsequently asked for permission to cite the Director. She then asked that I not use her name because of the negative response that she has gotten in the wake of Serial. At that point, I decided to keep her name out of my post because I wanted to respect her privacy and simply wanted to report the information, which I hoped would clarify things. Based on what happened today, I changed my decision for the reasons that I listed.

So, in other words, there was no promise of anonymity in exchange for the information.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 19, 2016 4:19:58 PM

Did you try and contact Hae's brother or Hae's family to tell them what you had been told to get their response?

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2016 4:21:14 PM

So the additional helpful information. Will you be releasing that?

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2016 4:27:00 PM

ben: I had been reluctant to reach out to them, but he made a comment recently, wondering whether the family should do an interview, possibly with Undisclosed. Based on that, I sent him a message, seeing whether he wanted to talk. Understandably, he did not respond.

As for the additional information...I don't know. There is some information that could be really helpful, but now I'm not sure of its reliability.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 19, 2016 4:27:29 PM

Thanks for all these updates -- they are appreciated!

Posted by: Chris | Jan 19, 2016 4:39:34 PM

Thanks for clarifying this Prof. Did The Director mention anything about Hae's diary, and why it took her so long to hand it over to B City PD? That's always bothered me a little.

Always refreshing to see you brush off the haters with reason and polite respect.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Jan 19, 2016 5:54:23 PM

I always wondered why the police started to investigate the case before the 36 hours were up, now we know why!

Posted by: CarrieLibrary | Jan 19, 2016 6:29:33 PM

Chris: No problem.

Anonymouse: She did provide information about the diary, but it was confusing. We will see if anything comes out of it.

CarrieLibrary: Yes, this does answer that question.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 19, 2016 6:35:22 PM

Will there be an Undisclosed addendum episode about your latest correspondence with the Director? Much respect for your investigative efforts.

Posted by: Lagertha | Jan 19, 2016 6:42:58 PM

I honestly think that too much time has passed to consider memories of that day reliable.

I think DNA remains the best possible scenario for Adnan.

Posted by: S | Jan 19, 2016 7:35:59 PM

Did you ask her about Hae's pager records? It has never seemed credible to me that people involved in the initial investigation didn't get those records.

Posted by: AMNOP | Jan 19, 2016 7:41:26 PM

There's no waiting period to initiate a missing person investigation, especially with a minor. I wish police shows would stop spreading that myth. Those early hours of a person's absence are important.

Posted by: Serita k | Jan 19, 2016 7:53:59 PM

Hi Colin-Thanks as always for all the info you give us! Any thoughts on why next month's hearing was given another day?

Posted by: Brenda Sue Thompson | Jan 19, 2016 9:32:02 PM

Hae's brother said in his first Reddit post that the cousin was supposed to be taken to their grandparents' care, so it is not surprising that he disagreed with the previous post. But I do wonder whether he is quibbling over minor differences rather than anything substantial. Whether the child was to be taken to the uncle or the grandparents almost doesn't matter when they all live in the same home and/or are so communal that there are few boundaries between households.

I recall reading somewhere that Hae's grandmother was the last to see her before she went to school and I recall reading a diary entry where Hae talks about her grandmother replacing the cordless with corded one so that Hae couldn't monopolize it. So either they were all in the same home or else the grandparents were very regularly there, along with the uncle who lived with them.

Posted by: Anonynon | Jan 19, 2016 10:22:16 PM

Note: This is the 25th and final comment that will appear on this post.

S: If that’s true, it would make it pretty tough to take the case back to trial if Adnan is granted a new one. I agree that DNA could potentially resolve things conclusively, but (1) there’s a good chance it no longer existed; and (2) there’s a good chance that testing won’t prove anything conclusive.

AMNOP: I did. There is no resolution on that issue yet.

Serita: Extremely important.

samarkandy: I don’t believe that the police waited that long. Jay himself told The Intercept that he was tired of talking with police by the time they talked to Jenn on 2/26 and 2/27.

Brenda Sue Thompson: Two likely possibilities: (1) a witness was only available on 2/3; and/or (2) there were too many witnesses to fit into two days worth of hearings.

Anonynon: I’m very glad he weighed in. My prior post didn’t break the case or anything. It was trying to clarify the record about the specifics of Hae’s plans on January 13th. If that information was even slightly wrong, it needed to be corrected.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jan 20, 2016 3:07:40 AM

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