CLEVELAND, Ohio-- Dramatic developments in the case of a Northeast Ohio musician, whose mysterious disappearance baffled police for nearly a decade.
A local private eye, Pete Demopoulos, believes that modern science will solve the mystery.
He says old cell phone records and the new technology that's now available to interpret them, are the key to discovering what happened to 73-year-old Willie Standberry, a musician, father and grandfather, who lived in East Cleveland, and vanished in December 2006.
"Prior to December 7th, 2006, it's just Mr. Standberry living his life. However, after December 7th, 2006, somebody had Mr. Standberry's phone, in which they never made an outgoing call, but as people continued to look for Mr. Standberry, and his family tried to call to say 'where are you? We miss you. That would ping certain places," said Demopoulos.
Cell phone records reveal that someone kept Standberry's phone for a month after he disappeared. For the most part, the pings from the phone came from Standberry's home in East Cleveland, which had already been searched by police and family members. The records reveal some unusual movement by the person who had Standberry's phone, two days after Willie vanished.
"On December 9th, 2006, an individual has Mr. Standberry's telephone; they arrive and the phone begins to ping off of a cell tower located right here on Kirby Avenue."
That address comes back to a Cleveland junkyard, and it is at that place that the private investigator believes that Willie Standberry's body and his car were disposed of. "I believe that he met his end either in his home or around his home on that evening, approximately between 8 and 10 o'clock that night," Demopoulos told FOX 8.
Demopoulos. who volunteered his services after hearing about the case on FOX 8, says before Standberry disappeared, he told family members that he was concerned about someone buying and selling drugs on his property. And, after he vanished, someone forged his name and cashed at least 3 checks.
Demopoulos is now hoping East Cleveland police will use his findings to pursue those responsible for Standberry's disappearance. "If they were to go back and look at the records of the suspect's cell phone, I believe that they would match up pretty closely. 'And that would be a case for murder?' I believe so."