Buried in the Backyard (2018–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - Bed and Breakfast and Body - full transcript

Investigators believe a young woman went missing on her own accord, but her mother is convinced that someone close to her is hiding a big secret. A two-year search for the truth brings investigators to the backyard of a historic location.

In November of 2007,

Lynn Dodenhoff experienced
a parent's worst nightmare.

Christine and I,
we just had a fight.

That's the last time
I ever saw her.

She received a phone call
that changed her life forever.

He said, "Lynn, your daughter
went missing."

This desperate mother stopped
at nothing to find her child.

I promised her
I'd never let her down, ever.

A two year investigation had
police struggling

to put the pieces together.

They discover the journal

and they start looking
at her possibly trying

to get rid of her kids
and escape.

We all tried to warn her
about him.

He was not a good guy.

Our primary witness
had been pegged

by the best science available
as a liar.

The map showed us
where the ditch was.

So it was pretty easy to follow.

And there's only one place

to dig up the answers.

We walked through
the backyard,

and soon we would make
a horrific discovery.

Nestled on the banks
of the scenic Pocomoke River

in eastern Maryland
is the River House Inn,

a charming and historic
bed and breakfast.

Snow Hill, Maryland is
a quaint little town

that's located
in Worcester County.

And you do have a lot of
bed and breakfasts in the area,

and the River House Inn being
one of the more popular
and famous old ones.

This was a beautiful property

and because it was
so beautiful,

people would
have weddings there,

graduation parties.

The cozy bed and breakfast
usually slows down

when the weather turns cold.

But that wasn't the case
in the winter of 2010,

when the backyard
of this peaceful inn

became the focus
of a homicide investigation.

I remember the day
like it was yesterday:

February 19, 2010.

It was a cold day.
The ground was slightly frozen.

We walked through the backyard
of this historic bed and

I think everybody's
mood was somewhere

between excited that we might
fight an end to this case

and upset over the fact
that what we were going to find

was not gonna be a good end.

Detectives were carefully
following a hand-drawn map,

and what they'd unearth beneath
the X would put an end

to an agonizing years-long

In the fall of 2007,

Lynn Dodenhoff had welcomed
her two young grandsons

and her 26-year-old daughter,
Christine Sheddy,
to live with her.

I would do anything
for Christine.

You know, I wasn't the best mom
in the whole world, you know.

I thought maybe this would be
my opportunity to be better.

Christine was a single mom

who had just suffered
a bad breakup

and she wanted nothing more
than to start a new life,

but money was tight

and friction between Lynn
and Christine

sometimes boiled over.

Christine and I were like
two peas in a pod.

But when you get two women
living in the same house,

you're gonna have some issues.

She loved her mom to death,
you know?

But they were both bullheaded,

so, you would knock heads.

And on one cool
November morning,

an argument over the grocery
bill went too far.

Christine and I,
we just had a fight.

She pushed me, I pushed her.

Said things, you know,

I can't take back.

All I remember is seeing her
holding the baby,

holding Isaac's hand
and just walking.

We didn't say anything,
'cause we were just mad.

That's the last time
I ever saw her.

Christine was an old soul.

Would make you laugh.
Christine was funny.

She was really funny.

Had a very giving spirit.

There she is!

She was rambunctious, comical,

and always into something.

And this is a nylon shirt,

and it ties.

We both ended up having
boyfriends about the same time.

Her first love, my first love,
were friends of each other.

Christine met James through
hanging out with her friends.

It was like one day
she was single,

next day there was James.

James, nicknamed Jimbo,
was a 17-year-old

who swept the high school
junior off her feet
back in 1997.

Jimbo was fun-loving,

They were both comical.

Christine loved
that he could joke with her.

Jimbo was her first love.

Jimbo was everything to her.

But Christine and Jimbo's
young romance was cut short

by a tragic accident.

James worked
as a construction worker,

and James fell off a building,

and he broke both his ankles,

and in the process when going
through the X-rays,

there was a spot found
on his leg bone

and it turned out
to be Ewing sarcoma.

This rare, deadly bone cancer
was already advanced

by the time James was

And after three painful years,
he lost his battle.

He was her love,
above and beyond all.

And when he passed,
Christine lost part of herself.

She took it very hard.

Losing Jimbo paralyzed
Christine for nearly a year.

Feeling vulnerable and
desperate for companionship,

the 22-year-old found comfort

by reconnecting with former
classmates and old friends.

After James died,
Christine decided, you know,

to hang out with her friends
and to try to, you know, forget,

and that's when she met Mitch.

Mitch was very different
from James.

I-- I thought
he was kind of a dullard.

Didn't seem to have much
going on,

and, um, he was very

And he had been known
to be violent.

He was not a good guy.

Mitch was not a good guy.

I tried on several occasions

to tell Christine,
"This is not the guy for you,"

but the more you pushed,
the harder she pushed back.

Christine was gonna do
what she was gonna do.

Despite their rollercoaster

Christine was content spending
weekends with Mitch,

and weekdays with her mom.

When she found out
she was pregnant,

she hoped it would bring she
and Mitch closer together.

Christine thought maybe this
would help smooth things over.

And soon baby number
two arrived.

But Mitch's temper continued
to spiral out of control.

After a weekend with Mitch,

and right before
Christine went missing,

he had beat her up.

She had, you know,
the black eye and bruises

on her arms.

Christine was scared
to raise her children

with the type of father figure
that Mitch was.

He was very mentally, verbally,
and physically abusive to her.

And she knew the only way
to get out

was to get away from him.

Christine finally mustered the
courage to break up with Mitch,

but that meant more time spent
at home with her mom.

The two constantly
butted heads,

until a particularly bitter
argument in November of 2007.

Christine took the boys

and went to stay with one of
her best friends, Tia Johnson,

who lived in Worcester County,
Maryland, 75 miles away.

Christine and Tia, you know,

they shared a lot
of similar things,

like they were both
single moms.

You know, so they could relate
to each other.

So when we had a fight
Christine called Tia,

and go down to the farm
just to get away.

Tia and her two kids already
shared her farmhouse

with her boyfriend,
Junior Jackson,

and her cousin, Justin Hadel.

But happily opened her doors
to Christine and the kids.

I knew that she wasn't
leaving for good.

It's not like we haven't had
these little tiffs before.

But two weeks after
Christine stormed out,

Lynn got the news that no
mother ever wants to hear.

I got a phone call
from Tia's boyfriend Junior,

saying that
Christine was missing.

And I said, you know,

"What are you talking about,
Christine's missing?

He said, "We checked all around.
I couldn't find her.

I already reported
her missing."

Even more worrisome,
Christine's boys,

ages two and four,
were left behind.

Well, my immediate thought
when I got the phone call,

I said, "Christine would never
leave her kids."

She would never do that.

She'd die first.

I was on the phone with Lynn.

She really didn't go into too
much detail that morning.

I knew she was
in her own panic,

but we knew something
wasn't right.

When police got the missing
person's report,

they went to Byrd Road,

which was the residence
Christine was living at

on a small farm.

Any missing person's case,

the investigators want to try
and find out

was there any motivation
for the person to leave
of their own accord.

They found Tia, Junior,
and Justin there,

and they had interviewed
all three.

Tia reported when she came back
home, after doing some errands,

she discovered
that Christine was gone.

She was concerned
because it was unusual

for Christine to leave her
children there unattended.

And she went outside

and she started yelling
for Justin and for Junior.

They were at the farm,

but they weren't
inside the farmhouse.

And a few minutes later

they came from the area
of the woods.

When officers questioned them,

Justin and Junior said
they had no idea

where Christine could be.

So, police began a routine
search of the grounds.

The deputies take a look

observing the house and the
area around that house,

They didn't find anything

While searching every corner
of the farmhouse

for her missing friend,

Tia discovered an ominous clue.

Tia Johnson found a thank you
letter from Christine to Tia

thanking her for cordiality
in letting Christine stay
at the house,

letting the children
stay there.

And it almost seemed like
it was a good-bye letter.

Police were baffled.

Had Christine left on her own?

Or was something more sinister
going on?

Investigators were
really concerned

about what had happened
to Christine because she had
no vehicle of her own.

That meant that either
she left the property
of her own accord on foot,

or that somebody had come there
and taken her off
of the property.

Investigators start looking
at Christine as possibly trying

to get rid of her kids
and escape.

At that point in time,

Lynn and the Worcester County
sheriff's department

just didn't get along.

In my heart of

I didn't think
there was enough being done.

So I took it upon myself
to search for her.

In November 2007,

grieving mother Lynn was
desperate for answers.

Her daughter Christine
had disappeared

from her friend's farmhouse,

leaving her two young sons

Less than three hours
after she went missing,

Christine's concerned roommates
told police they had no idea

where Christine had gone.

The investigators don't think

that Tia, Junior,
or Justin were involved,

because all three of them are
concerned for her safety.

All three of them are relaying
to the investigators

that they wonder what has
happened to Christine.

Tia felt in her gut
that something was wrong,

because it was unlike Christine
to leave her boys alone.

She couldn't stop thinking

that maybe Christine's

may have had something to do

with her friend's

Tia informed the police

that they needed to speak
with Mitch Hill,

the estranged boyfriend
of Christine.

We all tried to warn her
about Mitch.

I knew from prior experiences
that he was not a good guy.

Mitch was very abusive
to my daughter,

but Christine was gonna do
what she was gonna do.

She loved him.

were now very worried

that this person
who was an abusive boyfriend

may have had something to do
with Christine's disappearance.

When Christine
first went missing,

my first gut instinct was

that Mitch killed Christine.

So investigators go
to talk Mitch Hill.

He tells them right up front

that he and Christine have
had a number of problems

over the years, but they've
worked on reconciling
their differences.

And he tells them that on the
day that Christine disappeared,

he was working.

And he wants to know
where Christine is

as badly as anyone else.

Mitch's alibi was air-tight,

but he seemed to be holding
something back.

And when investigators pressed
him harder,

he handed over a new piece
of evidence.

And it convinced them

that Christine may not
be missing at all.

While talking to the deputies,

Mitch offers to give
the deputies a journal

that Christine Sheddy
had been keeping.

When the investigators start
looking through the journal,

they discover the names
and numbers of three
adoption agencies.

Police couldn't understand

why a doting mother like
Christine would want

to contact an adoption agency.

Could it be that motherhood
overwhelmed her,

and she was looking
for a way out?

So, investigators start looking
at Christine as possibly trying

to get rid of her kids
and escape.

At that point they charge her
with child abandonment.

It was like a big slap
in the face for me.

'Cause I thought they were,
you know, looking for her.

So, immediately called down
to district county bureau
of investigation,

and got the guy on the desk,

and I just ripped him a new one.

Christine would never leave
her kids.

She has had her butt beaten
and not left her kids.

So, why would she, you know,
leave her kids now?

Christine would never put
her kids up for adoption.

She was wanting to give them
a better life.

It was unfair, because they
didn't know Christine.

Christine was with her kids

Lynn knew her daughter wrote
in a journal

as a way to work
through life's hardships.

What they don't realize is
the way

that Christine would
process stuff.

She would write it down,

rather than act on anything
just to get it out.

Even though investigators
had come to the belief

that Christine had left
on her own,

they still continued
to conduct searches.

Law enforcement put out a poster

for a missing person
for Christine,

but even though the poster was
out there,

there were no tips and there
was no new information
from that avenue.

Once detectives cleared
Mitch Hill as a suspect,

they seemed to hit
a brick wall.

Frustrated by the lack
of leads,

Lynn was determined
to stir things up.

Lynn continued to urge law

and push them to do
what they needed to do.

She never gave up.

When Christine went missing,

you know, that was kinda like--
You know, I can't be quiet.

And, I promised her
I'd never let her down.


At that point in time,

Lynn and the Worcester County
sheriff's department

just didn't get along.

Lynn would call them

trying to get updates
on the case,

providing information that Lynn
would accumulate on her own.

She never let up.

I was on the local news.

I talked with reporters
and newspapers.

One way or another,
we just need to bring her home.

In my heart of hearts,
I really--

I didn't think
there was enough being done.

So, I took it upon myself

to go to the farm
and search myself.

I kinda prepared myself
'cause I was looking
for my daughter's body.

I even went so far as to Google

what state of decomposition
I would be stumbling upon.

Something I did, yeah,
I guess maybe to harden myself,

take myself away from it.

But I would just walk and look
for any kind of sign,

like clothes or mounds of dirt.

I befriended the neighbor,
the next door neighbor.

We became really good friends.

I mean, we'd walk the woods
for hours.

Like eight hours at a time.

As weeks turned into months,

Lynn fought back anxiety
and despair,

in her relentless search
for Christine.

But nearly two years after
her daughter's disappearance,

she was still in the dark.

By 2009, the case
has grown cold.

There's no new information
about Christine.

There's nothing
on her bank accounts.

No one has heard from Christine
in almost two years.

And all of a sudden
something happens.

On March 24, 2009,

a body is discovered
in Westminster, Maryland.

In March 2009,

15 months after Christine
Sheddy vanished,

a grisly discover was made
in a Baltimore suburb.

Somebody is going hiking
through the woods

in Westminster, Maryland,

which is about a hundred
and fifty miles

from Pocomoke, the place
where Christine disappeared.

And this individual discovers

the skeletal remains
of a young woman

who appears to have died
from blunt force trauma.

Because they're
skeletal remains,

the investigators can't just
do a visual confirmation
of her identity.

But because there are
no other missing persons
in the immediate area,

investigators begin to wonder.

Could these be the remains
of Christine Sheddy?

My daily routine was get
on the computer all day,

and do research or whatever
trying to find my daughter.

And I came across this article

that said there was skeletal
remains found

in Westminster, Maryland.

I was on the phone with Lynn.

We kept in communication.

And we were waiting
on pins and needles

to see if it was Christine.

They said it seemed to have
belonged to a petite female.

Okay, my daughter was

a hundred--
a hundred and four pounds.

So, I thought
this would be Christine.

Lynn tried to cope
with the awful possibility

that Christine had suffered
a terrible fate

150 miles away from home.

As she mulled over a thousand
grim scenarios,

she got a call from police.

investigators determined
that the skeletal remains

ultimately isn't
Christine Sheddy.

The belonged instead to a
sex worker from Baltimore,

missing since 1997.

And all of a sudden
all of the hope

that Lynn Dodenhoff had

that her daughter had been found

and she's back to square one.

The whole thing had kinda like
come to a standstill.

Just one of those obstacles
that I had to get through,

you know, in order
to find my daughter.

But if the body wasn't

then where was she?

To police,
the most plausible theory was

that Christine was trying to
get rid of her kids and escape.

I got a phone call
from a detective,

from a local police department.

And he's like,
"Let me tell you something.

Your daughter was sponge
on society,

because of her lack
of work history,

and she simply ran away.

Christine didn't have a job,

because her job was them kids.

Wherever she went her children
were there.

You know, and it's hard
being a single mom

when you don't have no child
support, nothing.

Who's gonna pay the daycare?

Who's gonna take care
of the kids

when I do get a job?

It was very hard for her.

I just burst into tears.

I said to the detective,

"You know what?
She was my daughter."

Nobody has the right
to say anything like that,

and especially somebody

that was sworn to protect
and to serve.

But instead of giving up,

Lynn doubled down on her own
crusade to find Christine,

by any means necessary.

From the time
I got up in the morning,

until the time I went to bed,
I was on the computer.

Lynn would call, would e-mail.

Would just bother anybody

and anybody that could help her
get the story out

about her missing daughter.

They were sharing missing
person flyers

to all the different
media outlets

to get attention on the case.

I was very receptive,

because I always think
about the family,

what it must be like.

And if you talk to Lynn,

you know that it was not normal
for Christine

to take off and just leave
her kids behind.

You know,
a lot of people thought maybe

Christine ran away or,
you know, she gave up.

But Lynn, she was gonna make
sure Christine had justice.

And on the other side,
on the dark side,

there was a lot of people that,
you know, were really evil.

There was another blog
and they would write,

"Your daughter was a slut."

Or, you know,
that kind of stuff.

There were people that were
writing in, you know,

about they didn't think
Christine was,

you know, worthwhile to look for
and this kind of thing.

That's what anonymous people do
on blogs.

Lynn ultimately wasn't willing
to just sit around

and wait for leads to develop.

She ended up being
the lead investigator

of this case for so long,

because she just would not let
any lead go away.

Lynn reached out to anyone
who knew Christine.

Hoping that someone had
seen or heard from her.

No one had any information,

including her close
friend Tia Johnson,

who stopped returning
Lynn's calls.

I figured, Tia's a mom.

You know, Tia's a woman.

And you would think that
she has some kind of empathy

for what I was going through.

Lynn wondered since it
had been over two years

since Christine went missing
from the farmhouse,

had Tia simply moved on
or was there more to her story?

During the course
of Lynn's investigation,

she found out that several
of Tia's family members

thought that Tia knew more
than what she had led on.

Lynn wasn't about to let anyone
off the hook.

So, she plied Tia
for information.

So, I would,
for lack of a better term,

stalk her.

I would-- I was relentless.

I would do it publicly
on a blog.

I would do it, you know,
on the radio.

I even got on her MySpace,

and just tore her up.

Tia was a dead end.

But in February 2010,

Lynn's investigation finally
turned up a promising lead.

Lynn is able to learn

that Junior is living
in Tennessee.

And he was actually arrested

for burning his neighbor's

Junior Jackson,
Tia Johnson's boyfriend,

was at the farm the day
Christine went missing.

And now,
because of an arson charge,

he was in prison in Tennessee.

So, because of his criminal
past and Tennessee's
third strike rule,

Junior was looking at a third
strike for felony arson,

and therefore, he was looking
at life in prison in Tennessee.

Junior was desperate to make
a deal to avoid prison time,

and reached out to Lynn
with an offer.

I advised the state's attorney
that we had fresh information

that Junior wanted to talk.

And when you get
information like that,

you have to act very,
very quickly.

Junior wrote me a letter
from jail,

and he wants to give me what I
was looking for for two years.

And I thought,

"Finally, somebody's
listening to me.

Finally, somebody believes me."

In February 2010,
after almost three years

of searching for her missing
daughter Christine,

Lynn Dodenhoff finally got the
break she'd been praying for.

A letter from Junior Jackson,
Tia Johnson's ex-boyfriend.

In the letter Junior is willing
to confess that he knew

where Christine's body was,

and that he would help
the Maryland authorities
locate that body,

if they would help him get out
of the charges in Tennessee.

Junior wants my help and he
would give me my daughter.

You know, it's like, finally!

You know, finally there was a
light at the end of the tunnel.

The prosecutors and
investigators were able

to work out a deal.

They take Junior back
to the farm,

where he, Tia, Justin, and
Christine had been living.

Junior tells investigators
exactly what happened.

On the day that Christine

Tia had gone
to run some errands,

Christine's children
had fallen asleep,

and Christine and Junior
had gone into the woods

to have sex.

Junior claimed he and Christine
were wildly attracted

to each other.

But that was a problem
for his roommate Justin Hadel,

who had a big crush
on Christine.

Justin ended up following into
the woods a few minutes later,

saw the two of them,

became incredibly jealous.

And ended up getting a shovel,

coming back to where
they were having sex,

and beat Christine with the
shovel until she was dead.

According to Junior,

Justin was filled with jealousy
and rage,

because he was
under the delusion

that Christine had feelings
for him.

But was Junior telling
the whole story?

In many cases,
when you have a defendant

who is willing
to provide testimony

against a co-defendant,

they're going to minimize
their own involvement

in whatever happened

in order to get out
of serious jail time.

Junior clearly says that
he didn't have any first-hand

action involved in the homicide.
He just helped

after she'd been murdered.

According to Junior's story

when Justin has killed

he ends up worried
that somebody's going
to discover the body

and he also tells investigators

that he's worried no one would
believe him he wasn't involved.

So they dig a shallow grave
in the woods,

cover her body up with some
branches and some leaves,

and go back to the house.

They knew that at some point

there were gonna be police
coming to the property.

So, at that point

they decided they
better remove the body

from the property on Byrd Road
and take it to Snow Hill,

the River House Inn bed and

So they ended up taking
Christine's body,

putting it along
with some shovels

in the truck of the car,
driving to the inn,

made certain nobody else was
at the inn that night.

Junior had been working
at that bed and breakfast,

and he knew
that there was a ditch

that had been dug there,
was actually very deep ditch,

probably two to three feet.

And it was just convenient
for them.

Junior knew that no one
would think twice

about a freshly dug earth,

because there was already
some there.

So, in the backyard of the inn
over by one of the fences,

Junior and Justin dug a small,
shallow grave

and buried Christine

thinking that she would
be there forever.

Junior even went so far as
to draw a map to the grave

located on the grounds of the
picturesque River House Inn.

They told me, "Lynn, we know
exactly where she is.

Junior drew out a diagram
of where she was."

They didn't tell me
exactly where.

They just said
they know where she it.

that were at the farm

forwarded that map
to investigators
that were at the inn.

They were waiting
for that information.

The map showed us
where the ditch was.

There was still grass that
hadn't grown on the ditch.

So, it was pretty easy
to follow.

And then we proceeded to set up
a forensic dig site

and start digging.

The investigators
finally had some hope

that they would get answers,

but if Junior's lying
about his story,

then we're back to a cold case

with no leads, no clues,

hope ripped away.

When he takes a polygraph test,

he ends up testing deceptive

on one or more
of the questions.

What that means is that he's
lying about his story.

On February 19, 2010,

the backyard of the River House
Inn bed and breakfast
in Snow Hill, Maryland,

became the scene
of a grim excavation

as investigators went digging
for Christine Sheddy's grave.

It was actually a rather
lengthy process.

The investigators didn't want

to dig too far, too fast
and potentially miss evidence.

A shovel full of dirt at a time
would be dug up,

and sifted through to see
if there was anything

that would point to what
had happened to Christine.

But hours passed and there was
still no sign of any remains.

We had actually dug down a bit,

and had not found anything.

And I think everybody was
starting to lose hope

until finally we uncovered
the tennis shoe.

Which led to the rest
of Christine's body.

For Lynn Dodenhoff,

who'd spent more than two years
hunting for her daughter,

the news was overwhelming.

The police said,

"I just wanna let you know
that we, you know, we found her.

You know, we found her shoe.

We found her, you know."


It was surreal.

I just burst into tears.

It was down to the depths
of your soul crying.

But I knew--
I knew I was gonna find her.

It was on the news
that they found a body.

I knew it was her.

It was like you-- You knew.

Lynn said they were waiting,
but we knew.

When I finally found out

that she was at this bed and

where she was buried is

where like bridal parties
walked by.

It wasn't until nearly two
and a half years later,

Christine Sheddy's remains were
found buried in the backyard

of the River House Inn bed and

And Sheddy's family is hoping
for closure

after years of pain
and unanswered questions.

But this case was far
from closed.

After Junior Jackson's tip
led investigators
to Christine's body,

they shifted their focus
to verifying his story.

That Justin Hadel killed

The investigators talked
to Junior

and they make a deal with him
on a few simple stipulations.

One, that he agreed to testify

against Justin Hadel,

and two, in order
to be able to testify,

the state was going to require
him to take a polygraph test.

When he takes it
the results are not

what the investigators were

He ends up testing deceptive on
one or more of the questions.

What that means is

that he's lying
about his story.

So, this put everybody
in a little bit of a bind.

We now had our primary witness

as someone who had pegged

by the best science available
as a liar.

Investigators now
needed to find out

what was Junior lying about.

Did Justin really kill

Or was it someone else?

Investigators were able
to locate Justin in Texas

and get him back to Maryland.

In February of 2010,

Justin Hadel was questioned
in a Maryland jail.

And what he told investigators
turned their case upside down.

Justin told investigators

that it was Junior, not him

who was the murderer.

And that he was only
an accessory

after the fact,
and helped with the body.

And that Junior was
the mastermind

behind what had happened
to Christine.

With both suspects pointing
a finger at one another,

and no real evidence to prove
who was telling the truth,

police were at a dead end,

but there was one fact
both men agreed on.

Tia Johnson, Christine's best
friend, was in on the plot.

They end up getting in touch
with Tia Johnson,

who's the only person

that might know the truth

about what happened
at the farm that night.

I knew she knew something.

that she wasn't telling.

In 2010, investigators
still had no idea

who killed Christine Sheddy.

Junior Jackson and Justin Hadel
blamed each other.

Both admitted
to burying the body,

but they weren't alone.

Junior and Justin told

that they ended up
getting Tia involved

to help cover up the crime.

They ended up
taking Christine's body,

putting it in the trunk
of Tia's car,

driving to the inn.

Junior, who worked at the inn,

made certain nobody else was
at the inn that night.

And they buried Christine
on the property.

According to both
Junior and Justin,

Tia climbed up the inn's fire
escape, broke into a room,

and acted as a lookout
from an upstairs window.

For Lynn, it confirmed
her long held suspicion

that Tia was hiding something.

I knew in my heart
of hearts Tia knew.

I had a lot of contempt
for her, and I still do.

She could have brought this
all to an end.

She could have, you know,
at any time

went to the authorities,
but she never said anything.

After evading Lynn
got over two years,

Tia Johnson finally came clean
about her role

in covering up
Christine's murder.

Then she told investigators
that the person responsible
for Christine's death

was Justin.

Tia indicated that Justin
had a short conversation
with her

and he confessed to her
that he had killed Christine

the day that she had

Tia's story was essentially
the same as Junior's confession.

That Justin was the murderer.

Tia, a friend of Christine's,
was protecting Junior.

She had went so far as to throw
her cousin, Justin,
under the bus.

Tia had blamed everything
on Justin and that she was
afraid of telling anybody,

but, you know, there was a time
when both Justin and Junior
were gone

and she could have called
the police.

I don't think that any of the
people involved

have fully told the truth
about what happened that

that Christine died.
We ultimately may never know.

Both Junior and Justin
took plea deals

and got 30 years behind bars.

As for Tia,
she was sentenced to 15 years,

ten for breaking in
to the bed and breakfast,

and five as an accessory
to murder.

Tia, she got more time
for breaking and entering

in that bed and breakfast
then she did for knowingly

transporting my daughter's body
in the trunk of her car

ten miles down the road
to Snow Hill.

When Tia Johnson was convicted
of accessory after the fact,

the maximum penalty was five
years incarceration,

and she got that five years.

After this case happened,
a lot of people looked at

the punishment
for accessory after the fact

and realized that it was totally
out of line

with the severity
of the crime,

and Lynn led the charge

to get the legislature
to change the law.

I'm very proud to say
that we had a law changed

in the state of Maryland that's
called the Sheddy-Bennett Act.

It used to be five years
for accessory after the fact.

Now it's up to ten.

This case was about
Lynn Dodenhoff never giving up.

Constantly trying to network,

constantly trying to feed
information and evidence

to the detectives that were
working the case at the time

and constantly hitting
a brick wall.

She had the information.

We were the authority that got
it where it needed to go

and ultimately finding
Christine as a result
of not our work,

of Lynn Dodenhoff's work.

I always told her,
I said, you know,

"If you ever run away," I said,
"I will hunt you down

and I will find you,
you know?"

And it's kind of funny now
because I did it.

Christine was one of the
strongest women I ever knew.

She was a positive person.

If you had a bad day,
she was one that could have you

in hysterics in a heartbeat.

She was a good person
to lean on.

Lynn's life has changed
in many ways

since her daughter's death,

including being a mom
all over again.

For more than a decade,
she's raised Christine's

who are now teenagers.

After, you know,
we found Christine and stuff,

there was really nothing left,
but she did have her ring.

And, um, they were--
the state's attorney's office

was good enough
to have it cleaned for me.

And I wear it.

This is...



It's my baby's ring.