Botching Heather Bogle’s Case Put a Detective Behind Bars

Twenty-eight-year-old single mother Heather Bogle was found dead in the trunk of her car in April 2015. Her death was ruled a murder, and an investigation began, headed by detective Sean O’Connell. By the time the case was closed, O’Connell was behind bars for tampering with evidence and accusing innocent people while the real murderer walked free.

Keyona Bor / Heather Bogle / Keyona Bor, Omar Satchell, Kayree Jeffrey/ Daniel Myers.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

On the other hand, Sheriff Chris Hilton fought for Heather’s justice and tracked down the real killer, only to discover that this probably hadn’t been his first murder. How and why did Heather die? Who was wrongfully accused of her murder? And how did the devoted sheriff discover a possible serial killer when he only intended to gain justice for Heather?

“Her Main Focus Was Always Her Daughter”

Heather Bogle was born in 1986 in Rockhill, South Carolina. She graduated high school in Tiffin, Ohio. In 2015, she worked in Clyde, Ohio, at the Whirlpool plant, a factory that makes washing machines. Bogle had a five-year-old daughter named Mackenzie, whom she raised on her own while she worked nights.

A portrait of Heather with her daughter.

Source: Facebook

Not only that, but Heather had goals for her and Mackenzie’s future. She was studying to be a nurse, hoping someday to give her daughter a better life. Heather had recently begun a same-sex relationship with a woman from work named Carmella Badillo, but according to her sister Jen, “Her main focus was always her daughter. She wasn’t too concerned about getting into a relationship.”

“She Touched Their Soul”

Badillo and Bogle dated for about a year. Carmella said of Heather, ” that she made an impact on people, she touched their soul, not their heart.” Unfortunately, their relationship wasn’t doing so well. On top of that, Heather found out that she had failed one of the final exams of her nursing course.

A picture of Heather.

Source: Facebook

She was feeling pretty down in the dumps and had no idea that things were about to get much worse. On April 9th, 2015, surveillance cameras spotted Heather Bogle leaving the Whirlpool plant at 6:17 a.m., after her night shift. She never showed up to get Mackenzie from school that afternoon, and no one could find her.

Wearing a Mickey Mouse T-Shirt

Her mom filed a missing person’s report, and on April 10th Heather was found dead in the trunk of her own car. She was wearing an oversize Mickey Mouse T-shirt that wasn’t hers. Her hair had been hacked off haphazardly down to her scalp, and her fingernails were cut off down to the cuticle. Heather had been badly beaten and shot twice in the back.

A photo of the Mickey Mouse T-Shirt.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

Bogle’s car was found parked in the lot of an apartment building complex that had no known connection to her or her family. Heather’s loved ones were shocked and devastated. Jen shared, “My gut just fell to the floor. I think I was in shock. I can’t even comprehend that this is even real life.”

Looking for Someone With a Motive

O’Connell “thought it was odd” that Heather’s hair had been chopped off, and “it made [him] believe whoever did this probably did it out of anger.” So, he started searching for someone who had a motive to hurt Bogle. He started his investigation at the Somerton apartment complex where her car had been found, hoping to find a lead.

A photo of Heather's car.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

An eyewitness had seen someone park Heather’s car in the lot on April 10th, sometime between 1:30 and 3 a.m. They had spotted the person driving the car get out of the vehicle and walk away. The driver had been wearing a hoodie, and it was at night, so the witness couldn’t see what the driver looked like.

O’Connell’s Theories and Suspects

Sean O’Connell thought that Heather might have been murdered nearby and then had her hair, nails, and clothing removed to eliminate any DNA of her killer. The detective brought a dog to the scene, hoping it might lead them to where Heather had been killed.

Heather's last steps are tracked using Google Earth.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

O’Connell claimed the dog signaled to the apartment of a 25-year-old single mother named Keyona Bor. The detective already knew Bor and had convicted her long-time partner on drug charges. Heather’s autopsy revealed she had marijuana in her system, and O’Connell was sure that Heather must have gone to Bor’s apartment to purchase drugs.

Bor Liked Mickey Mouse

O’Connell believed Bor to be a suspect because the young mother had a similar Mickey Mouse T-shirt and liked Disney. He speculated that after Heather had been shot, Bor had changed her into a Mickey Mouse shirt. O’Connell’s next suspect was Keyona’s friend, Omar Satchell.

O'Connell is sitting in court.

Sean O’Connell. Source: CBS News

Satchell had a criminal record, and therefore Sean believed he must be involved. A white SUV had been spotted driving in the same direction as Heather’s car on the complex’s surveillance footage, and Omar had a picture on Facebook from a few years earlier of him sitting on a white SUV.

Bor’s Facebook Posts

O’Connell wrote in his police report that Bor was reluctant to answer questions when interrogated about Heather’s disappearance. Sean had her house and the nursing home she worked at raided, looking for evidence. He also believed that two of her Facebook posts pointed to her as a suspect.

Keyona speaks during an interview.

Source: CBS News

Bor had written, “I can’t believe this just happened,” and “Doing 8-10 years for murder and pleading insanity.” She had been referring to how upset she was that her boyfriend had gotten 8-10 years in prison for a drug charge, while others got 8-10 for murder if they plead insanity.

The Easy Targets

Aside from pegging Keyona Bor and Omar Satchell on circumstantial evidence, O’Connell also believed a third accomplice, a friend of Omar’s named Kayree Jeffrey, supposedly hid the murder weapon. His theory was supported by a witness who saw Jeffrey dispose of a firearm in a nearby river.

Images of Bor, Satchell, and Jeffrey on a computer screen.

Source: Facebook

When the river was swept, however, they didn’t find the weapon. O’Connell was still sure that somehow, Satchell had stolen a gun, and Jeffrey had disposed of it. However, none of the detective’s suspects had any motive to hurt Bogle. They were the easy targets.

Ruining Innocent Lives

O’Connell was so adamant about his theory that Keyona, Omar, and Kayree murdered Heather in some drug deal gone wrong that he publicly named the suspects to the press. This ruined their lives; Keyona had to take her son out of school and lost her job and her apartment.

A still from Keyona during a televised interview.

Keyona Bor. Source: CBS News

O’Connell’s theory was full of holes. His suspects had no motive; there was no physical evidence, only speculation and random Facebook posts. His insistence was based on prejudice. O’Connell’s suspects, or victims, were poor, Black, and had criminal histories. Keyona explained they had bad blood between them before Bogle’s death.

No Evidence of Involvement

DNA thought to belong to the murderer had been found under Heather Bogle’s fingernails, showing that she had fought back against her killer. There was no reasonable motive for Bor and Satchell to have beaten, bound, and disfigured Heather. Yet O’Connell continued to look for evidence against them.

A look inside the trunk of Heather's car.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

Keyona said, “He pretty much had like a personal vendetta against my child’s father. I think I was a familiar face in the right place for him, at the right time for him.” Omar thought that he, too, was the “perfect scapegoat.” So, knowing themselves to be innocent, they both volunteered DNA.

Not a Match

Of course, neither Keyona nor Omar’s DNA matched what had been found on the victim’s body. Furthermore, Satchell had an alibi for the day Heather was murdered and was no longer the owner of a white SUV. Even Heather’s family was angry that O’Connell kept pursuing what looked like a dead end.

Omar speaks during an interview.

Omar Satchell. Source: CBS News

The family thought Heather had been killed by someone closer. At first, they suspected Carmella, but she had an alibi and was ruled out. Jen shared, “My gut instinct was that [O’Connell] just wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing. Everything he was doing was wrong.”

Getting Under Her Skin

Their next suspect was one of their own, Heather’s older brother, Josh Feasel, who had fought with Heather by text the day she was killed. He’d called her “typical trash” and “too stupid” for failing her nursing exam. According to Jen, Josh always “knew what to say that would get under [Heather’s] skin.”

A security camera catches Heather as she leaves work late at night.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office.

Heather’s brother later admitted that he’d been trying to give her tough love: “I felt in my mind if I shamed Heather, I’ll shame her into doing the right thing.” He later understood he’d been wrong, saying “it was the wrong approach clearly, and it was abusive.”

Dead to Me

Despite her alibi, Heather’s family still suspected that Carmella Badillo was the killer. She and Heather had been fighting, and Badillo was full of jealousy. The most incriminating evidence against her was a note written by Carmella found in Heather’s car.

A photo of Carmella, Heather, and Mackenzie on a car ride.

Carmella Badillo, Heather Bogle, Mckenzie. Source: Facebook

The note read, “You’re dead to me.” Carmella later shared, “Hard words that carried weights like knives, and I didn’t know the weight of them. I took her for granted.” Jen knew that Badillo would never intentionally hurt Bogle but thought she may have killed her in a jealous fit of rage during a fight.

The Press Got Wind

Reporter Matt Westerhold got wind of how Heather Bogle’s case was being conducted and started looking around. He had already believed O’Connell to be a “bad cop,” doing “bad police work.” Matt explained, “We were concerned because we didn’t believe Detective O’Connell could conduct a legitimate investigation.”

Matt Westerhold speaks to the press.

Matt Westerhold. Source: YouTube

O’Connell worked on the case for a year and two months and relentlessly pursued three suspects who had no motive. He had no concrete evidence against them, and no one else believed that they were in any way involved, including the victim’s grieving and frustrated family.

Framed by the Police

Desperate, Keyona took things into her own hands and reached out to Westerhold, editor of the Sandusky Register. He was shocked that a criminal suspect was so mistreated that she came to him saying, “I’m being targeted by police for a murder I didn’t commit,” and wanted to help.

Keyona is testifying in court.

Keyona Bor. Photo by Craig Shoup

Matt thought that O’Connell was framing Keyona and said, “she’s very believable, and it seemed obvious that… she didn’t know anything about this.” Over the years, Matt published numerous articles accusing O’Connell and his boss, Sheriff Eric Overmyer, of corruption and incompetence. Matt claimed they had “a history botching high-profile cases.”

Botching Bogle’s Case

Westerhold made sure to keep the pressure on O’Connell and tried to be a kind of “guard dog.” O’Connell filed a report to the prosecutor seeking to indict Bor, Satchel, and Jeffrey. In the report, he omitted the fact that their DNA didn’t match what had been found under Heather’s nails.

A mugshot of Sheriff Overmyer.

Sheriff Overmyer. Source: Tumblr

This didn’t sit right, so O’Connell was taken off the case and forced to leave the police force a week later. Around the same time, his boss, Sheriff Overmyer, was caught stealing drugs and sent to prison. Heather Bogle’s case was given to the State Bureau of Investigation.

The Investigation of the Investigation

The new Sheriff, Chris Hilton, said the way O’Connell had conducted the case was criminal. He said the former detective “attempted to indict people for murder that had absolutely nothing to do with it.” Tim Braun, the county prosecutor, opened a criminal investigation into O’Connell’s misconduct.

A video footage from O'Connell during interrogation.

Source: CBS News

O’Connell left the force and started a job at McDonald’s. Meanwhile, the investigation into his investigation showed that “he lied… [and] falsified police reports. He tampered with evidence. He tried to make a case that he didn’t have, and he tried to push it through.” Sean was arrested and indicted on four felony charges.

O’Connell Goes Down

Sean O’Connell was charged with “misleading a public official and destroying, concealing, and tampering with evidence.” Yet, he pleaded not guilty, claiming that “What I was doing… was following the leads to where they were taking me”; he said he was just wrong.

Sean O'Connell is standing in court.

Sean O’Connell. Photo by Craig Shoup

According to O’Connell, “detectives are wrong all the time.” The new sheriff, Chris Hilton, wouldn’t let this case rest until he found the real killer and got it right. So, they started the case from the beginning, with Chris Hilton as the new sheriff and Major Nick Kotsopoulos as the new detective.

Boggled by the Case of Heather Bogle

Kotsopoulos called the case “a mess.” He swiftly ruled out Bor, Satchell, and Jeffrey as suspects, as they had no real connection to the evidence. Nick went back and checked both Josh, Heather’s older brother, and Carmella, her girlfriend, but ruled them both out as well since their DNA didn’t match the sample either.

Sheriff Chris Hilton speaks in an interview.

Sheriff Chris Hilton. Source: CBS News

After clearing all the former suspects, Kotsopoulos looked into evidence that O’Connell hadn’t pursued. He checked the last ping from Bogle’s cellular device; it had been from around 9:20 a.m. on the day she disappeared.

Closing in on a Suspect

The ping helped them narrow down Heather’s location at the time to a five-mile radius, and with the help of Google satellite data, they were able to find a more specific place. According to the data, Heather had been near a trailer in the Emerald State trailer park at 9:20 on April 9th.

A photo of the evidence found inside the trailer.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

The trailer was owned by a co-worker of Heather’s from the Whirlpool plant. The man in question was Daniel Myers, a Caucasian in his late forties. The evidence was sufficient to question Myers. When they did, Hilton described him as “cooperative but not overly.”

A Cold Case?

The detectives later shared that Myers “distanced himself from knowing Heather” and claimed they’d had “very limited conversation.” But then he said something that caused suspicion: “I guess it’s a little odd that you know, you guys are… I know it’s a cold case, and you guys are just… grasping at straws trying to figure out.”

A still from Myers at the police station.

Source: Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office

When he heard what Myers said, Hilton thought, “Oh my God, this might be our guy.” When detectives asked Daniel for a DNA sample, he said, “I’m gonna pass on that. I didn’t really know the girl or anything like that.”

Go Fund Me

He was the first person of interest in the case to refuse to volunteer DNA, which really set off alarms for the detectives. His refusal was evidence enough to get them a search warrant for Myers’ DNA. Five days later, the results came back, and Myers was a perfect match.

A portrait of Myers.

Daniel Myers. Source: CBS News

More evidence kept piling up, proving once and for all that Daniel Myers was Heather’s killer. He had donated $125 to the GoFundMe account under Heather’s name after her death and had written a note detailing what a wonderful person Heather had been and how much she would be missed.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Daniel Myers, who claimed to barely know Heather, had also attended her funeral and signed the registry book. He had done everything he could to look normal but had been essentially hiding in plain sight from the beginning. If O’Connell hadn’t been on a personal vendetta, he would have found him.

A picture of Daniel Myers sitting in court.

Daniel Myers. Source: WNWO

According to one Whirlpool employee, she had emailed O’Connell saying she believed she knew who had committed the murder. However, the detective never followed up. Heather’s co-worker would have told him that she thought Daniel Myers was the killer if he had.

No Gun Found

When police searched Daniel Myers’ trailer, they couldn’t find the gun or bullets Heather was shot with. However, they did discover that Myers had installed new floorboards just one week after Bogle’s murder, causing them to believe the killer had eliminated evidence.

Daniel Myers cracks a smile during his plea hearing.

Daniel Myers. Photo by Craig Shoup

Hilton thought Heather had been killed in the trailer, and Myers had replaced the flooring because it was soaked in blood and DNA. He also speculated that the flooring may have sustained bullet holes. Either way, there was no evidence at the site, which was not surprising, considering two years had passed.

Heather Was the Real Hero

Luckily, Daniel Myers’ DNA match was enough to indict him for the murder. According to Kotsopoulos, “Heather Bogle was the real hero in this case because she fought back, and that evidence was in her fingernails.” Police believed that Myers may have killed Bogle after she rejected him romantically.

The County Prosecutor hugs Heather's family outside court.

Prosecutor Tim Braun. Photo by Crag Shoup

Daniel Myers pleaded guilty to Heather Bogle’s murder after making a deal with the prosecution that he would not be sentenced to the death penalty. Instead, Myers got a life sentence without the option of parole. Heather’s sister Jen said, “I feel relieved. We finally know what happened.”

Consequences for O’Connell

O’Connell was given two years in prison for admitting to tampering with evidence. He accepted a plea deal in July 2018 and was released in July 2020. The judge who charged him refused his requests for early release. O’Connell’s former boss, the former Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, was also released in 2020.

A mugshot of O'Connell.

Sean O’Connell. Source: Facebook

Overmyer served four years in prison for theft of drugs, among other charges. Another victim of O’Connell’s, Patrick Baker, from a different case, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in 2014 for a crime he didn’t commit.

Many Botched Cases

After the Bogle debacle was revealed, Baker appealed, and his name was cleared when the new investigators found no evidence of his guilt. Baker sued for wrongful imprisonment and won his lawsuit, receiving a generous sum of money. But it wasn’t only Bogle and Baker’s cases that O’Connell botched.

A photo from the courtroom during Baker's lawsuit on O'Connell.

Source: Tumblr

He was accused of planting fake evidence in the case of Craig Burdine, who was later killed while serving time in Sandusky County jail in 2007. Likewise, O’Connell is thought to have falsified evidence in the cases of Jake Limberios and Greg Armbruster, among others.

A Real Predator

While detective Sean O’Connell had been busy chasing innocent people, a real predator had been there all along. Daniel Myers’ trailer revealed some very unsettling evidence about Heather’s murderer. According to Prosecutor Tim Braun, “He liked to keep women’s underwear in his safe.”

Prosecutor Tim Braun discusses Daniel Myers's case.

Prosecutor Tim Braun. Source: YouTube

Myers was revealed to be an abuser who humiliated, dominated, and attempted to control women. Sheriff Hilton shared that Myers “had videos of himself with women and other women” and said, “he was very disturbing when it comes to his sexual fetishes.” Furthermore, after his arrest, ten women came forward to say that Myers had raped them.

Embarrassed and Ashamed

The authorities believed that none of the women had come forward before because “they were all embarrassed and ashamed by it.” The detectives thought that Daniel Myers knew how to choose women who “would stay silent” and who were “vulnerable.” Heather Bogle had been vulnerable as well.

The County Sheriff speaks during a press conference.

Sheriff Chris Hilton. Source: YouTube

She had been going through a rocky time in her relationship with Carmella, and her dream of becoming a nurse was slipping away after she’d failed her exam. Myers had finished his shift at the same time as Bogle, and investigators speculated that he had invited her over to hang out after work.

She Fought Back

Braun believed that Myers “came onto her” when she walked in the door and that Heather “probably immediately rejected him.” Corresponding with Heather and Myers’ respective wounds, they think that Myers grabbed her, and she punched him in the face.

A photo of Heather and Mackenzie smiling at the camera.

Source: Facebook

“We know he had one cracked tooth and one broken tooth that he repaired with superglue,” said Braun. They believe he then overpowered Heather, beat her badly, tied her up, and removed her clothing. Daniel is assumed to have tortured her on his mattress because he replaced it one month later. Myers finished by shooting Heather twice, killing her.

A Possible Serial Killer

The prosecution strongly believes that there is a possibility Daniel Myers might be a serial killer. Braun explained that “Danny Myers rationally and meticulously attempted to cover this case up. That usually takes experience.” The fact that he cut her hair and fingernails and cleaned her body shows that he was calculated and knew what to do.

Officers escort Daniel Myers out of the courtroom.

Photo by Erin Caldwell/Sandusky Register

Braun said that “usually” in the case of “people who’ve attempted to destroy genetic material,” it’s “not their first rodeo.” He explained that murderers get good at covering up their crimes, and Myers’ meticulous cover-up raised many questions.

Leigh Ann Sluder

Loriann Haley claims that her sister, Leigh Ann Sluder, was murdered by Daniel Myers.

In her opinion, there is “no question” about it. Leigh Ann Sluder was his ex-girlfriend and the mother of Myers’ son. Sluder was discovered dead of a gunshot wound to the chest in 2009.

A portrait of Leigh Ann Sluder.

Leigh Ann Sluder. Source: Facebook

The gun was right on the floor beside her, and at the time, it was called off as a suicide. However, Loriann said that just half a day earlier, she had spoken to her sister, who had been feeling fine and showed “was no indication whatsoever that she was crying for help.”

She Hated Guns

The weirdest part was that Leigh Ann had a gun at all. I knew my sister hated guns… she would not allow to have a gun in her house,” said Loriann. Apparently, Daniel Myers admitted to gifting Leigh Ann a 22-caliber rifle for her own protection. However, it didn’t add up.

A photo of a letter written by Leigh Ann.

Source: YouTube

How could Leigh Ann have shot herself in the chest with a long-barreled gun and then placed the firearm tidily beside her dead body? It looked like it may have been impossible for her to reach the trigger of the rifle in order to shoot herself.

Not Properly Investigated

Braun believed that Leigh Ann Sluder’s death was not properly processed or investigated. He explained that “it was not photographed well” and “evidence wasn’t collected.” Neither Leigh Ann nor Daniel’s hands were checked for gun powder residue, which is the standard procedure to rule a death as suicide.

The County Sheriff discusses Leigh Ann's murder.

Sheriff Chris Hilton. Photo by Craig Shoup

However, as we know, at the time of Leigh Ann’s death, the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office was being run by dirty cops and was not a very professional place. It seemed that the detectives on Leigh Ann’s case just believed Myers that she’d committed suicide and didn’t bother looking into it.

Heather Could Have Been Saved

Loriann Haley thinks that Heather Bogle could have been saved if her sister’s death had been examined. However, Braun had detectives investigate Sluder’s case in retrospect, and they still concluded that she had committed suicide after discovering that she could have reached the gun’s trigger.

A portrait of Heather and Mackenzie at home.

Source: Pinterest

Furthermore, they found what looked like a suicide note in Daniel Myers’ home. It read, “All I ever wanted was to just die so that the hurt would stop.” Loriann thought it was suspicious; she didn’t “believe it was fully authenticated” and didn’t “understand why he had it for so long.”

I Know He Killed Her

According to Loriann, “the justice system wasn’t on our side.” She remains adamant about Daniel Myers, “I know that he killed her; he knows it. The problem is you can’t prove it.” At least Loriann and her family were able to get justice for Leigh Ann by proxy through the case of Heather Bogle.

A photo of Daniel Myers as he leaves the courtroom.

Daniel Myers. Source: WTVG

Finally, her sister’s killer would be locked up, even if it was for a different crime. The real tragedy was that Myers wasn’t caught earlier and had more time to prey on young women- humiliating, torturing, and assaulting them, until he was caught for Heather’s murder.

Buying Some Time

A few days before Daniel Myers’ trial began, he created a medical emergency to derail the proceedings. The murderer had apparently attempted to kill himself and was found face down in his jail cell. The authorities believed that he hadn’t actually intended to die but rather was trying to “buy some time.”

A video still from Daniel Myers in court.

Daniel Myers. Source: YouTube

Either way, his attempt failed, and he pleaded guilty to Heather’s murder. After a four-year investigation, Daniel Myers was sentenced to spend the remainder of his natural life in prison, giving Heather and Leigh Ann’s family and loved ones some much-deserved closure.

Why Would I Apologize?

As for Sean O’Connell, he still refuses to apologize to Keyona, Omar, and Kayree for accusing them of a crime they didn’t commit. “Why would I apologize?” said Sean. The former detective claims he “wasn’t trying to purposely leave out anything… just trying to highlight what [he] had at that point.”

Sean O'Connell driving a vehicle.

Sean O’Connell. Source: Dateline/NBC

Keyona Bor testified against O’Connell, saying, “I have lost time with my children, time with my family. I have lost friends. I have lost family. I have pretty much lost every single thing that I’ve had because of this man. And I am still trying to get it back.”

A Little Better Now

Sheriff Chris Hilton believes that Sean O’Connell deserves to be in prison: “Anytime somebody that wears the same badge that I do gets in trouble, breaks the law, convicted of a crime, they need to pay for it. I believe he is where he should be.”

Family and friends celebrate Heather Bogle with a candlelight vigil.

Photo by Jon Stinchcomb

The new Sheriff is a good cop and followed through on his promise to find Heather’s killer and bring her justice. He thinks “Sandusky County is a great place” and knows that “it’s a little better now” because of him, and he’s “proud of that.”

Heather’s Memory Lives On

Carmella Badillo is still heartbroken over the loss of her girlfriend and said to Myers at his trial, “I want you to know that you took away a mother and a friend and a loved one that no one could ever get back. … I do not forgive you. No one in this room can say that they forgive the devil.”

A cross with purple flowers is planted by a tree as Heather’s memorial.

Photo by Craig Shoup

Jen, Josh, Carmella, Mackenzie, and the rest of Bogle’s family, friends, and loved ones continue to remember Heather and imagine the beautiful life she could have led. Now that they have justice, they’re finally free to mourn Heather Bogle.

 

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