Todd Geib was a 22-year-old man who worked during the day for Hager Distribution Inc in Wyoming, and during his free time, he loved nothing more than hanging out with friends, spending time outdoors and playing sports.
The 11th of June, 2005, was just a normal Saturday for Todd. At around 7:30pm, he left his apartment (291 Moon Court in Casnovia, Michigan) that he shared with his cousin to meet some friends at the Half Moon Bar & Grille.
At 9:30pm that evening, Todd and his group of friends left the Half Moon Bar & Grille and headed towards a keg party that had a bonfire that was taking place behind an apple orchard, which was around two miles north of White Road in Casnovia, Michigan.
The area where the party was held contained around 6miles of grass that came up to your hips. There were around 100 people in attendance at the party that evening.
At 12:45am, a fight broke out at the party. It is unknown if Todd was involved in the fight or not, but it was around this time that Todd decided to leave the party, and make the mile-and-a-half walk back to his shared apartment on 291 Moon Court. Whilst it is possible that Todd was seen walking along the road, it is mostly thought that Todd leaving the party was the last time he was seen.
At 12:47am, Todd called his friend who had dropped him off at the party earlier. During the phone call, Todd said that he’d “had enough”, and then at 12:51am he called the same friend again, and told them that he was “in a field” before the call cut off. The friend then called Todd back but was only able to hear either someone breathing or the wind. Two more attempts were made to call the friend back, with the last attempt ending at 12:57am.
Todd’s phone was never used again, and neither were any of his credit cards.
Over the next few weeks, over 1,500 searchers thoroughly searched the area surrounding the party and the road that Todd was walking on three separate times. They also had an aircraft fly over the area, looking for any evidence of Todd. The searches came up empty every single time.
Just 21 days after the searches had ended, a couple who were walking in the area, found Todd’s body in Ovidhall Lake, which is located just north of the intersection between Peters and White Road, and was only two miles away from Todd’s home.
Todd’s body was found standing upright in the lake, and as a witness recalls: “His head and shoulders were sticking out of the water”. Police ruled that Todd had drunk a bit too much, as his blood alcohol level was 0.12, and he decided to go for a swim which resulted in him accidentally drowning.
Many people, including Todd’s mother, Kathy Geib, strongly disagree with the police’s conclusion, and it is not hard to see why.
Firstly, when the searches were taking place, the search teams went through the area with the lake three different times and never saw Todd’s body, which by the description the witness gave, would have been extremely hard to miss.
Secondly, Todd was found fully clothed and with his wallet in his pocket. Whilst some may say that because he was drunk he didn’t care or think about removing his clothes or wallet, others think that it is highly strange for someone to go for a swim fully clothed. To add to this, the autopsy found no trace of water in Todd’s lungs, which you would get if he had drowned.
Dr Micheal Sirkica presented photos of Todd’s crime scene, as well as the autopsy notes to 18 other forensic pathologists at the 2009 medical examiners conference. All of the forensic pathologists agreed that Todd had only been dead for a maximum of 2 to 3 days before being placed, leaving 18 days of Todd being missing.
Furthermore, a team of investigators, former New York Police Department detectives Kevin Gannon, Anthony Duarte, Michael Donovan and professor of criminal justice Dr Lee Gilbertson, have concluded that Todd was actually abducted and held on the land for a while before being placed in the lake at a later time.
They have also said that it is possible that Todd could be a victim of the smiley face killers, a group of unknown serial killers who target college-age men before dumping their bodies in water and leaving their signature graffitied smiley face nearby.
Whilst there have been some reports of a smiley face being graffitied on a tree nearby, there has been no official confirmation of this.
To prove this theory more, Dr Lee Gilberston met with Dr M Eric Benbow, a forensic biologist, to re-examine Todd’s case. Dr Benbow did say that if Todd’s body had been in the water for 21 days, he would have expected to see “more biofilm, more slim buildup.”
Todd’s body was found with no insects on the clothing, mouth or ears, and Dr Benbow has said he would have expected to see insects in and on Todd’s body within minutes or hours of the body being placed there. When they visited the exact lake where Todd was found, Dr Benbow said: “if a body was here, it would be colonised with some type of aquatic insect.”
Dr Benbow decided to run a test using swine carcasses, in which he placed the carcasses into an experimental pond dressed in clothing similar to what Todd was found in.
Dr Benbow used five carcasses and sampled three of them every other day whilst leaving the other two untouched for the whole 21 days. From his experiment, Dr Benbow found that by day 1, insects has started collecting inside of the carcass, and by day 5 the insects had laid eggs. On day 21, the carcasses completely collapsed from insect activity, and the clothing was covered in a thick layer of green biofilm algal.
“Given our experiment, I find it very surprising that Todd’s body had no reported insect activity and the clothing had no algal development…Based on our study, it is unlikely that Todd’s body had been in the lake for 21 days” Dr Benbow said, speaking to former Detective Kevin Gannon and Dr Lee Gilbertson.
Former Detective Kevin Gannon and Todd’s mother, Kathy, presented the conclusion of this test, alongside some other evidence, to the Michigan State Police. This granted Kathy a meeting with the Muskegon County Prosecutor, who has requested a full analysis of the discoveries made by Dr Benbow and his team.
Kathy is currently waiting to hear to see if a re-investigation into Todd’s case will be opened.
True Crime, Strange, Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, Investigation, Injustice, Casnovia, Michigan, Todd Geib, 2005, Unsolved Murder, Unsolved Homicide, Strange Circumstances, Real Crime, On-going Investigation