Psychic tip on missing girl leads nowhere

Thursday, October 1, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Erica Fraysure
BROOKSVILLE -- A psychic's tip that the body of Erica Lee Fraysure is at the bottom of a lake has led Northern Kentucky law enforcers on another wild goose chase.

About 20 volunteers, mainly from Campbell and Harrison counties' law enforcement agencies, spent the bulk of Wednesday dredging a four- to five-acre private lake less than 2 miles from where Erica's car was found last October off Ky. 1159 in Bracken County.

"The only thing we can say is (the psychic) is drawing a lot of attention," Kentucky State Police Trooper Curtis Finley said. "Any time that you have that much attention, it's your obligation to follow that lead whether it's a psychic or not."

A raft and two boats helped divers from Campbell County Water Rescue search the entire lake but the effort that started around 10 a.m. and went into the evening proved unsuccessful.

The search of the rural Kentucky lake, which is in a hollow of wooded, rolling hills, was prompted by a psychic's Sept. 24 appearance on Montel Williams' nationally televised talk show. Sylvia Brown, a psychic from New York, assured Maggie Doherty that her daughter's body could be found at the bottom of a lake.

Ms. Brown also said a man had strangled the 17-year-old girl because she had rejected his advances and that the teen's body could be found on the "left side" of the lake.

Kentucky State Police Detective Robert Scott, the lead investigator in this case since Erica was last seen on Oct. 21, began coordinating Wednesday's search soon after the psychic appeared on TV.

Detective Scott called staffers at the talk show, who gave him the psychic's New York phone number. When Detective Scott tried reaching Ms. Brown to find out what she meant by the left side of the lake, a message machine continued to click on to tell him that he would have to pay $450 to speak to the psychic for 30 minutes or $250 to speak to her son, who also is a psychic.

Wednesday was the first time law enforcers had dredged the private lake, the only lake in the area. But they had searched its perimeter soon after she disappeared. At least two other searches of the perimeter have taken place since then.

A security gate blocks entrance to the property that contains the private lake, so any assailant would have to approach the water through the woods. Law enforcers searched that terrain diligently last year and found no trace of Erica being carried or dragged to the lake.

"There was no evidence of anyone going through or dragging someone through there," Trooper Finley said.

Tips welcome

Kentucky State Police have received tips from up to nine psychics with information about Erica Lee Fraysure. None has been fruitful. Investigators still want to hear from those with tips. Detectives can be reached at (606) 428-1212.

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