June 24th, 2012 § 5 Comments
In his first statement to the police, dated 12/2/70, Mike (Michael Dewayne) Himes – who spent the early morning hours of the day that Paula was reported missing driving around with Lonnie Bell – had this to say:
“I further wish to state that at about 3:30 AM which would have been the morning of July 11, 1970 I was going east on 1st Avenue in the 600 block when I spotted Lonnie Bell coming west on 1st Avenue in his red Porsche. Lonnie turned around and parked his car in front of Rapids Chevy. I stopped and Lonnie got into the car with me. I had some beer in the car and Lonnie and I rode around in my car drinking the beer and sometime while we were riding around Lonnie mentioned to me that he had stopped by his girlfriend’s house that evening and she had informed him that she was pregnant, however, he had told her he did not want to get married at that time and nothing else was said about the girlfriend or any other problems he might have had. Lonnie and I rode around until daylight which would have been somewhere around 7 AM and I then drove Lonnie by his car and dropped him off and I went on home. I further wish to state that several days later I again ran into Lonnie and in the conversation Lonnie told me that his girlfriend, Paula Oberbrockling, had disappeared and that he had been looking for her and he had had second thoughts that if he could find her he would consider marrying her and settling down. I have seen Lonnie several times since then and up to the present time Lonnie has never mentioned anything about Paula being missing to me.”
Two weeks later (12/5/70) he reportedly made the following correction:
“In summing up activities in the investigation conducted by me [Det. Trousdale] reference the Paula Oberbroeckling case, Mike Himes of 1210 20th Avenue SW was contacted and came in to take a polygraph test, which he passed. However, in conversation with Mike, he did state that he had withheld information in his statement to the point that while he and Lonnie had been riding around in his car, Lonnie had asked him to drive up by the Ely home and also by the Robert Williams home and through the ghetto during the time they were together and that Lonnie had told him he was looking for Debbie Kellogg’s car because Paula had taken this. Mike still insists that Lonnie Bell did not appear to be perturbed over the fact that Paula was not home and did not seem really too intent on finding her and that the rest of the time they were together they had rode aimlessly around the city drinking a beer.”
In his report regarding Mike’s polygraph test, Lieutenant William J. Byrne noted:
“The only thing the subject [Michael Dewayne Himes] is confused on is the time that he let Lonnie Bell out of his car on the morning of July 11, 1970. He now believes that it was between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. rather than 7:00 a.m. as he had previously mentioned.”
What do you make of this?