By Lindsay Toler
By Chad Garrison
By Brett Koshkin
By RFT Staff
By Lindsay Toler
By Riverfront Times
By Danny Wicentowski
By Pete Kotz
The police report indicates that investigators considered Dawan Ferguson to be a suspect almost from the start — beginning with the discovery of his maroon SUV on Ronbar Lane less than two hours after his 911 call:
"Due to the suspicious nature of this incident, Dawan F. was requested, and voluntarily agreed, to accompany detectives to the headquarters building" downtown, where police requested he submit to a polygraph "to further substantiate the events he reported. Dawan F. declined, adding that he did not wish to make any further statements and wished only to speak with an attorney."
When she was questioned soon after Christian's disappearance, Dawan's wife, Monica Ferguson, told police Dawan had worked late into the night, and that they'd spoken at about 11 p.m. and not again until 6 a.m., when her husband called to say someone had made off with Christian.
According to the police report, Monica Ferguson described Christian as a "vegetable." She told Howell and Dyson, who would later become the lead detectives on the case, that she "knew of nothing wrong with Christian F. the night before, however, she admitted that she seldom provides care for Christian F. because his medications are complicated and difficult to administer."
Howell and Dyson also interviewed Monica Ferguson's eldest daughter, a teenager at the time. She said she'd awakened at about 4 a.m. and heard the Expedition start up and drive off. Connor Ferguson also reported hearing the SUV leave and told Howell and Dyson he saw his father enter the bedroom he shared with Christian, wrap his brother in a blanket and carry him out before driving away.
"Connor F. did not know what time this was, but recalled that it was very dark outside," the police report reads. "Please note that Connor's bed is closest to the window, which faces west toward the street.
"Please note the St. Louis area sunrise time on June 11, 2003 was at 5:36 a.m. and the beginning twilight time was 5:04 a.m. (Source: U.S. Naval Observatory)."
Examining Christian's "neatly made" bed, the detectives noted that the room stank of urine.
When asked whether the family knew anyone who lived in the city of Ferguson, where the missing Expedition turned up, Monica Ferguson named Lakisha Mayes, a "mutual friend."
Homicide detectives were dispatched to question Mayes, who told them that she often spent the night at the Fergusons'. Noticing that Mayes' car wasn't parked at the house, the detectives asked where it was. Mayes told them the Fergusons had keys. "She believed either Dawan F. or Monica F. stopped by to use her car to search for Christian F.," reads the report.
Police found Mayes' gold Chevrolet Malibu later that afternoon, parked near Page and Hodiamont avenues. "Please note where Mayes [sic] vehicle was recovered is a distance of less than 100 yards from the public telephone Dawan F. used to call police that morning," the report reads.
When police questioned a bounty hunter named Ozell Scott on the day of the kidnapping, Scott said he and Ferguson had worked together the previous night and into the wee hours, until about 1:30 a.m. He said they'd used Ferguson's Expedition and that the SUV had contained several trash bags filled with clothes, which Ferguson had said belonged to "Kisha," whom Scott knew to be Ferguson's "girlfriend," according to the report. (Scott could not be reached to comment for this story.)
Investigators questioned Lakisha Mayes again the following day, and she "admitted she was not forthright" about her relationship with the Fergusons, according to the police report.
"Mayes stated both she and Monica were bisexual, and both of them had a sexual relationship with each other, as well as with Dawan F., often engaging in three way sex acts...," the report reads. "Mayes added that although she maintains a home [in Ferguson], from the beginning of May until Sunday, June 8, 2003 she and her daughter had been living in Monica F.'s and Dawan F.'s home...."
Mayes told the investigators she'd accepted an offer Ferguson had made earlier in the year: He would keep up the payments on her home if she'd move in with him and Monica. The threesome had deteriorated, Mayes told police, to the point where she and her daughter had moved out on June 8, leaving behind several bags of clothes.
When the detectives found Mayes' Malibu on the afternoon of the kidnapping, three bags of her clothes were inside.
Mayes could not be reached to comment for this article.
Perhaps seeking to learn how the bags might have moved from Dawan Ferguson's Expedition to Mayes' Malibu, investigators subpoenaed June 11 news footage from local television outlets. The report notes that in a segment of video from KTVI-TV (Channel 2), time-stamped 7:48 a.m., a gold Malibu is parked in the precise location where Mayes' car was later recovered.
Two days after Christian's disappearance, detectives Howell and Dyson went back to the pay phone Ferguson had used, hoping to find witnesses who passed through the area on a regular basis. They interviewed a man who walked home every morning from the Wellston MetroLink station via Page.