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Open Letter: Daughter Who Alleges Father Killed Dozens Slams Investigators

Newsweek 12/14/2022
Lucy Studey has alleged investigators botched a search of property that she claims holds human remains from her father's alleged killings dating to at least the 1970s. Lucy Studey has alleged investigators botched a search of property that she claims holds human remains from her father's alleged killings dating to at least the 1970s.

Lucy Studey, the 53-year-old Florida woman who claims her father killed scores of people over three decades, released an open letter Wednesday calling on investigators to take more action, reiterating they searched the wrong well last week.

Studey, who alleges her dad, Donald Dean Studey, killed dozens of women, mostly transients and prostitutes, and at least two men, says she tried during the excavation to reach authorities to let them know they were searching in the wrong spot. She says she got no reply from the FBI and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The following is the open letter she sent to Newsweek calling out investigators, who did not immediately respond to requests from Newsweek for comment:

"In April or May 2021, Fremont County Sheriff Deputy Mike Wake walked up the hillside on the right side of my dad's old trailer. He followed my instructions and walked right to the well that my dad dumped bodies in for at least a decade.

In August 2021, the FBI, Fremont County Sheriff Department and I stood right beside the correct well on the correct hill. FBI Agent Ben Carter took photos and supposedly GPS coordinates. I saw him take photos. I didn't see him get the coordinates.

Agent Carter told me the FBI will be core drilling and excavating in the spring and summer of 2022. "As soon as the snow melts and before the brush grows tall" is what he said. I verified in the spring that the plan was still on. I was stupid and had blind faith in the authorities to do what was right so I didn't bother them in the summer. In September 2022, Agent Carter called to say he couldn't get funding and was probably closing the case. I said that I can't let the FBI close the case. I told him that I was going to the media.

On October 21, 2022, Newsweek, the Fremont County Sheriff's Department, Jim Peters with Samaritan Detection Dogs and I went back up in the hills. We came in through Smith's property off Cemetery Road. (The reference is to neighbor Sean Smith's property.)

We followed the sheriff's department to the "well area". I walked to the ridge and looked down. Smith had bulldozed the entire area. It looked completely destroyed. The majority of the trees were gone. There was this mound of dirt with a hole in the ground. The sheriff said that was the well. I asked him a couple of times if he was sure. He said yes. I knew it wasn't. My well would have been closer to the old dead tree to the right about 25-30 feet. I thought we were in the right area because the sheriff said so and I couldn't tell because of all the bulldozing. I thought somehow they got the WET well mixed up with the DRY well. I thought maybe certain people were purposely trying to switch wells on me. There is a reason behind that thinking but I won't get into details about it right now.

I didn't know who I could trust or what to do about it so I kept my mouth shut until I got home. I thought about it for a week and decided to tell Eric Ferkenhoff and Naveed Jamali at Newsweek. In hindsight, I should have said something to Newsweek when we were in the hills that day but we had only been talking about 3 weeks together over the phone. I thought they were going to write one article and leave. I didn't know they were staying until the very end.

I contacted FBI Agent Ben Carter and the Iowa DCI SEVERAL times to let them know that was the WET well. Not the DRY well. And I suspected certain people were trying to switch wells on us. I got NO reply. I offered to pay my own way from Florida to Iowa so I could be present during the excavation. I got NO reply. They NEVER contacted me.

On December 6, 2022 on a Tuesday, the FBI, DCI and other authorities started to excavate. I was excited. I had Bob Motta up in the hills on the Studey side of the fence line watching the authorities work. He told me that they were on the hilltop to the LEFT of my dad's old trailer. NOT the right side. I called the Iowa DCI and told them that they were on the WRONG hill. That they were on the LEFT and needed to be on the RIGHT. I got NO reply. (Motta is a Chicago attorney who tracked the case on TikTok.)

On December 7, 2022 on a Wednesday, I was under the impression that the authorities would bring cadaver dogs, sonar and excavation equipment. That they would go grid by grid and eventually get to my well. I just had to "have patience" and let the authorities work. So, I shut up my mouth.

Early Thursday morning on December 8, 2022, I was told by Bob Motta that the authorities were packing up and clearing out. The DCI released a statement and said their "exhaustive" investigation was over. No evidence found. Well, you can't find evidence when you're in the WRONG SPOT.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION - I contacted Smith on December 12, 2022. We talked. The FBI asked him to bulldoze a road and the area around the well to help get people and equipment to the well. Smith bulldozed the only area that HE knew had a wet and dry well. He bulldozed the area on the left hill between my dad's old trailer and Jeff Rice's trailer. Smith stated to me that he didn't know there was a wet and dry well on the right hill. I believe him. I confirmed with Smith that my DRY well on the RIGHT hill has been undisturbed. (Rice is another neighbor.)

It only took an attempted suicide by me on December 11, 2022 and a note posted on Facebook blaming them for my death in order for the FBI and Iowa DCI to finally contact me.

The FBI and DCI called me on December 13, 2022. I told them about my conversation with Smith and how the hills got mixed up. I asked FBI Agent Ben Carter and Iowa DCI David Hendrick and Darrel Simmons to do the right thing. To announce that they were in the WRONG SPOT and on the WRONG HILL. They stand firm on the fact that they searched the correct area.

Mitch Mortvedt with the DCI told Rolling Stone that the case is finished. "The investigation is closed since nothing was discovered on the property and locations that Lucy led law enforcement to on two separate occasions," he said. Mortvedt reiterated on Tuesday that the investigation has concluded.

Since they refuse to do the right thing, I'm releasing this announcement today to every form of media."

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