Three years after a 21-year-old woman was found facedown in a Tennessee lake, a detective reportedly admitted to deeming her death accidental despite not conducting interviews, looking for DNA or ordering a rape kit.
In June 2015, Lauren Agee was camping with four friends at Wakefest, a wakeboard tournament that takes place at Center Hill Lake. Agee was found floating in the lake the morning of June 26.
Dekalb County lead investigator Jeremy Taylor would close the case two months later, finding Agee’s death an accident. In a report spanning three paragraphs, Taylor stated that Agee fell in the lale and either died from the fall or from drowning, according to WZTV.
Two off-duty officers reportedly told the woman’s family that Taylor’s investigation was inadequate and urged them to keep pushing for answers. Doing just that, the family filed a $10 million wrongful death against the four friends she went camping with at the time of her death.
As a result, the lead investigator was required to explain to the court how he came to find Agee’s death accidental.
Video of the June 2018 deposition, recently obtained by WZTV, shows Taylor admitting to rushing his investigation. Not only did he confess to not reviewing 911 calls from people who spotted Agee’s body, but he said he never interviewed them.
When asked why he failed to speak with the 911 callers, Taylor said, “I just didn’t.”
The detective is also heard saying that he couldn’t confirm when the 21-year-old was last seen alive. He went on to say that he didn’t inspect the nearby rocks for blood.
The news station previously reported that a private investigator hired by the woman’s family found she had suffered multiple blunt force trauma to the head and neck. The private investigator claimed her neck showed signs of hemorrhaging, there wasn’t water located in her lungs, and there was a bite mark on her chest.
During the deposition, an attorney presents Taylor with the possibility that Agee was possibly strangled and he admits that he would’ve taken extra steps to investigate the possibility.
He would go on to mention that he’d never worked a homicide case before and wasn’t trained to investigate one.
“We were shocked,” the deceased woman’s mother, Sherry Smith, told WZTV. “Shocked. We couldn’t believe those were the answers to our questions.”
[Featured image: Lauren Agee/Facebook]