Annie Kasprzak was only 10 years old and already, she’d been bounced from one foster “home” to another…and another. It was only when her social worker, Victoria couldn’t bear to see the little girl, whom she had grown to love, thrust into yet another bad situation, that Annie found her forever-home. Annie’s own social worker, Victoria, adopted Annie. For five wonderful years, Victoria and her husband gave Annie a loving home…until tragedy tore them apart.
One March evening in 2012, Annie disappeared from her own home in Draper, Utah. Many believe she was lured out. When Victoria and husband Dennis discovered Annie’s room empty, they immediately called police. Just hours later, a jogger happened to spot what they believed to be human blood near a local bridge over the Jordan River. That blood led police to a body and as Annie’s parents watched breaking news on television that night, they couldn’t fathom the body discovered in the Jordan River could be Annie…but it was. Annie was dead. That horrible discovery led police through a series of twists and turns that no one could have predicted.
In the third episode of “Injustice with Nancy Grace,” airing this Saturday at 6/5c, Nancy Grace explores the tragic and mind-bending case that left Annie’s parents stricken with grief and searching for justice.
“After combing through literally hundreds of cases, I, along with Oxygen, picked the these first eight cases to start ‘Injustice With Nancy Grace’,” Nancy told us.
“Annie’s case was chosen for a specific reason. It shows how, even with the best intentions, investigations can go sideways or even worse…cold. The slightest fact or circumstance can change the outcome of a case and whether it is ever solved. Plus, to me, Annie represents so many children in our world that need and want love. This sweet girl had so little love for so long and then, someone robbed her of her life.”
Within weeks of her murder, a witness came forward with testimony that seemed airtight — and pointed to two adult males, both with criminal records, as Annie’s killers. But all was not as it seemed. There was an entry in Annie’s day planner that suggested a possible master man and a motive as well; blood found on a shoelace followed by an alibi to explain it; and recovered text messages that threw previous investigative conclusions into a cloud of confusion.
“To say that this investigation faced complications is putting it mildly,” Nancy says. “The facts and witnesses in this case led investigators on a wild-goose chase and through a maze of misdirection. The ones that suffered the most were Annie’s parents who had finally given her what she wanted, a family. They’ve really gone through a lot — no parent should have to suffer the way they have. Let’s just say that justice is never easy.”
And suffer they did: If losing a daughter wasn’t painful enough, Annie’s family was taken on what Nancy described as a wild-goose chase right along with investigators.
“Without any answers, there is no closure, no moving on,” Annie’s mother Veronica told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “We just relive what happened that day every day.”
“The investigation into Annie’s disappearance had so many completely unexpected twists and turns…it brings to mind the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ Nothing could be more true in this case,” Nancy says.
But one rookie female detective, along with Annie’s mom, Victoria, never gave up on their search for Justice for Annie. Each time all hope seemed lost, a tiny tidbit of evidence would present itself and the search was on…again. Nancy insists “The takeaway in my mind is really this…persevere. The goal in every criminal investigation is to stay strong to the end.” And never give up on Lady Justice.