NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - Twenty-one years ago a young couple disappeared from a New KentCounty rest area.
The Annamaria Phelps-Daniel Lauer murders would be the last twoin what is now known as the Colonial Parkway murders.
Now Phelps' family hopes a newly discovered note holds a vitalclue.
Investigators have always believed Phelps and Lauer were killedbecause they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The note could change that. It indicates Phelps and Lauer wereat the rest area to meet someone, and if true, that would changeeverything.
"Kind of took us off guard," Jennifer Phelps told WAVY News 10."We were looking through an old box and I found it. I did a doubletake, looked at it, and I read it," said Phelps, "and, at first,nothing clicked."
The note found in the box may hold the clue as to who killedAnnamaria and her friend Daniel Lauer. It was always thought theywere randomly abducted from the east bound I-64 rest area in NewKent County, then found shot to death in nearby woods.
Jennifer would not discuss the note, but her privateinvestigator Steven Spingola says he's seen it, and did discuss itwith WAVY News 10.
"One of the family members decided to look through it, and foundthe note with details they were supposed to meet someone at the NewKent rest area the night they disappeared," he said.
Spingola also said the note included directions to the restarea.
"What I remember, it was a blue van at the time they weresupposed to meet somebody," said Spingola. "It was a note withname, and a phone number and a description of the car to meet atthe rest stop."
Spingola won't reveal the name on the note, but 10 On Your Sidecalled State Police about the 21-year old note.
State Police Public Relations Manager Corinne Geller said, "Weare aware of the information on the note and pursued theinformation in the note at the time. The note did not provide anysignificant leads in the case."
Spingola says there's no explanation why Phelps would be meetingthe man in the blue van, and the note has been returned to theState Police.
WAVY News 10 asked the State Police's Corinne Geller why thePhelps family was not made aware of the existence of the noteearlier. She said she did not know why investigators did not sharethe information.
10 On Your Side also spoke with an insider, a state policeinvestigator involved in the Phelps-Lauer murders and he said hewas unaware of the existence of the note.
If the name on the note did pan out in the investigation, itwould explain why Phelps and Lauer were abducted from the restarea. For some unknown reason, the killer or killers knew the twowould be there, abducted them, and had another car ready in thewest bound rest area to getaway. This story line would provide, assad as it is, a motive for the abduction. Now, the murders are dueto what appears to be a random act of violence.
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