ELK CITY — Nearly a month into the investigation, the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office is releasing preliminary information into a homicide investigation in Elk City.
The victim, LeAnna Maree Bailey, 58, died of unspecified injuries she received either the evening of Monday, Sept. 14, or morning of Tuesday, Sept. 15, according to Lt. Jerry Johnson, ICSO.
“We have a number of persons of interest, who have been cooperating,” Johnson said, and collected evidence is being processed at the state lab in Boise.
“We’re continuing to do interviews and talk to people in the Elk City area,” he continued, regarding the investigation under way by Detective Brian Hewson and himself. “We’ve been doing this multiple times a week since this occurred.”
Bailey’s son has been contacted, and the immediate family has been updated as to progress in the case, according to Johnson.
According to Johnson, Bailey was living on property at American River of her brother Troy Bailey, who lives in Texas, and was cleaning the residence prior to it being placed for sale. She used the property for cooking, but due to mice and rat issues, LeAnna slept in her Saturn SUV.
On Thursday, Sept. 17, LeAnna’s brother, Edmund Bailey of Grangeville, contacted ICSO to report her missing. Johnson said an officer responded, and following preliminary investigation she was entered into NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as a missing person.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, Bailey’s vehicle was found down an embankment, approximately three miles from the property, by a father and son who were hunting.
“Originally this was called into us as a possible crash,” Johnson said, and the Forest Service was contacted. “Then they discovered her in the back of the car and it looked suspicious, and we were notified of that.”
According to Johnson, he and Idaho County Coroner Cody Funke attended an autopsy at the Ada County Coroner’s Office in Boise. At this point, he could say that Bailey received a number of different injuries, “any of which could have killed her.”
Johnson commented on a recent death of someone interviewed in the case: Billy Jack Jones, 47, died Oct. 8, as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his residence on Hidden Springs Road.
“He had been cooperating with us, been interviewed,” Johnson said, and had come in to take a polygraph exam. However, when Jones was hooked up, the examiner noticed Jones was experiencing an erratic and fast heartbeat and said Jones could not be tested and instead needed to see a doctor for a health condition. Jones said he would make an appointment, and he was amenable to coming back after treatment to undergo the polygraph, according to Johnson.
At this point, no motive is being publicly speculated on as regards Bailey’s homicide. Johnson said they are “still open to any possibility,” as far as who may be involved.
“So far, we’ve had great cooperation from the residents of Elk City talking to us,” he said, “and we appreciate that very much.”
Investigation is ongoing, and detectives are awaiting lab results to see what direction this will lead them.
“Anyone who has any first-hand knowledge and hasn’t come forward to us yet, we urge them to do so,” Johnson said.
Information can be provided to ICSO at 208-983-1100.