As he's done for the last 11 years, yesterday Gary Karp stepped in front of cameras again and demanded answers for his daughter, Marissa. Since the teen's body was found shot in the Everglades in 2002, the Broward dad has pressed investigators to act. Now, the man many believe to be responsible for Marissa's death may soon be headed for trial -- but not for the girl's slaying.
Yesterday prosecutors and defense attorneys met at a hearing for Eloyn Ingraham. The suspected Bahamian drug dealer has pleaded not guilty to his involvement in the 2006 murder of a BSO sheriff's deputy. But Karp and investigators believe the Ingraham was actually the triggerman in Marissa's killing as well, and that both crimes are closely linked.
"I believe Ingraham believes he was being stopped for Marissa's murder and panicked," Karp told CBS Miami before yesterday's hearing.
As we wrote in a cover story last January, Ingraham is suspected of being the front end of a large-scale drug organization moving cocaine between the Bahamas and South Florida in the early 2000s. At its height, the network was suspected of moving up to 12 percent of the product making it into the US. Ingraham allegedly was teamed with another Bahamian named Almanto Coakley, who was living with Marissa Karp in a small apartment in Hallandale Beach at the time of her death.
According to police documents, multiple sources told police Ingraham and Marissa fought on the night of her death. Later, the drug dealer tapped Coakley and others to help dispose of the body.
Coakley, long believed to be the last link in the case that could throw light on what happened between Ingraham and Marissa, was murdered in the Bahamas in April. It was a serious blow to the case. And now, with Ingraham's trial in the offing, there's good reason to fear Marissa's case will be sidelined due to the cop killing. That's the great worry for the family of the dead girl -- more delay in justice that's 11 years coming.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.
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