Posted by Charles Gazaway - email
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police have named a suspect in the 1983 disappearance of Ann Gotlib. At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Gregory Lewis Oakley, Jr. was identified as the person responsible for Gotlib's disappearance.
Oakley was originally from Alabama and had served time in a Kentucky prison for 1984 rape and burglary conviction. He was released from jail after becoming ill. Police say after his release in June 2002, Oakley returned to Alabama where he died in October of that year.
On June 1st, 1983, 12-year-old Ann was last seen at the Bashford Manor Mall in North Buechel while heading home from a friend's home. Her bicycle was found parked outside the former Bacon's store at the mall. Police, firefighters and volunteers conducted a massive search for Ann in the days immediately after her disappearance. No trace of her was found.
Metro Police say that it was shortly after stories in June on the 25th anniversary of her disappearance that new information started to come forward. A woman Oakley was dating came to them with information about his activities on June 1st, 1983. The woman says that Oakley asked her to wash some clothes he had worn that day. According to the woman, Oakley was supposed to have been out of town on the day in question.
In September 2008, police say an inmate who served time with Oakley at the Kentucky State Reformatory at LaGrange told them Oakley had confessed to him that he killed Ann with an injection of a drug Talwin, a painkiller. Police say a polygraph test verified the witness was telling the truth.
Metro Police also after his arrest in 1984, Oakley was given a polygraph and asked about his involvement in the Gotlib case. Police say that Oakley failed the polygraph. They also say bank records from the former Liberty National Bank show Oakley made an ATM transaction at Bashford Manor branch of the bank just 100 minutes before Ann disappeared.
While police have identified a suspect, they are still hoping to find the remains of Ann Gotlib. Anyone with information about Gregory Lewis Oakley, Jr. or the Gotlib case is asked to call the LMPD Crime Tip Line at 502-574-LMPD or toll free at 1-866-649-4479.
Timeline of the Ann Gotlib investigation (supplied by LMPD)