Saturday, September 8, 2007
Boyfriend David Sperry Passes Polygraph; Search For Missing BYU Student Camille Cleverley Shifts To Bridal Veil Falls
This is Camille Cleverley. She was last seen on Thursday August 30th between 5-6 P.M. riding a silver-and-purple Schwinn bicycle on 900 East in Provo, possibly wearing white shoes with lime-green stripes. If you have knowledge of her whereabouts, contact Detective Sgt. Mark Crosby at Provo Police, 801-852-7241 or 852-6210
As day nine of the search for missing BYU student Camille Cleverley concluded unsuccessfully, the most significant development is the announcement by Provo Police, reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, that Cleverley's boyfriend, David Sperry, has initially passed the polygraph previously administered to him. An FBI special agent examiner administered the test, but the results will also be reviewed by an "independent, experienced FBI regional supervisor who will conduct a quality control process," according to Provo police Capt. Cliff Argyle. The final determination may take up to two weeks.
Also see more coverage in the Deseret Morning News, KSL Channel 5, and KUTV Channel 2. Also now featured on America's Most Wanted.
Sperry's father, Dick Sperry, said the family never seriously believed that their son was involved in Cleverley's disappearance. He asserted that the family can account for all of Sperry's time around the time of Cleverley's disappearance. He also understood from the beginning that anytime a girl disappears, the first instinct is to find out if she had a boyfriend and immediately zero in on him. The Sperry family is cooperating fully, and some of them are even participating in the search.
Saturday also kicked off the second day of the large-scale weekend search which attracted 400 volunteers, including the Governor's wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman, on Friday and another 400 today. The searchers have been split into two groups. One group is once again canvassing the neighborhood where Cleverley was last seen, the area surrounding the Missionary Training Center in Provo, But the main focus of the search has now shifted to Bridal Veil Falls, approximately one-third of the way up Provo Canyon to Heber City. This is approximately 10 miles northeast of Provo on U.S. Highway 189, much further away than the area of the canyon initially searched.
And the shift resulted from the report that a bicycle similar in description to Cheverley's silver-and-purple bicycle was found last Saturday night (September 1st) by a couple of people who discovered it parked and locked near Bridal Veil Falls. The circumstances surrounding this development is a story in itself.
According to this story, published separately in the Salt Lake Tribune, two teenagers, Benjamin Marks and Patricia Madsen, were in Provo Canyon late Saturday night (September 1st) and early Sunday morning. Approximately 1 A.M. on Sunday, they stopped at Bridal Veil Falls and saw a bike, locked in a bike rack. The tires were flat and the brakes weren't working well, according to what one of the teenagers, Benjamin Marks, said after the fact. The bike appeared abandoned.
Marks claimed that he called out to find out if anyone was there, and when he got no response, reasoning that no one would be rock-climbing in the area at that time of the morning, cut the lock and took the bike. For three days, it sat in his garage while he removed parts to fix up his own bike.
Then on Wednesday (September 5th), Provo police released a photo of a purple and silver bicycle identical to Cleverley's. Marks just happened to see the news report on T.V., and, in his words, "couldn't even breathe".
The bike he had taken matched the description of Cleverley's bike to a "T".
Realizing the drastic implications, they immediately contacted an attorney. After the attorney helped them negotiate immunity against any possible charges, they turned the bike into police on Thursday September 6th. Police interviewed the pair but agreed not to charge them for theft because they turned in the bike instead of dumping it. They have also been cleared of any involvement in Cleverley's disappearance, at least for the time being.
However, police have not been able to confirm the bike belonged to Cleverley. Papers in her apartment did not include a serial number. Officers are hoping Schwinn, the manufacturer, can provide a list of bikes that were sent to Provo area stores to see if the bike could have been Cleverly's. Even if Cleverley's fingerprints are on the bike, it would do no good if she has no fingerprints recorded in any data system.
In another development, the Cresta convenience store clerk who sold two bottles of fruit juice and donuts on Friday August 31st to a woman who used Cleverley's debit card and PIN number has confirmed that the sale was to a female, but couldn't confirm that it was Cleverley (this is plausible; dozens of customers patronize a typical convenience store).
For Sunday's search, volunteers are asked to report to the Camille Search Center at 770 E. University Parkway (Harmon Building) in Provo at 8 a.m. Call 801-422-0670 for more information. Or report to the base of Bridal Veil Falls Sunday morning at 7:30 A.M. suitably dressed. "Suitably dressed" means hiking boots, long sleeves and long pants, not dressed as if you were flying on Southwest Airlines. Also, be sure to bring ID and tell the deputy at the security checkpoint you're helping the Garrett Bardsley Foundation.
Bear in mind this is extremely rough terrain. Sgt. Tom Hodgson of the Utah County Sheriff's Office explained, "It takes a lot of time. You're talking about some very steep slopes. [There's] a lot of water up there people can't see, that we're concerned about, with the slick rocks and things of that nature". Many possible places that Camille Cleverley could be trapped, unconscious, unable to assist in the search. This is why the area is only being searched between 8 A.M. and 6 P.M.
The family has also set up a MySpace website for further information.