Dateline | April 03, 2013
>>> it sounds so hokey, but three months before i had a terrible nightmare that something had happened to kevin and that kevin was hurt. and i woke up crying hysterically in my bed.
>> reporter: michelle hopkins, kevin mengel's younger sister , was now in a waking nightmare. her brother kevin had been missing for a week, and the young man who appeared to be having an affair with her sister-in-law had just fled from police.
>> why did he just steal her pickup truck and flee when i asked him to come back to the police station ?
>> reporter: the situation suddenly looked much worse than detective david maurer had thought. he brought morgan to the station and called his partner and longtime friend, darren sedlak.
>> he said, can you get in here? something's going on. i'm not sure what, but shappell just stole morgan 's truck and we can't find him.
>> we had no idea it was going to turn out the way that it did.
>> reporter: their first priority was to find steve shappell, who was now on the lam. they tried tracking his cell, which was in the truck, but it was turned off. but morgan 's phone was in there, and it was turned on. she gave detectives permission to track it.
>> so we focused all of our efforts on morgan 's telephone.
>> reporter: meanwhile, morgan was downstairs in the interview room, as detectives tried to find out what steve was running from.
>> do you think maybe steve hurt kevin ?
>> i don't know, but by his reaction today --
>> he takes your truck without your permission, and in my terms, flees the scene.
>> reporter: although morgan had previously denied the affair with steve , the much younger landscaper, she was now telling the detectives they were having a relationship. a result, she said, of an unfulfilling marriage.
>> it was just a bad marriage.
>> okay. tell us.
>> a bad marriage. the yelling, the screaming, the fighting. the i can't ever do anything right.
>> tell us about your affair. how did steve treat you?
>> talked to me like i was a human being with feelings. paid attention to me.
>> reporter: and she repeated yet again how kevin had walked out on her and the kids one week earlier.
>> he was leaving. he wanted a fresh start .
>> and did you respond to him?
>> i said, are you kidding me? he told me he was not kidding and to tell the children that he loved them.
>> i have to ask, in the truck i saw a bunch of clothes in the back of the truck. who did they belong to?
>> steve . he said he was taking his stuff, his clothes that he had accumulated at my house, home.
>> he's been staying there?
>> a few nights, yes.
>> did you ever think that maybe kevin would come home and steve would be there and there would be an issue?
>> no. i hadn't thought about that.
>> and i said, if i get in a fight with my wife, i said, nobody's moving into my house. as a husband, as just a sensible person, to me that --
>> it's poor judgment.
>> reporter: poor judgment, and a bad marriage, was all kevin 's wife would admit to. but the family knew morgan had a history of deception, a strange one that went back many years.
>> there's something that is innocent looking in her face that you just believed her. whatever she said, you just believed her.
>> reporter: one of her biggest lies, they say, was back when morgan got pregnant before the couple was married and refused to tell the truth about it.
>> we were looking at her saying, you're pregnant. and she said, i am not pregnant.
>> and she would wear two girdles at a time and heavy sweaters. i said to her, morgan , did you tell kevin . and she said, no, i just told him that i'm on birth control, and it's causing my stomach to swell.
>> reporter: and when the baby was born, kevin was in shock.
>> we got a phone call the next day from my brother kevin hysterically crying, telling me that i'm an aunt.
>> reporter: was he crying tears of joy?
>> i don't think so. i think he was so scared. it caused the first real fight between my brother and i because i was so very disgusted by morgan .
>> reporter: so when kevin went missing, the family had been convinced from day one that morgan was hiding something. and now the detective was, too. after hours in the interrogation room, she gave the first hint that she knew morgue than she was saying about her young boyfriend, steve ? loved me and would do whatever it took to have me. and last night he said he had an uneasy feeling. he apologized to me and said it was his fault. i asked him what was his fault. and the only response i got was, the entire situation.
>> you think steve hurt kevin ?
>> at this point, yeah, i do.
>> reporter: morgan asked for a cigarette break. detective maurer went outside with her. she'd been talking all this time without a lawyer, and the detective wanted to keep the conversation going hoping she'd reveal something. and did she ever.
>> we're standing in the shade because it's still extremely hot and there's no air conditioning in the building because of that thunderstorm. and she says, steve told me that he hit kevin in the back of the head with a shovel. i'm like, whoa, we run back in, and i return the recording back on at that point. morgan , you just told me something. would you mind repeating that?
>> steve hit kevin in the back of the head with a shovel.
>> reporter: here was morgan laying the blame on steve , telling police he had attacked and killed kevin at the landscaping garage on the day he supposedly left her and the kids. the detective was stunned. that earlier sighting of kevin alive and well in town, had it been a mistake? how long had she been lying to police?
>> i'm floored, and i'm like, why didn't you tell me this? when your boyfriend tells you that he hit your husband in the back of the head with a shovel, you call the police. are you trying to protect steve ?
>> not at this point.
>> reporter: morgan said that steve had only just revealed to her what he'd done. but the detective suspected he wasn't getting the full story. hoping to trip her up, he asked her to write down a timeline of events for the week kevin disappeared. you're going to write it down?
>> reporter: most of what she wrote stuck to the story, but this was a strange detail.
>> she writes snapple on one of her statements. i said what does snapple mean?
>>> coming up --
>> i want to hear everything. you better start at the beginning because the game's over.