Dateline   |  June 08, 2013

‘A Sister’s Search’, Part 6

Detectives finally gather all the pieces of evidence they need. Now it’s up to a jury to decide what happened to Lesley Herring.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> in the weeks after that surreal press conference, aasha davis continued getting the word out about her sister lesley herring . lyle herring continued to play the part of the grieving husband. inside hollywood station , detectives gable and bynum were continuing to put the case together against lyle . one with no dna, no blood and still no body. but there was evidence that came in tiny little pieces. they'd found an undated dear john type letter that lesley had written to lyle saying she was leaving him, that she was broken. and detectives finally got those cell phone records that lyle was so eager for them to see.

>> here we have february 7th . there is their condominium right here. this is the south side tower.

>> reporter: turns the out that lyle did call lesley after the time he said she'd run off, but the records had more details than lyle expected.

>> there was activity between both phones, that part is true.

>> reporter: but?

>> but the problem was where the phones were located. based off the cell towers , we were able to show the phones were in the same location.

>> reporter: suggesting what lyle was holding his phone in the other hand and dialing lesley 's phone which was in his other hand?

>> exactly.

>> reporter: then came the lead spawned by that press conference.

>> thank you very much for coming down.

>> reporter: a neighbor from the condo complex had seen lyle herring getting into the elevator at around 12:30 a.m . sunday on that weekend that lesley disappeared. lyle was moving what looked like a big rolled-up carpet.

>> how like the diameter, would you say?

>> it was pretty thick. no, it was round, like round enough for a body to be inside it.

>> reporter: you think that was lesley inside that carpet?

>> absolutely.

>> reporter: it would take more than a year, but in april 2010 , lyle herring was finally arrested and charged with the murder of his wife lesley . it would take three more years to get to trial.

>> over the next few weeks, my colleague here and i are going to present to you the layered web of evidence that caught him, put him in this courtroom and proves beyond a reasonable doubt that that man, that calculating husband, that killer, is the defendant, lyle herring .

>> reporter: what do you think happened?

>> i learned throughout the investigation that one of the thingses that lyle does when they're having arguments is that he washes lesley 's hair.

>> reporter: as a way of what?

>> getting back into her good graces.

>> reporter: gable believes the herring 's bathtub was the real crime scene .

>> and i believe that they were talking about the letter that he had already received, and she was likely adamant what she was leaving. he would have no part of that. and i think he just pushed her under.

>> reporter: and drowned her right there. remember all those towels gable saw? he believed lyle used them to mop up the bathroom, then he wrapped up lesley , put her on the dolly and had the bad luck to run into a neighbor in the elevator that night. the defense said none of that happened, that lyle was not guilty because lesley wasn't murdered. she's not even dead.

>> i don't want you to expect or hold me to any promise that there's going to be some perry mason moment and lesley will walk through the door and say, here i am, but i will tell you at the conclusion of this trial, there will be more than sufficient evidence to believe that she in fact could.

>> i wish they were right. let me say that. i would love to be hugging my sister, and i wish that were true, but i know who she is and i know she's not alive.

>> reporter: after a 3 1/2-week trial, a jury agreed with aasha .

>> we the jury in the above-entitled action find the defendant lyle stanford herring sr. guilty of the crime of murder.

>> reporter: this morning lyle herring was sentenced to 15 years to life for murder in the second degree. it's not quite the end because lyle is holding on to one last secret from a marriage that apparently had a lot of them. he's never told anyone where lesley 's body is. lyle 's probably going to see this program.

>> i know.

>> reporter: anything you want to say to him?

>> yes. we pray that you will tell us where lesley is so we can have closure in our life. we know that you know exactly where she is.

>> reporter: through her pain and loss, aasha is trying to find a lesson.

>> it's so important to me that women or anyone who's fearful about what other people are going to think about the way they're living their life, it's hard to not live up to what we think is success, but it's so much more important that you share even your sadness with people.

>> reporter: you wish lesley had talked to you?

>> i really, really wish she had. yeah. i do. i think, i don't think i'd be here right now.

>> scene 17 dash 19 a take one mark clap

>> reporter: but aasha has also had an oppertunity to bring some laughter back into this family.

>> hi. i'm racey

>> reporter: she's starring in a web series called the unwritten rules

>> why can't the people in my office think for themselves?

>> reporter: it's a comedy about a black woman working one of those deathly dull jobs in a mostly white office. it's a little bit like leslie 's life.

>> and i read those scripts and i just, i, i felt leslie . i felt her in my heart. i laughed again the way she used to make me laugh.

>> your hair is so soft and real

>> reporter: and so one sister is paying homage to another. it won't bring leslie back. but it makes her loss a little less painful. in this hollywood story its the only happy ending available.