Dateline   |  June 08, 2013

‘A Sister’s Search’, Part 2

Aasha, her husband and her weeks-old baby start the search for her sister. It’s not something they’ll be able to do on their own.

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

>>> when someone you love disappears, it's hard to know what to do. there are no drills like for fires or earthquakes, no how-to books. aasha davis had a million questions and almost no answers.

>> we were wondering if we had to file a missing persons for both of them. we were nervous about what -- you know, what would we find in the apartment? what if they got robbed?

>> reporter: aasha 's sister lesley and her husband lyle were always together during their marriage. now they were both suddenly gone. lesley missing and lyle 's missing.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: did you think that wherever they were, they were probably together?

>> yes.

>> reporter: aasha and her husband jesse grabbed their newborn son and headed to the herrings' condo complex in the hollywood hills to see what, if anything, they could find there.

>> lesley 's car's there in her assigned parking spot. and that made it feel a little heavier. all of a sudden you're like, her car's here and she's not answering her phone.

>> reporter: they went into the building to knock on lesley and lyle 's front door. aasha wondered if lesley , who suffered from migraines, might be sick inside. but their knocking got no response. they waited. and they waited. they returned to the garage where they saw a man parking in the spot next to lesley 's.

>> have you seen who owns this car? i haven't saw her but i saw her husband the other day.

>> reporter: that was strange, so aasha and jesse waited in their car by the front gate, because if that neighbor was right, maybe they'd find lyle when he came home from work.

>> and i remember a few cars coming in, no, no, no, then all of a sudden a car that matched his description came in.

>> reporter: but then the car turned away from lyle and lesley 's building.

>> and we said, oh, i guess it's not him.

>> reporter: because it went in a different direction?

>> right, that's what we thought.

>> reporter: aasha and jesse probably would have waited all night, but they had a new baby with them. so they headed home. it wasn't the last time aasha would have to balance being a sister and being a parent. while all this was going on, you had a brand new baby, so i'm guessing you weren't sleeping a whole lot anyway. i'm thinking maybe this made it just about impossible.

>> i did not sleep at all. it was like such an amalgamation of, you know, sadness and fear and love and excitement for this baby. it was what kept us going was him.

>> reporter: a new life is always a reason for hope, but the situation with lesley and lyle both missing was leaving the family feeling hopeless, so they called the lapd. aasha and jesse couldn't get into the herring condo but police could. officers went inside. and found nothing that looked unusual. they also found no lyle and no lesley . aasha worked the phones. friends and relatives knew nothing. then she reached lyle 's boss who said he hadn't heard from lesley , but he thought he'd seen lyle on tuesday, which was the day after lesley missed work. no less confused, aasha decided it was time to file that missing persons report.

>> we went to the police station , and we gave them, you know, a picture of lesley . and the guy said thank you, and he put her picture in a pile. and in california, i'm sure, i don't know how many people go missing, especially in hollywood , a day.

>> reporter: a lot of people come to hollywood from somewhere else, but their dreams of making it big here don't always work out. they can lose touch with their families. then suddenly the folks back home are calling the cops thinking they're missing. when really they're just lost in the meat grinder that is hollywood . aasha , desperately needed something that would make lesley 's case stand out.

>> we went back to the car, and we thought, i don't know where to go from here. you know? and the phone rang. and it was malcolm thomas .

>> reporter: malcolm thomas is lyle herring's cousin. he wanted to talk about a very distraught lyle who he'd also seen in the days after lesley missed work. malcolm told aasha that lyle seemed almost suicidal. did he mention lesley at all?

>> he said don't bring up her name any more, he doesn't want to hear about her any more.

>> reporter: did you get the feeling that's because they'd had a fight or they were splitting up or she dumped him?

>> i thought maybe there was a disagreement. people do have disagreements, people split up for short periods of time and get back together. and i said, well, maybe he's just upset over something.

>> reporter: lyle asked malcolm to drive with him to his condo complex. lyle led the way in his suv. you're following lyle to his house.

>> yes, i am.

>> reporter: but he doesn't go straight to his house, does he?

>> no, as soon as he pulled into the driveway, he made a sharp left turn. and that was different.

>> reporter: away from his home.

>> away from his home.

>> reporter: they ended up in a remote garage underneath the condo complex.

>> he opens up my back passenger side door, he got into backseat, closes the door, slides down in the seat of the car and pulls my suitcoat over his head.

>> reporter: he's hiding.

>> he's hiding. and i said, man, don't do that in my car. i said, what's going on? he said there are some people at the end of the driveway that he doesn't want to see or have them see us.

>> reporter: some people near the end of the driveway? as she listened to malcolm 's story, aasha suddenly realized that's you.

>> it was us. and so we ran back into the police station , took the baby back out of the seat, went back in. you know, we just talked to my sister's husband's cousin, and he had a really -- a really frantic interaction with him. the policeman said, wait a second. i'm going to get you guys a detective.

>> reporter: the next person aasha met was detective chris gable. missing persons cases are not usually your department?

>> no, they're not.

>> reporter: but this was different?

>> this was different.