Dateline   |  August 30, 2013

Poison, Part 2

Detectives poked around Larry's law practice, spoke to his staff, including his young secretary, Sarah Dutra. Sarah and Larry's wife Elisa had become close friends, and after talking to Sarah, police wanted to talk to Elisa. Just one problem - like Larry, Elisa had disappeared.

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

>>> by the dawn of 2002 , while the rest of us were getting used to a post-9/11 new normal, its seemed pretty clear that something very abnormal must have happened to that personal injury attorney larry mcnabney. he had never been missing for this long. and now his wife was missing too. police were poking around in the abandoned remains of larry 's law office . they we sarah worked as the mcnabney office as a secretary. sarah told detectives that she and elisa had become close friends , and so she, sarah , certainly noticed how erratic elisa became after elisa woechbt missing.

>> things were starting not to seem right. like, you know, elisa wouldn't come to work all the time.

>> sarah confirmed what elisa miller said, that elisa kept changing her story about larry 's where abouts.

>> i figured she's keeping the business going for him.

>> uh-huh.

>> you know, so he can go play.

>> in early january, 2002 , said sarah , elisa planned a trip to arizona to attend a horse show . and in the absence of larry , invited sarah to go along.

>> the next day, she to she said that the ticket was paid for.

>> so then you call her and what do you get?

>> nothing, it was no longer in use.

>> and that was that, said sarah , she hadn't heard from elisa since.

>> i actually called ginger and i said i don't know about you, but elisa 's gone.

>> and prosecutor thomas testa had handled a number of missing persons cases, so when he heard about the case of larry and elisa mcnabney, he gravitated towards it.

>> he was an attorney who had open cases that just disappeared.

>> testa began by taking a good, hard look at elisa .

>> she was a person out of a 40s film movie in that she was a stunner physically, everyone said that, but more important, she had a control over men that just amazed me. she was able to say jump, and the men would say how high?

>> it certainly seemed true for larry , said larry 's old friend atchisson.

>> you find yourself shut out?

>> was that true with you?

>> yes?

>> you found yourself shut out?

>> a and ginger.

>> elisa completely cut me out of the picture and oifs devastated.

>> but why was elisa keeping larry away from his family and friends? what did she have to hide?

>> he called me once on the phone and said, i don't know who she is. and i thought he meant, well we don't really know who her spouses are deep down. he said no, i don't even know if her name is what she says it is or anything.

>> larry had discovered ample reasons to stop trusting elisa .

>> he couldn't keep his wallet in his pants.

>> he told you that?

>> yes, she would steal money out of his wallet. he had to hide his wallet in his own house.

>> she started stealing from the law firm .

>> she ripped him off.

>> how much?

>> over $100,000.

>> larry told him all about his troubles with elisa . but yet he kept her around, not like he hadn't divorced women before. but not this one, tavia didn't get it.

>> she always said, tavia has this hold over me. and i never understood what that meant.

>> and what he said about not knowing his wife turned out to be true. the real woman known to be elisa mcnabney had a criminal rap sheet, including stolen property, credit card fraud , grand theft .

>> she really had a way of ingratiating herself with men and using her female charm and she was very, very good at it. she was a true and true con artist .

>> so was elisa just conning larry ? surely, thought fred, she wouldn't have done away with him, would she?

>> it wouldn't make any sense, even for a dedicated pole cat to do anything like that, because he was the goose that laid the golden egg , it wouldn't makes any sense whatsoever.

>> it was a farm worker who noticed a flock of vultures or buzz saards drifting above one of these fields and soon a missing person 's case turned into something much, much worse and considerably more