Dateline | March 28, 2014
>> narrator: , around the time carol kennedy's worried family members were recording phone messages to each other. the sheriff's department was dispatched to carol 's home on bridle path. the home was dark. he shined a light through the window. saw a bookcase toppled over, and blood everywhere. that's when mike was pulled into the strangest case of his career. the kind of case he had moved to prescott to avoid.
>> it was a quaint little community nestled in the pines and not a whole lot of crime, especially from what i was used to.
>> he put in 27 years in the phoenix police department . this job with the county attorney 's office was supposed to be an escape from big city crime, and here he was, middle of a july night, looking at one very brutal homicide. what did it look like?
>> it was certainly a gruesome scene, not only a large amount of blood on carol 's body, but also on the furniture that was nearby, blood spatter that had been castoff on to the walls and other items as well.
>> so that tells you something about how she died.
>> she certainly died a violent death.
>> narrator: something else, as he surveyed the room, he could see that whoever did this was trying to fool them. how did he know? when he looked past the obvious gore, he couldn't help but notice, things had been moved around after carol was dead.
>> there was a ladder that was placed over top of her body. that, along with some of the blood that had splattered on to a bookshelf and then the shelf was knocked over, obviously several minutes after the blood hit it.
>> unlikely that it was just tottering and eventually collapsed.
>> that could not have happened.
>> so is that's a pretty significant little detail then?
>> narrator: staging, there were even some drops of blood just outside the door. the blood trail led detectives to another discovery. shoe prints outside the house .
>> there was a lot of tracks out there.
>> narrator: the house was next door to ranch land and lots of people went running and riding there, carol too.
>> a lot of people used that area, and there were a lot of tracks. these trackses were unique, they were fresh.
>> narrator: they found carol 's tracks from her jog that evening, but there were others.
>> her track, as it went out, the suspect's tracks then stepped right on one of hers, so she went out and then the suspect came into her house .
>> you had sequencing tracks?
>> narrator: about 15 feet from the main house , you remember, was a guest cottage which carol had represented out to that tennant. jim natt. of course the detectives asked him, where was he that night? and natt was ready with a story.
>> he had been baby sitting one of his boys at his ex-wife's house when this accident actually occurred.
>> you would have to pin him down on that, make sure he had proof of it, correct?
>> that's correct.
>> narrator: another detective turned down the recorder as natt rambled on about his relationship with carol .
>> she was committed to coaching.
>> narrator: but natt didn't stop there, oh, no. he seemed very eager to tell them about carol 's ex-husband, steve democker.
>> the guy comes off to me as a very manipulative man.
>> narrator: so by the time detecti steve arrived, detectives were already suspicious. so he told them he was doing what he told his daughter he was doing, riding his mountain bike .
>> i do some on and off, mostly i go trail running , so i don't have a routine.
>> narrator: he drew them a map of the trail he followed.
>> the trail goes up and peters out.
>> narrator: at one point the trail got to within a mile of carol 's house . the detective's ears perked up. but steve insisted, he never went to carol 's house .
>> i'm happy to give you blood , saliva, i'm happy to give you whatever you need?
>> theso there's nothing that we're going to find that.
>> if you need some food, we'll get you some, just tell us what you want. i'm just asking that you be a little bit patient with us and help us clear this matter.
>> i wasn't there, so i assume that will be good for me.
>> that is true. if it is like you say, then once we do our lob work and --
>> i'm just, i'm cold and i'm tired.
>> narrator: steve asked them, what were they thinking about him? was he a suspect?
>> i don't know what looking suspicious looks like.
>> no, and like, here's the whole thing with it. there's certain things in, in what's going on, just like i said, we have got a suspicious death and right now, we don't have any other person --
>> than me.
>> well, we have no other person right now.
>> narrator: so it was a long night in that interrogation room. the detective gave steve a blanket. asked him again about that trail .
>> the proximity of the trail that you were riding?
>> i wish i had chosen a different trail . of course if i had done it, i probably wouldn't have chosen to be right near the scene of what sounds like may be a crime.
>> narrator: maybe to, but whatever he was, he picked up something the detectives simply couldn't ignore.
>> very fresh, multiple scratches.
>> narrator: on his arms and legs. steve said he got those riding a rough mountain trail on his bike. detectives photographed them before letting him go home. meanwhile, overnight other detectives searched steve 's office, his home and his garage. and they took pictures, lots of pictures. after the autopsy the next afternoon, the medical examiner reported that carol died from blows to the head, administered by some blunt object, seven times her killer hit her. with what? the medical examiner offered an opinion, looked like it might have been a golf club . and one more thing, carol herself might already be telling them who killed her.
>> reporter: coming up --