Polygraph disputes claim father killed, buried son

Rocky Mountain News, Jan. 22, 2003
By Sarah Huntley, Rocky Mountain News

A father accused by his adult daughter of killing her brother and burying him 30 years ago has passed a polygraph test, according to a detective in Riverside, Calif.

Detective Terry Meyer received the results Tuesday showing that Keith Mitchell exhibited no signs of deception during a polygraph test administered last week by Denver police.

Mitchell, 64, of Colorado Springs agreed to undergo questioning in the hope of bringing an end to an investigation spurred by his daughter’s allegations.

Julie Connachan has accused her father of infanticide, saying she has memories of him killing a baby brother named Ryan then digging a grave in the back yard of her childhood home in California. Connachan, 40, said she began having the memories in 1995 after undergoing hypnosis with an unlicensed psychotherapist.

Her parents say there was no baby. They say their daughter suffers from false memory syndrome, believed to be caused by oversuggestive therapy.

Meyer plans to forward this week’s report, with other investigative notes, to the district attorney, who will decide whether to dig up the back yard where the Mitchells used to live.

Connachan is serving a six-month jail sentence after a judge found her in contempt for disobeying a court order requiring her 16-year-old son, Sean, to visit her ex-husband. Connachan said she opposes the visits because her ex-husband allows her parents to see Sean.

“I just feel crushed that it didn’t come out,” Connachan said Tuesday from the Arapahoe County Detention Facility after hearing about the test results.

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