COLD CASE FILES: Episode 85
In June of 1989, 13-year-old Justin Wiles goes missing from his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home. Justin's mother senses something terrible has happened to her son and files a missing persons report.
Four days later, a mother's intuition proves correct. Local fishermen discover body parts scattered around a nearby lake - body parts that include an arm, torso and head of a male child. Through fingerprint comparison, that child is quickly identified as Justin Wiles.
Finding no murder weapon or physical clues at the lake, Tulsa detectives begin tracing Justin's last steps. They discover that he used to sweep the floors at a local body shop called Choppers, which is owned by Wayne Garrison.
Garrison had been convicted of killing two small children in the 1970s, while he was still a teenager in Tulsa, and served two years. With murder already on his record, Garrison looks like a good suspect.
Tulsa investigators bring him in for questioning, and he denies involvement in Justin's murder.However, he does volunteer the fact that he likes to fish at the out-of-the-way lake where Justin's remains were found.
Police also search Garrison's car and find copper wiring similar to a copper wire found attached to Justin's head. ut forensic testing is unable to match the wires at the time. Although with no physical evidence tying Garrison to the crime, they do not have enough to arrest the convicted child killer.
In 1999, Tulsa re-opens the Justin Wiles case when they learn Wayne Garrison is about to be released from a North Carolina prison on charges of drugging an 11-year-old boy. Detectives want to keep the child predator off the streets and begin digging into the 1989 case file.
Scrutinising an old photo of Wayne Garrison taken during the original investigation, detectives hone in on marks present on Garrison's right arm - marks detectives believe could be teeth marks, possibly made by a small child. They bring in a noted forensic dentist who creates a mold from Justin Wiles' actual teeth. He determines that the mark in the old photograph is consistent with Justin's unusual bite.
Detectives also go back to the copper wire in evidence. Using more sophisticated technology, the crime lab concludes that the wire found attached to Justin's head and the wire found in Wayne Garrison's car are consistent with one another. Police now have enough to make an arrest.
On December 2, 1999, Wayne Garrison is walking out of a North Carolina prison on parole when Tulsa investigators arrest him for the murder of Justin Wilkes. In November of 2001, jurors find Garrison guilty of murder - without hearing about his past crimes.
At sentencing, jurors give him death after hearing about his previous child murder convictions, and Wayne Garrison is packed off to Oklahoma's Death Row.