This archived article was written by: Kiara Horowitz
Recently, an investigation into a 10 year-old disappearance case in the old SAC was reopened with the discovery of new evidence. A vacuum bag was found in the news lab attic by two students containing dust and a large supply of crack cocaine. The cocaine was linked to the disappearance by a note found in the bag.
In September of 2005, Niko Teel, a student at CEU (now USU Eastern), was studying journalism when he mysteriously vanished. Teel, known as Nite to his friends, had been at the news lab late at night doing homework as he usually did. He never returned to his dorm, however. Police investigators believed that he must have been kidnapped, though no ransom or motive was found.
The discovery of the note shed new light on the case. The note mentioned Teel, helping police uncover a more serious plot than what they thought was a kidnapping.
Teel was known to hang out with some of the shadier students at the college. The police discovered later that these students formed an organized drug-running gang. The note was written by one of the custodians, who talks about the work done that night. According to the sequence of events listed by the custodian, police were able to recreate that night.
At about 10 p.m., Teel met in the news lab at the SAC with two of the other drug runners, Jeo and Shara. Jeo had a bag of cocaine with him. A dispute arose between the three of them and the bag broke. The powder cocaine spilled to the ground. Teel attempted to make a run for his life, but he didn’t get far before being overpowered by Jeo and Shara. The struggle moved into the wellness center. There Teel was beaten and most likely strangled. Jeo and Shara had his body to dispose of.
The two dragged the body into the bathroom next to the wellness center. While Shara straightened up the wellness center, Jeo did his best to compress the remains to make the body easier to dispose of. According to the note, Jeo and Shara contacted the custodian in question, also a member of the gang.
The custodian arrived at about 9 a.m. Jeo and Shara remembered that they’d forgotten to clean up the mess of spilled cocain in the news lab, so the custodian offered to clean it up while they got rid of the body. He entered the news lab and vacuumed up the cocaine. Not wanting it go to waste, he removed the bag from the vacuum and wrapped it in a garbage sack.
While he was writing the note, he heard someone coming to the news lab. In a panic, he slipped the note in the bag before placing it on the edge of a garbage can. Without noticing, he nudged the garbage can, causing the bag to fall not into the can, but into a box. The custodian didn’t realize this until it was too late. When he went back to search for it, the box had been moved to the attic where the mystery was finally solved 10 years later. Niko Teel’s body has not been found to this day.
The news lab wishes you a happy April Fool’s day.