When so-called ghost hunters told Steven and Michael Carroll that their father was buried in the basement of their childhood home, they had good reason not to believe them. George Carroll, a Korean War veteran, disappeared six decades ago and no one seemed to know what had happened to him.
Steven was just five when he and his brother Michael lost their father. They and their three sisters never received a straight answer about what had happened to dad and were told he went out one day and never returned. That story conflicted with stories of his wartime glory, and the kids were yet to discover the true fate of their father…
The children grew up without a father and never knew the true fate of their dad. While some older family members told the kids that George had abandoned the family and moved to South Korea, others claimed he had been murdered and buried in the basement of the family home in Lake Grove, but everyone thought the latter version was just a bad joke.
The five siblings took being raised without a father pretty hard, and the fact they had no idea what had happened to him just made it even worse. While some of the siblings were convinced he had abandoned them and didn’t want them, others felt that couldn’t possibly have done that and always wondered what the real story was.
According to Michael, who purchased the family home from his mother in the 1980s, the only person who may have direct knowledge of George’s fate was their mother’s second husband, Richard Darress. He moved into the home soon after George went missing and the couple had a son who became Michael and Steven’s half-brother.
As it turns out, Darress could have been involved in what turned out to the murder of George Carroll. He was working as a long-distance truck driver and eventually divorced his wife, George’s ex, and moved to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, near the Texas border. But, as he died recently, he could not be questioned in the disappearance and murder of George, and so the trail for answers went cold.
Michael was so disturbed by not knowing what had happened to his father that he employed the services of a group of psychics who came to visit the home a few years ago. That team said they detected a “lot of energy” in the home and claimed that George was dead and buried in the basement. With that, Michael was all set to start digging up the basement to find his dad.
Michael was never a big believer in psychics or the paranormal. However, this team seemed sure they were right and soon after they left, Michael started digging up his basement. Soon after he started digging, he noticed some structural issues that were threatening the integrity of the home as a result of the digging. At that point, Michael brought in experts with ground-penetrating radars which could give answers. It was the night of Halloween when the remains were discovered.
After the experts told Michael that there was something interesting around six feet beneath the basement, he decided to go ahead and continue with the dig. The curiosity was too much for Michael and by this stage cared little about structural integrity.
Michael tasked his sons (pictured) with continuing the dig, and they went ahead and dug as carefully as they could. Having cut through concrete that covered an old well, they discovered human remains in the basement. Michael was thrilled and scared at the same time and immediately contacted his family to inform them of the find. He also contacted the Suffolk police department.
The remains were exhumed and transported immediately to the Suffolk medical examiner’s office. Through dental records and DNA testing, the examiner indeed confirmed that these human remains belonged to none other than George Carroll and what’s more, he had been murdered by a blow to the head many years ago.
Blunt Force Trauma
Suffolk County Medical Examiner Michael Caplan explained, according to a Mail Online report, that George had died from blunt force trauma to the head. “We were able to determine that the cause of death included blunt impacts to the head with fractures of the skull and brain injury, although there may be other injuries that are no longer detectable,” Caplan said.
Immediately after the revelations came to light, Steven Carroll said he had mixed feelings about the matter. On the one hand, he was thrilled that his father had been located after all these years. While on the other hand, he was devastated that his dad had been murdered and that no one had been brought to justice for the crime.
After the remains were taken and given a proper burial at the Calverton National Cemetary, Steven, now 61, told reporters: “This has been a long journey, but it is still shocking to hear this.” Michael also shared his feelings on the case with the media, saying he was happy on the whole to have found his missing father.
“I’m happy to learn that that is my dad,” Michael said. “This is a deep and very emotional thing and everybody is dealing with this in different ways. This has broken up my family.” The family argued following the discovery as blame was directed at different family members leading to stress and some arguments.
According to medical examiner, “The DNA was extremely well-preserved within the skeletal remains, even after almost 60 years.” As it turns out, the house was undergoing renovations at the time when George was murdered, leading cops to conclude that a construction worker may have killed him and thrown him into the available hole in the basement.
According to a New York Post report, George had most likely been killed by a blow to the head with a pipe. “I was told by the psychic it was blunt force trauma. She actually said to me that it was a pipe, that he got hit in the head by a pipe and he was buried alive,” Michael said.
For his part, Steven can’t understand how his father was killed and disposed of in such an unceremonious way. “How does something like this happen?” Steven asked. “How do you dispose of someone and bury them in the basement and pour concrete over them and nobody knows about it?” Now the family is planning a memorial service for George.
As well as being their father, George was a war veteran who at the very least deserved a proper burial. While Michael confirmed that a memorial service had been planned for next year, he also spoke about his joy at finding his dad after all these years. “I’m happy we finally know that that is my dad,” he said. “I’m happy we can move forward with a funeral.”
Before George’s wife died back in the 1980s, she never spoke about her husband’s disappearance to her family or the kids. Both Michael and Steven thought it a little strange that she never talked about it but found it even more bizarre when it came out years later that she hadn’t even reported the disappearance to the police at the time. Could she have been involved in her husband’s murder or perhaps it was her new husband who did it?
While Michael is happy his father was found after all these years, he feels no justice has really been done. “There will be no justice,” he said. “The justice happened when we dug him up because we just interrupted the perfect crime – they almost got away with this,” he added.
Despite the pressure and the numerous arguments, most of the Carroll family are better off since George was found. While no one is sure who killed him or why, the fact he was found and that he had been in the basement all that time was at least some comfort for a family who was raised in difficult circumstances and without a father figure at home.