Police, FBI search Floyd property

aclark@herald-leader.comNovember 21, 2008 

Investigators have spent the past two days scouring a property in Floyd County, apparently in search of clues in the disappearance of Joyce Gaines Crider, a Lexington woman who has been missing since October 2002.

The search near Prestons burg, off Ky. 114, comes nearly two years after Lexington police used cadaver dogs and drained an underground cistern as they searched a farm on Athens-Boonesboro Road in rural Fayette County. That search was apparently linked to the disappearance of Joyce Crider.

Lexington police Sgt. Paul Williams said investigators from the FBI and Lexington police — about 20 people — were searching the property of Bill Crider, Joyce Crider's ex-husband. The house on the quarter- to half-acre lot was destroyed by fire on Oct. 3, Williams said.

Williams declined to say say what, specifically, they were looking for — or whether they had found anything. He would only say that they were "searching for evidence that might propel our case forward." Williams said crews were expected to wrap up their search Thursday.

Joyce Crider was last seen about 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2002, when she told a friend she was going to see Bill Crider at the Holiday Inn on Athens-Boonesboro Road, where he was living. Family members say no one has seen or heard from her since then.

In the years since Joyce Crider vanished, police have investigated Bill Crider but have not made any arrests. What they have found, according to documents filed in Fayette Circuit Court, is that he initially lied about when he last saw Joyce Crider.

But Bill Crider has maintained that he didn't have anything to do with Joyce Crider's disappearance. In 2006, Bill Crider told a Herald-Leader reporter he had proof his former wife was still alive: a phone call recording of Joyce Crider, made after her disappearance. He said he also has a national credit report showing that she applied for credit after her disappearance. "The woman's not dead," he said. All the police are doing is wasting the taxpayers' money."

But Bill Crider says the police and news media refuse to hear his side of the story.

Bill and Joyce Crider, who married Nov. 20, 1999, broke up just shy of their two-year anniversary. Joyce Crider's brother, Mike Gaines, said Joyce Crider was scheduled to give a deposition in the divorce case the day after she disappeared. She intended to implicate Bill Crider in insurance fraud, according to sworn police statements. The divorce was finalized in 2003.

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