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Where Is Sandy Klemp Today? Unsolved Mysteries Tells the Story of Gary McCollough and Lena Chapin’s Disappearance
The chilling sixth episode of Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries recounts the tragic events surrounding the disappearances of Gary McCullough in 1999 and Lena Chapin in 2006. Though 7 years apart, the cases are linked by their connections to Sandy Klemp, who is McCullough’s ex-wife and Chapin’s mother.
Episode six, entitled “Missing Witness,” outlines Sandy and her six daughters’ lives from the early 90’s until the present day. It begins by recalling her marriage to Albert McCullough, who explains in the episode that Sandy’s affair with his brother, Gary McCullough, broke up their marriage. Sandy married Gary in December of 1996, and she and her daughters moved to his farm in Barry County, Missouri. According to the Netflix documentary, Sandy then began an alleged affair with Kristopher Klemp in March of 1999. The episode purports that Gary McCullough knew of this affair, and was planning to leave Sandy. But on May 11 of that year, he went missing. In the episode, several of Sandy’s daughters share their recollections of that day inside their home. Law enforcement was notified that Gary was missing three days later by his brother, who had been contacted by Gary’s employer. Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly told the Monett Times that Sandy Klemp did not allow the property to be searched or agree to take a polygraph. Sandy’s second eldest daughter, Lena Chapin, was 13 years old at the time.
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Kris Klemp moved into Gary McCullough’s home less than a week later, and Sandy was granted a dissolution of her marriage to Gary on April 11, 2000, after he failed to show up to the court hearing. Gary McCullough was officially declared dead in 2005 at the request of his surviving family members, while Sandy and Kris Klemp wed in 2006.
Then, on June 26 2003, when she was 17 years old, Lena Chapin claimed, in a recorded conversation to her ex-stepfather Albert McCullough, that her mother killed Gary McCullough, Albert’s brother. In it, she recalls being taken out of school to assist her mother with cleaning the house and burning McCullough’s remains. Albert submitted the tape as evidence, but shortly after she was contacted by the police and recanted the confession.
In 2006, Lena was 20 years old and living with her boyfriend, Jason Bryant, and her son Colter. On February 14 2006, she went missing. Per the Monett Times:
Bryant told investigators the last time he saw Lena was on the morning of Feb. 14, 2006, when he kissed her and left for work. When he returned to their apartment that evening, Sandy and two other people were clearing all of Lena’s belongings from the residence.
Lena Chapin and her son Colter.
Sandy told Lena’s sisters that she had moved to Florida with a new boyfriend, and Sandy was granted custody of Lena’s son. Lena Chapin was only formally reported missing in 2008 by Robert Chapin, her biological father.
On June 26 2006, a lawsuit was filed by Gary McCullough’s children from a previous marriage against Sandy and Kris Klemp, alleging that Sandy and Kris “knowingly took the life of their father,” and named Lena as a co-conspirator. A 2013 jury found them liable in less than an hour, and ordered them to pay $7 million in damages to the family. According to Unsolved Mysteries, McCullough’s children have yet to receive the money.
Sandy and Kris Klemp divorced in 2014, and local law enforcement believes that Sandy remarried a man named Joe Wink in Mt. Vernon, Missouri, and now goes by Sandy Wink. The bodies of Gary McCullough and Lena Chapin have yet to be located, and Lena’s son Colter is still in Sandy’s care.
Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire and Masters student at New York University.
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