Kyle’s Computer; Documents and Notes 

In March of 2007, Kyle’s brother Scott contacted the Clearwater Police Department to talk with Detective Stephen Bohling. Three weeks had passed since Kyle’s death and his family in Virginia had yet to receive a single phone call from the Clearwater Police Department. In this darkest of times—while we were in the throes of grief—we were completely baffled by this unprofessionalism on the part of the Clearwater police.

Didn’t they have questions? Weren’t they interested in information about Kyle that only his family in Virginia could provide?

That first telephone conversation between Virginia and Clearwater, Florida, was certainly an eye-opener. Scott’s impression of Detective Bohling—to put it mildly—was decidedly unfavorable. Scott said Bohling, was arrogant and extremely rude. When Scott told the detective that Kyle’s computer was tampered with in the early morning hours after his death, for example, Bohling responded that he “didn’t care,” it wouldn’t change a thing.

In late February, when Kyle’s possessions—and his computer—were mailed back to Virginia they were sent to Scott’s apartment, not to Kyle’s home. This is how Scott came to be in possession of Kyle’s computer.

When Bohling later requested that the computer be mailed back to Clearwater, Scott refused to release it to the detective. During the first meeting between Luke Lirot—the attorney representing Kyle’s family—and Bohling, the detective again requested that we send him the computer but Scott still balked. The unprofessionalism of the Clearwater police, their lack of respect, and their obnoxious behavior had already made them well-nigh impossible to trust. Because of this point of view, we thought the computer should be forwarded to the FBI for analysis, not the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (the FDLE). With great hesitation, therefore, Kyle’s computer was sent back to Clearwater almost six months after the detective requested it.

Thinking that the computer was with the FBI in Tampa I contacted them and asked that they please check that Bohling had indeed brought it over. The Tampa-based FBI agent that I spoke with asked for background information. When he heard about the situation, heard about the family’s experience with Detective Bohling and his investigation, he exclaimed that one should always trust their instincts. He said that what the police detective had been telling my family didn’t add up. He also said that he’d personally check on the status of Kyle’s computer, but unfortunately, I never heard back from him.

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