Thursday December 4, 2008
Today the Louisville Metro Police Department's Homicide Unit investigators have announced the main suspect in the adbuction and disappearance of Ann Gotlib. On June 1, 1983, at approximately 5:30 pm, Gotlib was abducted from the Bashford Manor Mall parking lot while riding her bike on her way home from a friend's house. It was a case which received national attention and was one of several missing children's cases which helped lead the U.S. Congress to create the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children.
LMPD investigators announced that in recent weeks, they have received new information in the case. After sharing this information with the FBI and the Kentucky Commonwealth's Attorney, they believe Greg Lewis Oakley, Jr. to have been involved in Ann Gotlib's abduction and disappearance. While Oakley is the main suspect, he died in 2002, today police are asking assistance from the public for additional leads to assist them in possibly locating the remains of Ann Gotlib.
The investigation into the disappearance of Ann Gotlib has spanned several decades. It has included several hundred investigators and assistance from all regional law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, multiple Jefferson County volunteer fire departments, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and numerous citizen volunteers throughout the region.
In recent weeks, the LMPD Homicide Unit investigators turned their focus back to Greg Lewis Oakley, Jr. after follow-up interviews and various other leads developed. Oakley was born in 1943 in Selma, Alabama and raised in Pine Apple, Alabama. In 1970, Okaley received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University and continued to work as a veterinarian in Alabama. In 1982, after being charged by Alabama authorities with two assaults and another attempted assault on young females, Oakley moved to Louisville, Kentucky to work as a USDA meat inspector for the Louisville office.
In June 2008, after the media and the LMPD highlighted the 25th anniversary of Gotlib's disappearance, Oakley's former girlfriend contacted investigators and provided new information. In particular, she confirmed that Oakley was in Louisville on June 1, 1983, as well as specifics regarding his request for her to wash clothing he had been wearing earlier in the day. In addition, a former inmate, who had been incarcerated with Oakley, was re-interviewed in September 2008. He told investigators that Oakley had confessed to him how he abducted and killed Gotlib by overdosing her with an injection of Talwin. The new information was confirmed via a polygraph test taken by the witness.
July 1979 - While living in Alabama, Oakley was identified as a suspect in the attempted assault of a 13-year-old female using a hypodermic needle. The victim fought off the attack and fled.
July 1979 - While living in Alabama, Oakley assaulted another 13-year-old female by injecting her with Katemine and then fled on foot. Oakley was charged for this offense.
November 1981 - While living in Alabama, Oakley assaulted his 13-year-old stepdaughter with Demerol. Oakley was charged and pled guilty to this offense.
Fall 1982 - Oakley moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became a USDA meat inspector for the Louisville office.
June 1, 1983 (3:50 pm) - Evidence shows Oakley made a bank transaction at the Liberty Bank branch at the Bashford Manor Mall.
June 1, 1983 (5:30 pm) - Ann Gotlib disappears from the Bashford Manor Mall parking lot while riding her bike on her way home from a friend's house.
September 1983 - Oakley attempted to abduct two young females walking to school along Goldsmith Lane, several blocks away from the Bashford Manor Mall.
September 1983 - Oakley assaulted a 13-year-old female at her residence on Masemure Court, several blocks away from the Bashford Manor Mall. Oakley was charged in 1984 and sentenced to prison.
June 2002 - Oakley was medically released from prison and returned to Alabama.
October 2002 - Oakley died.
June 2008 - 25th anniversary of Ann Gotlib's disappearance prompted new information from witnesses.
September 2008 - Former cell mate of Oakley's advised investigators of Oakley's confession to killing Ann Gotlib by overdosing her with an injection of Talwin.
Due to the information gathered, LMPD is asking the public's assistance for additional leads in this case which hopefully will lead to them locating the remains of Ann Gotlib. In addition, due to the high number of young female assault cases perpetrated by Oakley, LMPD investigators are concerned as to the potential that there may have been additional victims. Anyone with information as to Greg Lewis Oakley, Jr. or to the Gotlib case are urged to contact the Louisville Metro Police Department via their anonymous tip line at (502) 574-LMPD or toll free at 1-866-649-4479.