City yanks principal post from suspect’s wife

Having your husband as the lead suspect in a grisly child killing, especially when you've been accused of providing conflicting alibis, can be dangerous to your chances of running Greenbrier Elementary School. Indiana educator Debra L. Duncan found this out the hard way after giving notice to her current employer and planning to move to Charlottesville.

That is, until the Charlottesville School Board got wind of her alleged role in protecting her husband, who remains a top suspect in a still-unsolved 1990 killing in San Antonio, Texas.

Seventeen years ago, 11-year-old Heidi Lynn Seeman was walking home from a sleep-over near her home when she was abducted. A few weeks later, her body was found in trash bags nearly 50 miles away.

According to a leaked Air Force investigation, it was retired Air Force Major Eric Duncan, the would-be principal's husband, who soared to the top of the suspect list, with Mrs. Duncan offering conflicting alibis. However, the Duncans maintained his innocence, the report found no direct evidence linking him to the crime, and no charges have ever been filed. The case led to one of the largest searches in Texas history as well as to the creation of a center in Heidi's name for missing and exploited children.

NBC29 scored an interview with Mr. Duncan in which he expresses shock and anguish over the City School Board's refusal, after announcing his wife's appointment last Thursday, to ratify her contract.

In February, the famed Texas Rangers were invited in to study the unsolved murder.

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23 comments

Cletus, you're trying to reason with people who are living in fear on a daily basis. The kind that spot an old discarded box laying in ther front yard one morning. Before noon the entire neighborhood has been evacuated and the state police bomb squad has been called in. You know, the better "safe than sorry" mentality.

I walk out, pick up the box, and put it in a trash can like a normal person.

As I said above, the Duncan's reputation has been tarnished nationwide just because some law enforcement officer felt he appeared to be a suspect. They can never undo the damage. Being fired in Charlottesville proves it.

Cletus, the old "innocent until proven guilty" is total BS in today's society. Once the media drags somebody's name through the mud, they're never "innocent" again. Myself having $4 million lawsuits pending against a Charlottesville police sergeant, the Charlottesville Sheriff's chief deputy, and 2 Alexandria Police officers, I can tell you firsthand the defamation never goes away after being falsely accused of a crime. I am a 54 year old white male, 5'11", 220 pounds, gray hair, and mustache for over three decades. A Charlottesville sergeant told Alexandria I could make myself appear as a 5'8", 140 pound 20-ish year old Hispanic male with black hair and no mustache. The judge dismissed the false arest charge before I had to utter one single word in my defense.

I too hope the person sues the hell out of Charlottesville and the school board. And I hope I can be on the jury. Her name is mud in the job market for the rest of her natural life now.

"it was retired Air Force Major Eric Duncan, the would-be principal's husband, who soared to the top of the suspect list, with Mrs. Duncan offering conflicting alibis."

It appears as if we are only hearing a portion of the story as usual. Cases should not be tried in the media because there is always something missing!!! There must be reasons why he SOARED to the top of the suspect list and she offered CONFLICTING alibis. I say better safe than sorry and protecting the children is the most important thing. I mean, every other day there is a report of some teacher molesting students (CHS), giving students alcohol (WAHS), etc. Don't we need to be a little more careful? I don't want innocent people punished anymore than anyone else but I do want to know that my children are safe - Good for you Greenbrier Elementary!! Maybe you would feel differently if you had children school age in today's society.

" I say better safe than sorry and protecting the children is the most important thing."

This kind of wretched stupidity can be, and is, used to justify absolutely anything. You say there must be a reason he SOARED to the top of the suspect list. Likewise there must be a reason he was not even charged. If he wasn't charged that means there was no EVIDENCE! Or is that too simple to get your mind around? Morons like you were responsible for the Salem witch "trials" which were all justified in terms of the safety of the community. Perhaps you should pick up a history text.

As history has shown time and time again OJ - just because you aren't found guilty doesnt mean you are not guilty. Id rather be a moron with safe kids than a dumbass who said what the heck - let's give it a shot and cross our fingers. Go Greenbrier!!!!

Dang Cletus, you are an angry little man.

Were the background checks not in at the time the school board made the announcement?
Bad form school board!

You might think that after the disaster caused by inadequate vetting of the previous Charlottesville school superintendent, that the Charlottesville schools might have given some close attention to revising procedures for administrative hires.

Not sure what the contract situation was but nobody has a right to a job. Job offers get pulled all the time for various reasons. There's probably 100 other just as qualified candidates for that position. In the grand scheme of things, who the hell cares and why does it matter?

Half: Cardinal Richelieu would be so very proud of you. As for you... I understand there must be limits. Even iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

Half: "Facts" you say? You mean like enough facts to bring an indictment upon a suspect? In today's world where a lawyer (by their own admission) can indict a ham sandwich why do you think they weren't able to secure any charges? Facts indeed. I think you need to take your own advice. The maxim "innocent until proven guilty" was encoded into law to keep people *precisely like you* from your witch hunting agendas. I bet I could find indictable transgressions in your past. You care to step up to that plate? Give me your social security number and tax returns for the last 3 years and I *gaurantee* you a trip to prison. Why don't we meet to exchange that information and I'll be back in 6 months with officer friendly from the IRS. We'll see how quickly your opinion changes.
And incidently, military tribunals have a MUCH lower threshold for the admissablility of evidence than civilian courts. And they still couldn't prosecute him... what do you know about that? So no moral high horse is required. Only a *fundemental* understanding of American law. I'm sure if you bothered to take the time you could find no shortage of mismanaged cases where clearly innocent people were charged and incarcerated. Since 1973, 124 *innocent* people in 25 states have been released from death row. PROOF that morons like yourself chose to rely largely on *opinion and inuendo* rather than facts when ajudicating a case. So you know where you can stick your so called plea for facts; the same place you're obviously using to think about those facts. So .. stop, pause and think? Only if you will. LOL!

Gail, there was nothing wrong with the previous superintendent and, yes, she was thoroughly vetted. I guess some people assume the new principal will be taking her husband to work with her everyday since she will be making so much money that he would not have to work. These decisions do not reflect poorly on the former superintendent nor on the never in the future principal; they reflect instead on the caliber of people Cville has in decision making positions.

CvilleEye-
Actually, I agree with you (mostly). The information gathering process is inadequate in the Charlottesville schools, so decision makers are unable to do their jobs as well as they should be able to. The previous superintendent did have an employment history which should have alerted those decision makers to the fact that she might not be a good match for the Charlottesville Schools. If citizens can get info about new hires via the internet, so should the school system be able to get that info BEFORE jobs are offered rather than after.
It is unfair that a school principal should be judged by a spouse's history, especially when that spouse was never even charged with a crime, but the truth is that a school principal can not be effective without the support of her school community. That reality is enough to justify hiring someone else, unfortunately. However, this should never have been a matter for public discussion.

quote >> "However, this should never have been a matter for public discussion."

Any decision made by a public official should be open to public review and discussion.

While a lot of employees would like to think their employer is the city manager, city council, School Board or the City of Charlottesville, that simply is not the case IMHO. They all work for the taxpayer. What they say or do should be known and discussed by the public.

I'll even go one step further.... personnel matters and disciplinary matters should be open to public review and discussion. Like the recent sexual harassment case in the city where a male employee told a female employee the only reason she received a promotion to investigations was to get her pregnant self off the front lines of fighting crime where she might get hurt. The city was very fortunate in not having a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against them over this foolishness.

Steve-
This should not have become a matter for public discussion because if Cville Schools HR had done their job, it would have become obvious that someone else should get the job (not fair as I said above but still better for all concerned) and so the Duncans would not have moved here and it would not have become a news item.

"the report found no direct evidence linking him to the crime, and no charges have ever been
filed"

If I'm not mistaken the maxim of law is presumtion of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of your peers. I hope they sue the crap out of charlottesville.

The "The Google' opens the door to any persons background, the higher up the income chain the more likely you are to have a "trail"...how did the Major get on the law enforcement radar ???

Hey Steve and Cletus, would you still pick up that box if the words "explosive" were written on the side of the box. If it were just your life and health in jeopardy - I'd cheer you on to do it! GO AHEAD Pick up the box! If you were my neighbors (which hopefully you are not) I'd at least appreciate the phone call saying there is a potentially explosive box in my front yard - it might take the whole neighborhood out - so leave if you want to but I'm going to stick it out and see what happens. I'd leave and still cheer you on - go ahead Steve and Cletus - pick up the box!! Speaking of education Cletus, I'd encourage you to really look into the facts before climbing on that moral high horse. I mean really, really read the reports and look into the facts. If it doesn't cause you to pause and think and maybe shiver a little - then please pick up the box!! Please.

Poor little angry man - I'll pray for your misguided soul.

quote >> "Hey Steve and Cletus, would you still pick up that box if the words ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??explosive¢Ã¢â??¬ were written on the side of the box."

Probably not. Because there's most likely a few people out there stupid enough to lay a bomb in my front yard and write EXPLOSIVES on the box. I've had several stupid people playing games with me lately.

Half: You amuse me. Pray for someone else's soul. I don't need your prayers. I think it's funny that since you can't field the argument you try to divert attention away from it by using a classic, but logically fallacious, "argument"(that being an ad hominem response).

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

"it was retired Air Force Major Eric Duncan, the would-be principal's husband, who soared to the top of the suspect list, with Mrs. Duncan offering conflicting alibis."

Is it okay for a woman who works with children to repeatedly lie to authorities, giving conflicting, and false, alibis for a man accused of kidnapping and murdering an 11 year old girl? You need additional facts? How about the fact that she was caught in multiple lies by authorities in an attempt to draw the eyes of investigators away from her husband? Or the fact that she provided numerous conflicting alibis in a case where a child was brutally murdered? This is an incredibly valid reason to not employ a woman who is being considered for any kind of employment in a school, let alone as the principal. These lies indicate a pretty serious flaw in the character of Mrs. Duncan, regardless of what became of the investigation into her husbands wrongdoings. Would any parent in their right mind really choose to place their child in the protection of a woman who has already proven that she will sell out a child's life any child's life out over the necessity to hide something for her husband? I'm sorry but I honestly believe that the school board made a excellent decision in deciding against hiring her.

If the Duncans had nothing to hide, then why the military cover up? Had this man been merely enlisted, or an African American, you know he would have been jailed and properly charged. Until the Duncan's have their day in court, it is improper to allow them near children. This is not an ordinary case of criminal mischief. This is pedophilia, and like it or no, pedaphiles have a talent for marrying or seeking work so they can be around children. If they are innocent, this is unfortunate, however, until our laws allow for better tracking of criminals and prevention of crimes, this is a last ditch attempt to protect the children. If the Dincans were shocked by this ruling, then I'm Marilyn Monroe.