Teen Missing After Decade-Long Manhunt for Mom Ends in Suicide

While being interviewed by police in Washington, he told investigators that he had been involved in Barbara Loesch's death -- that his job was to rig the television to expel as much energy as possible and then assist Loesch in drowning her mother after she was stunned by the jolt.

McLean said Steckman pleaded guilty to Loesch's murder and was given a concurrent sentence with that of Martin's murder in exchange for his testimony against Hanson and Loesch. Without elaborating, McLean said police believe Steckman may have had knowledge about the death of Gary Loesch, but the convict isn't speaking.

Other than Steckman's statements, police had no physical evidence to connect Hanson and Loesch to Barbara Loesch's murder, and the lovers took off shortly after Steckman's arrest with then-9-year-old Kristopher in tow.

McLean said police were careful in their negotiations with Steckman because or their belief that he may know about Gary Loesch's death. Steckman had been also concerned about the safety of his son, given the publicity surrounding the two murders.

Chuck Loesch, Tina Loesch's brother, said the last time he saw his sister was at their mother's funeral. He had no idea at that time that she had anything to do with the death, calling her "one hell of an actress."

He hasn't seen Kristopher since he was a small child, maybe 2 or 3 years old.

Tina Loesch, he said, "was always mixed up with the wrong crowd, always causing trouble."

When police notified him Monday afternoon that his sister and her girlfriend had been found dead, it came as a surprise -- only because the family assumed all these years that at least one of them was dead and that they may have fled the country. They also assumed the couple wasn't even together anymore.

"It does bring a sigh of relief in a sense that we don't have to go through a trial and sit through years and years of torment," he said.

But there's still so many unanswered questions -- including whatever happened to Kristopher, who may not even know he has an uncle.

Life on the Run

Police know Kristopher Loesch was left shortly after his mother's disappearance with Spokane, Wash., attorney Julie Twyford and her husband, Steve Cassel. In 2004, police learned that in 1999 Kristopher Loesch had been sent by Twyford and Cassel to an old family friend's house in Seattle to spend Christmas with his mother and Hanson.

The boy had been enrolled in school under the name Christopher Hanson at that time.

During the years, as the search for Loesch and Hanson grew cold, Post Falls police enlisted the help of anyone they could. They continuously checked for new car registrations, passport applications, credit card purchases -- even the Internal Revenue Service got involved.

"When it started to die down, we pushed harder," McLean said.

But without formal warrants, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service would not get involved.

Earlier this year, with mounting concern for Kristopher and bringing the women to justice, a new prosecutor agreed to issue warrants for the arrests of Loesch and Hanson on murder charges to get things moving again. Filed on Oct. 10, the warrants were based on Steckman's statements and the knowledge that the women had once researched offshore accounts.

With the warrants in place, Post Falls police contacted "America's Most Wanted," which agreed to run a segment detailing the long, winding story.

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