It has all the trappings of a best-selling mystery novel -- murder, suicide, lovers on the run.
But the story of Tina Loesch and Skye Hanson is horrifyingly true.
After nearly 10 years on the run and being fingered in the death of Loesch's mother, Loesch and girlfriend Hanson turned up dead on an Arizona road last weekend, hours after "America's Most Wanted" ran a segment on their 1999 disappearance.
Now police are searching for Loesch's 18-year-old son, Kristopher, who was nine when the two women, who were dating, disappeared and took him with them.
Lt. Greg McLean of the Post Falls Police Department in Idaho, where the story began, said Kristopher Loesch is not wanted for any criminal activity but could be in danger.
"He's just vanished," McLean said of Kristopher, who has only been seen a handful of times since, using different names. "We don't know if we've potentially found another homicide."
Loesch, 37, and Hanson, 44, had been dating for about three years before Loesch's mother, Barbara Loesch, was killed in January 1998. McLean said Loesch's father, Gary Loesch, had been murdered in 1996 with a gunshot wound to the head while working as a newspaper deliveryman, and that Loesch had taken that opportunity to get closer to her mother.
But, he said, her motive for bonding wasn't grief.
"It was just purely money, from what we've found," McLean said. "Tina started to get closer to her mother and talked to her about getting this life insurance policy for the benefit of the children."
Eight months before Barbara Loesch was found dead in her hot tub with a television set thrown in, she had taken out a $530,000 life insurance policy with her daughter named as the beneficiary.
McLean said Post Falls police were called to Barbara Loesch's home in January of 1998 after family members became concerned that they hadn't heard from her. As they canvassed the house, police made their way to the back porch and "when we looked down the steps ... you could see Barbara floating in the hot tub down there," he said.
"It was made up to look like she was electrocuted."
At the time, police had no reason to suspect foul play. Barbara Loesch's death was ruled accidental -- the official cause of death was drowning -- and the insurance money was paid out to Loesch, who promptly signed it over to Hanson, who ran a home-improvement business.
"They hung around for a while because, at that time, they thought they had pretty much fooled us," McLean said.
Still, nagging questions remained, such as how the cord for the television set had gotten unplugged by the time police found Barbara Loesch's body. Did the force of the electrical current pull it out of the socket? Or did someone unplug it before leaving the body?
Then, in 1999, Bradley Steckman, a friend and employee at Hanson's home-improvement business, was arrested and charged with the murder of Dorothy Martin, an elderly woman living in Washington state.
McLean said that Steckman was Hanson's "thug" and that he told police she had requested he break into the woman's house to steal a diamond ring she had seen while working there. But Martin surprised Steckman and he smothered her to death.