It's been more than 18 months since a west Toledo woman disappeared while on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. News 11's Jonathan Walsh has been researching the twists and turns of 35-year-old Tammy Grogan's disappearance.
For the first time, investigators and family are talking publicly about the case -- and only to News 11.
Since that September 2006 cruise, there have been no new leads. But there have been plenty of questions, including those about Tammy's immediate family.
Tammy's mother, Bonnie Grogan, describes her daughter as a strong woman and a single mother to her teenage son, Jimmy Fleischmann.
"I would have trusted my life with Jimmy then," Bonnie says, "I can't say that anymore."
The "then" references a time before Jimmy met a man from west Toledo -- 25-year-old Craig Morgan. Bonnie says Craig met Jimmy through Bonnie's sister, Deb Graff, and that Deb used to babysit Craig and Craig's sister, Rebecca.
Jimmy, then 14 years old, started spending a lot of time with Craig. Bonnie and Lucas County investigator Tom Ross say Craig spent lots of money on Jimmy.
"Limo rides to restaurants, to malls, shopping sprees... things of that nature," says Investigator Ross. Bonnie says Jimmy had 23 watches that Craig bought him.
Bonnie also tells us Craig kept his career very secretive.
"He told us he was very, very rich and that he was associated with seven different corporations, but we couldn't know anything," Bonnie says.
Furthermore, she adds that Craig and Jimmy's behavior raised red flags for Tammy.
"Jimmy would jump into Craig's arms out on my front porch, and they would nuzzle each other," Bonnie says.
"There was a period of time Tammy forbade her son to see Craig," Investigator Ross says.
Bonnie tells us the family confronted Craig saying they were done with they called "the touchy feely" relationship he had with Jimmy. Bonnie tells News 11 that Craig told Jimmy not to worry about it.
"Then, before you know it, the trip was planned for us," Bonnie says, explaining the cruise was Craig's gift to Deb for losing 100 lbs. Bonnie, Tammy and Jimmy were also invited.
Despite the questions Tammy had about Craig's relationship with Jimmy, Tammy agreed to go. Bonnie says Tammy told her, "I don't care if Craig pays for it or not. It's a trip and we'll go."
Bonnie and investigators say Craig paid for everyone's cruise but that he did not go himself. Once on the ship, Bonnie says there was a surprise -- was Craig's sister, Rebecca, and Rebecca's ex-boyfriend, Robbie Pantosia were on the cruise as well.
Both Bonnie and investigators also say there were three rooms for six people. According to investigator Ross, Deb gave the nicest room to Tammy and Jimmy saying they would enjoy the suite more. The suite included a balcony over the water.
Bonnie says during the cruise everyone was having a good time and that Deb was being very generous.
"Then (Deb) told Tam during the trip... if you want to drink, you can drink as much as you want. I'll pay for it,'" Bonnie says.
The night Tammy disappeared, Bonnie wasn't drinking. In fact, she tells us she never drinks. But everyone else was drinking -- including Jimmy.
Bonnie goes on to say Tammy wasn't feeling well, so everyone went back to Tammy's suite. She said Tammy was awake and that one point, Bonnie asked Jimmy for a glass of water.
"Jimmy went into the bathroom," Bonnie says, "while Robbie went out on deck and filled my glass of water. And then he came back, and that's the last I remember."
Investigator Ross reports Bonnie has no memory of the gathering after she consumed the water and suspects she was drugged. Lucas County investigators say they believe Bonnie's story.
After Tammy didn't show up when expected, authorities gathered statements from everyone. Both investigators and Bonnie say Jimmy showed no emotion.
"He never cried," Bonnie says, "and this was a kid who just lost his mom."
On the trip home, Bonnie was sitting across the aisle from Jimmy, who was sitting with Deb Graff. Bonnie tells us Deb and Jimmy were talking and even laughing on the way home.
But that was not the only weird behavior Deb exhibited.
"She was busy letting Jimmy fondle her," Bonnie tells us.
Jonathon Walsh clarifies, "By fondling, you mean just kind of nuzzling up against her and holding her or touching her in a sexual kind of way?"
"He was literally grabbing her breasts," Bonnie answered.
Once back in Toledo, the family noticed Tammy and Jimmy's apartment had been broken into while they were away on the cruise. Officers tell us there were no signs of forced entry and that only a computer hard drive and jewelry that Craig Morgan had given Tammy were missing.
Investigators have interviewed everyone, even taking Jimmy out of Whitmer High School to talk to him. At this point, they have not been able to advance this case but feel strongly they are close.
Jimmy lives with his paternal grandfather in Toledo. News 11 asked Jimmy for an interview, and he told us he would think about it. However, his grandfather eventually called us saying Jimmy did not want to talk to us.
Craig's attorney says Craig has no comment on the case. Rebecca Morgan and Robbie Pantosia say they have no comment. Deb Graff, Bonnie's sister, forcefully declined to talk to us.
Investigators say all of them are "persons of interest" in this case. Investigators tell us the FBI did polygraphs on Robbie, Rebecca and Bonnie but that the results came back inconclusive.
Investigators also tell us Deb Graff refused a polygraph.
Bonnie says Tammy deserves justice and that she's convinced Jimmy, Rebecca, Robbie and Deb had a hand in her disappearance.
"I think the four of them threw her over," Bonnie says.
Investigators say Jimmy told them the night Tammy went missing she had briefly passed out, woke up and said she was going out to find a man and that Jimmy went to Robbie and Rebecca's room.
However the investigation reflects that Jimmy returned to Tammy's room with Robbie at least once that same night.
If you know anything about Tammy's disappearance, contact your local police.
Posted by KO
730 North Summit Street