Rhonda Ransom Lee, the missing Pontiac, Michigan, mother who was later found dead in a lake, will be the next story to be told on TV One’s Justice By Any Means. The episode entitled, “Richelle Ransom,” will examine how a mother-of-three had her life snuffed out in an instance after a late night trip to get diapers for her child turned deadly. Expect to hear from crime-case experts, law enforcement officials, as well as the victim’s loving sister, Richelle, and other family members. Richelle Ransom has dedicated her life to finding all of those who had a role in her sister’s death. The killer, 42-year old Bobby Lee Taylor, aka Beano, was eventually arrested and convicted for her strangling death. Today, he is serving out a life sentence in a Michigan state correctional facility. The Rhonda Ransom case was also aired on Investigation Discovery’s Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case.
The case of Rhonda Ransom Lee, aka Rosaline Lee, was in the news in May of 2013, after her partially-clad body was found in Terry Lake — a neighborhood lake that is embedded inside a local community. The 32-year-old mother had been reported missing by her family and was last seen leaving her home at around 3 a.m. because the father of her child, Matthew Caffey, insisted that it was the only time that he could give her money for diapers.
As one can imagine, the family was stiff with worry until they could find out some information about why Rhonda Ransom hadn’t returned. The sad truth became apparent after a boy fishing spotted what he believed was a mannequin in the water, later realizing that it was a dead body, instead. The authorities were immediately summoned to the area and eventually connected the body to the report of the missing mother. Then, they had the task of telling Rhonda Ransom’s family members that she’d been found — but, not alive. Richelle Ransom discussed how it played out once Oakland County detectives arrived at the family home, according to Ebony.
“The police showed my mother a picture of my sister with her eyes closed. My mother said, ‘OK, good, you found her. What hospital was she in?’ The detectives looked at each other, then back at my mother. They said, ‘We’re sorry Mrs. Ransom, she has passed away. She was found in Terry Lake.’ My mother slumped and leaned against the car.”
In the days after the body was found, Rhonda Ransom Lee’s sisters and brother did everything possible to find out who had done it. Family members grew suspicious that her baby’s father could have had something to do with her death, since he was the last person to see her alive. But, an extensive interview with police revealed that Matt Caffey had only seen her briefly when she arrived but later saw her backing out of the parking lot abruptly on the morning she disappeared. He was ultimately cleared of having anything to do with her death.
When Rhonda Ransom Lee’s phone was finally recovered, it sent police on a chase of unsavory characters that may have led to the killer. One by one, officers had the incredible task of ruling out each one before they were finally led directly to Bobby Lee Taylor, an ex-con who police believe randomly chose Rhonda Ransom Lee once he saw her sitting in her van as she waited for her child’s father to exit the building. An autopsy report concluded that the victim put up a fight inside her van but was later raped and strangled before Bobby Lee Taylor dumped her in the lake.
Rosaline Rhonda Ransom Lee’s case didn’t garner a lot of attention when she first went missing. But, that quickly changed after Rhonda’s sister, Richelle Ransom, reached out to sorority sister, Star Jones, who contacted Nancy Grace and others to get the news out nationally. Jones puts it this way, according HLN.
“I wanted to scream and cry like anyone else who wanted to comfort their friend. But I had to put on my prosecutor hat and my public-eye hat. I said to my girlfriend, ‘We’re going to find out what happened, and I’m going to use every public platform that I have to use my friends in the media to pay attention to your sister’s murder.'”
Be sure you make time to watch Justice By Any Means on TV One this coming Monday, February 8, at 10/9 p.m. central.
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