Fugitive's Friend Makes Impassioned Plea to AMW
Cops say Melvin Keeling's killing spree claimed three victims in one day.
Melvin Keeling is the 43-year-old man who cops say went on a killing spree in September 2005. They say it started with a defenseless 13-year-old girl in Warren County, Ohio near Cincinnati, but they say Keeling wasn't done there. Investigators say he's caught on tape that same day killing two convenience store clerks in Jasper County Indiana, near Gary.
Shortly after the triple murder, investigators found Keeling's car and some of his personal belongings, including his wallet, in Gary. Now police want to find the man who cops say is behind these disastrous crimes.
America's Most Wanted has joined the search to find Keeling and bring justice to the families of the murder victims. AMW and investigators are working closely to pin down this elusive accused killer, and now Keeling's own friends are helping AMW with the search.
Larry and Keeling spent much of their youth sharing experiences in their neighborhood and church.
Fugitive's Best Friend Comes Forward On AMW
Melvin Keeling's childhood best friend, a man named Larry, is sharing exclusive details and stories with AMW. Before our cameras he painted a picture of the suspected cold-blooded killer's childhood and he recorded a special message for Keeling himself.
Larry, an entrepeneur and father, recalls for us the first day he met Melvin Keeling when the two boys were around 11 years old. Larry says he was immediately drawn to Keeling and decided he wanted to be the new neighbor's friend.
The boys shared much in their childhood. Ironically, Larry says Keeling always pushed him to be a better man. Now, Keeling is one of the most wanted men in America, accused of killing a 13-year-old girl and two young mothers.
Larry and Keeling spent much of their youth sharing experiences in their neighborhood and church. Larry said as boys, they, along with several other neighborhood kids, would play a game during summer nights called "Manhunt." It was a big-kid version of the game hide-and-seek. Larry said Melvin Keeling excelled at it. He would sometimes hide from his friends for hours at a time, hidden and perched atop trees and looking down at everyone scrambling for him. Now, Keeling is playing a very dangerous and very adult version of "Manhunt" with Ohio and Indiana authorities and FBI agents nationwide.
Two Lives: One In Faith, One In Crime
Larry told us how he and Keeling would go to Vacation Bible School together every summer. Larry says he never questioned Keeling's faith, who always seemed to be a steadfast Christian. But, according to cops, Keeling violated the Sixth Commandment (Thou Shall Not Kill) three times that they know of.
Larry told us how Keeling was in a play one summer at VBS. He played a leopard that had strayed from God. As Larry told us about the leopard returning to his faith, he broke down. He hopes his friend will again find his religion and turn himself in to authorities.
Hoping that Keeling is out there watching, Larry has recorded a message directed to his friend. He's praying that his faithful childhood friend will listen to the message.
Speaking directly to AMW cameras, Larry had this to say to Keeling:
"I want you to surrender, man... I want you to do the noble thing that you know how to do. And that is not to, to do anymore harm. But, to turn yourself in, man... be a man about the situation and come back to the place that you, you know, that it's safe and that it is structured and not chaotic."