Peggy Ann Lerch

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Above Images: Peggy, circa 1982


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 14, 1982 from Columbus, Ohio
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: October 15, 1957
  • Age: 24 years old
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Peggy was last seen in Columbus, Ohio on August 14, 1982. She disappeared with her husband, Christopher Lerch, and neither of them have ever been heard from again.

    William Dean Wickline Jr. was convicted of killing the Lerches in 1985. He was sentenced to life for Christopher's murder and death for Peggy's. He had been their friend, and they were last seen at his apartment, drinking heavily and using cocaine with him. Wickline's girlfriend, Theresa Kemp, testified that Christopher and Wickline got into an argument over a $6,000 drug debt Christopher owed to Wickline. Wickline slit Christopher's throat, then strangled Peggy, who was sleeping. Kemp stated the bodies were dismembered and put in trash bins all over the city. No body parts were discovered, but authorities found blood in Wickline's bathtub and human tissue adhering to his folding saw.

    A photograph of Wickine is posted below this case summary. He was also indicted for an unrelated murder which occured in 1979, but never tried because he was already on death row. He maintained his innocence in the Lerches' cases and was executed in 2004. Christopher and Peggy's remains have never been found.

    Above: Wickline


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Columbus Police Department


    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
    The Akron Beacon Journal
    The Columbus Dispatch


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 20, 2006; casefile added.

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