HONOLULU (KHON2) — Legal experts question whether the body of 18-month-old Kytana Ancog will ever be found — even with a confession. Police say her father, Travis Rodrigues, told investigators he killed her and then arranged for another man, Scott Michael Carter, to dispose of the body.
Rodrigues has been charged with murder and Carter was charged with hindering prosecution. Legal experts say Rodrigues’ statement may not be enough to convict Carter, so the public may never find out what happened to Kytana’s body.
“So unless Mr. Carter admits to taking the body, it’s gonna be very difficult without some type of corroborating physical evidence to back up the father’s story,” said Victor Bakke, a defense attorney who is not involved in the case.
Court records revealed Carter drove off with Kytana’s body in a duffle bag and told Rodrigues, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it,” according to Rodrigues. Bakke believes prosecutors would need more evidence against Carter.
“They could go to trial with that and if that testimony is believed by the jury, that would be enough. But I’m sure the prosecutors would like to have more evidence and maybe they do,” said Bakke.
Carter has a criminal record with felony convictions for burglary and car theft. Bakke said, that information would not be included in the trial. The only time a criminal record is included is if the convictions involved lying.
“So if somebody has a prior conviction for forgery or perjury, lying, that’s always relevant,” he said.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Carter on Friday, Feb. 19, so prosecutors can show there is enough evidence to go to trial. Prosecutors chose instead to charge him by information, which Bakke says is preferred by prosecutors.
“Because it only requires them to meet with the judge in private and present their evidence and reports to the judge for the judge’s review, which is very simple,” he said.
Bakke added, both men can still be convicted without the body, but finding it would be better for the prosecutors and Kytana’s family.
“I’m just hoping that if anyone knows where Kytana is that they would come forward so that we can bring her home and lay our sweet baby girl to rest,” said Lisa Mora, Kytana’s grandmother.