Lisa Marie Naegle murder update: Family search yields clues leading to arrest
02/27/2017 1:42 pm PST
In Torrance, California, a Los Angeles suburb, a reality-TV contestant goes missing after a night of partying.
Lisa Marie Naegle had just left a friend's birthday party at Alpine Village in Torrance, a restaurant-market-bar complex in Torrance, a suburb of Los Angeles, when she disappeared in the early morning of hours of Dec. 18, 2016.
Naegle was a successful nursing teacher, loving wife and onetime contestant on the "Bridalplasty" television show.
For better or worse, Lisa was spared the knife and eliminated from the show, but she and husband Derek Harryman still enjoyed a storybook wedding in Hawaii surrounded by friends and family.
Lisa pursued a career in nursing, earning a master's degree and becoming a popular nursing instructor at a local Los Angeles college. But she hoped her greatest accomplishment was just around the corner: Lisa was planning to be a mom, according to sister Danielle Naegle-Kaimoana.
It was Saturday night, Dec. 17, shortly before last Christmas, when Lisa decided to attend a friend's party at a restaurant and watering hole called Alpine Village.
"And she just mentioned, 'Hey I'm going to a birthday party tonight, I just want to let you know you know that I'm going with my brother Rafael,'" said husband Derek Harryman. "And I trusted my wife. I trusted where she went. I trusted the people that she was with. So I didn't question her, I'm like 'OK, thanks for letting me know, I'll talk to you later.'"
"She had told her husband she was suppose to go with my older brother Rafael, but my brother was too tired and he was like 'I'm too old to keep up with you,'" said Lisa's sister Danielle.
"I came home that morning at 1:30 in the morning, she wasn't home," said Harryman. "I was real upset she wasn't here, so I lit her up on a text message. I'm like 'This is B.S. You're supposed to be here,' blah blah blah. Mad. She immediately called me within like 30 seconds. I'm like 'Wow, that was fast she's gonna start yelling at me now or something,' but she's like 'Hey I just want to let you know everything's fine, I already left the party, I'm gonna go get some food and I'll be home soon.' So I'm like OK, cool.
"Woke up the next morning, she wasn't here," Harryman said. "And I still didn't think anything was wrong. I thought, oh, she must have just crashed at her brother's house, you know, then she went straight to work."
But later that day Harryman receives a call from Lisa's co-worker, wondering where she is.
"And that's when I'm like, that's when I knew something was wrong," said Harryman.
Lisa's concerned family quickly contacts LAPD for help.
Then Lisa's family takes the lead in her disappearance.
"We were just trying to figure out, What after-party? But everybody at the party told me there was no after-party," said sister Danielle Naegle-Kaimoana.
Adding to the confusion was the conversation Lisa had with her husband Derek that night.
"She did sound like she had a few drinks that night, you know, she was having a good time, sounded like," said Harryman.
Lisa also told him she was grabbing a bite to eat and heading home.
Family friend Virginia Moya offered to go looking for surveillance video from the bar.
"And one of the managers came, and his daughter was standing next to him," said Moya. "And he was very hesitant to let me see it, and he said, 'Well we're having a Christmas party right now with the staff. Can you come back tomorrow and I'll show it to you?' And I said, 'Well, she's missing today and she's somebody's daughter and they're really looking for her.' And he said 'OK.' I think he let me see it because his daughter was standing next to him."
At the same time Virginia Moya is poring over footage, Lisa's family invites Jackie Rogers to the house for a little chat.
"My brother Rafael found out that Jackie was who took my sister to the party," said Danielle. "'I want to know who this man who swears took her to a party and wouldn't take her home,' and so we asked him to come to the house, and he came to our house."
Rogers sits in the Naegles' living room. Danielle took his driver's license and took a photo. Rafael examined his hands and took pictures. Rogers swears he doesn't know anything.
Lisa had once told her sister that Rogers was her "gay friend." But now he claims they were romantically involved. Danielle doesn't believe it.
While Rogers is being grilled in the family room, Danielle receives a text from Virginia Moya.
"I text Danni a picture of the person and I said 'She left with this person,' and she said, 'Virginia, are you sure? Because he's here. He's here in my living room,'" said Moya.
"In the surveillance video it clearly shows my sister getting into his car and they leave together, and that's when were like, 'OK, wait a second, you lied,'" said Danielle. She says Rafael got in Jackie's face, accusing him of lying.
"[Rafael] is like 'Hey you're leaving with her,' and he started saying 'No, I took her to the gasoline station on the corner and dropped her off there'" said Danielle.
The Naegle family calls Los Angeles Police. Police take Rogers in for questioning.
"I guess once he was there at the station, I heard that after a couple hours, when they had the right detectives talking to him, he confessed," said Danielle.
"And they got food, I guess he must've convinced her to sit and eat first," said Danielle. "And then during eating he took a hammer to her and he says he hit her seven times in the head."
The family wonders what in the world Lisa could have done to trigger that kind of rage. But the horror's not over. Rogers reportedly told police that he then took Lisa back to the house he shares with his mother, washed her body in bleach and buried her in the backyard in a shallow grave.
Crime Watch Daily reached out several times to Rogers' attorney for comment on the family's account of the alleged confession, and none of our calls were returned.
But so many questions remain unanswered -- most important: Why would Rogers kill Lisa?
"I honestly don't believe that there was an affair, deep in my heart. Whether or not there truly was one I don't know. But I just never had any suspicions," said husband Derek Harryman. "There weren't any red flags in our relationship or our marriage through the last six months that would make me believe there was an affair."
"The only thing I would think is he became so obsessed with her," said Danielle. "I know he's saying they had an affair, or that she was breaking up with him that night. I feel that he is saying this to help get a crime of passion, or to lower the sentencing, to say 'Hey, I was so into her she's dumping me, and this is what I'm doing.'"
The Naegle family also wonders if Rogers acted alone.
The answers will have to wait. Despite his reported confession, Rogers has pleaded not guilty and currently awaits trial.
Rogers was being held on a $2-million bond. He's due back in court in March. If convicted, he faces 26 years to life in prison.