After 27 years, detective revisits cold case, realize murder suspect incriminates himself when left alone in the room

ARNOLD, MO - A suspected killer's incriminating remarks in a 2015 interrogation led police back to him five years later in 2020. 

According to Fox News, a 1993 Missouri cold case caught a suspect making incriminating comments when police left him in a room during a 2015 interrogation. After police left the room and closed the door, they saw Loril Harp talking to himself and talking on the phone, saying things like, "I'm not under arrest, but I probably will be before I leave here."

At the time, he was being questioned by police about the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Steven Weltig. Weltig owned a liquor store in Arnold, Missouri.

In 2020, Cpl. Brett Ackermann and Det. Corporal Josh Wineinger began looking at the case, including a review of several hours of that 2015 interview with Harp. While reviewing the tapes, that is why they noticed Harp talking to himself. In one of the seven videos, Harp can be heard cursing out a woman. 

Fox News Digital obtained the videos via a public records request and said that in another video, Harp is yelling at himself, saying he didn't kill Weltig. While talking to himself, he was constantly twitching, shuffling in his chair and tapping his feet. 

Wineinger said, "Watching that dead time helped us. I was 100 percent convinced at that point." Ackermann also pointed out a phone call that Harp made when no one was in the room. In paraphrasing the conversation, he said, "He was on the phone with someone saying, 'I'm going to jail.' Stuff that would indicate he was guilty of this."

What Ackermann and Wineinger saw was enough to bring Harp back in for questioning, which they did in 2020 when Harp was 68-years-old and in not the greatest shape, health wise.

Throughout the entire three-and-a-half hour interview, he dodged questions, played dumb and was evasive. The interview was recorded on audiotape and shared with Fox News Digital through another public records request. Toward the end of the interview, Ackermann told Harp that they knew he was in the shop at the time of Weltig's death and they also knew that a gun went off during that time. They just needed to know how.

Ackermann asked Harp, "How did it happen? How did it happen that [Weltig] got a bullet hole in his head? And you're the only other person there, Loril?"

Harp continued to deny shooting Weltig, claiming that the liquor store owner charged at him with a gun. Harp started to describe the altercation and then momentarily paused. Ackermann said, "Keep going." Harp then said, "I grabbed his hand and hit him until he dropped the gun. And then I hit him again, and then I took off out the door."

Harp added, "I hurt him. I know I hurt him. Like I said, I fight. I hit him (expletive) hard. But I didn't shoot him." The shooter allegedly used the store's side door to make his getaway and so when Harp mentioned the side door, their ears perked up. They then asked him what he did when he got home.

Harp said, "I showered. I had a bunch of blood on me." That's when one of the detectives asked, "You had blood on you?" Then Harp responded by saying, "I must have if I shot him. Or he shot me." One detective said, "You weren't shot."

Harp tried backtracking, claiming that the blood was from a fist fight, but at that point it was too late. The detectives had him. On September 30, 2020, he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

At the end of the interview, Wineinger said to Harp, "Doesn't that feel better? After 27 years, to know that you don't have to worry for the rest of your life with this hanging over your head." One year after being charged, Harp died at the age of 69 from an undisclosed illness. 
For corrections or revisions, click here.
The opinions reflected in this article are not necessarily the opinions of LET
Sign in to comment


Powered by StructureCMS™ Comments

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Law Enforcement Today, Privacy Policy