Due to the many twists and turns at each step, the case of Michelle Saum Schofield’s 1987 disappearance and her death has been a mystery for decades. After all, as chronicled in ’20/20: Last Seen In Lakeland,’ although her husband Leo Schofield has since been convicted of her murder, there’s a possibility somebody else might be responsible. But for now, if you just wish to learn more about the individual that ultimately discovered her remains — the relatively newly married’s father-in-law Leo Schofield Sr. — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Leo Schofield Sr.
While the particulars of Leo’s personal and professional experiences prior to the incident are unclear, we do know the Schofields had moved to Florida from Massachusetts in the early 1980s. They did appear to be an almost idyllic big, happy family, yet things changed once his namesake’s wife of a little over six months suddenly disappeared on the evening of February 24, 1987. That’s because despite the fact his son was the one to have contacted him as well as the police shortly after midnight to have an immediate search begin for her, he was also the one soon convicted.
As for Leo Sr.’s role, he’d dropped everything to drive around town with his boy looking for Michelle no matter the time before helping him make a few calls to nearby hospitals and her parents. His wife came to his rescue a few hours later. This allowed him to resume the search the next day and continue to help out. On the 27th, he was able to recover her bloodied remains. He testified during his son’s 1989 trial that an “inner force” or God had urged him directly to the canal along State Road 33, where he’d found his daughter-in-law beneath a piece of plywood.
Where is Leo Schofield Sr. now?
We know that the Schofields moved to Idaho to restart their lives. But, we soon discovered that they were in serious legal trouble. This time, though, it was owing to Leo Robert Schofield Sr. — he was arrested in November 2010 for sexually abusing a family member under the age of 16 sometime between 2006 and 2009. The then Bellevue resident subsequently entered into an Alford plea (in summer 2011), which means he didn’t admit guilt but conceded there was enough evidence to warrant a conviction upon trial.
Leo was charged with a maximum penalty of 25 years. However, his plea allowed him to receive a sentence of 12 years imprisonment, plus credit for time he had already served in county prison. He was actually identified as a repeat offender who deserved prison time since he was at “high risk” of committing such an egregious crime again and had a “long history of denial.” It came to light that he’d been convicted of sex acts against a 9-year-old in Rhode Island in 1987 and was wanted for a similar charge in Massachusetts — the latter state did not request extradition.
“I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do,” Leo told the court during his sentencing hearing. “I didn’t do that, but somehow I’m accepting guilt for it.” Therefore, today, at the age of 80, the convicted felon is incarcerated at the medium-security Idaho State Correctional Institution in Boise. It’s imperative to note he will be released following his sentence satisfaction date of October 30, 2022.
Read More: Where is Leo Schofield’s Wife Crissie Carter Schofield Now?