Family searches for answers after son's mysterious death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family searches for answers after son's mysterious death

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(KWWL) -

Three years ago, Layne Schneider was found in a burning truck off the road in Fayette County. His death was ruled a traffic accident, but the family believes he was murdered. They want justice for their son, and three years later are still looking for answers.  

22-year-old Layne Schneider was found in a burning truck. The truck was found off the road near the intersection of Echo road and 180th street on January 22, 2013. 

The Fayette County Sheriff worked with the Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on the case, who ruled it a traffic accident.

The family is saying nothing about their son's death was an accident. 

"Three and a half years with no answers to what happened to my son," said Sue White.  "And that's all I want. I want answers to what happened to Layne. I want justice."

The parents of Layne Schneider, Ed Schneider and Sue White, say they want to find the truth for their son. 

It was around 4 a.m. when someone saw a truck burning off the road, and reported it to authorities. The truck Layne was found in belonged to his roommate. 

His parents remember first getting the call about their son. 

"It can't be him, it can't be Layne," said Sue White.  

The medical examiner ruled Layne's death accidental, detailing the cause of death as "blunt force head injuries."

The Fayette County Sheriff's office claiming a brain injury from a rollover crash two days before the fire was why Layne veered off the road.

"I talked to him after the first accident on Sunday morning and he said he had a scratch on the middle finger on one hand that bled some," said White. "He had a scratch on his back that did not pierce the skin, and one on his leg."

Layne never went to the doctor, because of the lack of severity of his injuries from the accident. 

The DCI gave Layne's family an explanation of what they concluded from their investigation. 

"They said his injuries from that accident, he woke up early Tuesday morning, was delusional, and got in his roommate's pickup and drove three and a half miles and crashed again and burnt up," said White. 

The DCI closed the case. 

"It was ruled accidental both by the state medical examiner and ultimately we did not find reason to see this was a homicide," said DCI agent Jon Turbett.  

Layne's family says they are not giving up on getting answers for what they believe was murder. 

"He was just out to help someone in a bad relationship," said White.  "And that relationship broke up, and so Layne was there for the girl. Then he was getting threats from the ex-boyfriend. Text messages that he was going to kill Layne."

Layne's mother and father have even hired a private investigator and medical examiner to look at the case.

The family's medical examiner questions the original autopsy report which detail, "no foul play was suspected." Challenging the finding, by asking "how could no foul play be suspected if the cause of the fire is unknown?"

For the past three years, White has launched her own investigation into the death of her own son. While she's still grieving, she says she isn't giving up. 

"Closure, closure, and we need some help in all this," said White. 

The family has filed a civil suit against the man they believed murdered their son. 

They say they have witness testimony from friends of Layne who saw those threatening text messages from the man named in that civil suit. 

His family hopes this wrongful death suit will get them some answers. 

Jury trial for the case is set to start in November. 

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