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The Child Murderer: Timothy Buss

People do not take lightly to child murderers. Here’s a tale of a person who was convicted of murdering two children at separate times in his life. Timothy Buss was released from prison on parole after the murder of a five-year-old child in 1981. 

Buss, 27 would then go on to murder another child Christopher Meyer who was only 9 at the time. Meyer would be murdered on August 7, 1995, when he was riding his bike back home after he was hanging out at the local boat ramp in a nearby community park.

Meyer was kidnapped and then sexually mutilated. This was not all though, Meyer would be stabbed more than 50 times. Meyer then ultimately would be buried 20 miles away in a shallow grave situated in a state park. Meyer’s body was not discovered for about a week. Meyer’s body was discovered on August 15, 1995. 

Meyer resided in Walla Walla, Washington with his dad, Jim Meyer. But Meyer would spend most of his summers with his mom, Mika Moulton. 

Meyer’s death would path a way for requiring the community to be notified about sex offenders living among them in their area. 

Back in 1993, Buss would be paroled just after he served 12 years out of his 25-year sentence for his role in murdering Tara Sue Huffman. Huffman was not only murdered, but she was also sexually abused in 1981 in Bradley, Illinois. 

While Buss was in prison, he would brag to anyone and everyone that would listen about how he murdered Huffman. 

However, you could see Buss lurking around the boat ramp area when Meyer was there. At the time Buss was driving a very distinctive car, which was then reported to have been pulling out in front of another car where Meyer’s body was discovered. 

Buss would then state that the murder of Meyer was not of his doing, but the doing of another man. This other man, Buss stated looked just like him and drove the same type of vehicle. 

But with DNA and hair testing with the blood found in the trunk, the evidence proved very much different. Huffman’s brother also decided to attend the Meyer’s murder case as well. 

Ultimately, the jury only took 4 hours to find Buss guilty on all counts and give him the death sentence. 

The Illinois Supreme Court also rejected the appeal Buss submitted earlier this year. 

1996 Trial

During the 1996 trial, Mika Moulton, Meyer’s mom stated at the time of the crime, her and her children were residing in Aroma Park Illinois. 

In the afternoon hours of August 7, 1995, she allowed Meyer to go down to the Aroma Park boat launch, which was located on the Kankakee River. 

Moulton stated that she told Meyer he needed to be home by 5 pm that afternoon. That day Meyer was wearing a green patterned T-shirt, blue shorts, Ninja Turtle underwear along with Chicago Blackhawks high-top shoes. 

However, when Meyer did not return home after 5, Moulton went out looking for him, but came up empty-handed. When she came back to her home, she notified the local police, who then began their own search for her son. 

The next few days consisted of search teams looking for Meyer. They were able to find Meyer’s clothing along with his bicycle around the Kankakee River. 

While the search continued for Meyer, the local authorities were learning that there were a few different people that had seen Meyer along with a man that resembled Buss at the boat launch during the day of the crime. 

This is where Jacob Mailloux, 14 testified that he went to the boat launch with one of his friends, Paul Buckner during the afternoon of the crime. He and Buckner were fishing at the Bayou, which happened to be adjacent to the boat launch. Mailloux stated that he saw an unfamiliar man that had a mustache and dark hair. The man was wearing blue jeans cut-off shorts and a turquoise tank top. 

Edward Meier, 15 also testified in the courtroom that approximately 4 pm on the day of the crime, that he was at the boat launch with his best friends Darren and Dustin Posing. Meier stated that he saw Meyer walked out of the woods that were adjacent to the boat launch. Meyer then walked to a car, where he stood there and spoke to a man. 

Members of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department and the Kankakee Police Department also testified in the courtroom about their many attempts to speak to Timothy Buss about the disappearance of Christopher Meyer. 

Even 2 days after the crime occurred on August 9, 1995, the Kankakee Police Department stopped by Terry and David Buss residence, which were the stepmother and father of the Timothy Buss. 

Timothy’s stepmother refused to speak to the police officers without having an attorney present. However, later that afternoon, Timothy’s dad, David told the police officers that Timothy was not living there, but he was living with his sister in Joliet Illinois. 

Police descended on Timothy’s sisters’ home that afternoon. Unfortunately, no one was home. Timothy was also not at his workplace either. However, the local police had Timothy’s apartment under 24-hour surveillance and found out that he came back to the apartment around 9 pm that evening. 

The officers saw that Timothy parked his car in front of the building, but just a little bit later they also realized that Timothy’s car had vanished. The officers attempt at finding the car that same night was unsuccessful. 

Later, the Brady Bertrand, Kankakee County Deputy Sheriff found Timothy at a motel. He stated that Timothy threw away a pair of boots in the dumpster at the motel before he drove away in either a gray or a blue Chevy Spectrum. Bertrand was able to follow Timothy to the Wilmington Dam. 

David Buss testified at trial that after the officers came to his house looking for his son on August 9, he did have contact with Timothy. He did state that he told Timothy to spend a night at the motel near the Wilmington Dam and then turn himself into the local police station after he talks to a few different people to verify his alibi. 

Shortly after Bertrand and Timothy both arrived at the Wilmington Dam on August 10, Bertrand was joined by four other police officers. 

Three of these police officers were Detective Rich Sims, Lieutenant Larry Osenga, and Lieutenant Gary Mitchell. All four of them approached Timothy Buss.  Lieutenant Mitchell identified himself and calmly told Timothy that they just wanted to speak with him. 

Timothy during this time appeared very nervous. Timothy was walking in circles and avoided any and all eye contact. 

Timothy Buss was officially arrested on August 10, 1995, after he complied to drive his vehicle down to the sheriff’s office. 

It was not until August 15, 1995, when Christopher’s body was discovered in Will County. Scott Swearengen Will County Sheriff’s Deputy has testified in court that he and another deputy was searching through the hunting areas in the Kankakee State Park during the morning hours. However, when they came to a clearing near the end of the trail leading from the parking lot of Hunting Area 7, this is when they officially found the dead body of a child that was left in a shallow grave just under a thin sheet of plywood. 

When forensic evidence came back the state found out that the body was really Christopher Meyer’s who ultimately died from multiple stab wounds on August 7, 1995. 

After going through all the trial and hearing all the testimony and evidence from both sides, the jury ultimately found Timothy Buss guilty on all counts against him. 

The same jury that found Timothy Buss guilty on all counts against him also found him highly eligible to receive the death penalty based upon these aggravating factors: 

  • Timothy had been convicted of killing more than two individuals
  • The killing occurred during a felony
  • The victim of the murder was under the age of 12 and his death resulted from heinous and exceptional brutal behavior

Following the hearing where even more extensive testimony happened, the jury found there was no mitigating factors that could preclude the death penalty in this case. 

The Circuit Court ultimately sentenced Timothy Buss to death for his first-degree murder charge. The court also gave Timothy Buss another 30 years for the aggravated kidnapping charge as well as another 5 years for the aggravated unlawful restraint charge as well.