In 2001, we reopened the 1978 investigation of 6-year-old Cary Sayegh’s heartbreaking disappearance and presumed murder. During the course of the investigation, a consummate and notorious confidential informant gleaned valuable evidence about the crime from Burgess, the prime suspect (who had been acquitted on state charges of kidnapping Cary years earlier). The informant was also able to purchase firearms, ammunition and a silencer from Burgess in an elaborate sting. Burgess was to be led to believe that the weapons he procured had been used in the murder of an FBI agent, and were secreted in a 55-gallon drum along with the agent’s body. The hope was that Burgess would hide the barrel where he had hidden Cary’s body in a similar barrel. Tragically, the investigating agency shut down the operation prematurely. Burgess was tried for the firearms offenses in 2001, convicted, and sentenced to 11 years. The body of Cary Sayegh was never recovered. This was the most frustrating case of the POP’s career.
About The Author
Thomas M. O’Connell is the former Senior Litigation Counsel and Chief of the Narcotics and Violent Crimes Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to his 13 years in the Las Vegas U.S. Attorneys Office, he served for 8 years in the Northern District of California. Tom retired in 2013 and relocated back to Las Vegas. Since then, he has helped trained Las Vegas Metro, North Las Vegas and Henderson police, and U.S. Probation. He’s addressed inmates at High Desert State Prison and guest lectured at both UNLV and Boyd School of Law.