Overview of Libby Caswell
Is it suicide or murder? Experts in the field of strangulation say Libby was murdered; police ruled it a suicide.
Elizabeth "Libby" Caswell was a bright, energetic, loving young woman. She was an amazing mother to her son Alexavier. She was a cheerleader in her high school days and loved dancing, gymnastics, and modeling. She had a big heart and loved her family, especially her son. Like many of us, Libby had seen her fair share of struggles, but she was getting her stride and things were looking up for her.
Sadly, Libby’s life would take an unexpected direction on December 11th, 2017. Libby Caswell’s life ended too soon - she was only 21 years old when she died.
The day of Libby’s death.
In the early morning hours of December 11th, 2017, Libby and her on again, off-again boyfriend Devon checked into the Sports Stadium Motel. They allegedly consumed alcohol and drugs. A friend of Devon's was there with them. At some point, Libby and Devon fight about his drug and alcohol use. Devon claims that Libby decides to shower around 11 am and that he falls asleep waiting for her to finish her shower.
He claims he woke up around 8 pm, and after not seeing her in the room, notices a belt on the outside of the bathroom door. Devon says that when he opened the door, Libby fell to the floor with a belt still around her neck. When he was unable to find a pulse, he reportedly told police that he “freaked out” and went to his dad’s while calling 911.
Police arrive moments later and interview a witness who says he awoke to a fight between a man and a woman.
He heard a female in the room say, “Please stop hurting me.” He claims this happened 20 minutes prior to the cops showing up, but he was not credible according to officers. It’s important to note that officers on the scene originally began working the case as a strangulation/homicide rather than a suicide.
Devon later came to the police station to be interviewed. Libby was discovered in the bathroom of the motel. She was on her left side, wedged between the toilet and the tub with Devon's camouflage belt around her neck. Her body was stiff from rigor mortis, which indicates she had been deceased for several hours. Blood was seen coming out of her nose. Libby's feet were propped up against the bathroom door.
The motel room was disheveled with clothes, alcohol bottles, etc on the floor. Conflicting stories and evidence Devon’s friend that was there that night, backed up Devon’s story saying that Libby was suicidal and drinking vodka all morning. Libby’s toxicology report, however, contradicts this story showing she had no alcohol in her system. In addition, a witness in the room next door reportedly heard a female saying “Please stop hurting me” and a lot of loud banging that sounded like a man and woman fighting.
Numerous accounts from friends of Libby, as well as a caseworker Libby was working with, document repeated incidents of domestic violence. Specifically, Devon had tried to choke Libby on several occasions - one of which was witnessed by an acquaintance. Her caseworker was looking for women’s homes for domestic violence, but Libby was unsure about going to one.
Where the case stands today.
The case was ruled a suicide and closed by the Independence Police Department. Libby's boyfriend Devin is the only person who remains suspicious because of his history of domestic abuse and drug use. Libby's mother, Cindy, has been working on reopening the case alongside advocates from Alliance for HOPE. Additionally, The Institute for Strangulation Prevention, which has looked over Libby's case and says her death was not a suicide.
If you know anything about the death of Libby Caswell, please contact Crime Stoppers at (816) 474-8477.