LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Another dive into the decades-old records has revealed new information on the Ann Gotlib case, including proof that a controversial officer worked on the investigation.
It was 1989, and Ann had been missing for eight years. She would be a young woman at this point, but sightings reporting little girls on bikes continued pouring in. On November 13, a caller asked to speak with a detective about a possible sighting and Louisville Police Detective Mark Handy took the call.
If the name sounds familiar, this might be why: Handy pleaded guilty to framing innocent people and sending them to prison in 2021.
Handy is accused of lying on the stand during the 1995 murder trial of Edwin Chandler, who was accused of murdering Brenda Whitfield in 1993. According to the prosecution, Handy had lied on the witness stand, taped over evidence and coerced a false confession from Chandler. Chandler was wrongfully convicted and served nine years in prison. He was cleared in 2009 and exonerated in 2012. Louisville Metro Government paid Chandler $8.5 million as part of a settlement.
Handy was also named in a federal lawsuit after a conviction was overturned in a different murder trial from the 1990s. One of the defendants filed a federal lawsuit, claiming Handy, "coerced confessions" from the suspects by lying to them about "evidence against them".
Handy pleaded guilty to one count of perjury and one count of tampering with physical evidence in April of 2021. He was sentenced to one year in prison but was released less than three weeks into the sentence.
Back in 1989, when Handy took the call about Ann Gotlib, he sent a uniformed car to the area to look for the girl, according to the police report. The caller reported seeing a girl who looked like Gotlib riding a bike on Shelby Street and then Burnett Avenue. Handy advised he would follow up if the officer found her and that concluded the conversation.
When WHAS11 asked Gotlib's parents how they believe the case was handled, they said their feelings are mixed - and they do believe mistakes were made.
"As much as we appreciated the dedication of the people who were working on the case, there was some moments that caused our dissatisfaction on the handling of the case,' Lyudmila Gotlib, Ann Gotlib's mother, said.
They said maybe if things were done differently, they wouldn't be waiting 40 years later to find out what happened to their missing daughter.