Melinda Duckett Timeline(work in progress)

Click Image to Enlarge

July 3

  • Melinda faked an email from Joshua to herself, threatening to kill her and Trenton.

    In part it reads:

    “I hate you because you ruined my life and took my son.”

    “I am going to hunt you and your damn son down one day and kill both of you.”

    “Years ago, you stole my heart and f–ed me over.”

    “I don’t even think Trenton is my son anyway and your (sic) going to pay for what you’ve done to my life. I want you to be put through torture.”

    “When I get my hands on your f—–(racial slur) a– you’ll regret what you’ve done ? and I’ll bury your son with you.”

    Referenced articles:

    MSNBC article
    Nancy Grace transcript 1 & 2

July 5

  • Judge issues an injunction preventing Joshua from seeing Trenton.

August 25

    8:12 pm

  • Melinda made the following comment on her friend Ryan’s MySpace page:

    Well, well…how was work and all? I just got back home…had a slight emergency today and then my friends called me up to their house and I participated in the great sport of beer-pong. Needless to say, my buddy and I lost…but this time I didn’t up dancing on the table…oh, that’s right, I didn’t mention that one, did I? Those were the wilder days…LOL. Anyway, hope all is good and your talking care…talk later on…I’m off to bed and turning that damn phone off because it’s been going off non-stop!

In hindsight, I find it odd that Melinda made a point of posting on a page (viewable to the public) that she was turning off her cell phone. Why mention it? She had made no other reference to her phone or of numerous calls being a nuisance. Was she setting up an alibi for why her cell phone, and consequentially, her whereabouts, were untraceable during the next 40 hours, with the exception of the 7 hours spent at her grandparents’ house?

August 26

    9:00 am – 4:00 pm

  • Melinda and Trenton spent a good portion of the day at her grandparents’ home. While there, Melinda reportedly did laundry while Trenton played, and the two took a long nap together.
  • At some point during the day, Melinda made plans with two male friends to watch movies at her apartment.
  • 4:00 pm – ?

  • Aside from a 4:20 pm MySpace comment at a friend’s page, Melinda’s whereabouts from 4:oo pm on Saturday until 8:00 Sunday morning are largely unaccounted for.

    August 26 continues to be the biggest mystery. Eyewitenss News has learned that despite hits on five cell phone towers Sunday afternoon, Saturday night there were none. Extremely uncharacteristic of Melinda. [Source: WFTV]

Again, I emphasize that Melinda took pains to keep secret her whereabouts between the time she left her grandparents’ home on Saturday afternoon and her ATM transaction on Sunday morning. Why was that necessary, and where exactly was she? There were reports that Melinda and Trenton were seen by more than one witness in the Ocala National Forest the weekend little Trenton went missing. Police initially took Melinda at her word that she had tried to visit a firing range there on Sunday but became lost. An exhaustive search was carried out there, producing nothing of value in the search for Trenton Duckett. However, it hasn’t been definitively reported whether the sightings occurred on Saturday or Sunday. Police still consider the tips credible and have conducted subsequent searches of other areas in the park. Melinda was allegedly seen in a Leesburg business without Trenton around 8 am Sunday morning. It stands to reason that something may have happened to Trenton prior to that time. Police have expressed little hope of finding the toddler alive, but Joshua Duckett is keeping the faith, believing that Melinda “stashed” young Trenton somewhere to keep him from his father.

August 27

    8:00 am

  • Melinda was reportedly seen in a Leesburg business without Trenton.
  • 10:49 am

  • Melinda withdrew $40 from a Leesburg ATM.
  • 12:08 – 12:28 pm

  • Melinda was in the area of the Paddock Mall on SR 200 in Ocala. This is the first instance on record of Melinda’s cell phone use throughout the weekend.
  • 12:30 pm

  • Call made from Wildwood cell tower.
  • 12:45 pm

  • Call made from Minneola cell tower.

Notice the 2 hours 57 minutes time gap here. The drive from Minneola to Tavares should have taken about half an hour — probably less considering Melinda’s tendency to speed. What was she doing during that nearly three hour span that apparently went unrecorded by her cell phone?

I speculated earlier that if Melinda wanted to implicate Joshua in Trenton’s abduction, she would probably dispose of his body in a location that held some significance for Joshua.

If Melinda was trying to make Joshua look like the guilty party in their son’s abduction/possible murder, perhaps authorities should be searching the areas where Joshua’s father allegedly dumped his victims. I say “allegedly” because he has been convicted for only one of the crimes of which he is suspected. He sits on death row for the kidnap, rape, and murder of 11-year-old Teresa McAbee, but he is a suspect in at least two other murders. Teresa McAbee’s body was dumped in Knight Lake, near Mascotte, Florida. Mascotte is only a twenty minute drive from Leesburg, where Melinda and Trenton lived. Another likely victim is 14-year-old Jennifer Weldon, whose body was found near a phosphate mine in a remote area of Polk County. And a third possible victim is an unidentified young woman who was found in a water-filled pit near Lakeland. She was strangled about a year prior to Teresa McAbee’s murder.I’m not bringing this up to debate the guilt or innocence of Joshua’s dad. I just think that if Melinda wanted to pin the blame on Joshua, she might have left Trenton’s body at one of those locales because of the signifacance to his dad. BTW, Joshua was nearly two years old (very close in age to Trenton) at the time Teresa McAbee was killed.

Posted on 11-Sep-06 at 1:13 pm


The media made mention of the criminal history of Joshua’s father early on in the investigation. He is currently on Florida’s death row for the abduction, rape, and murder of 11-year-old Teresa McAbee. Her body was found floating at the edge of Knight Lake in Mascotte, where James Duckett was a rookie cop, the morning after she disappeared. Note the proximity of Mascotte to Minneola.

Click Here for Detailed Timeline Map

In contrast to my speculation as to Mascotte, Melinda claimed to have traveled in the area of the Altamonte Mall, in Altamonte Springs, and the TD Waterhouse arena, in Orlando. She sketched out a map for her attorney depicting her route on August 27. It’s unclear whether the map is an honest representation of Melinda’s travels that day or another attempt to mislead investigators. There are no cell phone records to back up her claim. It appears that Melinda must have turned off her phone somewhere in the vicinity of Minneola , perhaps to prevent her whereabouts during that time from later becoming known. Why? The very fact that she tried to obfuscate her location calls into question the legitimacy of her declaration.

All we know for certain is that at 12:45 pm, Melinda was near Minneola, and at 3:42, she was near Tavares. The three hours in between are as yet a mystery, and it seems it was Melinda’s intention to make it so.

    3:42 pm

  • Call made from Tavares cell tower.
  • 3:47 pm

  • Melinda in vicinity of the Bassville cell tower.
  • 4:00 pm

  • Melinda seen alone outside her apartment at Windemere Villas.
  • 6:40 pm

  • Melinda claims to have put Trenton to bed.
  • 6:55 pm

  • Melinda’s friends arrive to watch movies.
  • 9:00 pm

  • Melinda allegedly discovers that Trenton is missing from his bed. The window is open and the screen is slashed.
  • 9:19 pm

  • Police respond to 911 call.
  • Unknown time

  • One of Melinda’s male guests was observed putting bags of trash into the garbage bin outside the apartment complex before driving Melinda to the Leesburg Police Department for an interview. The bags were later recovered by police and found to contain pictures of Trenton, a sonogram, toys, a toy chest, food items, and other baby care articles.

August 28

  • Joshua and Melinda were to appear at a scheduled hearing regarding Trenton’s custody.

September 8

September 21

  • Police declare Melinda their primary suspect in the disappearance of Trenton Duckett.

**A note to readers: I started this timeline as a way to keep track of things for myself, but as it grew (and a few people expressed interest in my thoughts on the case) I decided to go ahead and post it as a blog entry. For more thorough coverage, please read Steve Huff’s entries at CrimeBlog.US. The discussion was carried over to, and the posters there are doing a fine job of threshing things out, as well.

%d bloggers like this: