TAMPA — During David Lee Onstott's murder trial this month, defense attorneys cast suspicion on the brother of the teenage victim.
Here's what the defense team couldn't say: Andrew Lunde failed a voluntary polygraph test the same day his 13-year-old sister Sarah was reported missing.
Polygraph results are not admissible as evidence at trial. Investigative records released this week show that the sheriff's detective who conducted Andrew Lunde's polygraph test felt he provided "deceptive" answers when asked if he had anything to do with his sister's disappearance.
Onstott, convicted and sentenced to life for second-degree murder, also failed a voluntary polygraph test on April 11, 2005.
During Onstott's interview, according to reports, he said, "I do not know where Sarah is now."
Prosecutors were quick to explain each man's test results.
They said Andrew Lunde later acknowledged he had been dishonest regarding his whereabouts because he felt guilty for leaving his sister home alone. Onstott, however, was in fact responsible for harming Sarah, they said.
"No one believes (Andrew) had anything to do with her death," Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said Thursday.
Prosecutors said Andrew Lunde had been consistent in his statements regarding Onstott.
Assistant Public Defender John Skye could not be reached. He argued during trial that Andrew Lunde, then 17, never told the same story twice, and that his lies led authorities to charge his mother's ex-boyfriend with murder.
Andrew Lunde told investigators he had left his Ruskin home about midnight April 10, 2005, to get Taco Bell food for his sister, but ended up hanging out with friends for several hours. Sarah was gone when he got home, he said. Onstott showed up around 5 a.m. with muddy shoes, asking for the siblings' mother. Told she wasn't home, Onstott picked up a beer bottle from inside the house and left, Andrew Lunde testified.
Sarah Lunde's body was found a week later weighted down by concrete blocks in an abandoned fish farm pond near her home.
The sheriff's detective who conducted Andrew Lunde's polygraph testified at trial that Lunde sobbed afterward, saying he felt guilty because he hadn't come home as promised that night.
Colleen Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3337.