On July 19, 2022 the man convicted of stabbing Corey Laykovich to death was released from prison after serving 5 years of his 9 year sentence. Corey’s mother took to social media to describe her feelings as the system set up to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, left her without justice.
With her permission we share her journey to help others.
“July 19, 2022, my son’s murderer will be released from MODOC and declared “finished” with his sentence for killing Corey.
That’s just 2 weeks from today.
Now, don’t get me wrong, he will go directly into federal custody and serve another 5 years and 3 months for having a sawed off shot gun.
But for killing Corey, he is finished with his “punishment”. I, however, am not.
Last night, Corey’s youngest sibling said something that really struck home with me…’Mom, when I walked into that hospital and Corey was alive, I was Josh. But when I left, I was Evris. Josh was dead… along with Corey. We all died that day. None of us survived Corey’s murder, mom. None of us.’
What they said caused me to have an epiphany. I am not the woman that walked into the hospital and kept vigil in hopes that my son would soon walk out with me. I died with him. The fun-loving, silly, care-free mom that gave of herself so freely was gone forever. I am a new woman. A stranger even to myself.
Over the last 9 years, I had to learn to walk and talk again all anew. I needed to learn how to function without part of my heart! And as I look around me at my children and my husband, I see that they too have had to learn how to deal with the world in an unfamiliar way. Each of us learning new skills and forming new vocabularies… Our goals changing every day. Some days, the goals have seemed impossible… like getting out of bed. Other days, the goals have been necessary and painful… like changing our entire definition of self.
In just a few weeks, I will turn 9 years old. My soul will be centuries old by then… weathered and worn by the changes it’s seen. And Corey’s killer will be the same man walking out of one prison and into another… just to have a change of scenery.
This is the Criminal Justice System, not the Victim Justice System.
For the Victim, this never ends.”
As July 19th approached, Michelle spoke with friends, family survivors, and reporters. She tried to share her experience with the world in hopes of helping other families still waiting for “justice.”
On the day Corey’s killer completed his sentence for stabbing Corey to death, Michelle posted the following.
“Today is the day. The man that killed Corey is finished with his sentence.
I hunted him for 3 1/2 years… and he served 5 1/2.
I tell my friends and clients to keep going and to fight for answers… not for justice. Because justice will never be served.
I have been asked over and over lately how I can deal with John Dakota Seger being released into federal custody today. I have been very quiet about one aspect of Corey’s case…
You see, I was not just fighting for JDS to be put in prison. The police were trying to blame Corey’s brother for his murder. The brother that was almost his twin throughout life, and tried desperately to save Corey on that fateful night… was interrogated 5 times during that 3 1/2 year period. The detective even called me 2 months into the investigation and told me he wanted Corey’s brother to take a lie detector test… During that conversation, he accused me of being an accessory in covering up the crime.
I told the detective that JDS killed my son the night it happened, but he chose to dismiss my words and instead accuse my son and me of the worst crime imaginable.
I knew that if I didn’t continue to fight for my SONS (plural) one would never receive justice, and the other would be in prison!
I almost lost both that night!!
How can I live with JDS going to another prison today? I know that without my determination, my son’s murderer would have walked. My other son would be imprisoned (and probably dead too). JDS will be in and out of prison his entire life. But he didn’t get to take Justin’s life or mine.
I’m okay with that.
During our conversation about sharing her story, Michelle mentioned something else about our roles as advocates helping families navigate the criminal justice system and the judicial process. She said, “What we really need to help our clients know is that the system may fail us, but we don’t have a choice. We must keep going. Because if we give up, then (and only then) have we failed.”
Original Spotlight Below
On July 27, 2013, 22-year-old Corey Laykovich told a friend that he was going to grab a soda at a convenience store before heading home for the night. At some point after hanging up the phone with his friend, Corey was attacked and fatally stabbed.
Investigators believe that Corey was walking home from the store when an argument occurred and the attack happened. Corey somehow made it to his house where his brother discovered him with labored breathing and unable to communicate. Corey also had an obvious injury to his neck. He was transported to a local hospital and rushed into surgery. Despite doctors efforts, Corey Laykovich succumbed to his injuries on July 28, some 36 hours after he was stabbed. Though Corey had lost his fight, he saved the lives of 5 others through organ donation. Even with numerous reward increases and dozens of leads, the case eventually went cold.
In the 3 1/2 years since Corey was murdered his family has fought for answers while also serving others suffering from similar circumstances. They started an organization called Corey’s Network to provide immediate support, advocacy and services to surviving victims of homicide in the Kansas City metropolitan area precincts without advocates. They also launched a Facebook page In Honor of Corey Laykovich to share pictures, stories and information about Corey’s life and murder along with posts about other homicide victims in the Kansas City area.
On Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the same time Corey’s mom, Michelle Metje, was sending an email telling someone that she didn’t think Corey’s case would ever be solved; Independence Police were questioning an individual long identified as someone that may have wanted to harm Corey. A short time later the sergeant in charge of Corey’s homicide investigation called Michelle to request a meeting. At a conference table at the police station investigators said the words Michelle had just admitted to thinking she’d never hear.
“We’ve made an arrest in Corey’s case. We had an incident involving a high speed chase and weapons charge, and while we had the suspect in our custody, we were able to ask him about Corey’s homicide. The suspect confessed to having killed him.” – IPD Homicide Detective
John Seger, 24, confessed to investigators that he had stabbed Corey during an argument 3 1/2 years earlier. He has been charged with 2nd degree murder and is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Michelle recently wrote about the experience in her blog, My Grief Journey – Living Without You.
“…for the first time since July 27, 2013, WE are no longer in jail. The killer is in jail, and WE are free!” Michelle Metje (Corey’s mother)
To read about Michelle’s experience on the day she found out that her son’s killer had been arrested, click the link to her blog entry At Long Last…
“After three and a half years, I can finally take a deep breath.” Michelle Metje (Corey’s mother)
Please join Project Cold Case in offering continued thoughts and prayers as Michelle and Corey’s family face the next chapter in their journey to justice. We also want to thank the Independence Police Department detectives that worked for 3 1/2 years to get Corey’s killer off the streets.
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If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.