The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detective at the heart of a murder conviction that was 15 years in the making spoke exclusively to KTLA on Monday about the case against Cameron Brown, the father found guilty of killing his 4-year-old daughter by throwing her off a Palos Verdes cliff.
The body of little Lauren Sarene Key was found at the bottom of Inspiration Point in 2000.
The girl's father told investigators that she had accidentally fallen while the pair were taking a walk.
"The first day, I certainly had questions," said Detective Jeffrey Leslie. "The story didn't make sense to us, the location didn't make sense to us."
The story Brown told also didn't match the forensic evidence in the case.
"The injuries, or lack there of, were just not consistent with a slip and a fall," Leslie said.
The detective said Lauren, didn't have any scrapes on her hands, arms, or back. "Her injuries were consistent with one impact, against the face of that cliff," he said.
Leslie and the prosecutors agreed, the only way for Lauren to have died the way she did was if she had been thrown over the cliff.
And the reason for such a horrible crime, Leslie said, was money.
Cameron, prosecutors alleged, didn't want to pay child support.
Two previous juries had found Brown guilty but had deadlocked on whether to convict him of murder or involuntary manslaughter.
In the third trial, Cameron was finally convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Even though it took 15 years, Leslie said he never stopped working the case.
"I was never going to quit on that little girl, the thought never crossed my mind," Leslie said.