A child killer who murdered his stepdaughter let slip two crucial signs of deception as he appealed for help to find her, a new documentary reveals.
Psychologists noted telltale clues of guilt when Miles Evans appeared alongside wife Paula at a televised press conference after her nine-year-old daughter Zoe went missing 20 years ago.
Zoe, whose disappearance prompted the largest police search ever seen at the time, was found dead in a badger sett six weeks later.
She was last seen being tucked into bed by her mother at her home in Warminster, Wiltshire, on 11 January 1997.
In the following days Evans, an army lorry driver, joined in searches and appeared alongside Zoe’s mother to appeal for information about her whereabouts, faking concern and promising “lots of cuddles” and a puppy if the girl came home.
The private in the Royal Logistics Corps unconsciously betrayed signs of his guilt as he spoke to the media, according to body language expert Cliff Lansley.
In a halting performance, the killer closed his eyes as he spoke and rubbed his hand on his leg, which the psychologist said appeared to be “distancing techniques”.
“He’s making a claim – he wants her to come home, we really love you – but those statements are being contradicted by an eye closure,” Mr Lansley told Faking It: Tears of a Crime, a documentary series broadcast on the Investigation Discovery channel.
“When the eyes close for a second like they’ve done twice… that’s a clue that he’s not connecting with the words he’s saying,” he added. “This could be deception.”
Mr Lansley, a director at the Emotional Intelligence Agency, said Evans appeared to be “manipulating his leg” with his hand, a sign that he feels under stress.
He added: “Is he under stress because he’s fearing being disbelieved?”
Evans, then 24, was jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years after being convicted of murder in 1998. A court heard he was a “callous killer” who took his stepdaughter from her…