Navy Ensign Cory Voss Found Murdered in Bank Parking Lot in Newport News, Virginia; Wife Catarina Voss, Michael Draven, and David Runyon Conspired to Kill for the Life Insurance (April 29, 2007)

Corey Voss

Cory Voss, U.S. Navy

On April 29, 2007, Navy Ensign Cory Voss was discovered dead in his pick-up truck in a bank parking lot in Newport News, Virginia. Initially, investigators thought maybe this was a robbery gone wrong but Cory had been shot five times. Typically, in the course of a robbery, a suspect may shoot at the victim a couple of times in their attempt to flee the scene so this particular crime was suspect right away. Detectives left the scene to notify Cory’s wife Catarina Rose that he was deceased, and had been murdered. Catarina was very, very upset to learn the news although she was able to provide some details about Cory’s movements the night before. Catarina admitted that she was on the phone with Cory while he was at the ATM and warned him to be careful. This was immediately suspicious to detectives because it seemed like too much information. You typically wouldn’t be concerned if your spouse drove 3 miles away from the house.

The next day news spread quick in the Newport News and Naval community. People were in shock that someone they knew was murdered in this way in what normally is a relatively safe community. Detectives were able to get the surveillance video at the bank. It appeared someone jumped in the driver’s side of the vehicle and demanded that he drive away. They stopped in a nearby parking lot and Cory was shot. Unfortunately the quality of the video was not good enough for an identification. One interesting thing police learned was that no money had been withdrawn from the ATM and Cory was not robbed. Meanwhile, Catarina was very distraught and was being supported by Cory’s family and the Naval community. Then one day, police received a phone call from a witness that changed everything. When questioned, Ashley Doyle revealed her identity and was persuaded to meet with the investigators.

When Ashley met with the investigators, they showed her pictures of Cory and the unknown assailant from the bank surveillance video. Immediately, Ashley felt that it was Michael Draven that had killed Cory so she provided police with his name and suggested they look into him. She also told investigators about Michael and Catarina’s ongoing affair while Cory was deployed with the Navy. Investigators started looking at both Michael and Catarina’s social media pages and they were shocked by what they discovered. Michael Draven was seen pictured with Catarina and Cory’s children and he referred to them as his wife and family. Police enlisted the help of Ashley and asked her to meet with Catarina in an attempt to elicit a confession or get any other information that would be helpful to the investigation. When Ashley contacted Catarina she learned she was still very upset and was in the process of planning Cory’s funeral.

Ashley went to visit Catarina with hidden recording devices in tow. She learned that less than three days after Cory died, Catarina received $250,000 in life insurance money and she couldn’t get the full amount until an investigation was conducted. Catarina’s main concern while they visited was why she couldn’t get the second half of the life insurance pay out. Investigators were responsible for the hold on the second payment because it’s standard practice in situations like these, but Catarina was angry and impatient. As a result, she filed complaints that police weren’t doing their jobs and demanded that Cory’s case be solved (so she could get the rest of her money). Three weeks later, Catarina and Michael traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a vacation. Unbeknownst to them, their every move was being watched by police. And Cory’s family were starting to become uncomfortable with her behavior after she received the insurance money.

As a result of Catarina’s behavior, detectives subpoenaed her bank records. They learned the account Cory used on the night in question had only been opened for six days and never had more than $5 in it. Cory made three attempts to make a withdrawal. The first time was $60, then $40, then $20, all of which were insufficient funds. Police theorized that Catarina didn’t just want Cory to get the money but she wanted him to stay there and struggle. Interestingly enough, the account was co-signed by Michael Draven. A deeper dive into Catarina’s life turned up even more shocking revelations. Catarina wasn’t from the Ukraine like she told people but instead she was a local girl by the name of Cathlene Wiggins. She was also married once before to a man named Steven Larson. Steve joined the Army to support them and soon his testimony started to sound like a familiar pattern: long deployments, manic shopping, and infidelity.

Steve Larson alleged Catarina stood him up at the airport when he returned home from a deployment to Korea and when she did finally show up she told him she was three months pregnant with Cory’s baby. Catarina wanted Steve out of the picture and started fights with him every chance she got. She escalated and became aggressive to the point that Steve wanted to leave the relationship to stop her from hurting him. All this new information about Catarina was helpful circumstantial evidence but she wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger. Investigators believed Catarina and Michael Draven conspired to murder Cory for financial gain but they still needed hard evidence to put the pieces of this conspiracy together. They also believed that someone helped Michael Draven commit the murder so they dug into Draven’s past. A month before the murder, he spent some time in the city jail on a domestic abuse warrant.

Police found a number of recorded calls at the jail, the majority to Catarina, and the pair discussed their future together. In addition, they appeared to be discussing the plan to kill Cory and Catarina mentioned a 2 hour conversation she had with “David” who police suspected was the third party involved in the crime. Investigators combed through Catarina’s cell phone records and determined his name was David Runyon. He lived in West Virginia and was a marksman in the military; he met Michael Draven at a medical research facility. In December 2007, investigators initiated a search warrant for David Runyon’s property in an effort to find evidence tying him to the murder. In the search of his vehicle, they found a map of Newport News, Virginia and there were handwritten notes with the name of the credit union and address and a physical description of Cory’s vehicle. This was enough to arrest all three players.

Michael Draven was reinterviewed by detectives and ultimately he confessed this was a planned murder that he and Catarina had devised. They hired David Runyon to do it. Michael threw both Catarina and David under the bus and sold them out. Apparently, Catarina told Michael that Cory was abusing or mistreating the children and Michael believed her. Investigators believed this is how Catarina coerced and manipulated Michael into finding someone to kill Cory. Police asked Draven to call Catarina and tell her he was outside the police station and about to confess. Catarina asked him not to confess and drove to the police station where detectives were waiting to arrest her. On December 14, 2007, 8 months later, Catarina was charged with the crime. Seven months later, Catarina went to court. In an effort to avoid the death penalty, Catarina agreed to a plea of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.

Catarina Voss admitted to investigators that she set the murder-for-hire up by asking Cory to go to the ATM to get some money. She admitted she knew David Runyon was lying in wait. As a result, Catarina was sentenced to four life terms in prison plus twenty additional years. On July 17, 2009, a federal jury convicted Michael Draven and David Runyon of murder, conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, and carjacking. Michael Draven received two life sentences and David Runyon received the death penalty. For the family, the pain of the loss of Cory Voss endures. Cory had turned his life around, joined the Navy, and went from enlisted to an officer. He was doing all the right things and the only thing he did wrong was love the wrong woman. Catarina Voss never showed any remorse towards Cory, but police say she was remorseful because she got caught.

Source: Blinding Fantasy, Cold Hearted, Investigation Discovery

NCIS, The Cases They Can’t Forget:

“NCIS: The Cases They Can’t Forget” returns for its third season. -CBS News (May 29, 2019)

An American hero was shot to death while withdrawing lunch money for his kids. Who killed the young naval officer? It turned out to be a murder-for-hire case, plotted by Cory Voss’ wife, Catherine, who sent a hitman to kill him in what prosecutors said was supposed to look like a botched robbery. -Inside Edition (May 29, 2019)

Investigation Discovery:

Navy man Cory Voss and his wife Catherina “Cat” Voss are a young couple raising two children in Newport News, Virginia. Despite Cory’s love and devotion, Cat secretly falls for another man. But betraying her marriage vows is just one angle in Cat’s complicated web of lies, and eventually she seeks a more permanent solution to finally end her marriage. -The Liars Club, Deadly Wives (S2,E5)

They say opposites attract, that’s how Navy man Cory Voss meets his wife Cat. When money runs dry she seeks the attention of a seemingly wealthier man. But when Cat finds out he isn’t who he says the Voss family falls apart. -Blinding Fantasy, Cold Hearted (S1,E4)

Related Links:
Three Indicted in Murder-For-Hire at Langley FCU
Wife sentenced in sailor’s murder
Newport News woman gets life for hired murder of husband
Killer of former Galesburg man sentenced to death
VA Man Sentenced to Prison for Murder-for-Hire Conspiracy
Ex-officer convicted of murder-for-hire
Jury convicts two men in murder-for-hire case
2 convicted in murder-for-hire of sailor
Voss’ Family: Killing Left a Void
Television show delves into Newport News murder-for-hire case
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. David Anthony RUNYON, Defendant–Appellant (2013)
Supreme Court denies appeal of death sentence in Newport News murder-for-hire case
David Anthony RUNYON, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES of America, Respondent (2017)
“NCIS: The Cases They Can’t Forget” returns for its third season
Who Killed Navy Dad Shot While Withdrawing Lunch Money for Kids?
Wife Who Planned Navy Husband’s Murder-for-Hire Is Unforgettable Case
Navy Hero Murdered While Getting Lunch Money for His Kids
Cory Voss murder: How NCIS investigators unraveled a Navy officer’s homicide
Navy man Cory Voss was murdered when his wife Catherina Voss took out a hit on him
The cheating wife who had her Naval officer husband killed for his $400,000 life insurance: NCIS investigators reveal how they uncovered murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by ‘devastated’ widow, her new boyfriend, and a hitman
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (April 2018)
Army Veteran & Former Police Officer David Runyon Sentenced to Death for the Premeditated Murder of Navy Ensign Cory Voss in Newport News, Virginia (August 27, 2009)
Deadly Duo: Catherina Voss hired David Runyon to kill her husband, Cory Allen Voss; Runyon received federal death sentence
“NCIS: The Cases They Can’t Forget” returns for its third season
Who Killed Navy Dad Withdrawing Lunch Money for His Kids?
The Liars Club | Deadly Wives | Investigation Discovery (S2,E5)
Blinding Fantasy | Cold Hearted | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
Federal Death Row Prisoners | Death Penalty Information Center

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Blanket of Evidence’: Michael Dean Overstreet Raped & Murdered Franklin College Student Kelly Eckart (April 4, 2007)

Full Episode: A young woman disappeared after working the late shift in a department store. Days later, her body was found in an isolated ravine. Tiny clues told police a great deal about the killer. He would own olive-colored carpeting, a white blanket, and distinctive bullets made from wax, not lead. -Blanket of Evidence, Forensic Files (S11, E38)

Name: Michael Dean Overstreet
Occupation: U.S. Marine Corps veteran, construction, frequently unemployed
Pathology: Stranger abduction, rape, and murder by strangulation, shot victim in forehead
Dates: September 27, 1997
Location: Franklin, Indiana, moved body to Camp Atterbury (Brown County)
Motive: Hunted prey, lured victim, stranger abduction, rape & murder
Victims: Kelly Eckart (18), Franklin College student
M.O.: Stalked at work, followed home after work shift, bumped her car while both driving on road, abducted after she pulled over
Conviction: Sentenced to death (July 31, 2000), ruled not competent to be executed in 2014, still on death row
Status: Incarcerated, death row
Appearance: Blanket of Evidence (Forensic Files); All-American Sweethearts (Murder Comes to Town); Death Row (Real Stories); First Love, Forever Evil (Evil Lives Here)
Red Flags: Deprived and abusive childhood, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, mother failed to seek mental health for him, got in fights, bully in high school, went to jail for having a gun at school, discharged from Marines after 3 months for mental illness, isolated & controlled significant other, stalking, threatening, long history of domestic abuse, obsession with weaponry especially knives, always carried a knife, owned firearms, threatened wife with knife, grabbed wife by throat & pointed gun at her head (shot it next to her head), threatened wife with rifle, unexplained absences, secret life/two lives, hallucinations, volatile temper, unpredictable, paranoid, admitted to wife he killed people (delusional thoughts), psychological deterioration, liked killing animals, spent a lot of time alone in the woods, obsessed with media after crimes committed, wife afraid to call the police with suspicions, one misdemeanor in criminal history, loves his family & two children, model prisoner

In the News:

A northern Indiana judge is nearing a decision on whether a man convicted of abducting and killing a Franklin College student in 1997 should be put to death. -RTV6 The Indy Channel (November 13, 2014)

Overstreet ruled not competent to face death penalty. -WTHR (November 20, 2014)

Full Episode: Housing 1900 inmates, 12 of whom are on death row, Trevor spends two weeks in the dark and forbidding world of Indiana State Maximum Security Prison. He hears from men who know what it is like to live under the shadow of the death penalty and even the date and time they will die. -Indiana Death Row, Part 1, Real Stories (August 28, 2017)

Full Episode: Indiana Death Row | Part 2 | Real Stories (August 30, 2017)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: Eighteen-year-old Kelly Eckart disappears one night after finishing up her shift at a local hardware store. Hours later her car is discovered abandoned by the side of the road, still running, but Kelly is nowhere to be found. -All-American Sweethearts, Murder Comes to Town (S1, E3)

ID Go: Melissa Holland was certain that her high school boyfriend, Michael Overstreet, was the man she’d always dreamed of. But only after they were married did she begin to realize that her determination to live happily ever after had put her in mortal danger. -First Love, Forever Evil, Evil Lives Here (S3, E6)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Indiana Death Row: Michael Dean Overstreet
Just The Facts: Michael Overstreet | Indiana Infamy
Suspect arrested in coed’s death
Killer Sentenced To Death
Accused killer’s kids must keep name
Michael Dean OVERSTREET, Appellant v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (2003)
Murder victim’s legacy lives on
Michael Dean Overstreet v. Superintendent (2011)
Condemned killer claims incompetence in death sentence appeal
Where`s The Justice? Victim`s Family Outraged By Killer`s Sentence
Murder victim’s family upset over killer’s death sentence hearing
Indiana To Use New Drug In Lethal Injections
Indiana use of new execution drug draws opposition
Indiana officials say death penalty protocol is sound
What do recent botched executions mean for death penalty?
Judge to decide if Michael Overstreet is competent to be executed
Indiana Won’t Appeal Overstreet Execution Ruling
Man who killed Franklin College student not competent for execution, judge rules
Indiana won’t appeal Overstreet execution ruling
Indiana Not Appealing Case Of Mentally Ill Death Row Inmate
State Won’t Appeal Delay of Overstreet Death Sentence
Prosecutor: Ruling an injustice to those “who worked to convict this animal”
Reliving a mother’s worst heartache
Executing the Insane Is Against the Law of the Land. So Why Do We Keep Doing It?
Overstreet ruling likely to be guide
Overstreet: State’s request for recusal ‘legally insufficient’
State appeals ruling that suspended death penalty
Meyer testifies on proposed state senate death penalty bill
Court officer recommends reprimand for Johnson County prosecutor
Michael Overstreet ‘had knife obsession’ before murder of Kelly Eckart says ex-wife
Michael Overstreet ‘had knife obsession’ before murder of Kelly Eckart says ex-wife
Webb: Why Indiana should abolish the death penalty
States Struggle with Determinations of Competency to Be Executed
Michael Dean Overstreet | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Video Links:
Judge weighs fate of student’s convicted killer
Overstreet ruled not competent to face death penalty
Death Row: Inside Indiana State Prison Part One (Prison Documentary) – Real Stories
Death Row: Inside Indiana State Prison Part 2 (Prison Documentary) – Real Stories
Blanket of Evidence | Forensic Files | FilmRise (S11, E38)
Blanket of Evidence | Forensic Files | IMDB
All-American Sweethearts | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (S1, E3)
First Love, Forever Evil | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)