“Father of Idaho Kids Fails Lie Detector”

Associated Press correspondent Nicholas K. Geranios reports. Excerpt:

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The father of two children missing from a home where three people were killed failed parts of a lie detector test, but is not a suspect in the case, authorities said.

Steve Groene said in a television interview that he lacked an alibi and failed portions of a voluntary polygraph test administered by the FBI, but Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said that was not enough to make Groene a suspect.

“There is no evidence linking Steve Groene to this crime, to make him a suspect or a person of interest,” Wolfinger said Monday.

He attributed the polygraph results to Groene’s emotional distress after his ex-wife and a son were slain and another son, Dylan, 9, and his 8-year-old daughter, Shasta, disappeared more than a week ago.

The polygraph measures a person’s “physiological response to their emotional state,” Wolfinger said. “Steve Groene is very distraught and upset.”

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is right not to allow the results of Mr. Groene’s polygraph “test” to guide the investigation. Polygraphic lie detection has no scientific basis, regardless of whether or not the person being “tested” is distraught. For discussion, see the message board thread, Idaho Dad Cleared After Told He Failed Poly.

Update 25 March 2021: Steve Groene’s two missing children were kidnapped and abused by serial killer Joseph E. Duncan III. Groene died of cancer in 2019 at the age of 62.

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