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When Jamie Laiaddee moved to Arizona and met fellow Michigan University alumni Bryan Stewart, it seemed she found her soul mate. They both went to the same college, they both loved football, and seemingly they loved each other.
However, a few years later, the bond was broken when Laiaddee vanished, leaving Stewart the last person to see her. Police suspected her boyfriend had a hand in her disappearance, but they had no body or a crime scene to prove it. But their investigation would turn up red-flags and take the case in directions no one ever could have expected - even those who knew Laiaddee and Stewart.
Correspondent Erin Moriarty and the 48 HOURS team investigate Laiaddee's disappearance and the search for what may have happened to her in an updated edition of "The Stranger Beside Me," to be broadcast Saturday, Dec. 29 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"It is a very different case than just about everything else that we work," Chandler, Ariz., Detective Nate Moffat tells 48 HOURS. "There was no blood, there was no body, there was no evidence of a crime scene... There's no smoking gun in this case, but there is a lot of burning matchsticks."
Laiaddee met Stewart in 2007. They fell in love, moved in together and then, in March 2010, she vanished. Stewart told everyone she moved to Denver to take a new job. When police began investigating her disappearance, they also learned Stewart had been lying to Laiaddee about who he really is.
"Jamie Laiaddee is alive. She took $100,000 of Daddy's money and she left the state of Arizona," he tells 48 HOURS. He adds, "I taught Jamie how to create a whole new life for herself. That included a new identification, a whole new persona - a whole new way of looking at things."
To piece together the story, Moriarty and the 48 HOURS team interview Laiaddee's family and friends, police and Stewart. "The Stranger Beside Me" is produced by Judy Rybak. Linda Martin is the update producer. Cindy Cesare, Jennifer Simpson and Marc Goldbaum are the field producers. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.