BOISE — The extradition has been approved for an Idaho prison inmate wanted for the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old Ogden, Utah, girl.
Last week, Fourth District Ada County Magistrate Andrew Ellis signed the extradition order for Gregory L. Seamons, 45. He is accused of raping Rebecca Lemberger and striking her multiple times with a rock in killing the schoolgirl.
The Idaho Department of Correction is scheduled to send out a letter Wednesday to inform the Ogden Police Department and the Weber County Attorney's Office of the order. Utah officials will then be allowed to pick up Seamons, said Kris Bivens-Cloyd, a spokeswoman for the Idaho Attorney General's Office.
Gov. Butch Otter played no role in the extradition, Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said.
Instead, an Idaho statute, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, was invoked because Seamons was already in custody in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Kuna, serving time for an unrelated second-degree kidnapping conviction. The agreement allows prisoners to be taken to another state for prosecution in a timely manner.
Back in March, Seamons sent a letter to Otter asking the governor to intervene, but he declined.
"The governor does not have to weigh in on this in any fashion," Hanian said.
If Seamons had not been in custody when Ogden officials issued their warrant for Seamons' arrest, Otter would have had to sign an extradition order. In the past, Otter has not taken a position on extradition requests, Hanian said. He has signed the orders seeking return of prisoners to other states where they were accused of crimes.
Seamons is expected to arrive in Utah within a month, she said.
"Sometimes those take three to four weeks to arrange," Bivens-Cloyd said.
Weber County District Attorney Dee Smith and Lt. Tim Scott of the Ogden Police Department were not immediately available Tuesday morning for comment.
Seamons, in a letter sent to the Salt Lake Tribune, admitted when he was 15 to "fooling around" with Lemberger prior to her 1983 death. However, he denied killing her.
In the letter, Seamons said his father, Larry Bingham Seamons, likely killed the girl. Larry Seamons died a decade ago.
"One morning [my dad] picked me and this girl up at the Circle K on Monroe and said he would take me to school first then drop her off on his way back because he wanted to talk to my Mom. I never saw this girl again and a few days later it came out on the news that she had been killed," Gregory Seamons wrote to the Salt Lake City newspaper in a letter sent from the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.
Seamons is serving time for an unrelated second-degree kidnapping conviction. He was scheduled to be released on that conviction in December 2017. He was turned down last year for parole.
In September 2012, Ogden police announced a break in the murder three decades earlier. Detectives announced they had tied Gregory Seamons to a DNA sample.
Seamons lived in the young girl's neighborhood.
Lemberger's body was found by two 11-year-old classmates who the Tribune said armed themselves with BB guns and went searching for Lemberger after she was reported missing. The pair found her body in a wooden shed near her elementary school. The body was under an old mattress, wrapped in a blanket.
Police said Lemberger's head was smashed numerous times with a rock. Police obtained semen swabs from the body and the DNA from those swabs was tied to Seamons all those years later.
Seamons is charged with first-degree murder and rape in Weber County Second District Court.
"Lots of kids fool around sexually but that doesn't mean one kills the other. I am innocent of this charge and angry that they plan to blame it on a 15-year-old boy," Seamons wrote to the Tribune.
Scott told the Salt Lake City newspaper last year that police were confident they had the right man.