PROVO — A 13-year-old murder case began in earnest Monday as the father of Kiplyn Davis sat on the witness stand and testified that his teenage daughter was respectful, predictable and responsible.

"She was very obedient," said Richard Davis. "It seemed like we knew where she was all the time. She would always tell us where she was going. You could almost set your clock to her."

Which is why the Davis family quickly became worried when Kiplyn, 15, never came home from Spanish Fork High School on May 2, 1995.

Classmates Christopher Jeppson and Timmy Brent Olsen have since been charged in 4th District Court with the teen's disappearance and murder, although her body has never been found.

Monday was the first day of an eight-day preliminary hearing and included nearly five hours of questioning and cross-examining of Davis, as well as testimony from Kiplyn's older sister, Hayley. Childhood friend Cory Mendenhall also testified about what he remembered from that fateful day.

This isn't Olsen's or Jeppson's first run-in with the legal system. Both men have been indicted by federal grand juries for lying to federal investigators about what they knew regarding Kiplyn's disappearance.

Olsen has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison and attended the hearing in a jail-issue jumpsuit and shackles.

Jeppson, awaiting federal sentencing and having bailed out of the Utah County Jail, attended the hearing in a white shirt and tie.

Several people had told the Davis family they saw Kiplyn with Christopher Jeppson the day she disappeared.

Jeppson's attorney, Scott Williams, asked Davis about a time 18 months after Kiplyn's disappearance, when Jeppson came to the Davis home.

"He said he didn't have anything to do with Kiplyn's disappearance," Davis said. "He didn't apologize for anything. (He said) he just wanted to come clear (his) conscience because he wanted to go on a mission."

"You don't recall any apology at all?" asked Jeppson's attorney Scott Williams.

"There was no (apology)," Davis said. "He just said 'I didn't have anything to do with (her disappearance)."'

The case continues Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. with more witnesses from the prosecution.

E-mail: [email protected]