PROVO It's been 13 years since Kiplyn Davis disappeared and memories regarding that early summer day vary from person to person.
Some are sharp and fresh. Others are fuzzy and vague.
Kiplyn's father, Richard Davis, clearly remembers the last thing he said to his daughter on May 2, 1995.
"I said Kiplyn, 'Your mother's out there waiting,' and she says, 'I haven't got my makeup on,'" Davis recalled while on the witness stand in a Provo courtroom on Monday. "So I told her to 'Get the damn makeup on and get the hell out of here.'"
"That's Richard Davis talking," he said. "And today, I would have said the same thing, only I would have given her a kiss and said goodbye before she left."
He never got to kiss his daughter again.
She never came home from Spanish Fork High School.
Now, two men both former classmates have been charged in 4th District Court with first-degree felony murder in connection with her death and disappearance.
Her body has never been found.
Monday was the first day of an eight-day preliminary hearing, during which prosecutors are presenting evidence against the men. The judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to warrant a jury trial.
Cory Mendenhall, one of Kiplyn's classmates, testified that Davis was frequently seen hanging out with Jeppson, Olsen and other boys near the drama wing of the high school. "She was very, very happy and outgoing," he said. "She was smart, really friendly, would help anyone."
Mendenhall testified Monday that as he went to lunch May 2 he saw Kiplyn embracing Jeppson near one of the school's theaters.
"They were hugging," he said. "She had her head lying on his chest. He was holding her pretty low, touching her in what I thought was an inappropriate place. As a (kind of) big brother, that intuition kicked in. I remember the feeling, 'I wish she wasn't doing that.'"
Mendenhall, who had grown up with Kiplyn, said he felt protective of Kiplyn, especially because he was a senior and she was a sophomore.
He testified that when he returned from lunch he again saw Davis in the hallway. They were both tardy and teased each other about being late to class as they walked quickly to their next classes.
Mendenhall's memory, however, has become a bit fuzzy, defense attorneys say.
"You've read a lot of things about what your memory is," said Olsen's attorney, Dana Facemyer, referring to transcripts from previous interviews. "We're trying to ensure, ascertain, if this is a memory you have in your mind."
Originally, Mendenhall told investigators he thought he remembered Kiplyn's arms being empty. But in court Monday, he said he thought she had books in hand.
"Is it good to presume that your memory back then (in 1995) is a little better on events than today in 2008?" Facemyer asked.
"Umm, presumably," Mendenhall responded.
Kiplyn's sister, Hayley Davis Lundeen, spoke about Kiplyn's "meticulous" appearance, which provided clues when Kiplyn never came home.
"She cared about what she looked like, and she always looked nice," Lundeen said. "I knew that if she was going to leave, she would have taken her make-up and her retainer with her."
Knowing her little sister had run out of the house early on May 2 to get to her driver's education class, she might not have finished her makeup.
Lundeen said she checked Kiplyn's locker and found the familiar green and beige duffel bag, which is a piece of evidence in the case. Inside the duffel bag Lundeen found Kiplyn's makeup kit and retainer case, also pieces of evidence.
"She always had her makeup kit," Davis said. "(And she) always had her retainer. She just got her braces off and was proud of her teeth. In class, she would always wear her retainer, but in the halls she would take her retainer out so no one could see it. She always kept them with her."The preliminary hearing continues today at 8:30 a.m. with more witnesses from the prosecution.
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