48 Hours on ID: NCIS is investigating the case of Andrew Lee Muns, who was accused of deserting and stealing from the USS Cacapon, where he was serving in 1968.
It took over 30 years to learn that he had been murdered and framed by a fellow sailor, Michael LeBrun.
Ensign Andrew Lee Muns was serving as the paymaster aboard the USS Cacapon during the Vietnam War in 1968. The vessel was based at the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, which was a staging area for American forces in Vietnam.
On January 17, 1968, Muns vanished without a trace, along with $8,600 from the ship’s safe. The Navy realized that Muns was one of the few people with access to the safe, so they concluded he’d taken the money and run.
Muns was branded a deserter and a thief, and the Navy closed the case.
Muns’s family were devastated by the disappearance of their son and were also distraught at the accusations that he was a thief. The family was determined to seek out the truth and clear Andrew’s name.
NCIS reopened the case of Andrew Lee Muns
Andrew’s sister, Mary Lou Taylor, worked hard to gather information about the case, she got into contact with former comrades of her brother and even one of the original investigating officers. Eventually, in 1998, NCIS’s cold case unit agreed to reopen the case.
The investigators focused on Muns’s former colleagues, particularly Michael LeBrun, who had been working with him in the disbursing office and also had access to the safe. LeBrun had been one of the first to suggest that Muns had deserted with the cash.
In September 2000, NCIS agents decided to interview LeBrun, and after only 33 minutes of questioning, he confessed to murdering his senior officer Andrew Muns.
LeBron explained that he had been in the process of stealing the cash from the safe when Muns caught him redhanded. Muns told him he would have to report his crime.
LeBron says he then panicked and rushed at his senior officer, he strangled him and whacked his head off a desk. He then disposed of Muns’s body and the money by throwing them both into the ship’s large oil tanks.
LeBrun pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter at a hearing in 2006 and was sentenced to four years in prison.
More from 48 Hours on ID: NCIS
Follow the links to read about more crimes profiled on 48 Hours on ID: NCIS.
In 1989, the smoldering remains of an unidentified body were discovered on the side of the road in North Carolina. It was 1995 before the body was found to belong to Annie Tahan. And her killer had been her sailor boyfriend, Chief Petty Officer Michael Paalan.
Marine Justin Huff was abducted from a naval base in Virginia and had his throat slashed by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson. Jackson mistakenly assumed that Huff had raped his girlfriend.
48 Hours On ID: NCIS airs at 8/9c on Investigation Discovery.