Wilmington man cleared after accused in daughter's 2004 death dies in head-on crash in Arkansas

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Riley Fox case
3-year-old Riley Fox was found dead in a creek on June 6, 2004, a few miles from her home in Wilmington, Illinois.

YELL COUNTY, Ark. (WLS) -- A Wilmington man who was accused and then later cleared in the disappearance and death of his young daughter has died in a head-on crash in Arkansas.

The video featured is from a previous report.

The former attorney for Kevin Fox tweeted Tuesday after learning about his death.

"I just learned that one of our best, most courageous & kindest clients, Kevin Fox was killed in a car crash yesterday. Our sympathy goes out to his family and everyone who loved him. RIP. #TruthWins # LoveWins,"attorney Kathleen Zellner said.

"The extraordinary life of Kevin Fox has ended tragically. Kevin will be remembered as a courageous fighter for justice, the best husband, father, son and brother imaginable. He will be missed every day," Zellner also said in a statement to ABC7.

Fox was among two people killed Monday after a crash on State Highway 7 South near Dardanelle in Yell County, Arkansas.

According to Arkansas State Police, Fox was traveling northbound on State Highway 7 South of Dardanelle when another vehicle, which was traveling in the southbound lanes, crossed over into oncoming traffic and collided with Fox's vehicle head-on.

Fox, as well as the other driver, who has been identified as Michael Glasscock, were both killed in the crash.

In 2004, Fox was accused in the death of his 3-year-old daughter, Riley, was found dead in a creek on June 6, 2004, a few miles from her home in Wilmington, Illinois. She had been sexually assaulted, bound and gagged. The toddler's death was later determined to be from drowning.

Nearly five months after his daughter's death, Fox was arrested after a 14-hour interrogation during which he said police coerced him into giving a false confession. Police have denied coercing Fox to confess.

Fox was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his daughter. Facing the death penalty, he was held in jail on a $25 million bond but released eight months later after he was exonerated by DNA evidence.

RELATED: Charges dropped against father in Riley Fox case

The DNA results from the state crime lab initially were inconclusive, but Fox's attorney, Zellner, had them sent to a private lab with more sophisticated technology, and it was determined the DNA didn't match.

When the FBI began its investigation in 2009, it was two years after a jury awarded Fox and his then-wife, Melissa Fox, $15.5 million for the Will County Sheriff's Office investigators' false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The settlement later was reduced by about half.