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When Cory Voss met his future wife, he was beguiled by her foreign accent. But it was all a put-on — and their marriage would end with his death.
Cory Allen Voss was born in 1977 and grew up in Berwin, Illinois, outside Chicago. After dropping out of high school, he earned his G.E.D. and enlisted in the United States Navy. Cory found purpose in the military. He was a hard worker and well liked by his fellow service members. Upon completing training, he was assigned to Norfolk Naval Station in southeastern Virginia.
While out bar hopping with friends in 1999, Cory met Catherina “Cat” Wiggins. Cory was taken with her big personality, her curves, and her exotic accent.
“She told Cory that she was raised in the Ukraine …then moved back to the States when she was in the 8th or 9th grade,” former NCIS Special Agent Maureen Evans told “Snapped,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.
After dating for three months, Catherina became pregnant. In 2000, she gave birth to a daughter, Casey, followed by a son, Cory Jr., a year later.
In 2005, Cory earned his commission as a Naval officer and the family moved to a home in Newport News, Virginia. Aware that deployment could happen at any moment, Cory spent as much time with his family as he could.
“He was a great father. He did everything for us,” son Cory Voss Jr. told “Snapped,” with daughter Casey Voss adding, “He always wanted to take me and my brother and go outdoors and just do whatever we could."
In January 2007, Voss was deployed for several months on the USS Elrod. Catherina organized a romantic dinner on his first night home on April 28, 2007. But around 6 a.m. on April 29, Catherina called 911. She said Cory had gone out the previous night around 11 p.m. to get money from an ATM so their children would have lunch money at school and never returned.
Hours later, a woman reported a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a strip mall. She said a man was slumped over in the driver’s seat of his truck.
Responding officers realized the truck matched Catherina’s description of her husband’s vehicle. Inside was 30-year-old Cory Voss, dead from five gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest, and arm, according to Newport News’ Daily Press newspaper.
Though the crime scene suggested a robbery gone wrong, the violent manner of Cory’s death made investigators believe otherwise. Whoever shot Voss wanted him dead.
Upon being notified of Corey’s murder, agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were dispatched to help local police with their investigation.
Surveillance footage from the Langley Federal Credit Union showed Corey pulling up to a drive-through ATM machine on the night of the murder. He unsuccessfully tried to withdraw money as there was only $5 in his wife’s account at the time, according to the United Press International news service.
“On the surveillance video of the bank you see an unknown individual dressed in all black enter Corey’s truck from the passenger side and point a weapon at him,” NCIS Special Agent Sandra Barrow told “Snapped.”
Corey’s truck then pulled around to the side of the building where he was shot and killed. Unfortunately, the assailant could not be identified from the footage.
But within 24 hours, Newport News Police would receive a call that would change the course of the investigation.
“They found out Cat Voss was having affairs with men while Corey was deployed,” said Evans.
The woman calling was Ashley Doyle, one of Catherina’s best friends. After hearing about Corey’s murder, she told CBS News, “A voice just told me, you know, she did it … You have to stand up and say something.”
Doyle also told detectives that Catherina’s Ukrainian accent was fake. She had actually been born and raised in Newport News.
Despite being a stay-at-home mom with two young children, she remained a fixture of the local bar scene, where she loved being the center of attention.
“Sometimes Catherina would give the children, Casey and Cory, Benadryl to get them to sleep so that she could basically do what she wanted in the evenings and she could bring home whoever she wanted, and they would be sleeping,” Doyle told CBS News.
Doyle said that in late 2006, while Corey was overseas, Catherina began a relationship with a man named Michael Draven, who she had met on the social media platform MySpace. Draven claimed he was a successful photographer and filmmaker. Much like Catherina’s foreign accent, it was all a lie.
Born Anthony Neff, he had his name legally changed to Michael Anthony Eric Draven in tribute to Eric Draven, the main character in 1994’s gothic action film “The Crow.” He lived with his mother in a mobile home in Newport News and delivered newspapers part-time and participated in medical studies as a paid test patient.
Draven and Catherina had not been discreet about their relationship. Draven’s MySpace profile featured photographs of the couple and her children, one with the caption “my daughter Casey,” according to CBS News.
“Michael Dravin wanted to be Corey. He wanted to have Corey’s life and be involved with Cat and children just as if he were her husband and he was their father,” said Barrow.
Soon after Cory's death, Catherina received $100,000 in death benefits from the Navy. Investigators monitored her bank accounts and by July 2007 she had spent all the money on clothing, jewelry, and vacations for her and Draven, according to the Daily Press.
Cory also had a $400,000 life insurance policy. However, in order for Catherina to claim it, she had to be cleared of any involvement in her husband’s death.
“Unbeknownst to her, the detectives had put a hold on her money because she was under investigation. Now, Cat did not know that at the time and was obviously getting very upset because she wasn’t getting the rest of her money,” said Evans.
Investigators placed wiretaps on Catherina and Draven’s cell phones which immediately produced leads. In one call, they discussed a man named David Runyon, a former Army soldier and expert marksman, who met Draven at a clinical trial they participated in.
“He wants more money,” Catherina tells Draven in the call, which was obtained by “Snapped.”
In December 2007, investigators executed a search warrant on Runyon’s home in West Virginia. There they discovered notes on Corey Voss’ vehicle and movements, Draven and Catherina’s phone numbers, and a checklist of weapons and items used in the murder, according to court documents. Runyon was arrested on the spot.
When Draven learned of Runyon’s arrest he became so distraught, he nervously wandered around Newport News and was reported by a concerned citizen who thought he might harm himself.
Police apprehended Draven and brought him in for questioning. He quickly confessed, saying Catherina had originally asked him to murder her husband.
“She asked me to take him out … shoot him, or strangle him, or kill him,” Draven tells detectives in his taped interview, which was obtained by “Snapped.”
Draven said he protested, “I can’t kill a person,” and recruited Runyon to do the dirty deed. Runyon agreed to murder Cory Voss for $20,000, according to the Daily Press.
Draven said on the night of the murder, Catherina sent Cory to the bank knowing there were insufficient funds for him to withdraw any money. As he struggled with the ATM, Runyon snuck up and entered the truck, later shooting him with a .357 magnum handgun he had bought that day, according to court documents.
Detectives had Draven call Catherina and tell her he had been questioned by police but was just released and to come pick him up. As soon as she pulled up, she was taken into custody.
Under questioning, Catherina claimed the murder was actually Draven’s plan.
“He came up with this idea … for him to find someone to take Cory out,” she is heard saying in her interview, which was obtained by “Snapped.”
Detectives didn’t buy it.
Michael Draven was the first to go on trial in February 2008. He was found guilty of murder for hire, carjacking, and other related crimes and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to court documents.
In the summer of 2008, David Runyon was found guilty of the murder of Cory Voss and sentenced to death, reported the Peoria Journal Star newspaper. He currently sits on death row in a federal penitentiary.
Finally, in November 2008, Catherina Voss pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder for hire and other crimes and was sentenced to four life terms plus 20 years, according to Illinois’ Register-Mail newspaper.
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