Then, in May 2013, a body was found in the Black River near the Lawrence and Randolph County lines. Just days later, the body was confirmed to be that of Sidney Randall. An autopsy determined that she died of blunt force trauma. Investigators also found the DNA of John Cornell on Sidney’s body and underneath her fingernails. It was concluded that Sidney was a murder victim, and that she died at the hands of her own stepfather, John Cornell.
Denise was reportedly very shocked by her husband's actions. She told reports that Sidney and John had a typical stepdaughter/stepfather relationship. However, Sidney’s friends and biological father tell a different story. Her friends stated that Sidney was afraid of him. Sidney’s father, Victor Randall, told reporters that he suspected John was molesting his daughter and that Sidney threatened to tell police. It is believed that the motive behind Sidney’s murder was to keep her quiet about the abuse.