Missing Persons Cases Examined And Dissected: True Stories Of Unexplained Disappearances And Missing People
Table of Contents
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What would you do if the odds were against you? When no matter how much you try to look for the elusive answers, the people who are powerful enough to help you, are not cooperating? Worse, what if they are out to prevent you from finding out the truth?
In all disappearances cases, the law authorities’ help is crucial-- they could make or break the case resolution. In this book, more than just learning about the cases of missing people, you will realize the struggle of families and friends who mysteriously lost a loved one, what they did, and how they coped...
Copyright 2015 by Seth Balfour – All rights reserved.
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Chapter 1 – What Happened to Kiplyn Davis?
If Kiplyn Davis didn’t go missing, she would be 36 years old by now. On the morning of May 2, 1995, 15 year old Kiplyn had a fight with her parents, but despite that, she went to school in Spanish Forks High School in Utah, and attended her early driver’s education class.
She was also present during her first class up to the third, but when the 4th and 5th period came, Kiplyn skipped classes. According to one of her close friends, he was still able to talk to Kiplyn between the 4th and 5th class, but weirdly enough, the friend changed his statement after some time.
All of Kiplyn’s belongings, including her books, dental retainer, and makeup were safely kept in her school locker. The fact is, some of her friends reported that Kiplyn didn’t plan to join any activity on that evening, even mentioning that she wanted to run away. But no one really thought twice about that, especially for a teenage girl who had a fight with her parents.
Not until 5:00 pm, when no Kiplyn went home to take care of her younger sibling. Her parents then, decided to report her missing.
At first, the police thought that it was a petty runaway case, but her parents knew better. Despite the fight, Kiplyn was a happy teenager. She would soon have her driver’s license, and her older sister was getting married. It wouldn’t be like her to suddenly disappear without telling anyone.
Months dragged by, and Kiplyn was still nowhere in sight, the police shifted their view to foul play. Her family also agreed that something bad happened, something that prevented Kiplyn from returning to them, and in their hearts, they knew it was murder.
During the case, and especially after the notion of murder was accepted (despite the lack of evidence), many leads surfaced. Tips that Kiplyn’s body was buried in a local canyon reached the family. And then another lead said that the remains were under a building, if not there, then it could be in a train tunnel.
Each tip was taken seriously, volunteers and police searched the suspected areas, but no body was ever found. Four years after the fact, even with the absence of Kiplyn’s remains, her family held a memorial service in her name. They even put a marker for her in the Spanish Fork Cemetery. But since the case was never declared solved, the police were still on the lookout for girl with red hair, light blue eyes, freckled face, and one who bore a birthmark on the back of her neck.
Could it be a case of school bullying gone bad? Although there was no proof (not even a hint) that Kiplyn was being mistreated by her schoolmates, it was odd how some students lied when they were interviewed by the police. In Kiplyn’s disappearance, a lot of people were indicted.
For instance, in 2005, Scott Brenson was indicted because of perjury and because he lied to a federal agent. Timmy Brent Olsen was also charged with 15 counts of lying in front of a huge jury. And then Christopher Neal Jeppson was indicted due to lying to an FBI agent, creating false statements, and perjury in front of a large jury.
All these three went to Spanish Fork High School, the same school Kiplyn attended and where she was last seen. The three, who were all members of the drama club, told the authorities that they were inside the auditorium at the time Kiplyn disappeared.
However, when the police investigated, they found out that a community choir performed in that same auditorium at the time the boys reported that they were there. When the police asked the choir members, none of them remembered seeing any of the boys.
Aside from these boys, two others were also convicted due to perjury. One was Gary Von Blackmore, and the other was Rucker Leifson. The two weren’t connected to Kiplyn, and they didn’t even attend the same school. It was as if the two knew something about what Timmy, Scott, and Christopher did and they were trying to cover them up.
In the same year, Scott pleaded guilty to 6 counts of making false statements. Gary also pleaded guilty and he served 13 months in prison. Timmy didn’t do anything to defend himself, so he was sentenced to serve a total of 12 years in prison. This was a longer time sentence, because the jury considered the presumed murder of Kiplyn.
Christopher pleaded guilty for 4 counts of perjury, so his verdict consisted of 5 years in prison. Of them all, Gary was the only one who pleaded guilty for another 2 counts of perjury. Due to this, he was sentenced to another 36 months in prison, but on probation. This was because he conceded about how the court trials changed him: he turned his back from drugs, he was able to hold down a job, and he got married.
The police believed in one thing: that Kiplyn was raped and murdered by a group of men she knew, and that the other men were protecting the criminals. Specifically, they believe that Rucker and Timmy raped Kiplyn, and then the rest of the boys covered for them.
In 2011, Timmy pleaded guilty on first degree manslaughter regarding Kiplyn’s case, so he was sentenced to serve one to 15 years in prison. Had the case been murder, the verdict could be lifetime imprisonment.
Even though people were convicted, Kiplyn’s family were still disappointed. Timmy’s verdict was concurrent, which means that his punishment for perjury and manslaughter would be served at the same time rather than one after the other. Timmy also admitted that he witnessed the crime.
According to him, one of the other suspects hit Kiplyn in the head using a “soft-ball size rock”, and then he helped hide the body under the trees of Spanish Fork Canyon. When night came, they transferred the body to another place. Timmy didn’t name who among the other suspects was the culprit, he also didn’t specify where they hid the body.
Kiplyn’s father tried so much to make him admit where the remains of his daughter were, but each time, Timmy refused to give information. The body was never recovered, and all the police could make certain of was that there was foul play involved.
Chapter 2 – The Curious Case of Brianna Maitland
17 year old Brianna Maitland used to carry migraine medications with her. She was white, with green eyes and brown hair. On her left eyebrow up to her forehead was a scar, and her left nostril was pierced with a small stud. For her family and friends, she was simply Bri, or B. On March 19, 2004, Brianna went missing, and up to now, her case is still cold.
At the time of her disappearance, Brianna was living with her friend, Jillian Stout in Sheldon, Vermont which was only 32 kilometers away from where she worked at Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery. At around 3:30 in the afternoon, Brianna left Jillian a note, telling her that she would leave for work, but would return right after. When Brianna arrived at her dish-washing job, everything went on smoothly.
It was a busy shift, but was uneventful. At around 11:20 pm, Brianna signed out. Her co-workers in the inn persuaded her to have dinner with them, but Bri refused, informing them that she had to go home, have a rest, and wake up early for her second job as a waitress in St. Albans. Some of her co-workers witnessed her leave in her 1985 Oldsmobile sedan.
When Brianna didn’t return to her friend’s home and Jillian saw that the note was still where it was, she just assumed that Bri only went back to her mother’s and brother’s home in East Franklin. When Jillian didn’t hear anything from Bri, she called her parents on March 23.
Bri’s mother was instantly worried because her daughter also hadn’t come home to them either. She made calls to Brianna’s other friends, but the effort was fruitless. Thus they filed a missing person report at the Vermont State Police in St. Albans.
This was when they discovered that Brianna’s car was towed from “the old Dutchburn house”. According to police reports, the Oldsmobile was towed on the afternoon of March 20, just a day after Brianna was last seen leaving work. The area where they found the car was just a mile away from Black Lantern Inn. The vehicle was found parked slightly inside the barn, at the side of the abandoned house.
Due to the car’s impact, a hole was created at the side of the house, and a piece of wood from the window was also splayed on the trunk of the car. Two paychecks from Black Lantern Inn under Brianna’s name were found in the front seats. Brianna’s medication, clothes, and makeup, were also inside the Oldsmobile. Some of her belongings could also be found outside the vehicle, and a woman’s jacket, which wasn’t Brianna’s, was also present in the scene.
Since the police thought it was just a simple case of drunk driving, they failed to notify the registered owner of the car (Kellie Maitland, Bri’s mother) about the towing.
When the police further investigated, they learned that Brianna’s car was seen at least three times on the night leading to March 20. It was even photographed to be there in the morning. Between 11:30 and 12:30, a motorist saw the car with its headlights on, but there was no one inside, or around the said vehicle. Between 12:00 midnight and 12:30 am, another motorist saw the turn signal light of the car turned on. And finally, at 4 am, Brianna’s former boyfriend passed by the car.
He recognized the car, but like the previous sightings, no one was inside, or around the Oldsmobile. When the sun was completely up, and motorists passing by saw the odd car in the abandoned house, and since it looked weird (but interesting), they took photos.
According to those who saw the car, the sight was quite creepy, especially since the house was a scene to a gruesome, unsolved crime. Residents said that the house was formerly owned by Myron and Harry Dutchburn, who were robbed and killed in that house in 1986. The murderer was never identified, and the surviving relatives of the family moved out. At the time of Bri’s disappearance, the house was unoccupied for almost 6 years.
Could Brianna’s disappearance be related to the case of Maura Murray? Maura was a nursing student from Massachusetts who went missing on February 9, 2004, just a month before Brianna disappeared. Police reports said that Maura was last seen in Haverhill, New Hampshire, merely 90 miles away from Montgomery where Bri was. FBI concluded that there were some similarities.
The girls had an uncanny resemblance with each other: both were young, had brown hair, and the two disappeared right after a car accident. In the two disappearances, the cars were abandoned, and their personal belongings were inside the vehicle.
Although the suspicion that the two cases were connected was still there, the FBI thought it was highly unlikely that one case was linked to the other. Maura, even till now, is still missing.
Perhaps Brianna wanted to disappear and live her own life? Her mother mentioned that on her birthday, which was October of 2003, she decided to move out of their family home. Her parents insisted that there was no stress at home, that they had a good relationship.
It was just Bri, because she was a naturally independent woman. She was just unhappy with their rural environment, and she desired to be closer to her friends who lived 15 miles away from them. So that was the time when she moved in with Jillian Stout.
At first the arrangement was okay, but then it slowly became unstable, so Bri dropped out of high school. This doesn’t mean though that she had no direction in her life, because prior to her disappearance, she passed her General Equivalency Diploma, which is equivalent to having a high school diploma. With that, she planned on attending college on a part time basis, while supporting herself by working.
Was Brianna hiding something from her family and friends? On the day of her disappearance, she and her mother went shopping. While they were at the cashier, Brianna’s sight was caught by something outside the store. She told her mother that she would just go outside. When her mother completed the purchase, Brianna was already in the parking lot, alone.
But she appeared to be distressed, shaken even, like something happened. Her mother, not wanting to be nosy (which tended to drive Bri away), refrained from asking. She just dropped Bri at Jillian’s home.
It’s still unclear if Brianna’s odd behavior (or her disappearance altogether) had something to do with what happened three weeks before she went missing. Apparently, on February 24, while partying with her friends, a female acquaintance attacked Brianna. From the accounts of the witnesses, the attacker was “angry” and “jealous”.
From the attack (by a woman named Keallie Lacross), Bri obtained a concussion, a broken nose, two back eyes, and some facial cuts. It was strange how Brianna didn’t defend herself when she had years of martial arts training. She simply let the attack happen, and then went to the hospital for treatment.
Afterwards, she went to the police to sue Keallie. Three weeks after Bri disappeared, the charges against Keallie were dropped, against the wishes of Bri’s parents.
More than a decade later, the police still believe that foul play was involved. It could be that when Brianna left Black Lantern Inn, someone was already in the car, hiding. Or maybe she met with someone she knew and then violence ensued. The position of her car indicated that she must have been trying to get away from whatever was happening, so she backed the vehicle in to gain some leverage and drive away.
The scattered items in and out of the vehicle suggested struggle, or perhaps, the culprit/s took Brianna out of the car, and then transferred her to another vehicle. According to Katie Manning, one of Brianna’s close friends, Brianna was most likely killed on the night she disappeared. Her theory was that Brianna “owed money to the wrong person and for the wrong reason”, and that person “was in the car with her”.
Chapter 3 – The Unexplained Disappearance of Louise and Charmian Faulkner
Louise had a difficult childhood, and a troubled adult life. She was born in Colac, Victoria on April 7, 1937. Her birth was difficult-- she suffered from dislocation of both hip bones, which forced her to wear casts even as a baby. On top of that, she also had weak lungs. Growing up, her parents never paid much attention to her and she always tried to have a closer relationship with her older siblings.
When the 1950’s came, she transferred to Melbourne to work as a program manager in a radio station. In 1961 she met her future husband, Barry Clark-- they married just a year after meeting each other. In 1963, she became a typist in EM Purdy Auction House, and there she met George Sutherland, a married man who was 16 years older than her.
The relationship was platonic (at least at first). In fact, when Louise gave birth to her first child, George and his wife, Beryl, showered them with gifts. Louise and George went their separate ways, Louise with her husband Barry, and George with his wife, Beryl.
But it seemed like the two were destined to meet again, because 12 years later, in 1975, George and Louise saw each other again. And this time, they decided to become more than friends. At first, George gave Louise a job in another auction firm, but when the weight of her failing marriage took a toll on her, she became infatuated with George. At this time, Louise and Barry already had three children, but despite this, George reciprocated Louise’s feelings.
So, in the same year, the two travelled to Adelaide and stayed in a hotel. This sparked chaos in both their marital commitments. Louise never returned to Barry, instead, she just moved to Acland St, St Kilda. All their three children stayed with Barry, but they always visited Louise on the weekends.
At this point, Louise was already suffering from severe arthritis, so she applied for, and was granted with support payments. George also broke it off with Beryl, their divorce was finalized in 1977. He moved to Parkers Corner near Erika. His location was near the Thompson Dam, which, at that time, was still under construction.
During this period, George got the fencing contract for Dam Township in Rawson, Victoria. He also sealed a contract with a potato farmer named Geoff Maynard. On the potato farm, he gained access to a Holden Ute car. The funny part of this all was that Beryl (George’s former wife), reconciled with him, and even though they didn’t get married again, she moved near George’s home in Parkers and maintained a “de facto” relationship. This happened, even when Beryl knew that there was an affair going on between Louise and George.
In 1977, too, Louise and Barry’s divorce became final. It was then that she revealed that she was carrying George’s baby. She expressed her desire to marry George, but also noted that the man, perhaps, wouldn’t commit to her. Even with these doubts, their relationship continued. In fact, even when she was very pregnant, she and George embarked on a two week vacation.
Finally on October 30, 1977, Louise gave birth to Charmian Christabel Alexis Faulkner. Although George paid for the hospital bills, it was apparent that he didn’t care all that much about his daughter. Their relationship, however, continued. George would often visit Louise at her home in St Kilda (Louise had no driver’s license and she didn’t have a car).
On April 16, 1980, Louise talked to a friend and said that she and George were planning on spending some time on the potato farm in Erica.
Corrine Wylde’s son was going to celebrate his first birthday, so she invited Louise, who was her neighbor in Acland. The party happened on April 25, 1980, which happened to be Anzac day. While at the party, Louise happily related about her coming trip (which was supposed to happen the next day, April 26) with her “potato farmer boyfriend,” who was George. She told Corrine that she was expecting to have a lot of fun.
On the evening of April 26, Corrine saw Louise again, she was carrying Charmian. They were just outside their home and Louise told her that she was about to travel to the farm. Corrine responded by wishing her a good time, and Louise agreed that she would.
Corrine saw Louise place her backpack at the rear of a Holden Ute car (same car that George had access to for the potato farm). She also saw the driver: a thick set, older, Australian male.
That was the last time Louise was sighted, because on that night, she and her baby disappeared. She was 43 years old at that time and Charmian was only 2 and a half years old.
On May 3, 1980, Louise’s oldest daughter and her grandmother reported her and her baby missing. They immediately went to St Kilda Police station, but for reasons unknown, the police officer didn’t file the missing persons report. In fact, if it wasn’t for Louise’s estate agent who also submitted a report on June 9, the police could have as well ignored their claim to search for their loved one.
Just imagine, by the time the actual report was filed, almost 6 weeks had already passed. Since no one was paying for the phone services, it was disconnected, and so, it was impossible to determine the last calls that entered the home landline.
That wasn’t the only transgression the police made. According to Louise’s family, they failed to secure the apartment, which could be a crime scene, although the actual disappearance didn’t happen there. They also didn’t bring forensics there, and all in all, they took just 5 photos of the house’s interior.
For Louise’s family, it was as if the police could not be bothered to find her or little Charmian. From what they could remember, whenever a person went missing, posters coming from the police would be scattered and extensive searches would be performed. The police didn’t do any of that. In fact, they didn’t even search the potato farm where Louise and Charmian were expected to arrive.
After that, Louise and Charmian’s files went missing, and the witnesses were not really interviewed until 21 years after the fact. By this time, some of the other witnesses had already died, and Rosalie, Louise’s second daughter had committed suicide.
On top of all that, the police and the Port Phillip Council rejected the family’s request to have a memorial plaque in Louise’s and Charmian’s names. For them it was very cruel, as some missing people were granted with the plaque.
As for the suspect, the police could only name one: George Sutherland. During one of his interviews with the police, George indicated that there wasn’t a plan of any sort to stay on the potato farm.
He said, “I don’t know where Louise would have gone to, because she didn’t indicate that she was planning to go anywhere.” He reiterated that the last time he was with Louise and Charmian was when they went to the St Kilda Festival, together with two of Louise’s children, John and Rosalie.
He also said that the last time he talked to her was on the phone, on April 14, one week after her birthday. On April 25 or 26, he was in a hotel in Erika, working on some of his properties. However, no witnesses can prove this.
After it was determined that Louise and Charmian were missing, George was practically absent. This was according to some of Louise’s friends and family. In fact, George didn’t offer any help to find the two, he didn’t even try to reach Louise’s 3 children. He just withdrew, like the person missing wasn’t someone he had a relationship with.
Throughout the investigation, George was adamant that he was not the culprit. According to him, he was just a “pigeon”, and was being framed. “They couldn’t find anything to link me to the case because I didn’t do anything,” he said.
He was interviewed by the authorities many times, in some instances, he admitted that what he and Louise had was just “attraction”, and that “love” was a peculiar term. George even laughed and joked about Louise’s promiscuity. He even stated that he wasn’t sure if Charmian was really his daughter, which could explain why it seemed like he didn’t care about the child.
In 2006, a coronial inquest was held for the Faulkners’ disappearance. George refused to testify, but later on he conceded that it was a decision made by his lawyer, and that he regretted it. He believed that he should have attended that inquest, so he didn’t look like he was hiding something.
His wife, Beryl, however, took the stand. She admitted that she knew of her husband’s affair with Louise, and that it was okay with her even if Louise and George had something, while they were together. During this time, another witness came up, saying that she too had an affair with George and that Beryl called and threatened her because of it. Beryl, on the other hand, denied this.
For John, Louise’s first born, George was responsible, if not totally, then he took part in the disappearance. Apparently, after being accused, George and Beryl sold their property in Parkers at a very low price, and then they immediately went to the USA. One witness who saw them depart said that they left, “hastily.” For John, these actions indicated guilt over something they had done.
When George and Beryl were asked about this, they said that they went abroad to help their daughter with her new business. On top of this, Beryl insisted that she didn’t know of Louise’s disappearance until after they moved back to Australia which was in the early 1980’s.
This case had brought great grief to Melissiah, Louise’s eldest child. She believed that there was an injustice and that the police didn’t do everything in their power to solve the case. In her YouTube video, she insisted that she would not stop until she found out what happened to her mother and baby sister, who, for her, were both defenseless victims.
Charmian was just a baby, while Louise needed a cane to walk. She called the perpetrator “a monster, a liar, and a coward” and hoped that her words would lie heavily on his conscience.
Chapter 4 – Lee Boxell: The Case with Nearly no Clues
A 15-year old with just a few pounds in his pocket went missing while on his way to a football match. What happened to Lee Boxell?
On the Saturday morning of September 10, 1988, at around 11 am, Lee left his home in Cheam, South London to meet a friend near Sutton. Since he had just a few pounds with him, Lee and his friend only went window shopping, then they parted at around 1 pm. He told his friend that he might go to Selhurst Park Football Stadium to watch a match between Millwall FC and Charlton Athletic FC.
It was not determined whether Lee reached the football stadium because Lee went missing and never made it home. His family and the police urged anyone with information to come forward, but only one did.
The witness said that at around 2:20 pm Lee was outside Tesco, at the bottom of Sutton High Street. If this was true, then Lee probably didn’t reach the stadium for the 3:00 pm game kickoff.
From here on, the case started to go cold. There were no more witnesses, and no matter how much the police publicized the case, no leads came up. 13 years after the case a new speculation would surface when a 14 year old school boy was murdered in Leatherhead, an area which was just 10 miles away from Cheam where Lee was last seen.
Brian Field, the sex offender and the murderer, became the center of attention-- perhaps he was the one responsible for Lee’s disappearance. However, when the police checked, Brian was in jail at the time Lee disappeared, so he wasn’t proclaimed as a suspect.
In 2011, a woman came forward to the police, but she had no information that directly concerned Lee’s disappearance, her claim, however, would lead the police to a further digging about it.
The woman, reported that she was molested in the 1980’s-- the sexual offender was a gravedigger in Cheam, particularly in St. Dunstan’s Church. When the police investigated, three other victims came forward, and they all pointed their finger at William Lambert, a 74 year old gravedigger who molested and raped underage girls.
Upon further digging, the police found out about “The Shed”, an unofficial youth club located near St. Dunstan’s Church and was being run by William Lambert. “The Shed,” according to reports, was a place where school age teens could come and have fun by drinking and smoking.
Reports also said that William would trick young girls into believing that he was a warlock in disguise and he could transfer his magic by having sex. When he tricked a girl, then William would take her to the backroom and molest her.
Other girls and boys were not privy as to what was happening. Since a lot of evidence came up, the police were able to arrest William and he was sentenced to serve up to 11 years in prison.
By 2012 a tip came to the police. A source told them that Lee frequented “The Shed”, could his disappearance be connected with William Lambert and his unofficial youth club? Since Lee went missing in 1988, and the police only knew of “The Shed” in 2011-- the place was no longer existent.
Even prior to William’s arrest; “The Shed” was already burnt, and in its place stood another establishment. Therefore, to further investigate the youth club in connection to Lee’s case, the authorities had to excavate the graveyard near the former site.
The forensics team used radar scanners that came from the Royal Engineers. When no body was detected, Lee’s parents started to accept the possibility that their son was murdered and that there was a high chance that they would never be able to recover the remains.
Even though no remains were found and the case was still essentially cold, the police still considered “The Shed” as a possible answer to Lee’s case, so in 2013, they released a total of £20,000 reward money to whoever could give details on where Lee’s body was and who was responsible for his abduction.
According to the police, they were aware of the paedophiles in the area of Cheam at the time of Lee’s disappearance—regarding this, there were two possible scenarios: one was Lee was a victim of sexual assault and when the perpetrator got scared of being punished, he killed Lee and hid the body somewhere. The second was, perhaps Lee witnessed a sexual assault and he tried to help the victim, unfortunately, he may have been a complication and he had to be murdered.
On what was to be Lee’s 40th birthday, Crimewatch reenacted the possible scenarios of Lee’s disappearance. This was supposed to play as an appeal to people who had valuable information. Unfortunately, no one called to say that Lee was indeed at “The Shed” at the time he disappeared.
What they got was an anonymous caller who reported that there was indeed a sexual assault that happened at “The Shed” on the day Lee went missing. Due to this, the police thought that they were headed in the right direction. Perhaps, Lee was at “The Shed”, although no one saw him.
Perhaps he saw someone getting molested or raped and so, he intervened, and in the process, got assaulted. The police made a plea to whoever witnessed anything. According to them, witnesses before could be parents now, so they could relate to Lee’s parents’ desire to have closure.
In August of 2013, the police started another excavation at the St. Dunstan’s Graveyards, but this time, they explored the other side. Both the police and the parents believed that the remains were just there in the graveyard, that maybe they just had to look some more.
Unfortunately, despite what could be labelled as the biggest excavation in Met Police History, Lee’s body was still not recovered. In the end 4 people were arrested regarding Lee’s case, but due to the lack of evidence, they were bailed out.
Many questions were unasked, and therefore, unanswered regarding Lee’s case. For instance, Lee departed with his friend at around 1:00 pm, but he was seen at almost the same spot at around 2:2o pm? Did he meet someone else? Why didn’t he pursue his original plan to watch the football match?
Second, surely, there were a lot of other victims, and if Lee indeed was sexually molested, or if he intervened in an assault, then there would have been witnesses, where are they, and why have they not come forward?
Even up to now, Lee’s parents have kept his room as it was before he disappeared.
Chapter 5 – How did Kristin Smart go Missing so Easily?
On May 25, 1996, Kristin Denise Smart attended a birthday party of a fellow student in California Polytechnic State University. It seemed like Kristin had a lot of fun, because by 2:00 am, two students, and fellow party goers who were just about to leave the party saw her slumped on neighbor’s lawn.
Since Kristin was clearly incapable of taking care of herself, the two students, Cheryl Anderson and Tim Davis decided to help her out. Another student, Paul Flores, saw them struggling, so he offered his help. Tim saw this as an opportunity to leave, since his dorm was the farthest and he had to drive to get back. After him, Cheryl told Paul that he could take Kristin to her dorms because his place was the closest. Paul agreed and Cheryl left.
That was the last time anyone saw Kristin.
The action for her disappearance was not immediate. The campus police thought that Kristin simply went on a vacation, unannounced, which at that time, was common for students to do, especially during holiday season. When Sunday came and Denise Smart, Kristin’s mother didn’t receive a call from her daughter, she became very worried.
According to her, Sunday was the day that Kristin called her. She wouldn’t miss a Sunday without calling her family. When Kristin was finally reported missing, police searched the whole campus- they even used cadaver dogs, but to no avail. Kristin’s body wasn’t there.
Naturally, Paul was the immediate suspect, what with him being the last one seen with the girl. But when the police interviewed him, he reported that he didn’t walk Kristin back to her dorms. What he did was accompany the girl up to Santa Lucia hall, which was where his dorm was located, and then, he let her walk on her own towards her dorm in Muir Hall.
Through the use of the dogs, they became suspicious of Paul’s statement that they went home separately. According to Detective Peter Bayer, the tracks that the dogs found revealed that Kristin went together with Paul to his dormitory. Apparently, when the dogs investigated Pauls’ dorm, they went straight to Room 128, which was Paul’s room, and then proceeded to lurk around Paul’s bed.
This case sparked controversies against San Luis Obispo County Police. People felt that the authorities didn’t do much to reveal the truth behind Kristin’s disappearance or murder. This time, a local newspaper publisher asked for the help of law authorities outside the county. They employed yet another cadaver dog named Buster, and they got permission to search the area where Paul’s family resided.
On June 2, 2014 and again, on August 1, 2014, Buster “alerted to the scent of human remains” on the area at the back of Flores’ residence. This gave them some hope that finally, Kristin’s remains would find peace, so they immediately related their findings to the Sherriff of San Luis Obispo County Police.
But the authorities didn’t do anything. They didn’t even obtain a search warrant, nor did anything to further investigate. When the soil sample obtained by Buster was examined in the laboratory, they found a human-specific chemical, but again, the police never did anything. They even failed to search using their own dogs.
Could there have been a cover up, to protect the name of California Polytechnic State University? On July 2, 1996, the authorities interviewed, Derrick Tse, who was Paul’s college room-mate.
He admitted that he asked Paul about Kristin’s case, but according to him, Paul simply laughed him off. Paul even joked about it and told him that “Yeah, she’s at my house, eating lunch with my mom.” In the same year, an FBI agent interviewed Derrick as well and a joking confession from Paul was retold.
According to Derrick, just one week after Kristin disappeared, Derrick made a joke to Paul, that “You killed her and dragged her body off.” To which Paul replied that “Yes, I killed her and brought her to my mom’s and she’s still there.”
When still no investigation took place after this, The California Register, a local news paper which became very involved in Kristin’s case, dared to conclude that there was a “concerted effort” to prevent Kristin’s body from being found.
According to them, it may have been because the state university wanted to preserve their good image. They also added that California Polytechnic State University was one of the biggest employers in San Luis Obispo County: they provide $1.4 billion dollars annually.
The case, up to now, is still cold. On May 25, 2002, Kristin was declared legally dead. The FBI is not giving up, though. They set up $75,000 reward money for anyone who has the information in finding her or her remains. A friend of the Smart family, Terry Black, also issued $100,000 reward for anyone who can finally solve the mystery.
Despite the failure for justice, Kristin’s case brought up the Kristin Smart Campus Act-- a law which requires all public colleges to have an immediate communication with the police department regarding cases of violence, and missing students.
Chapter 6 – Amy Wroe Betchel, the Missing Bride
At the time she disappeared, Amy was a newly married female. She and her then husband Steve Betchel lived in their newly purchased home in Lander, Wyoming. For them, Lander was a perfect location-- it had great terrain, perfect for a couple who loved the outdoors. Apparently, Amy loved running, while Steve was fond of rock climbing.
On July 24, 1997, Amy went out of their house to run some errands concerning their home. She had a lot of things to accomplish-- first, she had to call the phone company, have the gas at home activated, and then take care of the house insurance.
Her plans also included a 10 kilometer run as a reward, of course, after all the needed errands were accomplished. Steve, on the other hand, would have a leisure day. He planned on meeting a friend to do some rock-climbing.
So, Amy left at about 9:30 am, but the last time she was seen on that day was in a local photo shop at around 2:30 pm. Employees of the shop said that Amy seemed to be in a hurry, and that she kept on glancing at her watch.
She was never been seen since then.
Steve got home at around 4:30 pm, but Amy still wasn’t in the house. Since it was still early and Amy could just be having a run, Steve settled on arranging their home and socializing with their friends. By 8:15 in the evening, Steve visited a friend, Todd Skinner and his wife.
There, he admitted that Amy still wasn’t home. Todd still recalled the moment Steve admitted it. He said that Steve was just cool and casual. He wasn’t panicking, but he never thought that to be suspicious. Amy had, after all, a habit of running around. When 10:00 pm came and there was still no Amy. Steve began to feel worried so he called the police to report her missing.
Todd and his wife offered to look for Amy. Steve stayed behind, just in case Amy returned home or she called. At 1:00 am, while driving Amy’s possible running track, Todd discovered her vehicle. It was at the side of the road, particularly at Loop Road, in the Wind Rivers Mountains, just near the Shoshone National Park.
At first, Todd was relieved, he immediately thought that they had found Amy, but upon closer inspection, she wasn’t in the car. Her to-do list for the day was inside the vehicle, including her sunglasses and keys. The only thing missing was her wallet.
Police concluded that she left the shop to get the feel of the 10 kilometer run her gym was planning on. The area was Shoshone National Forest. When the police investigated the trail, they noticed a footprint which was similar to the marks of Amy’s sneakers. However, before the police could investigate further, the prints were destroyed.
Search efforts were massive. More than 500 people searched for Amy, and they inspected an area of a 20-mile radius, but frustratingly, there was not a single clue. After 8 days, the police, particularly Sheriff David King, suspected Steve. They believed that Steve knew more than he was letting on.
At this point, Steve was not just offended, on top of worrying for his wife, he now also had to worry about himself. So, he decided to take legal counsel. For him, if he was being accused of something that he didn’t do, he would need help. Apparently, the police wanted Steve to partake in a polygraph test. Kent Spence, his legal counsel, discouraged him from doing so.
According to him, basing a person’s innocence through a lie detector test was unfair. “I wouldn’t let any client of mine participate in a lie-detector test,” Kent said. He also added that 1/3 of polygraph test results are false-positive, so it was very inaccurate. What if Steve fell down to the 1/3 portion? He would then be a subject of injustice.
The police investigated Betchel’s home and they found Steve’s journals. In there, they found Steve’s desire for control. Some of the writings even suggested killing and being able to hide the body.
And then as if to seal the police’s suspicion about Steve, a camper in the forest reported that on the night of Amy’s disappearance, she saw a blue pick up truck speeding down the road, near where Amy’s vehicle was found. She also said that the driver was a man, and he was with a blonde woman (Amy was blonde).
The next day, during the search efforts, the campers saw the pick up again, and surprisingly, the blue pick up belonged to Steve. Even though it could not be proven that Steve had anything to do with the “crime”, Sheriff David King maintained his stand: Steve did it.
He said that whenever foul play is suspected, the first person the authorities had to eliminate as a suspect was the closest to the victim. In Amy’s case, they couldn’t eliminate Steve and clear his name.
Todd and his wife, however, refused to believe that Steve had anything to do with Amy’s case. According to them, he was with people all afternoon and evening. He wouldn’t have the time to commit a crime and hide a body.
Amy’s family still believed that Steve was the culprit. Nel, Amy’s brother, said that one time during a family dinner, he saw that Amy had a bruise. Amy just laughed it off, telling them that Steve could be rough sometimes, but she was not able to look her brother in the eye.
If the phone records would be taken into consideration, Steve lied about something. According to him, he was home by 4:30 pm (at their house in Lander), but when phone records from his own home were pulled out, the police found out that he made a call at 4:43 pm.
It was around that time that the camper saw a blue pickup similar to that of Steve’s on the mountain road. How could that be possible when it was a 45-minute drive from their house in Lander, Wyoming?
Kent Spence already advised Steve to stop cooperating with the police. He also maintained that he should not participate in the lie-detector test no matter how much Amy’s family urged him to. Several years later, he remarried. Up to now, he still believed that the police were just pinning him down because they couldn’t see anyone else as a suspect.
His friends also defended his journals. According to Todd, anyone could read anything into someone’s writing, so it shouldn’t be a basis for accusing someone.
Aside from Steve, another suspect was investigated. Dale Wayne Eaton, a death row convict in Wyoming, was charged because he raped and killed an 18 year old girl in 1988.
The police also believed that he was the one responsible for 9 more murders of girls in various places such as Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. According to his brother, Dale was around Wyoming at the time Amy disappeared. However, because there was not enough evidence, he wasn’t charged with anything regarding Amy’s case.
Chapter 7 – Could Cynthia Anderson’s Dream have come True?
Could dreams become a valid prediction of what is to happen in the future? Many believe that dreams are meaningful, especially if the same dream happens upon you every night. As for the others, it may not be mystical, perhaps, the dreams are just the things that you want to happen in your life, or the things that you perceive will happen-- for example: your fears.
Take Cynthia “Cindy” Anderson for example. In 1980, when she was just 20 years old, she had several recurring dreams about being abducted. If not kidnapped, then she was murdered by a stranger. In one dream, for an instance, she had an acquaintance knocking at her door. She opened it, but lo and behold, that acquaintance betrayed her trust.
On August 4, 1981, Cindy’s dreams, unfortunately, came true.
On that day, Cindy went to work, as usual. She was employed in a legal office, and in the mornings, she had to work alone. As a precautionary measure, Cindy would lock all the doors, and in case of trouble, she was provided with an emergency button that would alert the store next to the office.
When two co-workers, Jim Rabbit and Jay Feldstein, who were lawyers, arrived at the office and found it empty, they were a little suspicious. According to them, they arrived at the office after attending a meeting.
They saw that the lights were on, and the doors were locked-- as usual. They yelled for Cindy, but no one answered; she wasn’t there. They were confused of course, because if Cindy left, then she would have put the phones on hold, but she hadn’t done that.
As if to indicate that something bad had happened, Cindy’s book, which she was reading, was found open, and it was on the page where a violent scene was being featured. The scene was about a woman who was abducted at knife point. Jim said that when he read that passage, he knew something went wrong.
Cindy was never seen again. Her family was devastated. According to them, Cindy had no reason to leave. She had a lot of friends, a boyfriend, and although she was planning to quit her job in two weeks time, it wasn’t because of a bad reason. In fact, she was excited to leave it, because she was planning on attending a Bible college together with her boyfriend.
Her father, Michael Anderson, related that he noticed something new in Cindy’s behavior. Days prior to her disappearance, Cindy was more cautious with her face to the point that she even missed breakfast just to take care of it. She wasn’t like that before. Michael even called this behavior as being “debutante”.
First, the police investigated the office. Toledo Police Detective William Adams said that upon inspection, they found no signs of violence or struggle. Then, they realized that Cindy’s purse and car keys were missing.
Her car was safely parked on the front lawn of the office. She had a bank account with a good amount of money, but it was never touched after she disappeared. Her social security number could not be traced, meaning it wasn’t used to apply for a new job. By this point, the police were dumbfounded-- where was Cindy? Why did she disappear, and more importantly, how did it happen?
Something scared Cindy-- this was the conclusion Larry Mullins had. Larry was a client in the legal firm where Cindy worked. According to him, on the day before Cindy disappeared, he was at the office to pay for their service.
He witnessed Cindy answer a phone call which scared her to the core, so much that she hung up quickly. “She was honestly and sincerely scared,” Larry said. He also became worried for Cindy’s well-being that when he got home, he called the police and asked them to do a drive-by, just to check on her. “Something scared the hell out of her,” Larry added.
One month after Cindy went missing; an anonymous phone call was received by Detective William Adams. The caller was a woman and she told the police that Cindy was being kept in the basement of a white house. The caller was scared, was speaking in whispers, and was very impatient to hang up the phone.
Detective William begged her not to, that they needed more info, perhaps an exact address. Later on, she called again, and gave more specific details. According to her, there were two houses side by side, which were owned by the same family.
The other members of the family were out of town, but their son was present, and he was the one holding Cindy captive in the basement. The police immediately did a street check, but there were just too many houses, so having the exact location was very hard to accomplish.
Another lead the police was able to obtain was a spray paint message on a wall near Cindy’s office. The message was “I love you, Cindy” and it was written by an unidentified man. The police, are still uncertain if the message had anything to do with her disappearance, but they were able to indict 9 people regarding drug issues.
Although not officially connected to Cindy’s case, many people believed that Cindy must have learned something about the drug cases, and she was killed so as to silence her. Jose Rodriguez Jr. was among the 9 people indicted due to drug charges. During his trial, one witness testified that Jose admitted to killing Cindy. The police, however couldn’t verify this.
Or perhaps Cindy was being stalked at-- The spray paint message, the scary call, and the fact that she didn’t ring the alarm, could well be clues. Perhaps the perpetrator knew about the alarm, so Cindy may have just opened the book to the abduction scene?
It’s been years, and her family want nothing more than to have closure. They would welcome any lead, anything at all.
Feeling for the people left behind by these victims who mysteriously disappeared is easy-- all you have to think about is what if this thing happened to you and your family? Wouldn’t I want justice to be served? Wouldn’t we want some form of closure?
Hopefully, in time, the families of these people will find what they have been longing for…
Check Out My Other Books
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“One month after Cindy went missing; an anonymous phone call was received by Detective William Adams. The caller was a woman and she told the police that Cindy was being kept in the basement of a white house. The caller was scared, was speaking in whispers, and was very impatient to hang up the phone”. What would you do if the odds were against you? When no matter how much you try to look for the elusive answers, the people who are powerful enough to help you, are not cooperating? Worse, what if they are out to prevent you from finding out the truth? In all disappearances cases, the law authorities’ help is crucial-- they could make or break the case resolution. In this book, more than just learning about the cases of missing people, you will realize the struggle of families and friends who mysteriously lost a loved one, what they did, and how they coped...