Patricia Bernadette Meehan

At 8:15pm, on the 20th of April 1989, Peggy Bueller and her father were travelling west on Montana Highway 200, when they witnessed a vehicle heading east, driving on the wrong side of the road. Peggy managed to avoid a head-on collision, but the other car smashed into the car behind them, which was driven by off-duty police officer Carol Heitz.

Carol got out of the wreckage unharmed, and she saw a blonde woman get out of the other car, and walk up to her. The blonde woman apparently stared at Carol as if she was “looking straight through her.”, and she did not speak. Peggy, who had pulled into the shoulder of the road, then witnessed the blonde woman climb over a fence, and stand motionless, observing the scene “like a spectator.”

The woman stood silently for a few moments, before walking into an empty field and disappearing into the night.

Peggy drove into town to call for help, and when the police arrived at the scene, the blonde woman was nowhere to be found.

Within thirty minutes of the accident, police were able to identify the mysterious blonde woman as Patricia Meehan, a 37-year-old woman who worked as a ranch hand as well as doing other odd jobs in order to support herself. She lived in Bozeman, Montana.

Patricia Meehan. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries

The last person to see Patricia before her accident was her landlord, who said that she was acting “hyper”, and the way she was acting was unusual.

Patricia had also spoken to her father over the phone the day before the accident and told him that she was feeling stressed and wanted to return home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Police began searching for her immediately after the accident and discovered a trail of tennis shoes that started in an isolated field around 0.75 miles from the site of the accident. Investigators followed these tracks, which based on the size they believed to belong to Patricia until 3am when they discovered that the footprints disappear into the terrain.

The Meehan family arrived in Montana shortly after being informed of Patricia’s disappearance. They distributed over 2,000 missing-person posters throughout the area.

Local volunteers searched the mountains and surrounding areas near the site on foot, horse and ATV. The Meehan’s also used a helicopter search. Close abandoned coal mines were also searched, but there was no trace of Patricia anywhere.

The site where the accident had taken place was almost 400 miles away from Patricia’s home, and neither the police nor her family could explain why she was out there.

Patricia Meehan. Credit: Wikipedia

To start with, police theorised that she had gotten out of the area by hitchhiking on a hay truck that was parked 0.5 miles away from the accident when it had taken place, however, no sightings could support this claim.

Patricia’s mother has said that Patricia was suffering from depression at the time of her disappearance, and had been seeing a psychologist. Her next appointment to see the psychologist was on the 21st of April, the day after she went missing.

When her family went through her belongings, they found a roll of film from her camera, and one photo on the roll was a self-portrait that Patricia had taken in the mirror.

From very early on in the case, it is thought that Patricia could have been suffering from amnesia.

The self-portrait Patricia took. Credit: Reddit.com

There have been over 5,000 sightings of Patricia since she vanished, but only a few of these sightings have ever been verified by police.

On the 4th of May 1989, a police officer said that he saw Patricia sitting inside of a Hardee’s restaurant in Luverne, Minnesota, drinking water in a booth alone for over 5 hours – until the restaurant’s closing time. She then walked to a 24-hour diner. When the police officer questioned her, she refused to give her name and said that she was from Colorado, and then from Israel.

The next day, 5th May 1989, two sightings of Patricia were reported. One in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where a waitress claimed that Patricia had been sitting inside of a truck stop diner drinking coffee from 12am until 11:30am. On the same day, a different waitress in a diner in Murdo, South Dakota, reported that she had seen Patricia between 10:00pm and 11:00pm with a man who looked to be in his thirties.

On the 19th of May 1989, a waitress at a restaurant close to Patricia’s home in Bozeman told police that she had seen Patricia there. The waitress said that Patricia ordered and ate breakfast very quickly, and mentioned that she had to go shopping at 9am. Another waitress at the same restaurant also reported seeing Patricia that morning, and she said that Patricia seemed confused, disorientated, and was talking to herself. Another sighting was also reported at a horse auction in Billings, Montana.

Two weeks after the sightings in Montana, on May 30th, a woman who resembled Patricia was reported by a truck driver on Interstate 90 in rural Washington State. The truck driver offered the woman a ride, which she declined.

The woman then told a passing female driver that her car had broken down and that she was going to try and find a phone.

A port of Tacoma employee reported seeing Patricia at a truck stop on Interstate 5, close to Tacoma, Washington. The employee said that she was asking strangers for directions to Aberdeen.

By June of 1989, twenty-five sightings had been reported, and three had been confirmed by police. The other reported sightings were throughout the Pacific Northwest, with most at truck stops between Montana and Seattle.

Police do think that Patricia may have been in Washington during this time, as her sister lived in Seattle and Patricia’s ex-boyfriend, Kurt Fletcher, lived in Spokane, Washington.

Patricia. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries

On the 30th of August, 1990, a transient woman was arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for littering. The woman had a strong resemblance to Patricia, and the arresting officer believed that it was her.

When the woman appeared in Kootenai Court on September 1st, she claimed to the judge that she was a missionary and that she was travelling between Montana and Washington.

It was eventually determined through fingerprinting that the transient woman was not Patricia, but Patricia’s ex-boyfriend stated that there was a “strong resemblance” between the woman and Patricia and that her voice sounded very similar to Patricia’s.

As of 2022, Patricia is still classified as a missing person. She has never been found.

Patricia. Credit: Wikipedia

Tags:

Unsolved Missing Person Case, Missing Person Case, Patricia Meehan, Bozeman, Montana, Montana Highway 200, Still Missing, Strange Circumstances, Mysterious Circumstances, True Crime, Real Crime, Missing Person

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