Mikelle Diane Biggs

Mikelle Diane Biggs was an 11-year-old girl who went missing from near her family’s home on the 2nd of January, 1999, in Mesa, Arizona.

Mikelle was out riding her bike when she and her younger sister heard an ice cream truck in the distance. The girls then started to wait for the ice cream truck to arrive near Toltec Street and El Moro Avenue. At around 4:00pm, Mikelle’s younger sister returned to the family’s home for less than two minutes to get her coat. When she returned, Mikelle was gone.

Mikelle has not been seen or heard from since.

Mikelle Biggs. Credit: International Missing Fandom

Mikelle’s bike was found abandoned, laying on its side with its wheel still spinning, close to the street where she had been standing.

The area where Mikelle was last known to be was searched by police thoroughly, but it yielded no results. Search dogs were brought in, but they lost her scent after just a few feet which indicates to authorities that she was pulled into a vehicle. Many of the houses in the surrounding areas were searched with the owner’s consent, but this brought police no closer to finding Mikelle.

Ice cream vendors who worked in the area have all been cleared of having any involvement in Mikelle’s disappearance. In fact, police aren’t sure if there were actually any ice cream trucks in the area on the day that Mikelle went missing.

Two composite sketches of possible suspects have been made in Mikelle’s case, but they have not been widely publicised as authorities are unsure if the people actually have any involvement in Mikelle’s disappearance.

Composite image of a possible suspect in Mikelle’s case. Credit: International Missing Fandom
Composite image of a possible suspect in Mikelle’s disappearance. Credit: International Missing Fandom

Mikelle’s family believe that a sex offender who lived just two blocks away from the family’s home at the time of her disappearance, Dee Blalock, abducted Mikelle. Dee’s wife said that he spent the entire night in their garage, and couldn’t have been involved in her abduction, but Mikelle’s family are still suspicious.

Dee is currently serving a 15-and-a-half-year sentence in an Arizona prison for charges that are not related to Mikelle’s case.

On the 5th anniversary of Mikelle’s disappearance, her family held a funeral for her with an empty casket.

At the time of her disappearance, Mikelle was 11 years old. She had dark blonde/brown hair, and her hair had been permed and was starting to grow out. She had hazel eyes, pierced ears, a few small moles on the left side of her neck and prominent upper front teeth. She stood at 4″8′ and weighed around 65lbs.

She was wearing either a red, short-sleeved shirt with a white stripe across the chest, or a red t-shirt with “Lindbergh” (her elementary school name) across the front, blue bell-bottom jeans with embroidered seams on the sides, a purple barbie watch, and white canvas shoes. It is not known if she was wearing earrings at the time of her disappearance.

If Mikelle is still alive today, she would be 35 years old.

Do you know what happened to Mikelle?

Mikelle Biggs age-progressed to 25 years old. Credit: International Missing Fandom / National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Tags:

Missing, Missing Child, Unsolved Disappearance, Missing Person, Unsolved Crime, True Crime, Mystery, Abduction, Arizona, Mikelle Biggs, 1999, Unsolved, Unsolved Mystery, Missing Person Case, Kidnapping

Dulce Maria Alavez

Five-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez was last seen on the 16th of September, 2019, at the Bridgeton City Park Recreational Area, New Jersey, playing with her three-year-old brother on the swings. Just 30 yards away, their mother (Noema Alavez Perez) sat in her car, helping a family member with some homework.

A short while later, Noema’s son returned to her car crying because he couldn’t find his sister. Noema became panicked that her daughter had been abducted, and called 911. The next day, an Amber Alert was issued for Dulce Maria Alavez.

Over 100 police officers searched the park and surrounding areas thoroughly, but they found no sign or trace of her.

Dulce Maria Alavez has not been seen or heard from since the 16th of September 2019.

Dulce Maria Alavez. Credit: FBI

A month after Dulce had gone missing, a witness contacted the police with a description of a man they saw at the park on the day that Dulce went missing. The police did ask Dulce’s family if they had noticed anyone at the park that day who seemed out of place or who was acting unusual, but they hadn’t noticed anyone.

The man the witness described is said to be a Hispanic male with light skin, and between 5’6″ and 5’8″ tall. He was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a white baseball cap. He is thought to be between 30 and 35 years old, and the witness said that he was driving a red van. The man also reportedly had two young children with him, potentially to blend in with the crowd at the playpark more.

Sketch of the man suspected to be involved in Dulce Maria Alavez’s disappearance. Credit: NJ.com / New Jersey State Police

Although the sketch of the man was publicised and shown across the country, the police and FBI did not receive any new tips about the man or Dulce’s whereabouts.

In 2020, a false claim was sent to the Bridgeton Police Department that claimed Dulce had been found but was dead. This false claim spread all over social media and momentarily derailed the investigation.

As of 2022, Dulce Maria Alavez is still missing. In 2021, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted two age-progressed photos of Dulce.

Dulce Maria Alavez age-progressed to 6/7 years old. Credit: Fox 29 / National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

At the time of her disappearance, Dulce was 5 years old. She was around 3ft tall and weighed between 60 and 70lbs. She had brown eyes and black hair. On the day she went missing, she was wearing a yellow t-shirt with a koala on the front, white checkered pants that had flowers and butterflies on them and white sandals.

Do you know where Dulce Maria Alavez is?

Dulce Maria Alavez on the day she went missing. Credit: PhillyVoice

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Child, True Crime, Mystery, Disappearance, Disappeared, New Jersey, 2019, Dulce Maria Alavez, Strange, Kidnapping, Abduction

Rachel Louise Cooke

Nineteen-year-old Rachel Louise Cooke was staying with her parents in Georgetown, Texas during the winter break from Mesa Junior College in San Diego.

On the 10th of January, 2002, Rachel’s mother, Janet, left for work at around 8am. Rachel was still asleep on the couch at this time, but she awoke shortly after. Rachel decided to go for a training run, as she had been on the school’s cross-country team and was regularly running four miles every morning.

Police believe that Rachel left her parent’s home at around 9:30am. A few people saw her at different places along her run, with the last sighting of her being at around 11am. Rachel was around 200 yards from her parent’s home when neighbours last saw her.

At around 3pm, Rachel’s father, Robert, returned home from work to go shopping with Rachel – but Rachel was not there, and she had not left any type of note indicating where she could be. Her family became even more concerned when she didn’t return home at all that day, and they contacted the authorities.

Despite an extensive search, the police found no sign of Rachel. She has not been seen or heard from, again.

Rachel Louise Cooke. Credit: Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Despite not having any suspects, police did find out a few pieces of information. There was an unidentified native American male, who was in his late teens or early twenties, who was seen talking to a jogger that morning (potentially Rachel). There were also several reports of a late model white or blue Chevrolet Camaro or Pontiac Trans Am with black or white stripes along the hood and trunk driving around Rachel’s neighbourhood on the morning of her disappearance.

Rachel’s case went cold for a few years until, in 2006, Micheal Keith Moore confessed to Rachel’s murder. Micheal was already in jail serving time on an unrelated murder. Micheal said that he abducted Rachel, killed her with a hammer, and then dumped her body into the Gulf of Mexico.

However, just as Micheal was about to plead guilty to Rachel’s murder, he backed out of the plea deal and admitted that he had lied about the confession to get better treatment whilst in jail. Authorities still believed that his confession was accurate, but nonetheless all charges against Micheal, in relation to Rachel’s case, were dropped.

In July 2017, investigators received a tip that some human remains had been buried in a field and they could belong to Rachel. Despite a search of the area, no remains were found.

Investigators announced, in April 2018, that there had been a possible break in Rachel’s case. They had managed to locate a car that matched the description of the one seen driving around Rachel’s neighbourhood on the morning of her disappearance. It was a Pontiac Trans Am, and it was located in Dallas, Texas. The car has been linked to three people of interest in Rachel’s case.

The FBI conducted an analysis of the car, hoping to find some traces of DNA or other evidence linking to Rachel’s disappearance. In September 2018, the FBI announced that the car had tested positive for the possible presence of blood. A search was conducted in Georgetown in December 2018, but the results of the search are unknown.

Authorities announced in January 2021 that they are searching for a man who lived in Georgetown in 2002 and was an acquaintance of Rachel’s, he is also thought to have been involved in the cattle and horse industry. The police also believe that this man may have spoken about Rachel’s case to acquaintances of his own, but that he would likely have spoken about it in the third person, and distanced himself from any actual involvement in Rachel’s case.

The FBI are offering a reward of up to $50,000 for any information that leads to Rachel’s whereabouts.

Do you know what happened to Rachel?

Rachel Louise Cooke. Credit: FBI

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, Texas, 2002, True Crime, Abduction, Mystery

Michaela Joy Garecht

Nine-year-old Michaela Joy Garecht and her best friend visited a market in Hayward, California on the 19th of November 1988. The market was just four blocks away from her home, and Michaela visited the market almost every day.

When the two girls arrived at the market, they parked their scooters next to the entrance. They then went inside the market and brought some sweets. When they left the market, Michaela’s scooter was gone. Her friend noticed that her scooter had been moved to the parking lot, so Michaela went over to get it.

However, when she reached her scooter a man got out of his car, opened the back door, grabbed Michaela and threw her inside. The man then drove off.

Michaela’s friend went back inside the market and got the staff to call the police.

Michaela has not been seen or heard from, since.

A police artist was able to create a sketch of Michaela’s abductor based on what her friend saw. He is described as being a white male, between his early and mid-twenties (in 1988), around 6″0′ with a slender build and a face covered in pockmarks. He had dirty blonde hair that was shoulder length.

He was driving a large American model car, which was a few years old and in bad condition. It was either tan or brown in colour.

Sketch of the abductor. Credit: FBI

Police did suspect Tim Binder as a possible suspect in Michaela’s case, as he had also been a suspect in the disappearance of Amber Swartz-Garcia, Nikki Campbell and Ilene Misheloff.

Michaela’s case went cold for several years until it was reopened in 2009, after the rescue of Jaycee Dugard who had been missing since 1991. Jaycee was found to be living in tents on the property of paedophile Phillip Garrido who was from Antioch, California.

A car that bore a striking resemblance to the one that took Michaela was found on Phillip’s property, and photos of him at the time of Michaela’s abduction matched the description of Michaela’s abductor by her friend. However, no other evidence of him being involved in Michaela’s disappearance was found.

In February 2012, convicted serial killer Wesley Shermantine wrote to the Stockton Record saying that his former partner, Loren Herzog, was responsible for Michaela’s disappearance. Loren committed suicide in January 2012.

Loren did show some resemblance to Michaela’s abductor. But, when Wesley led authorities to a well where they had dumped several bodies, they found the remains of Kimberly Billy and Joann Hobson, who had both been missing since the 1980s, but no trace of Michaela.

There were some other remains that were believed to belong to Michaela, but DNA testing showed that they did not.

The FBI and Hayward Police Department announced, on the 21st of December 2020, that David Emery Misch had been charged with Michaela’s abduction and murder. David is currently serving time in prison for the 1989 murder of Margaret Ball, and he is awaiting a trial for the 1986 murders of Michelle Xavier and Jennifer Duey.

David was linked to Michaela’s abduction after fingerprints and a partial handprint on Michaela’s scooter were found to belong to him. Several eyewitnesses also place David in the area around the market at the time of Michaela’s abduction.

Despite someone being charged for her abduction and murder, Michaela’s body has never been recovered, and the truth of what really happened to her remains unknown.

Michaela Joy Garecht. Credit: Wikipedia

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Child, Abduction, True Crime, Michaela Garecht, Mystery, 1980s, California

Heather Danyelle Teague

On the 26th of August, 1995, 26-year-old Heather Danyelle Teague was sunbathing on Newburgh Beach in Henderson County, Kentucky.

At around 12:45pm, a witness who was observing the beach area through a telescope, saw Heather get dragged by the hair and into the woods at gunpoint. Heather has not been seen or heard from since.

Heather Teague. Credit: 103gbfrocks.com

The witness said the person who took Heather was a caucasian man who stood at around 6″0′ and weighed approximately 210 to 230 pounds. He had brown hair and a bushy beard and was wearing jeans with no shirt. He was also wearing a wig and mosquito net.

Police searched Newburgh Beach later the same day, and they managed to find part of Heather’s bathing suit close to the abduction site. They also found some additional evidence, but nothing that was significant enough to give them any hints as to where Heather might have been taken.

After Heather’s disappearance, a man by the name of Marvin Ray “Marty” Dill was pulled over by police in a routine traffic stop that was happening because of Heather’s abduction. Marvin was driving a red and white Ford Bronco, which was identical to a vehicle that a witness saw parked next to Heather’s car on the day of her abduction.

Whilst searching his car, police found two guns, two knives, duct tape, rubber gloves, rope and bloodstains on the inside of the tailgate. Marvin also strongly resembled the man the witness had seen on the beach with Heather that day.

The police got several tips that suggested Marvin was connected to Heather’s disappearance, so in August 1995 the police went over to Marvin’s house to question him. However, Marvin became aware of the police presence and told his wife to leave the house. Marvin then shot himself before the police could ask him any questions, or even go inside his house.

Sketch of the man suspected to be responsible for Heather’s disappearance. Credit: andthentheyweregone.com

After Marvin had died, the prosecutors gathered evidence against him and went to a grand jury. Marvin’s wife was called in as a witness, but she invoked her fifth amendment rights and refused to answer any questions regarding Heather’s abduction.

There was one other suspect in Heather’s case, a man named Christopher J.Below, whose home was Henderson, Kentucky. Christopher pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 1991 death of Kathern Fetzer, and he served an 11 to 18-year sentence for her death.

Police think that Christopher may have been involved with Heather’s death as she looked very similar to Kathern, both women had long dark brown hair and were around 5″0′ and 100 pounds. It is also thought that Christopher is responsible for the disappearance of Mary Kushto, Shaylene Farrell and Kristina Porco.

It is also known that Christopher, Marvin and Heather all knew people in common, but if they knew each other is unknown. It is also theorised that perhaps Christopher and Marvin kidnapped and attacked Heather together, but there is no evidence to support this.

Despite the suspects, there have been no arrests in Heather’s case. Heather has not been found dead or alive, and no one has seen or heard from her since the 26th of August 1995.

Heather Teague. Credit: CourirerPress

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Mystery, Missing Person, True Crime, Foul Play, Abduction

Mekayla Margaret Kim Bali

At 6:41am on the 12th of April, 2016, 16-year-old Mekayla Bali messaged her friend Oksana, asking her to drive her to the bank. Mekayla said that she had $5000 in her bank account, although later searches would show that she had nowhere near that amount. Oksana declined to take her to the bank.

At 8:20am, Mekayla went into Sacred Heart High School, where she attended her classes. She went to her locker, and then 6 minutes later she left the school through a back entrance.

Between 8:50 and 8:55am, Mekayla walked to a bank and was seen talking to someone on the phone on the CCTV footage. When a bank worker opened the shutters, Mekayla ended her phone call and asked to withdraw $55 from her account.

At 9am, Mekayla entered a pawn shop to try and sell a silver ring. However, the owner declined as the price was too low.

Mekayla Bali. Credit: Internation Missing People

At 9:15am, Mekayla went into a Tim Horton’s/Wendy’s and ordered a drink. She sat in a booth with a backpack next to her, and as she never took a backpack to school, it is thought that she was intending to leave Yorkton, Saskatchewan, where she lived. Mekayla was looking at the doors and windows in what appeared to be a nervous manner.

At 9:23am, Mekayla left, only to come back in and go out through the other exit. At 9:49am, she re-entered the Tim Horton’s/Wendy’s, this time she was on the phone with someone. She then sat at a booth that was facing the door. It is unknown who she was on the phone with at this time.

At 10:12am, Mekayla texted her friend, Shelby, saying: “Hey, I need help” only to text again a few minutes later saying “Nevermind, I figured it out”.

At 10:43am, Mekayla asked a woman to rent a room at a hotel for her, to which the woman declined. At 10:45am, Mekayla left the cafe whilst on the phone with someone.

Between 10:45am and 11:55am, Mekayla’s whereabouts are unknown.

At around 12pm, Mekayla went back to her school, where she met with some of her friends. She told them she was going to take a bus to Regina. It is thought that Mekayla was in possession of two phones at the time she was at her school.

At 12:02pm, Mekayla left school for the final time. She went to a bus depot, and after discovering that the bus she wanted to board wasn’t leaving until 5:00pm, she left.

Mekayla then went to the UFC Bus Depot, where she had a meal at a Trail Stop restaurant inside of the depot. There is no CCTV footage of her at this destination. Between 1:00pm and 1:45pm, Mekayla left the depot and has not been seen or heard from since.

Mekayla was captured on CCTV on the day she went missing. Credit: NBC NEWS

By 7:00am the next morning, Mekayla had been reported missing, and her mobile phone had been switched off. It is thought that Mekayla did not buy a ticket at the bus depot, and no one knows where she went after leaving the depot.

An Instagram account in Mekayla’s name was discovered after she went missing. The account had a few hundred followers, but no activity and the “about” section only had one word written: Goodbye. This account can’t be found anywhere on Instagram.

Just two months before she went missing, Mekayla posted this message onto her social media, along with a picture of her Snapchat profile: “Looking for Snapchat friends because I have none in real life. Add me…please don’t be a greasy fuck and send me gross ass nudes. Just looking for a friend.”

It is highly likely that someone reached out to her the day she posted that, and that Mekayla had planned to meet whoever it was, potentially in Regina.

Mekayla was texting a man named “Christopher”, and she told friends that Christopher was planning on visiting Saskatchewan. Mekayla’s ex-boyfriend, who she was still close with, told police that Christopher had told her that he was planning on visiting Saskatchewan to visit his mum. Police did search Christopher’s home, but they found no evidence of him being in Canada at the time of Mekayla’s disappearance.

Christopher later told CBC News that Mekayla had attempted suicide in the past, but that she was feeling better in more recent weeks.

In more recent developments, it has been revealed that Mekayla may have been using the chat service KIK. KIK allows the messages you send, and receive, to remain private. It is suspected that Mekayla was talking to someone through this app, and arranged to meet them sometime in April when she went missing.

Authorities suspect that Mekayla may have been kidnapped and forced into human trafficking, possibly by someone that she was talking to online.

At the time of her disappearance, Mekayla had several scars across her body, which possibly came from two front teeth.

If you have any information about Mekayla’s disappearance, please contact Interpol or your local Police Department.

Mekayla is age-progressed to 18 years old, wearing her glasses. Credit: International Missing People / National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, Kidnapped, Endangered, True Crime

Kelly Dae Wilson

Kelly Dae Wilson was last seen on the 5th of January, 1992 in Gilmer, Texas at around 8:30pm, leaving her workplace (Northeast Texas Video on Buffalo Street) and heading to the bank to deposit a cheque. Kelly’s step-father found the 17-year-olds car the next morning, parked at her workplace’s car park, with all four tyres slashed.

Kelly’s purse and belongings were inside of the car, the only thing that was missing was her car keys. Kelly has not been seen since that night, and to this day Kelly has not been found.

Kelly Dae Wilson. Credit:mpDetails.com

Kelly was last seen wearing a purple rugby shirt that had red, white and gold insignia, and white cuffs and collar, with stonewashed cutoff blue jeans and brown loafers. She was also wearing an assortment of rings, and her hair had been dyed blonde but her brown roots were coming through. She was around 5″7′ and 120 pounds.

In January 1994, a grand jury indicted Sargeant James York Brown and seven others from the Gilmer Police Department on charges of abduction and murder relating to Kelly’s disappearance.

Prosecutors believed that James, who was assigned to Kelly’s case, along with the seven others, kidnapped and imprisoned Kelly for up to one week, before stabbing her to death. They also believed that during the course of the week, James and the others sexually assaulted and tortured her.

It was alleged that the group were involved in a Satanic Cult and that they engaged in acts of violence and child molestation. Many of the group members who were on trial for their role in Kelly’s abduction and murder were also facing charges of child molestation as well.

However, two months later, the charges were dropped against everybody. The satanic cult was found to not exist, and everybody in the trial, including James, maintained their innocence.

One teenager named Micheal Biby confessed to slashing the tyres on Kelly’s car but claimed he had nothing to do with her disappearance. He said that he was simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Kelly’s boyfriend at the time, Chris Denton, was also questioned by police, but he was ruled out as a possible suspect. Whilst there were rumours that he confessed on his deathbed, they were false and he maintained his innocence until he died of cancer in 2009.

Kelly has been missing for over 30 years, will Kelly’s family ever get the answers they deserve?

Kelly age-progressed to 42 years old. Credit: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Tags:

Unsolved, Missing, Missing Person, Abduction, Kidnapping, Investigation, True Crime

Eloise Anne Worledge

Eloise Anne Worledge lived in Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia, with her parents Lindsay Worledge (father), and Patsy Worledge (Mother). She also had a younger brother.

At 7:30am, on the 12th of January 1976, Eloise’s four-year-old brother alerted his parents that his eight-year-old sister, Eloise, was not in her room.

The police were called, and after inspecting the room, they found no sign of a struggle. They believed that Eloise had been lured from her bed by somebody that she knew and trusted, and had left the house through the front door which had been left unlocked.

There was also a possibility that she was abducted by a stalker who was known to be in the area at the time.

Eloise Worledge. Credit: The Age

Eloise’s brother told police that he heard “robbers” who had kidnapped her but was too scared to say anything because he thought that they might take him as well. Her brother also described hearing “crackling noises”, which the police believe to be consistent with steps on the sea-grass floor covering Eloise’s bedroom.

A dark green car that was speeding down Scott Street was reported by a neighbour at 2am. Another neighbour reported seeing a Holden station wagon, dark green in colour, parked close to the Worledge’s home. The neighbour said she did not recognise the car.

Ann Same, another neighbour, said that at around midnight on the night Eloise went missing, she saw a young man walking down the fenceline of the Worledge’s home. Ann said that the young man made her feel so uneasy and frightened that she crossed the street to avoid him.

Around the same time as Ann saw the young man, Molly Salts, a neighbour from the same street just a bit further down, reported seeing a young man jump the fence into the Worledge’s property after he had run in front of her car and across the street.

At 2am, two neighbours, Ann Same and Daphne Owen-Smith, reported hearing a child’s cry and a car door slamming shut.

Eloise Worledge. Credit: Facebook.com / Eloise Worledge – Missing Person Australia

Both of Eloise’s parents were originally treated as suspects. At the time of Eloise’s disappearance, both her mother and father were having affairs, and her father, Lindsay, was suspected to be feeling depressed due to the divorce that was going to happen between the pair. Lindsay was supposed to move out of the family home on the day that Eloise went missing.

At the time of Eloise’s disappearance, Patsy told police that she believed her husband was involved in the disappearance of Eloise as a way of prolonging the separation and divorce of the pair, and a way of spiting her.

On the night of Eloise’s disappearance, Lindsay had gone to bed over an hour and a half after Eloise, and just over an hour after his wife, Patsy. The door was left unlocked because he didn’t know that Patsy had forgotten to lock the door, and assumed that it was already locked.

A light was left on in the hallway when the children went to bed each night, and when the last parent would come to bed they would turn the light off. Police have said that Lindsay did not turn off the light that evening.

However, when Patsy woke up at 4:45am to use the toilet, the light had been turned off. It is strongly believed that Eloise had already been taken by this time.

Despite several extensive searches, and a $10,000 reward that was posted in 1976, no sign of Eloise has ever been found.

Homicide cold case detectives reopened the case in 2001, but no new leads were found, and since then the case has remained a cold case.

Eloise Worledge. Credit: The age

Tags:

Unsolved, Cold Case, Missing, Missing Person, Missing Child, Abduction, Australia

Cortney Clayton

On September 2nd, 1988, at around 8:40pm, Cortney Clayton was heading to the M System Food Store which was about a block away from her family’s home in Stamford, Texas. Cortney’s father, Stan Clayton, said that she could go to the store to get some cola, but she had to wait to cross the street until her older brother caught up with her.

Nick, Cortney’s brother, left the home not long after Cortney and headed towards the store. On the way there, Nick ran into a friend and chatted with him for a bit. When Nick reached the corner where Cortney was supposed to wait for him, she wasn’t there.

Thinking that she may have gotten impatient and gone to the store by herself, Nick headed to the shop.

At the store, Nick spoke to the cashier who knew Nick and Cortney because they were regular visitors. The cashier told Nick that Cortney had already brought some cola and had left. After hearing this, Nick then left the store and headed back home, thinking that Cortney would be there.

When Nick arrived home at around 9pm, Cortney was not there. When Nick told his parents that he couldn’t find his sister, they immediately knew something was wrong. Cortney was terrified of the dark, and whilst it wasn’t dark when she left for the store, it would have been dark by now.

After a brief search by family members, the police were called at 9:15pm.

Cortney. Credit: Dps.texas.gov

Stamford Police officers, along with deputies from the Jones County Sheriff’s Office, immediately started to search for Cortney.

Stan told police that Cortney was a really friendly child who could talk to anyone and that he was certain that she would not have willingly gotten into a car or walked off with a stranger. He also told police that Cortney was very familiar with the route to the M System Store,s so there was no way she could have gotten lost.

Detectives interviewed the cashier who was working that night, and she confirmed that Cortney did come in and buy a soda. She remembered Cortney because she was 4 cents short of buying the soda that she wanted, so the cashier said that she could just bring in the 4 cents the next day.

Three separate witnesses also came forward and reported seeing Cortney walking in the direction of her home after leaving the convenience store. She was last seen at 8:53pm, but when Nick arrived at the store at 8:55pm, Cortney had vanished.

In the store parking lot, police found a full bottle of soda sitting on the bumper of a car. After checking it for fingerprints, they confirmed that it was Cortney’s bottle of soda. Because the soda bottle was found standing up, police think that Cortney stopped to talk to someone that she knew. It is suggested that if she had been abducted, the soda bottle would have been found thrown or tossed to the ground.

On Saturday morning, Cortney still hadn’t returned. Police were going door to door and even used a helicopter to search from the sky. But as the day went on, there was no sign of Cortney, which lead police to believe that Cortney is no longer in the Stamford area.

On the following Tuesday, the FBI and authorities received a tip regarding a potential sighting of Cortney which led them to a house around five miles outside of Stamford. However, police never found evidence that Cortney had ever been at the property.

The search for Cortney was massive. It included the Stamford Police Department officials, the Jones County Sheriff’s Office officials, the Haskell’s County Sheriff’s Department officials, the FBI, Texas Rangers, Texas Highway Department, Texas Game Wardens, and the hundreds of members of the public who helped to join in the search. The entire city of Stamford was searched, block by block, twice. A large pond was dragged, and all wooded areas within a 20-mile radius of Stamford were searched.

But despite this extensive search, no clues to Cortney’s disappearance came to light.

Cortney. Credit: Medium.com

A few weeks after Cortney’s disappearance, investigators reported that the last sighting of Cortney was by a woman who was driving through the M System store parking lot at 8:53pm on the night Cortney vanished. The woman said that she saw Cortney near a car that had two male occupants inside, and was sitting in the parking lot.

The woman believes that the car was a light blue Ford Torino, and it had a darker coloured blue on the top. The driver had his door open, and the woman saw Cortney speaking with this man, but she never saw Cortney get into the car.

Working closely with FBI Agents and the woman, authorities were able to produce this composition sketch of the man who was seen talking to Cortney.

They released this sketch, along with the description of the car, to the public. Despite the hundreds of tips they received, they have never been able to identify the man.

Sketch of the unknown man seen talking to Cortney. Credit: True Crime Diva

On March 27th, 1989, a hunter found a child’s skull in a field in Shackelford County, which is about 50 miles away from the M System Store that Cortney was last seen at. The hunter immediately notified the police and searched the surrounding area to find a number of other bones just 100 yards away from where the skull was found. Although they had to wait for confirmation, authorities believed that they had found Cortney.

Confirmation appeared to be a difficult process, as Cortney had never been to a dentist – so they couldn’t use dental DNA. Cortney had also never broken a bone, and no clothing was found with the body. Luckily, some human hairs were found with the remains. These hairs were then compared to hair from Cortney’s hairbrush, and it appeared to be a match.

At the University of North Texas, a scientist used a computer programme to make a facial reconstruction of the skull that was found. When this reconstruction was compared to photos of Cortney, they were almost identical. Even Cortney’s parents agreed that she had been found.

The coroner ruled Cortney’s death as a homicide but was unable to determine the exact cause of death. He did believe, however, that Cortney had been murdered and then dumped in the field not long after she had been abducted.

Cortney’s parents were devastated by the news, but they were thankful to know that she wasn’t being held captive by someone who was abusing her.

Cortney’s case was changed from a missing person to homicide, and the investigation into her death quickly started. Unfortunately, there was no physical evidence that could link anyone to Cortney’s death, and no more tips were coming forward.

In September 1991, police questioned two Shackelford County men who were suspected of trying to lure boys into their car. Detectives initially thought that they may be responsible for Cortney’s death as they had once worked on the field where Cortney’s body was found.

But, they passed polygraph tests and were eventually ruled out as viable suspects in Cortney’s case.

No other suspects have ever been named.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Office released an age-progressed sketch of the man, in 2016, who was seen talking to Cortney in the M System Store parking lot on the evening she went missing. The Texas Department of Public Safety also issued a $3,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Cortney’s killer(s).

Age-progressed sketch of the man last seen talking to Cortney. Credit: KTXS

Police are hopeful that someone will come forward with the information needed to find those responsible for Cortney’s murder.

Tags:

Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, True Crime, Child, Abduction, FBI, Investigation

Teryl Lynn Steele Orcutt

In the early hours of the 21st of January, 1990, Teryl’s 1989 red Ford Thunderbird car was found abandoned on the side of County Road 218 in Middleburg, Florida.

The car was discovered still running, and Teryl’s purse which contained cash and credit cards was found inside of the car next to a spilt drink. Her glasses were found around 50 feet away from the car.

Teryl had left her boyfriend’s house in Jacksonville at around 5:00am, and was heading towards the house she shared with her mother in Middleburg.

Teryl Orcutt. Credit: Thecriminaljournal.com

Just 7 days after Teryl’s car had been found, two young boys discovered Teryl’s partially clothed body just off Lee Drive, close to Black Creek, which is about 4 to 5 miles away from where her car had been found.

Teryl had been stabbed in the chest multiple times and was found wearing only underwear, socks and shoes. It is unknown if she had been sexually assaulted due to the state of decomposition that her body was found in.

Investigators cleared Teryl’s boyfriend and ex-husband as suspects. Teryl was a kind and caring woman who was well-liked and had never been in any sort of trouble.

Due to the position of Teryl’s car, and a witness who was nearby claiming she was woken up by a woman screaming “I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything.” there were rumours that a police officer may have been involved in her abduction and murder.

However, the Clay’s County Sheriff’s Office verified and accounted for all of their officers on the day and time in question.

They acknowledge that it may have been someone impersonating a police officer, and they have asked that if anyone encountered someone pretending to be a police officer between 1989-1990 in Northeast Florida, to please come forward.

If you, or someone you know, has any information regarding the abduction and murder of Teryl Orcutt, please contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at (904) 264-6512. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call the First Coast Crime Stoppers on 866-845-TIPS.

Teryl Orcutt. Credit: Thecriminaljournal.com

Tags:

Unsolved, Murder, Homicide, Abduction, Florida, True Crime