There’s only so much the police can do to find missing people. In the best case scenario, clues are left behind, helping the police piece together the puzzle and solve the mystery. It’s also vital they start searching within the first 72 hours. After that window closes, it’s much more difficult to find a missing person. The leads usually turn into dead ends and the trail eventually goes cold. Without anything to go on, the best the FBI and the police can do is keep the file open and hope something comes up that helps. As you can imagine, this is not only aggravating for the missing person’s family, but also for the brave men and women assigned to the case. And, as days turn into weeks which turns into months, those missing people act almost like ghosts, haunting the police.
Angela Mae Meeker
Just two days away from her 14th birthday, Meeker went missing in 1979 in Tacoma, Washington while walking to the Tacoma Mall. She wanted to get a birthday card for her friend. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information that may help solve her mystery or lead to her recovery. If still alive, she would be 54 today.
When construction crews worked on improving John McLaren Park, the last thing they expected to find was a dead body in a shallow grave. The woman was Nicole Fitts, who hadn’t been heard from since April 1st, 2016. The crew found her on April 8th. While that solved her missing person’s case, her two-year-old daughter Arianna Fitts is still missing.
This young teenager went missing on September 4th, 2017 in Sarasota, Florida. He was last seen at a Labor Day barbecue with family and friends and hasn’t been heard from again. While no one truly knows what happened to him, family and friends believe he was killed because he witnessed a murder. Reward money stands at $50,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Ilene Beth Misheloff
From Dublin, California, this young teenager went missing on January 30th, 1989. Leaving classes at 3:00 pm, several classmates report seeing her walk home alone at the time of her disappearance. Her key fob was found later at the entrance of John Mape Park.
Sheri Lynn and Michael Johnson
These two young children disappeared with their mother, Freda Denman, in 1974, though they weren’t reported missing until 1975. Freda’s husband, Henry Lee Harbison, also known as Henry Johnson, also disappeared. While Denman’s clothes remained in their apartment, Harbison and the two children’s clothes were gone. It’s believed he murdered his family but no bodies have ever been found. Local police closed the case, thinking the FBI would follow up on it; but, they didn’t. It was reopened in 2004.
Michaela Joy Garecht
On the morning of November 19th, 1988, this young girl was last seen at a Rainbow Market in Hayward, California. She tried to get her friend’s scooter that was moved to a nearby vehicle. The assailant (pictured) then grabbed her and put her in the vehicle and she hasn’t been seen since. The FBI is offering $10,000 for information on her disappearance.
On November 25, 1991, Mark (11) went to go see firefighters put out a small brush fire. His mother went out for errands that caused her to be delayed and get home 40 minutes later than she wanted. By then, Mark had disappeared. Authorities found his tennis shoe and some footprints but otherwise the case ran cold. A man named Thomas Butcavage Jr. became a person of interest in the case but he was never charged.
A Southern California luxury car dealer, this man, 28, was kidnapped after a possible deal went bad. His abductors sent a 2 million dollar ransom to his family in China, but didn’t provide how to pay it. His family is offering a $150,000 reward for information on his abduction. He still hasn’t been found.
On Jun 9th, 1995, this 6-year-old girl was abducted while at an Alma ball park with her mother. She was last seen trying to catch lightning bugs with her friends. Since then, many leads pointed back to her case but nothing substantial came of it.
Moving to the U.S. from Brazil in a student exchange program, Vicentini became unhappy with her situation, living with several other women in one small hotel room. She changed jobs and moved out of the hotel room and was last seen visiting the Adega Bar and Grill at 2:00 a.m. Witnesses claim she left with a 200 pound man, but it’s believed she returned to her residence as many of her personal effects were found there. A few days after her disappearance, a mysterious person called her boss’s cell phone, screaming for help. Neither Vicentini, or the mysterious man she left with, has been found since.
Amber Elizabeth Cates
On April 11, 2004, Cates left her mother’s home in Maury County, Tennessee, never to be seen again. She left in a gold Mazda driven by her friend James Gordon. Gordon claims to have left her with another friend, Ronald “California” Inzurriaga. Authorities tracked Inzurriaga at a prison in Alabama and he said he dropped her off in front of a garage at Tennessee after she purchased hair dye. Her case was originally considered a runaway, but her social security card and cell phone hasn’t been used since 2004, causing authorities to believe other factors were at play.
Jennifer Lynn Marcum
Last seen at the Denver International Airport between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on February 17, 2003, Marcum didn’t take a flight out of the airport and has not used her cell phone since. The only thing they found in connection to her was her abandoned 1999 Saturn in a remote airport parking lot. It’s believed she may have been murdered in connection to her boyfriend’s criminal case, but no suspects have been charged and the case remains unsolved.
Devonte Jordan Hart
On March 26, 2018, a Washington couple and five of their six children were found dead after a fatal car accident on Highway 1 in Westport, California. The car crashed over a cliff and landed on the surf line. However, one of their children, Devonte Jordan Hart, a 15-year-old African-American male, is missing. It was later discovered that his adoptive mother, Jennifer Hart, was intoxicated at the time of the crash and his other siblings had been drugged. Prior to the crash, the Hart family was under investigation for neglect and abuse.
Russell John Mort
At the young age of two, Russell John Mort was last seen by his mother playing in a sandbox on on May 5, 1982. She left inside the house for a few minutes to fix one of his toys. When she returned, he was gone. The fence gate was closed and locked from the outside. He was never seen again. Authorities don’t believe he was abducted, but climbed over a small portion of the fence and was swept away by the Niagara River only 100 yards from their home. Still, no body has been found and the case remains unsolved.
Danielle Imbo and Richard Petrone, Jr.
This couple disappeared roughly 13 years ago on February 19, 2005. They were up in the late hours at a bar and went to Petrone’s black 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. They, nor the vehicle, has ever been found again. The FBI is still investigating and offering $50,000 for information on their whereabouts or that leads the arrest of those responsible for their disappearance.
Kimberly Ann Langwell
In the afternoon of July 9, 1999, Langwell called her daughter and said she still planned to have dinner that night after she visited a friend. When she didn’t arrive, her boyfriend searched for her and found her abandoned 1994 Nissan Altima in front drug store. Though her purse and car keys were missing, many of her other personal belongings were still in the car. Before her disappearance, Langwell reportedly told her sister not to believe claims that she committed suicide.
Kristin Denise Smart
Smart was a freshman at Cal Poly State University when she disappeared 22 years ago. Friends dropped her off at a Fraternity party and later, while drinking and sitting on the grass, another student named Paul Flores offered to walk her home. According to Flores, she walked to her dorm and he walked to hers. However, when police sent in cadaver search dogs, they ended up in the same room as Flores. Police believe Flores lied and Smart went home with him, instead. Though her family had her declared dead in 2002, the police never let the case go cold.
Tammy Lynn Leppert
A beautiful actress and model in the 1980s, you might recognize Leppert from her brief appearance in the movie “Scarface.” Before she disappeared, her mother told authorities she’d been acting strangely and seemingly paranoid; she was afraid someone was out to hurt her. She left her mother’s house on July 6, 1983 and was never seen again. Investigations led police to Christopher Wilder, also known as the “Beauty Queen Killer,” but he died in a shoot-out with police before they could interrogate him about Leppert’s disappearance. The case ran cold, but her mother contested her daughter got in too deep with a drug and money laundering ring. Her theory among many others were never confirmed.
Reported missing on August 27, 2014, Deguio hadn’t been seen by her family since two months prior. She left home without her cell phone, credit cards, or any additional clothing and doesn’t drive. Her family doesn’t know how she got around. Authorities believe fowl play could be involved.
Tara Leigh Calico
On the morning of September 20, 1988, Calico went on a bike ride in New Mexico, taking her mother’s bicycle instead of her own. She was last seen on Highway 47. Witnesses claimed to see a 1953 Ford pickup truck tailing her during her ride. After her disappearance, her mother’s bike was never recovered, but they did find her Calico’s Sony Walkman 19 miles east of Highway 47. Mysteriously, in Florida, a Polaroid was discovered of a woman in the back of a van with duct tape over her mouth. This woman looked very similar to Calico. While authorities admitted the profiles were similar, they still felt it was inconclusive.
William Ebeneezer Jones, Jr.
This three-year-old vanished without a trace from his New Jersey home. Only three feet tall and 35 pounds, he was last seen wearing a light blue-gray snowsuit and reportedly had a dime in his pocket that his mother gave to him. That was back on December 17, 1962. His family believes someone took him and raised him as their own. If still alive, he would be 57 today. Still, the FBI hasn’t stopped trying to find information about his disappearance.
Lisa Maria Szasz
This woman disappeared in Andover, Ohio on March 23, 2000. Mysteriously, her Chevy Blazer was abandoned at a no-parking zone at the Youngstown-Warren Airport in Ohio. The car keys were still in the ignition and she wasn’t at the scene. Three days before she disappeared, she said she felt she was being stalked.
Last seen on July 30, 2016 at his apartment on 6233 Keokea Place, Honolulu, Hawaii, Fraser’s vehicle was later discovered parked near Summer Street and Kuliouou Road in Hawaii Kai. His girlfriend didn’t know why he would be in that part of the neighborhood as he didn’t have any friends there. Authorities aren’t ruling out foul play and are offering a $20,000 reward for information on his disappearance.
Crystal Ann Tymich
On June 30, 1994, Tymich was just six-years-old when she vanished without a trace. She was picking peaches from a neighbor’s tree with her three brothers, but when they went inside, she was never seen again. Her case went cold until 2005, when police searched a crawl space in the house across from her home and found bones. However, they all turned out to be from animals. No clues were found regarding Crystal’s disappearance and the case has remained cold ever since.
At just 12-years-old, this young Iowa boy disappeared while on his paper route. His father, John Gosch, found his son’s delivery wagon full of newspapers on the sidewalk. His disappearance made headlines and he was one of the first missing children to be put on milk cartons around the country. Fifteen years later, in 1997, his mother, Noreen Gosch, claims that she received a visit from her son at 2:30 a.m. He was accompanied by an unknown man. She spoke to her son for an hour, but her son would look over to the other man for approval to speak. After Johnny left, she went to the FBI and they had her draw up a sketch of her son’s face. Unfortunately, nothing came of it as authorities had no other evidence her son was still alive.