14 Unsolved Missing Persons Cases That’ll Shake You To Your Core (Update 2019) – Part 1


1. Joan Risch, disappeared 1961. On October
24, 1961, thirty-one-year-old wife and mother of two, Joan Risch disappeared from her residence
in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Unknowingly at the time, this case would end up becoming
one of the most well-known and complexing unsolved cases to ever strike the state. Joan
was born on May 12, 1930, in Brooklyn, New York. At the time, her full name was Joan
Carolyn Bard, but at age ten in 1940, her family decided to move to New Jersey. Unfortunately,
her mother and father passed away in what’s considered a suspicious house fire. Subsequently,
her aunt and uncle formally adopted her, thus taking their last name, Joan Carolyn Nattrass,
and confirming it by an SSN (social security number). Life continued on as normal and Joan
received a degree in English literature from Wilson College located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
in 1952. Following her passion, she was able to get a job in a publishing company. At first,
she started as a secretary and made her way through the necessary steps to become an editor
at Harcourt Brace and World which eventually lead to Thomas Y. Crowell Co. in New York.
Within four years, she met a young man named Martin Risch. The two got married in 1956
and moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut. They had their first child a year later, a girl,
Lillian, and Joan proceeded to leave work and become a homemaker instead. In 1959, Joan
gave birth once more to a boy, David. While adjusting to the new lifestyle, the happily
married couple moved to Lincoln, Massachusetts in April of 1961. Despite the constant moving
between states, the transition to Middlesex County went soothingly, and they quickly integrated
with the current community. Martin Risch became an executive at Fitchburg Paper Company and
frequently went out of town on business trips. Joan, although managing the home, got actively
involved with the League of Women Voters — an organization to help allow women to partake
in larger roles for public affairs. Along with this, she expressed the ambition to become
a teacher and share her love for literature once her children got older. Life for the
couple maintained its pleasure and contentment, but that all changed on October 24, 1961,
a few months after relocating to Lincoln, MA. In the early hours on the day of Joan’s
disappearance, nothing was out of the ordinary or amiss in the slightest. Martin Risch left
home earlier than usual to catch an 8:00 a.m. flight to New York City for business. Joan
served breakfast to the children and then asked a nearby neighbor, Barbara Barker if
she wouldn’t mind babysitting her two-year-old son so Joan could run errands in town with
her daughter Lillian. At approximately 11:00 a.m. she was seen arriving back home with
her daughter after attending the dentist and shopping for groceries. According to a few
locals, both Joan and her four-year-old daughter seemed to be quite cheerful, albeit tired
from the busy morning. Sometime between 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. a delivery driver for a dry-cleaning
service arrived at her residence to pick up several of Martin’s suits that he regularly
had maintenance. At 12:00 p.m. Joan put her two-year-old son down for his regular nap
in the upstairs room of their home. While David was napping, the neighbor, Barbara and
her four-year-old son, Douglas, paid a visit to converse while Joan’s daughter, Lillian
played with the neighbor’s child. This happened on a regular occurrence in their driveways.
Shortly after, Barbara went back to her home, but both parents allowed the children to play
together. Throughout their playtime, Joan was tending to yard work and using the shears
to help keep her garden plants healthy. Afterward, it was near 2:00 p.m. when she finished. From
this point forward, things started becoming peculiar in more ways than one. After finishing
taking care of the plants, Joan took her daughter, Lillian and the neighbor’s son, Douglas
across the road back to Barbara’s home without her knowledge. Joan then told the two children
that she’d be back momentarily. Regrettably, that wasn’t the case. At 2:15 p.m. Barbara
was in her kitchen and happened to glance out of her window. She saw Joan wearing what
appeared to be a trench coat and running in a haste while carrying an unidentified item
in her outstretched arms that was the color red. Since Barbara wasn’t aware of the children
being back at her home, she merely assumed Joan was playing (and chasing) with the kids.
The children remained to play for a substantial amount of time and eventually, Barbara went
outside on her own accord to check up on the kids. Other than Joan not being anywhere in
attendance outside, things were relatively normal. At approximately 4:00 p.m. Barbara
guided Lillian back to her home because she intended to go shopping with her son, Douglas.
She presumably thought Joan was inside so after dropping Lillian off, she made her way
back home. Moments later, Lillian ran back to Barbara’s home and said, “Mommy is
gone and the kitchen is covered with red paint.” Perplexed by this statement, Barbara went
to investigate and confirmed Lillian’s concern. Furthermore, Joan’s two-year-old son, David,
was crying upstairs in his crib because he needed his diaper changed. Terrified by the
scene, she immediately called the police at 4:33 p.m. When authorities arrived at the
scene to conduct their investigation, many oddities stood out. In the kitchen, a table
was discovered overturned, and also noticeable was the phone generally mounted on the wall
was dismantled and thrown into the wastebasket. This itself was strange as well because the
trashcan was typically under the sink, but it was found propped in the middle of the
floor. On the counter an address director was open to a page meant for “emergency
contacts,” but no numbers were recorded. Other items in the trashcan were an empty
bottle of hard liquor that was finished the previous night between Martin and Joan. However,
empty bottles of beer were laying on the pile of trash. This was considered a red flag because
there wasn’t any beer in the household at the time, and it wasn’t bought by Joan in
the morning hours in town with her daughter. More evidence uncovered in the kitchen were
paper towels strewn about, along with a pair of Joan’s two-year-old son, David’s overalls,
of which were seemingly used in an attempt to mop up the flooring covered in blood. As
the police continued their inspection throughout the home, bloody palm prints and various fingerprints
were against various walls. Moreover, drops of blood were found leading from the upstairs,
to the kitchen, and then traced to Joan’s driveway — the location observed by Barbara
when glancing out of her window briefly. Here is an image of the scene. The blood throughout
the residence was taken for sampling and analysis, which was a positive match for Joan’s (Type
O). Unfortunately, no confirmation could be definitely made on whether or not the blood
belonged to Joan due to never having a recording of her prints prior to this incident. During
the conduction of the investigation, authorities called the hospitals in the area to see if
a woman matching Joan’s physical description arrived by happenchance or to notify the police
immediately if someone matching her physicality checked in for admission. Authorities canvassed
the neighborhood and questioned many residents. There were a handful of people who claimed
seeing a blue and gray sedan parked in Joan’s driveway close to 3:00 p.m. Others reported
that same vehicle — and the unidentified male driving the car — was acting suspicious
at a later time, with the possible person of interest getting out of his car in order
to cut tree branches from a nearby wooded area, and subsequently placed them inside
the vehicle before leaving. However, the investigators dismissed their statements, saying the car
that was seen was more than likely an unmarked police vehicle after their arrival from Barbara’s
phone call (which happened at 4:30 p.m.) Despite the valiant effort by witnesses testifying
and insisting that the unfamiliar vehicle was there prior to authorities showing up
to the home, that particular clue that could possibly have valuable information was never
competently pursued (from my knowledge). Other witnesses came forward saying they saw a woman
that had the same body frame of Joan’s walking aimlessly near a construction site where a
new highway was in the process of being built, and from their perspective the female was
clutching her stomach and there also appeared to be some form of substance on the woman’s
legs. Some people describe it was mud while others stated that it was blood. As for suspects,
the police questioned Joan’s husband, who was quickly cleared of having any involvement
in his wife’s disappearance. This was also the conclusion for the neighbors, mailman,
and milkman, and also the delivery driver picking up Martin’s business suits for dry
cleaning. All the avenues pursued by investigators eventually lead to an unfortunate dead-end
until a reporter for Lincoln, Massachusetts local newspaper, “The Fence Viewer” went
to the public library to research similar cases related to Joan’s disappearance. This
particular incident led to a very intriguing piece of new evidence. A few months before
Joan Risch vanished, there was a list of twenty-five books checked out from the library by her.
Although she was an avid reader with an immense passion for literature, the books Joan were
reading consisted of true crime and mystery, particularly dealing with murders and disappearances.
Even more staggering was the fact that a certain book Joan had recently read in September titled,
“Into Thin Air” had a plot revolving a woman disappearing from her home, and the
only evidence left behind was blood stains in the house that were smeared with towels;
almost an exact replica of Joan’s vanishing not long after. With this new information,
more theories began to arise from neighbors and authorities, but sadly, it essentially
was insignificant in propelling Joan Risch’s disappearing forward with positive momentum,
regardless of the coincidences from her reading material. Nevertheless, the circumstances
couldn’t be completely ignored entirely. Throughout the many acquaintances Joan made
during her brief stay in Lincoln, MA and other areas previously, her personality was different
from person to person. Some of her friends described her as an incredibly devoted housewife
that loved her family, while others reported her being ambitious and quite unfulfilled
in her life as a homemaker. Furthermore, with Joan’s troubled childhood with her parents
dying in a housewife, rumors started surfacing that she was sexually molested and physically
assaulted when she was young. Those rumors could not be confirmed or denied, so using
that option as a viable reason for Joan’s disappearance had to be put on the backburner.
More speculation and gossip started flowing throughout Joan’s friends, with some theorizing
that due to her fiery ambition to fulfill her happiness and the frustration of being
not only a wife, but a mother of two children, the suspicious car residing in Joan’s driveway
that was reported by witnesses, belonged to a local doctor who tried giving her an abortion
in secret, so her husband wouldn’t find out. Although it is possible, considering
that granting a divorce in the 1960’s was deemed preposterous unless there was genuine
evidence that portrayed of abuse, adultery, or other various faults complicating the sacred
vows of marriage. Thus, due to the difficulties and a lack of verification that would allow
a divorce, Joan merely staged her own disappearance to start anew. There has not been any shortage
of theories and wild assumptions regarding Joan Risch’s disappearance, but none have
been able to provide adequate answers on what happened that calamitous afternoon on October
24, 1961. Martin Risch and the two children continued to move forward in their lives albeit
suffering from the gaping hole of not having answers to the whereabouts of Joan. Lillian
and David managed to lead successful lives. Martin, however, adamantly believed his wife
was still alive, but suffering from a case of amnesia. He refused to change phone numbers
holding onto hope that Joan might possibly make a phone-call. He never remarried, and
in 2009, Martin Risch passed away without having any form of closure. The baffling case
of Joan Risch remains unsolved. 2. Fred Valentich, disappeared 1978. In 1978, a 20-year-old pilot
named Frederick Valentich disappeared. Valentich had been attempting a training flight over
the Bass Strait between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. He was driving a Cessna 182L,
a light aircraft, and was a moderately experienced pilot, clocking roughly 150 hours flying time.
On the evening of October 21, Valentich departed for a training flight, from Moorabbin to King
Island, a 125-mile trek over the Bass Strait. At 7:06 pm, Valentich radioed the Melbourune
Flight Service to report an unidentified aircraft following him at 4,500 feet. The service told
him there was no traffic near him at the time. Valentich insisted he could see a large unknown
aircraft near him, which appeared to have four bright landing lights, all illuminated.
He claimed it passed 1,000 feet above him, moving at high speed. For another five minutes,
he reported the aircraft’s movements. He claimed it moved toward him, that he thought
the other pilot was toying with him and that it was “orbiting” above him. The only
description, besides the four landing lights, that Valentich was able to give was that the
aircraft’s exterior was a shiny and metallic, and that it had a green light on it. A few
minutes after first radioing the Melbourne Flight Service, Fred Valentich reported he
was having engine trouble. The radio officials asked him once more to identify the other
aircraft. “It isn’t an aircraft,” he managed to respond, right before the transmission
was cut off. The last sound the radio officials heard was a “metallic, scraping sound.”
Radio officials at the Melbourne Flight Service assumed that Valentich had crashed, but an
initial sea and air search of the area he was last reported in turned up nothing. The
Australian Department of Transport looked into Valentich’s disappearance but was unable
to find anything. A few scattered reports of civilians seeing planes landing or flying
overhead were collected, but in the end, the disappearance was presumed fatal, and the
case was closed. But, the case was far from over. Five years after Valentich went missing,
an engine cowl flap washed ashore on Flinders Island. The Bureau of Air Safety Investigation
noted that the part came from the same type of aircraft Valentich was piloting and that
it had serial numbers within the same range as Valentich’s plane. After the mysterious
disappearance, the public learned from Guido Valentich’s, Fred’s father, that Valentich
was an “ardent believer” in UFOs and often worried about being attacked by one. It also
came out that Valentich had applied twice to the Royal Australian Air Force, and was
rejected both times for inadequate educational experience. He was also studying to be a commercial
pilot but had failed his examinations twice. He had also received several warnings, after
flying once into a restricted zone in Sydney, and twice into clouds. Ufologists jumped on
the case immediately, offering claims that he was abducted by aliens. They claim there
are eyewitness accounts of the green lights that Valentich reported seeing moving across
the sky in the area he was last reported being. A group in Phoenix, Arizona also believes
that a UFO abduction is a likely explanation. The Ground Saucer Watch claims to have photos
taken by a plumber that show a fast moving object moving through the water near the scene
of the disappearance. However, the photos have proven to be too blurry to clearly identify
the object. The case remained a topic of conversation amongst conspiracy theorists for almost 40
years, though no new information was ever collected until 2014. A UFO Action group in
Victoria claimed that an unidentified farmer saw a 30-meter aircraft hovering over his
farm the morning after Valentich went missing. He also claimed that Fred Valentich’s missing
aircraft was stuck to the side of the “UFO,” leaking oil. The only problem is that the
Victorian UFO group never learned the name of the farmer. Since 2013, the group has been
searching for him but has not yet been successful. Despite recurring reports of UFO sightings,
and Ufologists insisting that Fred Valentich’s disappearance is extraterrestrially related,
there has been no real explanation of his disappearance, and the mystery continues to
haunt Australia’s conspiracy theorists today. 3. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, disappeared
2014. All but one of the 239 people on the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had probably
been unconscious — incapacitated by the sudden depressurization of the Boeing 777
— and had no way of knowing they were on an hours-long, meandering path to their deaths.
Along that path, a panel of aviation experts speculated Sunday, was a brief but telling
detour near Penang, Malaysia, the home town of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah. On two occasions,
whoever was in control of the plane — and was probably the only one awake — tipped
the craft to the left. The experts believe Zaharie, the plane’s pilot, was taking a final
look. That is the chilling theory that the team of analysts assembled by Australia’s
“60 Minutes” have posited about the final hours of MH370. The conclusions have not been
backed by any official findings from investigations into the mystery surrounding the March 2014
flight. But the experts on the “60 Minutes” show sought to draw the most likely scenario
of the plane’s fate from the little that is known. They suspect that the plane’s 2014
disappearance and apparent crash was a suicide by the 53-year-0ld Zaharie — and a premeditated
act of mass murder. But first, the experts said, they believe that Zaharie depressurized
the plane, knocking out anyone aboard who wasn’t wearing an oxygen mask. That would
explain the silence from the plane as it veered wildly off course: no mayday from the craft’s
radio, no final goodbye texts, no attempted emergency calls that failed to connect. That
would also explain how whoever was in control had time to maneuver the plane to its final
location. The wreckage has not been found, though hundreds of millions of dollars have
gone into the four-year search. The secret of what happened in the final moments of the
ill-fated flight — and the motive behind it all — probably died with its passengers
and pilot. But the “60 Minutes” team — which included aviation specialists, the former
Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief in charge of investigating MH370’s crash, and
an oceanographer — put forth what they believe is the most likely theory. “The thing that
gets discussed the most is that at the point where the pilot turned the transponder off,
that he depressurized the airplane, which would disable the passengers,” said Larry
Vance, a veteran aircraft investigator from Canada. “He was killing himself. Unfortunately,
he was killing everyone else onboard. And he did it deliberately.” Zaharie’s suspected
suicide might explain an oddity about the plane’s final flight path: that unexpected
turn to the left. “Captain Zaharie dipped his wing to see Penang, his home town,”
Simon Hardy, a Boeing 777 senior pilot and instructor, said on “60 Minutes.” “If
you look very carefully, you can see it’s actually a turn to the left, and then start
a long turn to the right. And then [he does] another left turn. So I spent a long time
thinking about what this could be, what technical reason is there for this, and, after two months,
three months thinking about this, I finally got the answer: Someone was looking out the
window.” “It might be a long, emotional goodbye,” Hardy added. “Or a short, emotional
goodbye to his home town.” Flight 370 disappeared March 8, 2014, shortly after leaving Kuala
Lumpur, bound for Beijing. The craft is thought to have crashed in the far southern Indian
Ocean. The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the official search
in January 2017. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report said authorities
were no closer to knowing the reasons for the plane’s disappearance or the exact location
of its wreckage. But the “60 Minutes” experts tried to answer one of the biggest
questions surrounding the flight: How could a modern aircraft tracked by radar and satellites
simply disappear? Because, they say, Zaharie wanted it to. And the veteran pilot, who had
nearly 20,000 hours of flight experience and had built a flight simulator in his home,
knew exactly how to do it. For example, at one point, he flew near the border of Malaysia
and Thailand, crisscrossing into the airspace of both, Hardy said. But neither country was
likely to see the plane as a threat because it was on the edge of their airspace. “Both
of the controllers aren’t bothered about this mysterious aircraft because, oh, it’s gone,
it’s not in our space anymore,” Hardy said. “If you were commissioning me to do this
operation and try to make a 777 disappear, I would do the same thing. As far as I’m concerned,
it’s very accurate flying, and it did the job.” In light of the new analysis, the
ATSB should abandon its “ghost flight” theory about the plane’s demise, said Mike
Keane, a former military pilot and the former chief pilot at Britain-based easyJet, according
to news.com.au. That theory says the plane was on autopilot and that Zaharie and his
co-pilot were incapacitated when the flight crashed. “You may recall my observation
of ‘complicity to a crime’ if the ATSB cling to their version of events when they have
knowledge to the contrary,” Keane told the Australian. “Put bluntly, the MH370 ‘crash’
is undoubtedly a crime of the unlawful killing of 238 innocent people. The Australian government
has also been remiss, they should have put pressure on the ATSB to listen, and act, on
professional advice from the aviation community.” Theories about Zaharie’s culpability are not
new. Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid were prime suspects in the plane’s disappearance
from the beginning, according to news.com.au. There were rumors that Zaharie’s marriage
was ending and that he downed the plane after learning that his wife was about to leave,
the news site said. Another theory was that he hijacked the plane in protest of the jailing
of Anwar Ibrahim, who was then the opposition leader in Malaysia. A group called the Chinese
Martyrs’ Brigade has also claimed responsibility for the downing, although skeptical officials
called this a hoax. Two men on the plane were flying with phony passports, but one was apparently
an asylum seeker, and neither had terrorism links. The theory posited on “60 Minutes”
has something in common with previous ones about the fate of MH370, said a skeptical
Sara Norton, whose brother, Paul Weeks, died on the plane: They’re all guesswork. “Basically
it’s the same as everything else that’s happened with this particular flight,” Norton told
New Zealand news website stuff.co.nz on Tuesday. “It’s all assumption and supposition and
opinion.” “They have no corroborated facts to back any of it up, and we have never had
anything corroborated.” The wreckage, of course, might corroborate or dispel theories
about what caused the crash, and crews were still looking for it as recently as this year.
The latest attempt to discover it was a $70 million effort by a Texas company called Ocean
Infinity, according to the Associated Press. The mission scanned 500 square miles a day
during a three-month search. Ocean Infinity chief executive Oliver Plunkett said the company’s
technology had performed “exceptionally well” and collected “significant amounts
of high-quality data.” Still, it found no trace of MH370. 4. Cherrie Mahan, disappeared
1985. Thirdty-four years ago, high school senior Chris Birckbichler watched media accounts
of 8-year-old Cherrie Mahan’s disappearance from Cabot, Winfield Township. In the intervening
years, a huge local and national search hasn’t uncovered evidence about the girl’s fate,
but just like her family, investigators aren’t giving up. Now, Birckbichler is an experienced
investigator with the state police’s Butler station. He’s re-checking some of the properties
where tipsters insist her remains are buried. This week, a volunteer group’s search dogs
and the trooper combed a site off Winfield Road. The dogs didn’t find anything related
to the Mahan case, but Birckbichler saw an earthen mound that didn’t fit with the surrounding
terrain. “It looked unusual,” he said. On Thursday, six Mercyhurst College forensic
anthropologists and graduate students arrived to check the mound, just to make sure. “There
was nothing there,” the trooper said. Mercyhurst professor Dennis C. Dirkmaat didn’t make the
trip, but said his crew didn’t find anything in the test pit they carefully dug. “If
they had found bone or something, they would have started a detailed dig using forensic
and archaeological methods,” he said in a phone interview from the Erie college. Birckbichler
is not deterred. Despite the age of the case, new information is still coming in. “Each
time someone writes about the case or puts in on TV, we get new tips,” he said. Each
one is checked. Birckbichler said he is going over some of the older information and will
revisit key sites like the one this week. Cherrie’s mother, Janice McKinney of Saxonburg,
has been praying for an answer. “It seems my knees are flat,” she said. “Praying
is all that I can do.” On Aug. 14, her daughter would be 38, McKinney said.“This February
it will be 30 years,” she said, “and I want to do something special. Maybe we will
have a prayer vigil at the church.” The 4-foot-8-inch, 68-pound Cherrie Mahan hasn’t
been seen since she stepped off a school bus at her usual stop at Cornplanter and Winfield
roads in Winfield, on Feb. 22, 1985. It wasn’t far from her family’s home at the foot of
a steep, wooded driveway. The search quickly went national. People seemed captivated by
the bright-eyed Cherrie. The FBI got involved, and network TV news did stories. The Alle-Kiski
Valley girl was the first face on a national direct-mail campaign seeking missing children
sent on behalf of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Those mailers
reach at least 84 million people, which often lead to tips that solve cases. “This is
one of our original cases,” said Bob Lowery, vice president of the center’s missing children
division. “A case like this touches the core of the entire community,” he said.
“Cases where you don’t really have firm information are the toughest cases for law
enforcement,” he said. “There were no witnesses, no crime scene. There was an absence
of facts.In 1985, he said, “We didn’t have Amber Alerts, surveillance cameras and other
things that help to find kids.” Children are the most vulnerable when they are going
to and from school, he added. Lowery said the center is gratified that state police
and others haven’t given up the search even though the case is nearing its third decade.
Birckbichler said some of the tips deserve another look.The Center for Missing and Exploited
Children still gets leads every time Cherrie’s case is mentioned. Lowery said there were
17 phone calls or emails received after ads placed in Pennsylvania and other states last
month and 29 generated by fliers posted at Wal-Mart stores in March, Lowery said. During
the past 29 years, troopers have written more than 4,900 pages of reports about the Mahan
case, according to Birckbichler. That doesn’t include dozens of photos and related information.
The FBI and local police and search agencies also investigated, and many have taken a second
or third look. State police will look at some of the evidence again just in case. “Maybe
this time,” Birckbichler said, “it will be it.” 5. Asha Degree, disappeared 2000.
On February 14th, 2000 nine-year-old Asha Degree vanished without a trace. Asha lived
at home, 3404 Oakcrest Street, Shelby, North Carolina, with her mother Iquilla, father
Harold, and her ten-year-old brother O’Bryant. Before heading to bed, Asha’s dad checked
on her at 2:30 am and found her asleep in her bed. Asha and her brother O’Bryant shared
a bedroom. O’Bryant said he heard noises in the early morning hours but assumed it
was his sister tossing and turning in bed. When Iquilla went to wake up her children
for school at approximately 6:30 am, Asha was nowhere to be found. There was no sign
of forced entry, and all of the doors were locked. Two truck drivers reported seeing
Asha walking south on North Carolina Highway 18 around a mile from her home between 3:30
am and 4:15 am. The truckers saw Asha leave the roadway and disappear out of sight. Three
days after Asha disappeared her pencil, marker, and Mickey Mouse hair bow were found in a
toolshed at Turner’s Upholstery, located along North Carolina Highway 18 close to where
the truckers spotted Asha. In August 2001, a contractor clearing a lot discovered Asha’s
bookbag. It was double wrapped in black plastic bags and buried more than 26 miles away from
her home. It was sent for tests, but the results have never been made public. The authorities
and Asha’s family searched tirelessly for Asha, but her disappearance remains unsolved.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office announced two “new possible clues” Monday in the
search for Asha Degree, who was 9 when she disappeared from her Shelby home in February
2000. The first clue is a library book from Fallston Elementary School in Cleveland County,
Cleveland County Det. Jordan Bowen said in a video posted by the sheriff’s office.
The book, “McElligot’s Pool” by Dr. Seuss, shows a fish chasing a worm on a hook
on its cover. “If you, or someone you know, had this Dr. Seuss library book around the
time of Asha’s disappearance and lost track of it, call us,” Bowen said in the video.
Library records at the Fallston Elementary School Media Center don’t go back to the
year of Asha’s disappearance, Bowen said. Bowen described the second clue as a concert
T-shirt from New Kids on the Block, which formed in the 1980s and is currently on tour.
The sheriff’s office had a broad request for people who recognize the shirt, asking
for calls from anyone who had the shirt or knew someone who did at any time. They declined
in a news release to give more information about the two clues. The investigation into
Asha’s disappearance has been open for more than 18 years. In September 2017, an FBI team
with special experience in missing children cases joined the investigation. At the time
of that announcement, officials said investigators were working on the assumption that Asha is
alive. Asha’s family last saw her around 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2000, when she was asleep
in her bedroom, officials have said. About 90 minutes later, drivers on N.C. 18 in Shelby
saw her walking on the side of the road, officials said. Her parents reported her missing around
6:30 that morning. In 2001, her backpack was found buried along N.C. 18 in Burke County,
with some belongings still inside, officials said. In May 2016, the FBI announced it was
looking for an early 1970s Lincoln Mark IV or Thunderbird, based on a tip that someone
who looked like Asha may have gotten into a car like that on N.C. 18, around the time
she disappeared. A $45,000 reward is available for information on the case, according to
the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office video. Anyone with information on the library book,
the shirt or other details can call to the Cleveland County Police. 6. Amy Lynn Bradley,
disappeared 1998. In the early morning of March 24, 1998, Amy Lynn Bradley was lounging
peacefully on the balcony of her cruise ship’s cabin. Her father had woken up between 5:15
a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and noticed her, but decided to let her sleep a little longer. She had
been out late the night before, dancing in the ship’s nightclub until the early hours
of the morning. When he came back at 6 a.m. to check on her, she was gone. In half an
hour, Amy Lynn Bradley had managed to disappear, never to be heard from again. Four days before
Bradley’s disappearance, the family had boarded the Rhapsody of the Seas, a Caribbean
cruise bound for The Antilles. The beginning of the cruise was uneventful as the family
awaited docking in Curacao. The night before she disappeared, Bradley and her brother,
Brad, visited the ship’s nightclub where a live band called Blue Orchid was playing.
According to Brad, he had left Amy at the club with one of the band’s members, known
as Yellow, who claimed he had parted ways with her around 1 a.m. If her father’s report
of seeing her on the balcony was correct, she was in her cabin for roughly four hours
before going missing and disappeared in a very small window of time. When her family
found she was missing, they alerted the onboard authorities and begged them not to dock the
ship, fearing it would give their daughter’s potential kidnapper a chance to escape. The
crew allegedly refused to not dock the ship and wouldn’t even page Bradley until the
ship was at port. Once docked, the ship was thoroughly inspected, though the Bradley family
pointed out that many passengers had already left the ship before the search was finished.
In addition to the ship, the sea was searched as well, though authorities claimed that as
a trained lifeguard, it was unlikely Bradley would have gone overboard without a trace.
Based on her brother’s account of the evening she disappeared, the Bradley family suspected
the crew was involved in her disappearance. Brad claimed that the crew in the nightclub
was giving her “special attention,” which led the family to believe one of them had
smuggled her away, off the ship and into sexual slavery. The family’s fears of Amy being
smuggled away were not unfounded. Though the initial investigation lead nowhere, several
tourists and visitors to Curacao have claimed to have seen Amy Lynn Bradley over the years.
In August of 1998, five months after she went missing, two Canadian tourists spotted a woman
who matched Amy’s description on a beach. The woman even had the same tattoos as Amy:
a Tasmanian Devil with a basketball on her shoulder, a sun on her lower back, a Chinese
symbol on her right ankle, and a lizard on her navel. In 1999, a member of the Navy visited
a brothel in Barbados and claimed to have run into Amy, or at least a woman claiming
to be her. The sailor claimed that the woman told him her name was Amy Bradley and begged
him for help, saying she was not allowed to leave the brothel. Six years later, a woman
claimed to have seen Bradley in a department store restroom in Barbados. To add to the
family’s distress, in 2005 the Bradley family received an email containing a photo of a
woman who appeared to be Amy, lying on a bed in her underwear. A member of an organization
that locates sex trafficking victims on adult websites noticed the photo and thought it
could be Amy. Today, the investigation into Amy Lynn Bradley’s disappearance is ongoing,
though no new leads have popped up. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for
information leading to the recovery of Amy Lynn Bradley and information that leads to
the identification, arrest, and conviction of the persons responsible for her disappearance.
7. Jodi Huisentruit, disappeared 1995. Mason City police are looking into two vehicles
that may be connected to the disappearance of an Iowa news anchor 24 years ago, according
to a new report. Jodi Huisentruit was a 27-year-old anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City on June 27,
1995, when she failed to show up for work to anchor the 6 a.m. broadcast. She hasn’t
been seen since. FindJodi.com, a site dedicated to Huisentruit’s case and run by journalists
and retired police officers, reported Friday that the Mason City Police Department executed
a search warrant on March 20, 2017, for GPS data on two cars related to John Vansice.
Vansice, now 72 and living in Arizona, was a friend of Huisentruit’s who may have been
the last person to see her before she vanished. Online court records show police were seeking
GPS data from a 1999 Honda Civic and a 2013 GMC 1500. Vansice is listed as the interested
party on the warrant, which is under seal. Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley told
FindJodi.com that the warrant is connected to the department’s investigation into Huisentruit’s
disappearance. “As you know, we continue to actively work Jodi Huisentruit’s missing
persons case from June 27, 1995. The search warrant you are referring to is part of our
ongoing investigation. We do not have any public comment at this time about the content
of the search warrant or the person(s) named in it. We would ask that anyone with information
about Jodi’s disappearance contact the Mason City Police Department,” Brinkley told the
website. A Des Moines Register article from Aug. 12, 1995, reported that Huisentruit stopped
by Vansice’s house on the evening of June 26 and that the two watched a videotape of
a birthday party friends had thrown for Huisentruit. “She was in good spirits when she left here,”
Vansice said at the time. Vansice told the Register in 1995 that police interviewed him
and gave him a lie detector test, which he passed. But that didn’t stop accusations from
some in the community. “I have been crucified by this community. … I have been crucified
by the media,” he said at the time. “I have friends who won’t talk to me.” Investigators
have long believed someone grabbed Huisentruit shortly after 4 a.m. as she went to her red
car in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Neighbors said they heard a scream around
then and saw a white van in the lot. Police found her red high heels, blow dryer, hair
spray and earrings strewn across the lot. Her bent car key lay on the ground near the
car, and police believe she was unlocking her car door when she was taken. An unidentified
partial palm print was found on her car, but there was no other substantial evidence at
the scene.

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