50 Creepy & Unsolved Disappearances – Part 2

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21Disappearance of Rico Harris

Disappearance of Rico Harris

Rico Harris was a massive 6'9" former Harlem Globetrotter basketball player who had drug issues earlier in his life, but had made a full recovery and was getting his life back on track. He was driving along California's Interstate I-5, from his home in Southern California to Seattle, to live with his girlfriend. He was somewhere just north of Sacramento, exhausted, and told his girlfriend over the phone that he wanted to check out the mountains. All calls stopped since then. His car was found a couple of days later by a patrolman near a rest stop in the mountains. A massive search was launched and there was no sign of him. A week later, a driver later reported seeing a massive 6'9" individual wandering down the highway, just a mile from where the car was found. A search was re-launched and massive size 17 footprints were found on the grounds which were not there before. They were getting very close, and then they found nothing.

22Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar

Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar

In 1912, Bobby Dunbar’s parents took him fishing on a lake in Louisiana and he went missing. Police searched for him for 8 months and finally found a man named William Cantwell Walters who was traveling with a boy that resembled Bobby Dunbar. Walters claimed the boy was the son of a friend who had given him custody, and that the child's name was Bruce Anderson, not Bobby Dunbar. Investigators and positive ID from the parents determined this was Dunbar's child and gave custody over to them. The town had a parade for Bobby Dunbar's return. During the trial with the Dunbar and Walters, a woman named Julia Anderson came to defend Walters, asserting this was her son Bruce and she had given Walters custody. The courts dismissed her because she had three children out of wedlock and two were already deceased. The trial was being held in Mississippi, and her being a very poor woman from North Carolina, she gave up on fighting the case. In 2008 one of "Bobby Dunbar's" granddaughters had a DNA test done. She compared her grandfather’s DNA to his brothers. They were not related.

23Disappearance of Jennifer Kesse

Disappearance of Jennifer Kesse

Jennifer Kesse disappeared from her apartment complex on January 24, 2006. No major leads have been discovered since. She was last seen leaving for work one evening. She talked to her boyfriend on the phone that night around 10. Initial investigation theorized that she was abducted either from her apartment or its parking lot shortly before work. They found her car in a nearby parking lot later. There wasn’t much to go on until a security camera caught somebody dropping off her car, and the footage of this person of interest is what makes the case the most chilling. He/she has been called “the luckiest person of interest in history.” They were caught on camera walking past a gate, and despite the camera being pretty close, the camera only took one picture every 3 seconds and his/her face is perfectly obscured in every shot. Even though it’s so close, police still say they can’t confidently say if the suspect is male or female.

24Disappearance of Mayumi Arashi

Disappearance of Mayumi Arashi

In 1994, a 27-year-old housewife named Mayumi Arashi vanished after leaving her family home in Tokyo, leaving behind her 1-year-old daughter. She said she was going to meet her schoolmate. Her older sister, Yoko, later checked with this classmate, who said no such meeting was planned. Her whole family started searching for her but to no avail. Later that day, a memo is found inside Yoko's wardrobe, which reads "I was going out with A, but was betrayed" and "I'm sorry". At the bottom of the memo is A's phone number. Yoko contacts A, who tells her that "I met with Mayumi earlier that day" and "want to be in jail if Mayumi ever turns up dead".

A day later when police tailed "A", they found him entering forest holding two drinks. The police then lost track of him and found no trace of Mayumi. Fast forward to 2011, during an interview about Mayumi’s disappearance, Yoko is interviewed and she tearfully recounted the events above. Her father was then interviewed at a different location and stated that they knew nothing about Mayumi's alleged affair until they found that memo, and on the day she disappeared, it seemed like something was bothering her. But what caught the attention of viewers at home, and ignited speculation across the Japanese internet boards was a piece of paper stuck to a shelf behind the father, which went completely unremarked. On the piece of paper were the words "Don't believe what Yoko says".

25Disappearance of Asha Degree

Disappearance of Asha Degree

Asha Degree was 9 years old when she vanished from Shelby, North Carolina in the early morning hours of February 14, 2000. For reasons unknown, she packed her book bag with multiple sets of clothes, snuck out of her home before 4 am, and began walking south on Highway 18, where she was spotted by at least two motorists. She was last seen running into a wooded area by one of them. Some of her belongings were later discovered in a shed about 600 feet from where she was last sighted. About 1.5 years later, her book bag was found double wrapped in trash bags in a remote area of Burke County, about 26 miles north of her home. She has never been seen again.

26Disappearance of Garrett Bardsley

Disappearance of Garrett Bardsley

In 2004, Garrett Bardsley was fishing with his dad in the Uinta Mountains in Utah. Garrett was there camping with a group of Boy Scouts. He and his dad went fishing together and his socks got wet. His dad told him to go back to camp and get a new pair. The camp was 150 yards from the creek. As Garrett started to head up to camp, his dad pointed out he was going the wrong way. Garrett then went in the correct direction to camp. Moments later he thought he heard someone yell "DAD". The dad returned to camp 15 minutes later to check on Garrett. He found out Garrett never made it to the camp.

27Disappearance of Heather Teague

Disappearance of Heather Teague

In 1995, a girl named Heather Teague was sunbathing on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River near Evansville, Indiana. A witness was watching from across the river through his telescope (probably creeping on her) when, out of the woods behind her, a man walked up, grabbed her by the hair, and dragged her back into the woods. The Peeping Tom waited 45 minutes before calling the police, but after that he was completely involved with the investigation, visiting with cops at the beach, providing a complete statement, and collaborating with a sketch artist. When authorities investigated the beach and woods, they discovered only fragments of Heather's red plaid bathing suit. Nobody knows what happened to her or who kidnapped her to this day.

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28Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit

Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit

On June 27, 1995, Jodi Huisentruit, a news anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, failed to arrive at work. Her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of her apartment, and she was never seen again. Investigators found Jodi's personal belongings strewn in her apartment's parking lot. The ground showed signs of drag marks suggesting she had been forcibly taken away while she was entering her car. The investigation into Jodi Huisentruit’s disappearance has been ongoing for over two decades, but no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified.

29Disappearance of the Sodder Children

Disappearance of the Sodder Children

On Christmas Eve, 1945, the Sodder family were at their home in Fayetteville, West Virginia. George Sodder and his wife, Jennie, allowed their nine children to stay up later than the usual bedtime. At 12.30 am, the phone rang and when Jennie answered she heard a voice she didn’t recognize, asking for a name she was not familiar with. She told the caller they had the wrong number and she remembered hearing a “weird laugh” before she hung up.

At 1 am, Jennie woke again to the sound of a large object hitting the top of the roof with a bang. She went back to sleep and thought nothing more of it. Half an hour later, she woke again smelling smoke and found the house was on fire. She woke her husband, and they managed to escape with only four of their children. They could not rescue the other children who were upstairs as the house was now fully in flames. The father tried to get up to them on a ladder, but the ladder was missing. He tried to drive his truck under the window to climb on top, but his car wouldn't start.

The fire station was just 3 miles away, but they did not arrive until 8 hours later. When they sifted through the rubble they found no bones or remains of the children. The children were assumed missing and were never found.

30Disappearance of Lauren Spierer

Disappearance of Lauren Spierer

In 2011, Lauren Spierer was a 20-year-old affluent, Jewish, East Coast girl who was studying at University in Bloomington, Indiana. On the night of June 2nd, 2011, she was out with her friends drinking and partying, and never came back home. Her boyfriend reported her missing the next morning. The last guys she was known to be with all lawyered up almost immediately. Her boyfriend packed up and moved home shortly after her disappearance. Several theories have arisen and been investigated but none have shown strong enough links to proceed.


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  1. RE #1: Gary Mathias – I have an easy explanation, and it has to do with the guy in the car, but doesn’t involve foul play.

    If they were lost in the mountains at night, even if they were on a highway, it’s possible they were looking for someone to ask for directions. They may have saw the lights of Shones car, since he admittedly left it running; also, if he was seriously in need of help, would have left them on to make himself more visible. Maybe they decided to drive up that road thinking it would be easier to get to the car and ask for directions. It also may have seemed closer than it was at night.

    It says in the original article that the driver’s side window was down in the boy’s car. I think if someone was driving up a road like that, at least if I was, hanging out the window to see where I was going would make it rather easy not to damage the car. You take it slow, and you watch where you are going out the window.

    But then they get stuck. At this point, they get out of the car, maybe one of them goes out to take a piss. All of a sudden some guy starts screaming for help up the mountain. If the wind was blowing (maybe this explains the whistles that Shones heard), or there was recent snow, then that plays hell with echoes and it is hard to tell where sound is coming from. The calls for help may have very well sounded like they were coming from another direction uphill and out in the woods. The article states that one of the boys would help anyone in need. This may explain why they didn’t continue on to Shones car, but perhaps thought someone had left that car and was now lost out in the woods.

    At that point, all it would take is one of them running out into the woods in the wrong direction and the others chasing off after him for the group to get lost; this seems even more plausible with their mental capacity – one of them could have just bolted thinking that someone needed help out in the woods. It’s night, possibly windy, and there is fresh snow. Whoever was yelling for help has gone silent, and now you are in the woods. They kept going uphill looking for whoever was yelling for help, got lost, there was a fresh snow, and the rest is history. Three of them died from exposure, the other two made it to a cabin. However, since three of them were already dead, it makes sense that the remaining two would have been in dire straits at that point. I think they got in the cabin, ate what was available, and Mathias, in the best condition somehow, took the best pair of shoes available, wrapped his friend up, and tried to get to help. They probably didn’t even check for more food or for heat, or didn’t have the mental capacity at that point to work it out. There is a note about a mysterious watch with a broken crystal, but that could have been discarded by a camper and found in the cabin – it was broken, after all.

    • RE #1: Gary Mathias – We will never truly have an answer to what actually happened that night, but a lot of the strange behavior is familiar to me since I work in a group home for this exact population. It’s a group home for men with mild intellectual disabilities, just like the men here. They can do a lot of things, but their lives and capabilities rely heavily on rules and routines and exact steps. They may be able to cook a grilled cheese sandwich, but if you tell them to cook a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, they will stand there utterly perplexed unless you stand next to them and walk them through step by step.

      What I can’t figure out is why and how they ended up where they did. Did the driver just get turned around somehow from a missed exit, road construction, or traffic detour? These things are minor annoyances to a neurotypical person but can be devastating to someone with mental problems or intellectual disabilities.

      Aside from how they ended up so far away from home, a lot of the behavior is familiar to me because of where I work. The abandoned car. When the guys at the group home I work at become stressed out and agitated, they will often run away from home. We then have to call the police to bring them back. The reasons they run away from home often don’t make logical sense or they seem like an overreaction. Like if a storm is coming a guy who is afraid of thunder storms will then run away from home…. Into the storm lol. So, I’m thinking that the guys somehow became lost and ended up far out of their way… For whatever reason. Lost, they then began to panic. The car got stuck in the snowbank. Now, completely panicked, they decided they are afraid of the car since driving is what got them lost, and decided to bail from the car and just walk instead. That, or they simply were too panicked to figure out how to push the car out and thought the snowcats tracks would lead them to civilization.

      From there things become more easy to explain. They followed the snowcat trail to the trailer. Sterling and Madruga succombed to the elements along the way. Weiher and Huett made it to the trailer. Now, being familiar with this population I kind of understand what happened. There was a fireplace, matches, and books to use to burn to keep warm. But, if they had been told their whole lives that setting things on fire was unsafe and inappropriate, they would have not been able to put together that it was a good idea to do in that situation. The food rations. If they were unfamiliar with what they looked like, they may not have even recognized it as food. Or maybe they didn’t know how to open the packaging. Or how to prepare it. The clothes in the trailer. They may have only recognized their own winter clothes as the appropriate things to wear when they get cold. Or they may have feared legal consequences for taking someone else’s property without permission. The guys at our work have to be told and taught how to pick weather appropriate clothing. Even when they are sooooo high functioning that you kind of forget about their intellectual disability. Then it will be an unseasonably warm day in the 60’s or 70’s and they’re still wearing their winter jackets. Why? Because no staff told them it was okay not to. Like, you forget what you’re dealing with but then something like that happens and you’re like, “Ope. There it is.”

      I don’t know. Some things about this case are a mystery like how they got out to the mountain in the first place or the unexplained sighting from the guy having a heart attack. But then there are so many behaviors that seem familiar to me that make me learn more towards thinking the whole thing was just an accident that ended in tragedy. I think Mathias probably succombed to the elements and his body was just never found. It’s a lot of wilderness to get lost in and several months of animal scavenging may have scattered and lost his remains

    • Except… it is said that he died in the cabin after 8-13 weeks, and having lost 80-100 pounds. Some of the food was eaten, but there was enough food left to feed 5 men for a year. Would it not occur to him during those 8-13 weeks to check the locker to see if there was more food? He had some food that he rationed and ate during those weeks, or he would’ve died after ~2 weeks due to starvation. So why did he think there was so little food in the first place? Why not build a fire to prevent his frostbite? There were matches, material to sustain a fire and even a propane tank. It makes no sense at all.

      • This sticks out: “The growth of beard on his face showed that he had lived apparently, in starving agony inside that trailer, for anywhere from eight to 13 weeks.”

        The growth of the beard?

        Couldn’t that have happened outside the trailer? I’d like to know how they came to the 8 to 13 weeks number, because if it was only due to the growth of the beard then that means nothing, he could have grown that while starving to death and losing all that weight out in the wilderness trying to find shelter.

        Another source said that when they found him he was wrapped in the sheet “like a shroud” and indicated that they thought someone else would have had to have done it. His head was wrapped too, according to that article.

        I just don’t understand why they thought they were in that trailer for so long. I mean, the weight loss could have happened before they go to the trailer, same with the beard growth. If there are other reasons they think they were in that trailer for so long, I don’t see them listed. Maybe I am missing it.

        • I just don’t see them (or just him) walking around in the wilderness for 8-13 weeks without dying quickly. It was february and there was snow, so it must’ve been very cold (he had frostbitten toes, too), there are many hungry predators about, there’s probably little to nothing to eat, so you’d think that he’d have starved way sooner.

          But even if you believe that he was only in the trailer during his last few days, why would he not immediately eat the food and make a fire? He was strong enough to climb through the broken window to enter the trailer, and someone went to the shed to get food. But for some reason, that person didn’t take the huge amount of food in the locker. If they’d just used that food and made a fire or use the propane tank, the probably would’ve been fine.

  2. RE: #4 Beatriz Winck – How sad, it’s crazy how many things can go wrong with tourists. If she was feeling unwell, is it possible she was disoriented and got lost somewhere? This basilica sounds like a big tourist destination. Looks like there’s a river very close to the church, as well as forests and open vegetation. Maybe she intended to go back to the hotel and got disoriented. How was the weather that day, could she have been dehydrated?

    • Hi. I tried finding info about the surrounding area but can’t tell you for sure the type of vegetation around the Basilica, if it’s large enough to get lost etc . Only by pictures we can have some idea. It looks like she could get lost in the vegetation our get to the river you found, but only if she walked a lot to leave the urban area. With so many people around, it’s hard to believe no one noticed her. But yes, it could happen. I’ve never been to Aparecida but I know some people who have. I’ll ask them if they think it’s easy to get lost in city..

  3. RE: #10 – Lars Mittank – I still think he died of dehydration somewhere in the nature and his body hasnt been found yet..maybe at some obvious location.

    • This is the most likely scenario in my opinion. Perhaps the fight he got into caused a brain injury, or he had another kind of undiagnosed mental disorder.

      • The fight might not have even happened. No one saw the fight Lars ended up split up from his friends after arguing with some football fans and when they found him later he told them that those fans hired people to beat him up. Ears can rupture through travel or infection. It’s possible that was unrelated and it was simply a mental issue. Of course people with serious delusional disorders are at high risk of being harmed by others because they can come across threatening to others so i wouldn’t be surprised if he was attacked. The story about fans hiring people is almost certainly nonsense though.

        • I have read that for the injury he was given antibiotics. It makes me wonder if the ear rupture was caused by an infection. It’s not typical to prescribe antibiotics for that unless there’s sign of infection, and unless there’s other injuries that haven’t been mentioned, no other reason to prescribe antibiotics. Take out the rupture, and the other injuries are as explainable by a drunken fall as they are by a fight.

          • Antibiotics aren’t strictly indicated for rupture, but are fairly commonly prescribed anyway. Especially if contamination is suspected.

    • I remember hearing about other photos that were found as well. I found them here the sheriff does seem to feel sure of his belief about what happened

      • Wow. The picture from Albuquerque really resembles the boy in the original Polaroid. Why have police never spoken about these letters?? Did they ever identify the boy in either of the photos? I’ve heard about the Calico case many times but never have I heard about this part of it & the possible connection!

      • So the bike was never found. I think this probably lends to the theory of hit-and-run. I can’t see a kidnapper bothering to take a bike if he only wanted the girl.

        • I wonder if the kidnapper hit her in order to capture her, hence the reported broken pieces of her tape player and skidmarks, then took both her and the bike to limit evidence? (For example, in case paint from his car was on the bike.)

          • This is what happened in a case in my town. Mickey Shunick was riding a bike and was hit by her abductor (at low speeds). He pretended it was an accident. He convinced her let him give her a ride. He put her bike in his truck bed. If you believe you’ll return home, you don’t want to just leave your bike.

  4. RE #7: – Tara Calico – The local police have always stuck by the theory that Tara Calico was accidentally run over by two local teenage boys, whose parents then helped them cover it up by hiding the body. They believe they know who it is, but evidence is lacking. That seems plausible. The boys might have been tailing her for fun and then something went wrong. It is unlikely that the parents will ever admit the truth, should that be the case, though siblings if there are any, might very well figure it out and decide to turn them in. So it is possible someone will eventually confirm that theory.

    I think the photograph has nothing to do with the case. One thing that does strike me is that given how heavily publicised it has been, no one has come forward to identify the two youngsters, neither have they emerged. The person who dropped the photo hasn’t claimed it. I suppose it’s possible the right people just missed all the fuss. Or they didn’t want to associate themselves with the circus round the photograph if it was just a prank picture. Being known as the kids who weren’t kidnapped after all might be something they didn’t want to live down especially if they came from a small town.

    • Yes, when I went down the rabbit hole on this case a few years ago I realized it’s pretty much solved. I’m pretty sure there’s an extensive case report out there from one of the later Sheriff’s assigned to the case with interviews etc. I also thought the main suspects were deceased, and at least one was related to the Sheriff a the time. There have been a few write ups on this sub over the years which likely have more details.



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