50 Creepy & Unsolved Disappearances – Part 2

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31Disappearance of Tammy Lynn Leppert

Disappearance of Tammy Lynn Leppert

Actress Tammy Lynn Leppert starred in Scarface, Spring Break, and Little Darlings. Critics were predicting that she would become one of the big stars of the 80s. In 1982, she went to a weekend party unchaperoned and came home a different person. She became paranoid. She wouldn’t leave her room or answer the door. She refused to eat from open containers and even had her friend test for poison in her food.

After filming a particularly gruesome gun battle scene for Scarface, she had a breakdown and had to be escorted off the set. She confided to her mother that someone had bragged to her about a large money laundering and drug trading operation involving high-profile citizens in Florida, ranging from police officers to bankers and prominent locals. She also said she had seen something “horrible” that she wasn’t supposed to see, but refused to elaborate. Her mother took Tammy to the County Sheriff’s Office to report the alleged scheme, but when interviewed seven years later, Officer Mike Wong could not recall many specific details about the meeting.

Over months, she became paranoid and became convinced that somebody was out to kill her. In July 1983, she got off from her friend’s car at North Orlando as he had refused to drive her 170-mile to Fort Lauderdale and suggested dropping her off back home instead. Shortly after, she made three urgent calls to her aunt and her friend, both of whom weren’t able to pick up her calls. This is the last known contact from Tammy. Police quickly dismissed her as a runaway case and a private investigator and even Unsolved Mysteries producer Matt Klineman found that the police department did little to help with her case and did not want to share any information or leads with her mother, a request that he said was outside the norm.

32Disappearance of Natalee Holloway

Disappearance of Natalee Holloway

Natalee Holloway disappeared on her senior spring break trip from Alabama to Aruba in 2005. Natalee and her friends met Joran Van Der Sloot at a nightclub. She left with him and was never seen again. Van Der Sloot first said he dropped her off at the hotel she was staying, then changed his story saying he took her to a cliff to look at the sharks where he left her, then changed it again to say he sold her into a slave trade. He was also filmed confessing to killing her the night he met her. Van Der Sloot has since been arrested for killing another girl 5 years later in Peru on the anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance. He however has still not been charged with Natalee's murder.

33Disappearance of Austin Tice

Disappearance of Austin Tice

Austin Tice was a freelance journalist and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was abducted on August 14, 2012, while reporting on the civil war in Syria. He had arrived at the wrong time, amid a crackdown on civilians and potential opposition members in Darayya. 500 people were found executed, many lined in open-air mass graves after other journalists arrived in the town in late August. His body however was not found among those in the mass graves in Darayya, and no rebel or Islamist groups had claimed credit for his kidnapping.

A few months later, an anonymous video was uploaded to YouTube by a cryptic account named 'khalidfree75'. The video showed unidentified men slowly leading Austin who was blindfolded up a hill. Austin is then seen on his knees, resting his head on the arm of one of his assailants. He chants a prayer in Arabic, begging for respite, before switching to English and gasping. "Oh, Jesus. Oh Jesus." The video then abruptly ends. Austin Tice has not been seen since. No further videos have been uploaded to that Youtube account. No group has claimed credit for his disappearance and his whereabouts are still unknown.

34Disappearance of Masanobu Tsuji

Disappearance of Masanobu Tsuji

Masanobu Tsuji was an enigmatic Japanese officer during World War 2 and he was the real mastermind behind the Sook Ching massacre and Bataan Death March. He was adept at manipulating the Japanese high command, including attempting to order Japanese officers to massacre POWs under their watch in the Philippines. After the war, however, he evaded prosecution for war crimes by disguising himself as a Buddhist monk and hiding in Thailand. He returned to Japan in 1949 and was elected as an advocate of renewed militarism. In 1961, however, he again disappeared on a trip to Laos. He may have been killed in the Laotian Civil War, but there were also rumors that he became an adviser to the North Vietnamese government.

35Disappearance of David Louis Sneddon

Disappearance of David Louis Sneddon

In 2004, an American college student named David Louis Sneddon went missing during a hiking trip to China. After he failed to arrive in Seoul to meet his brother, his family contacted the Chinese police. They completed a quick sweep of the Tiger Leaping Gorge where he was last seen and concluded that he had died during his hike of the gorge.

In May 2012, a Japanese government delegation during their trip to Washington came with an explosive report that said an American man in his early 20s was arrested in August 2004 for helping an illegal North Korean alien. He was released by the Chinese in September, but then picked up by five North Korean state security officers. The following month, the Sneddon family received another lead from a South Korean man with close ties to the North Korean defector community. He said that an American in his early 30s who matched David’s description had been spotted teaching English outside Pyongyang in North Korea.

David knew the Korean language, so he could have been a coveted asset in training North Korean agents. By midsummer 2004, North Korea had lost one of its few remaining American English teachers, Charles Jenkins, who was released on July 9, one month before David had disappeared.

36Disappearance of Theresa Ann Bier

Disappearance of Theresa Ann Bier

In 1987, a 16-year-old girl named Theresa Ann Bier went missing on a camping trip. She was last seen with 43-year-old Russell Welch in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. They were reportedly searching for the legendary creature known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Welch considered himself to be a "student" of the legend. Authorities questioned Welch when he returned days later. He initially claimed that Theresa ran away from him on June 1, but then changed his story stating that Theresa had been forcibly taken by Bigfoot. He managed to avoid trial due to the lack of a body.

37Disappearance of Richard Colvin Cox

Disappearance of Richard Colvin Cox

Richard Colvin Cox volunteered for service in the United States Army and two years later he was assigned to the West Point Military Academy in New York, arriving in January 1948. Two years later he signed out to have dinner with an acquaintance on January 14, 1950 and was never seen again. He remains the only West Point Cadet to have disappeared without a trace. Police, FBI, and CID got involved in the search efforts and used both air and ground searches to check the reservoir, river, and pond. After two months of an extensive manhunt, no body was ever found.

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38Disappearance of William Morgan

Disappearance of William Morgan

A man named William Morgan was rejected by the Freemasons in the 1800s. In retaliation, he planned to publish a book revealing their secrets. He disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. Around the mid-1800s America was seized by a hysterical fear that the Freemasons were out to overthrow the Republic. The unresolved disappearance of William Morgan convinced many that the Freemasons were a murderous bunch responsible for much of the unsolved murders in the country. Dozens of Freemasons were dragged to court on unsubstantiated charges, and any judge or jury which did not convict was accused of being a Freemason. Anti-Freemason exhibits toured the country, showcasing reported Freemason abuses against innocents, and more than 20 anti-Freemason conventions took place in the United States during this time.

39Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

In 2006, a medical student named Brian Shaffer walked into a bar near The Ohio State University and never walked out. The bar had only one entrance that the patrons and staff used to enter and exit and one emergency exit and both those exits had surveillance cameras. There was a dark construction site underneath the bar that led to the aforementioned emergency exit behind the building. Bloodhounds couldn't place him anywhere and he was also not seen on any CCTV footage around Columbus or Ohio State University. He was supposed to go on vacation with his significant other days after he had disappeared.

40Disappearance of Nicolas Barclay

Disappearance of Nicolas Barclay

In 1994, 13-year-old Nicolas Barclay disappeared from his home in San Antonio, Texas. About 3 years later, Nicolas was found huddled next to a phone booth halfway across the world in Spain. Authorities picked him up and reunited him with his family. Certain things however didn’t add up. He had little memory of what happened to him or how he ended up in Spain. His English was terrible, and he spoke it with a heavy accent. Another thing no one could explain was his eye color. It was different than when he originally disappeared. Nicolas tried to resume a normal life, enrolling back into his old school and moving back in with his family.

Four months after reuniting with his family, a private investigator discovered that the kid they found wasn’t Nicolas Barclay, but a con artist named Frederic Bourdin. Bourdin was wanted by Interpol for stealing the identity of missing youths. Bourdin was arrested, but this brought about even more disturbing questions about Nicolas’s disappearance.

It came to light that Nicolas was a very unruly and problematic child. He regularly got into trouble at school, and there were police reports about domestic disturbances and arguments at his house that worsened in the months before he went missing. Nicolas’ mom moved her brother into their house shortly before he disappeared to help give Nicolas some structure. It was rumored that he couldn’t handle Nicolas and instead killed him. This would explain why the family was so willing to accept someone who wasn’t their son. Shortly after Bourdin was arrested and police reopened the case of Nicolas’ disappearance, his uncle promptly killed himself.


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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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