10 Intriguing Disappearance Cases that Remained Unsolved

Sometimes, we encounter cases so intriguing that we don’t know how to interpret or react to them. In fact, those incidents are happening around us, and you may witness such cases in your daily life even though we don’t hope for that. Every year, hundreds of missing cases are reported to the police, and while the police manage to solve some of those cases, some remain unsolved. Here, you are going to read the stories of some of those intriguing disappearance cases that remained unsolved. We wish all missing people will eventually return their home and reunite with their loved ones one day.

1. Trevaline Evans

On June 16, 1990, Trevaline Evans left a note on the front of her antique shop saying she would be “back in two minutes.” However, she has never returned and no one has seen her since then. The case has been re-opened twice, once in 2001 and once in 2011, but the police couldn’t find anything new.

 Trevaline Evans, Note written Back in 2 minutes
Image credit: cascadenews.co.uk via dailymail.co.uk, Image source: dailymail.co.uk

Trevaline Evans, a 52-year-old antique dealer, placed a note on the door of her shop on June 16, 1990. The note said she would be “back in two minutes.” According to records, she bought some apples and a banana, and the banana skin found in her shop implied that she returned to the shop, although this was not confirmed. The last sighting of Trevaline was near her home, although there were also two other suspected sightings. In 1992, Detective Chief Inspector Colin Edwards, head of the continuing investigation about the disappearance, said: “It is, without doubt, the strangest inquiry I have ever been involved with. How a happily married woman could vanish without a trace on a sunny Saturday morning in a busy town center is totally baffling.”

Later, the police reopened the case twice. The first one was in 2001. They thought that the new forensic technology may help solve the case, however, it didn’t work. The police arrested Trevaline’s husband, Richard, who was arranging a holiday at the time of his wife’s disappearance. But then, he was released without charge. The second was in 2011 when the police suspected that the case may be related to a serial killer named Robin Ligus. But, they ruled any possible connection out one year later. Her husband Richard died in 2015 without knowing what happened his wife.(1,2)

2. Susan Cox Powell

Susan Powell, a 28-year-old married woman, and mother of two went missing in 2009. The police suspected her husband, Josh, but they couldn’t find any evidence verifying this. Josh told the police he left their home in Utah with the children to go camping, and when they returned she was missing. As the investigation continued, the police found out some family secrets including child pornography and voyeurism.

Susan Powell with her husband and kids
Image credit: Hardman Photography/Polaris via dailymail.co.uk

Susan Powell and her husband, Josh, moved to Utah in order to get away from Josh’s father who was sexually obsessed with Susan. Also, they had problems in their marriage, and Susan was expressing this situation to her friends. She even recorded a video and wrote a secret will saying: “I want it documented that there is extreme turmoil in our marriage, and if I die, it may not be an accident even if it looks like one.” On December 7, 2009, Josh’s mother and sister went to their home, but they couldn’t get into the house. They called the police. When the police came and entered the house, nobody was home. Then, Josh came with the children and told the police that when he left the home to go camping with the children, Susan was sleeping.

That was the day Susan went missing. Josh, who didn’t seem concerned about Susan during the interrogation, was the main person of interest in the investigation. However, the police couldn’t find any evidence that could prove his involvement in the suspected crime. When searching the house for a clue, the police found blood samples. According to a DNA test, one blood sample matched Susan, but the other didn’t match Josh or his father who was arrested on charges of child pornography and voyeurism because of the photographs of the children, neighbors, and Susan that were taken without their knowledge. In 2012, Josh blew up his house while he and the children were inside, and all three died in the incident. This incident led the police to close the investigation.(1,2,3)

3. Bobby Dunbar

Bobby Dunbar went missing while on a trip with his parents in 1912. After a search of eight months, they found a boy who looked like Bobby, and the mother identified him as Bobby. However, in 2004, the grandson of Bobby had a DNA test with DNA samples of his father and his father’s cousin. The samples didn’t match, which means the boy Lessie Dunbar identified as Bobby wasn’t actually Bobby.

Bobby Dunbar
Image source: Wikimedia, Image credit: The Day Book/Wikimedia

In 1912, Lessie and Percy Dunbar, parents of four-year-old Bobby Dunbar, took their son on a fishing trip to Swayze Lake near Opelousas, Louisiana. On August 23, 1912, he went missing, and his parents reported the situation to the police. After an eight-month search, the police found a man named William Walters in Mississippi with a boy who looked like Bobby. Walters claimed that the boy’s mother, Julia Anderson, gave him custody of the boy, and his name was Charles Bruce Anderson. However, the police didn’t believe him and arrested Walters, and then they gave the child to Lessie and Percy Dunbar. The family identified the boy as their son Bobby.

After hearing about the case, Julia Anderson went to Mississippi to take her son back. Julia also had a chance to identify the boy, and she identified him as her son Bruce. But the judge gave the custody of the boy to the Dunbars. She also defended Walters, who had been sentenced to two years in prison. There was nothing she could do except for maintaining her claim that he was her son Bruce. In 2004, a grandson of Bobby Dunbar wanted to have a DNA test and took samples from his father, Bob Dunbar Jr., and his father’s cousin, the son of Bobby Dunbar’s brother, Alonzo Dunbar. According to the result, which was shocking, they were not related, which meant that the boy taken by the Dunbars was not actually Bobby Dunbar. It is still unknown what happened to the real Bobby Dunbar as of today.(1,2)

4. Brandon Lawson

In 2013, Brandon Lawson called his brother and told him he had run out of gas on a highway after leaving the home after an argument with his girlfriend. When his brother got there, he was missing. Also, according to records, he called 911 just before his disappearance saying he was being chased and needed cops.

Brandon Lawson
Image source: Help Find Brandon Lawson/Facebook

On August 8, 2013, Brandon Lawson, a 36-year-old father of four, left his home after an argument with his girlfriend with whom he had been with for more than ten years. After about forty-five minutes, he called his brother Kyle Lawson and told him that he had run out of gas on Highway 277 in Bronte, Texas. Then, Kyle and Kyle’s girlfriend drove to the location where Brandon was waiting. In the meantime, although Brandon had a warrant out for his arrest, he called 911 and requested the police to be sent immediately to his location. He told the police in a panic that he was being chased and didn’t need an ambulance, but cops.

Both Kyle and Audrey, Kyle’s girlfriend, called Brandon a few times before they arrived at Brandon’s location. But the signal was weak so they couldn’t talk properly. However, they stated that they heard that Brandon said he was bleeding during one of those calls. When Kyle and his girlfriend arrived, they saw the police were there too, and Brandon was missing. At first, Kyle thought that Brandon might be hiding because of the cops, and he put some gas in his truck in case Brandon would return. However, there has been no cell phone and bank account activity since then, and nobody has seen him again.(1,2)

5. The Sodder Children

In 1945, on the night before Christmas, Jennie and George Sodder and their nine children went to sleep. After a while, they woke up due to a fire in their house. They managed to save four of their children, but they have never seen the other five children again. They couldn’t even find their remains after the fire.

Sodder Children
Image credit: Jennie Henthorn via smithsonianmag.com, Image source: unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com

On 24 December 1945, George Sodder, his wife, Jennie Sodder, and nine of their ten children (the eldest son was in the army) went to sleep as usual. But, later on that night, they woke up because of a fire in their house. While George, Jennie, and four of the children were able to escape, the other five children couldn’t. After the fire was put out, the bodies of the missing children couldn’t be found. The family didn’t know if they were dead or alive, but it was clear that they were missing. They didn’t rebuild the house, and instead, they converted the area into a memorial garden for the lost children.

The officials said that the cause of the fire was faulty wiring. However, the Sodders questioned this asking why the Christmas lights in the house had remained on during the fire because they should have gone out if it had been an electrical problem. Also, the investigators told the Sodders that the bodies must have been completely burned. But after talking to a crematorium employee, Jennie Sodder learned that bones would have remained. As of today, there is still a mystery what happened to those children.(1,2)

6. Rico Harris

In 2011, when Rico Harris, a former basketball player, was driving from California to Seattle to start a new life, he went missing. The last call he made was to his girlfriend in Seattle, and he told her that he wanted to rest in a mountain area. Since then, nobody has ever heard from him.

Rico Harris
Image source: Facebook via dailymail.co.uk

Rico Harris was a former professional basketball player who played for the Harlem Globetrotters. He had alcohol and drug problems in his life, but in 2007, he managed to recover from his addictions. Rico was living in California when he met his girlfriend, Jennifer Song, who came there as a visitor from Seattle in 2012. After two years, he decided to move in with his girlfriend who was living in Seattle and start a new life there. He even arranged for a job interview for a position as a real estate appraiser in Seattle.

Before leaving California, he wanted to visit his mother and brother one more time, but this was a short visit. He talked with his brother and mother and then left in order to be in Seattle for the job interview in the next morning. After leaving Alhambra, his hometown, on October 10, 2014, he drove north to go to Seattle. Records showed that he stopped south of Sacramento in order to get gas. Also, he called his girlfriend form north of the region and left a message saying he was going up to the mountains for a short rest. Three days later, the police found his car abandoned 60 miles northwest of Sacramento, but he was not there. After a while, several sightings were reported, and the police even found a size-18 footprint where he was allegedly seen. But he remained missing, and nobody has seen him since then.(1,2)

7. Melanie Melanson

Melanie Melanson, a freshman high school student, was last seen at a party on October 27, 1989. Two boys who were the last ones to see her told different stories about the disappearance of Melanie. Each one claimed it was the other who had last seen her. In 2009, the police re-opened the case, but they didn’t find out anything.

Melanie Melanson
Image credit: Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office via dailymail.co.uk

Melanie Melanson had run away home several times before her disappearance because of the conflicts between her parents. She had been staying with his grandmother for a while before she went missing. On October 27, 1989, she attended a party in the woods near an industrial park with five male friends of her. When the party was over the next morning, she didn’t return home, and no one knew where she was. It was afternoon when her family discovered that she was missing.

The police found out it was two boys who last saw and talked to her. However, both of them told different stories about her and claimed that the other was the last one talking to her. The police searched for Melanie using everything they had from cadaver dogs to a helicopter, but they couldn’t find her. In 1992, an anonymous caller told the police to look for Melanie’s body in a pond area, but they found nothing. They thought she might have gone to Florida as she had run away several times before. The police reopened the case in 2009, but couldn’t find anything. Although the police now think she was the victim of foul play, it is still a mystery as of today.(1,2)

8. Kelly Dae Wilson

Kelly Dae Wilson, who was a 17-year-old American woman living in Texas, went missing in 1992. She was last seen while going from her place of employment to a bank to deposit her paycheck. Her stepfather discovered her car at her workplace with flat tires, and her belongings were in the car. No one has seen her since then.

Kelly Dae Wilson
Image source: api.missingkids.org

On the evening of January 5, 1992, Kelly left her workplace and went to the bank to make a deposit. However, she never returned. The security camera of the bank recorded a woman coming to the bank and making a night deposit, but it was unclear if she was Kelly. The next day, her stepfather found her car in the parking lot of her workplace, but the tires were flat, and the car keys were missing. However, her purse and some belongings were in the car.

Although the police suspected some people who knew Kelly, they couldn’t find any evidence that linked them to Kelly’s case. The police arrested only one man named Michael Biby after finding out he had slashed tires of Kelly’s car. But then, he was only charged with a misdemeanor as he was considered to be innocent in the disappearance of Kelly. As of 2017, what happened to Kelly is still a mystery.(1,2)

9. Juan Pedro Martinez

In 1986, Juan Martinez was traveling with his mother and father who was a truck driver. He was carrying a payload of sulfuric acid when they crashed into another truck. The police found his parents’ bodies, but nobody has seen Juan since the accident. Also, according to scientists, sulfuric acid couldn’t fully dissolve a body.

Juan Pedro Martinez
Image source: abc.es

On June 24, 1986, Juan Pedro Martinez, a ten-year-old Spanish boy, was traveling with his father, Andres Martinez, and his mother, Carmen Gomez. Andres Martinez was a truck driver and was transporting 20,000 liters of sulfuric acid to Bilbao, a city in the Basque Region in Spain. He awarded his son with the Bilbao trip because of his good grades at school. When passing through Somosierra, a mountain pass to the north of Madrid, they crashed into another truck coming from the opposite direction. Their truck overturned and sulfuric acid was spread all around.

After the authorities cleaned up the area, they found the bodies of Andres and Carmen, but Juan Pedro was missing. However, they didn’t know he was with his parents in the truck at the time of the accident. The police learned that there had been a boy in the truck when they notified Carmen’s mother about the accident. According to witnesses, while driving up to the mountains, Andres was driving very fast, which caused the crash. This gave rise to some theories that he might have been running away from someone, and when they crashed, the people who were chasing them had kidnapped Juan Pedro before the police reached there.(source)

10. Maura Murray

Maura Murray went missing in February of 2004 after a car crash in New Hampshire. Some drivers offered help, but she declined them saying she had called road assistance. That was the last time she was seen. The police thought she wanted to disappear on purpose.

Maura Murray
Image source: findthemissing.org

Maura Murray was a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. On February 9, 2004, she sent an e-mail to her professors at school saying that she would be missing for a couple days because of the death of a family member. Also, she sent another e-mail to her boyfriend saying she loved him and would call him during the day. She withdrew some money, bought some alcohol, and left Amherst. After a while, her car skidded off the road and crashed into a snowbank in Haverhill, New Hampshire.

At the same time, some residents who saw the accident called the Sheriff’s Department to report it. A school bus driver stopped and offered help, but Maura refused him saying she called for help, though she didn’t according to records. But, the bus driver called the police when he got to his home. When the police arrived at the scene, they saw no one inside or outside of the car, Maura was missing. Since her disappearance, there hasn’t been any credited sighting, and as of today, no one knows what happened to Maura Murray.(1,2)

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