Whenever someone disappears, it’s standard procedure for the authorities to be notified quickly and for the victim to be declared a missing person. But sometimes a person can gone for years before anyone even notices that they’re missing.
10Elizabeth Eisel And Katherine Lowery
After she was born in 1962, Elizabeth Eisel was put up for adoption. When her adoptive mother and brother were killed in a car accident in 1981, Elizabeth became interested in tracking down her biological family. She soon located her birth mother’s son, Steven DeLoge, and eventually moved to Bellevue, Washington. Sometime in September of 1985, Elizabeth disappeared, leaving all her personal belongings behind. Because she was estranged from the rest of her adoptive family, she was not actually reported missing until 1988.
It turned out that even though Elizabeth and Steven were half-siblings, they became romantically involved soon after they met and had a son together. When the couple’s relationship began to deteriorate in 1985, they both started seeing other people. After a violent argument, Elizabeth planned to break up with Steven and move in with her new boyfriend, but she soon vanished. Steven claimed that Elizabeth decided to run off and abandon their son, but he himself would abandon the child a few months later when he moved to Idaho with another woman. In 1999, Steven was living under an assumed name in Mississippi with a woman named Katherine Lowery when he became a suspect in her disappearance. Shortly thereafter, Steven was charged with sexually abusing Lowery’s eight-year-old and sentenced to six consecutive life terms in prison. However, neither Elizabeth Eisel nor Katherine Lowery have ever been found.
9Marie And Theodore Jost
In August 2012, the Social Security Administration attempted to track down Marie Jost, a Portage County, Wisconsin resident who had recently turned 100 years old and was still cashing her Social Security checks. Interestingly enough, Marie’s son, Theodore, was 74 years old and eligible for Social Security benefits, but had never applied for them. After police were notified, they went to Marie’s residence and questioned her other son, Charles, who claimed that Marie and Theodore were off traveling together. Naturally, the authorities were very suspicious of Charles’ story and decided to question Marie’s daughter, Delores Disher, and her husband, Ronald, who also gave very questionable and inconsistent statements about what happened to her.
The Dishers claimed that Marie and Theodore had been traveling around the country in a motor home for the past 30 years. Whenever Charles received Marie’s Social Security checks, he would send them to her to sign and then cash the checks after she sent them back. Authorities began to suspect that Marie had died sometime during the 1980s and that Charles and Delores concealed her death in order to keep collecting her benefit checks. Thousands of dollars in cash were found in both their homes, and cadaver dogs detected the scent of human remains in Marie’s residence. Charles, Delores, and Ronald were all arrested and charged with theft, mail fraud, and forgery, and Ronald reportedly told two inmates that he and Delores murdered Marie. All three of them are currently awaiting trial, but Marie and Theodore are still missing.
The above image displays digital age progression to age 11.
Because his mother was in prison and his father lived a transient lifestyle, Garnell Moore spent much of his youth being raised by other relatives in Baltimore. He was eventually taken in by his aunt, Belinda Cash, and lived there until the age of seven. However, Belinda never enrolled Garnell in school and, since she didn’t have legal custody of him, social services workers never checked in on Garnell. The last known sighting of Garnell was in August 2002 when one of his great-aunts came to visit him. Shortly thereafter, Belinda moved to another address and her relatives did not see her again until June 2005.
When Belinda was located, Garnell was no longer with her and claimed he was on a school field trip in Virginia. This story did not make sense since school was not in session at the time, so the police were notified about Garnell’s disappearance. Belinda changed her story and claimed that since she no could longer afford to care for the child, she dropped Garnell off at a social services building in West Baltimore. However, the address she provided to authorities did not actually exist. As suspicious as her story was, Belinda had no known history of abuse or criminal activity and authorities could find no evidence that she harmed Garnell. No charges have ever been filed against Belinda, but after more than a decade, there is still no indication about what may have happened to Garnell Moore.
When he was only two years old, Adam Herrman was taken from his biological parents and placed in foster care with Doug and Valerie Herrman, who later adopted him. In 1999, when Adam was 11, the family were all living together in a mobile home park in Towanda, Kansas. (Sometime in May of that year, Adam supposedly ran away after Valerie spanked him with a belt). Doug and Valerie claimed they never reported Adam missing because he had a history of running away and they were worried they’d get in trouble for spanking him and have their other children taken away. The Herrmans told their family that Adam was given back to the care of the state, but would still continue to collect adoption subsidy payments for him.
No one noticed Adam’s disappearance until 2008 when his adoptive siblings finally went to the police and reported him missing. They told the authorities that Valerie had a history of abusing Adam, and other relatives of the Herrmans would corroborate this. Some of them even claimed to have witnessed Valerie chaining up and locking Adam in the bathroom. Because they had continued to accept the adoption subsidy payments after Adam’s disappearance, Doug and Valerie were eventually charged with felony theft. They accepted a plea deal which involved them paying restitution and serving several months in prison. Unfortunately, Adam has never been found, but even though the Herrmans are no longer incarcerated, they are still the prime suspects in his disappearance.
In 1996, five people from the same family all just seemed to disappear without a trace, and no one reported them missing for over a year. At the time, 32-year-old Robby Floyd lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina with her husband, Jason, though they had recently gone through a separation. She had three children—12-year-old Sarena and four-year-old twins, Brent and Brenttany—from previous relationships, and had a son with Jason named Brandon. Sometime in December, a neighbor witnessed Robby loading boxes into her van. She said she was planning to visit her ailing father in Alabama. Curiously, Robby was with an unidentified woman whom she introduced as her mother, but Robby’s actual mother never visited her home during that time period.
Robby would soon drive off with Sarena, Brent, and Brenttany, and also took along her 17-year-old sister, Jennifer Hughes. Jason and Brandon remained behind at the residence and Jason claimed that Robby called him from Alabama to say she had arrived. However, Robby and her family never returned and Jason and Brandon would move out and leave the area two months later. Even though authorities do not believe Jason is involved in their disappearances, he never reported his wife or her relatives missing. Robby never did visit her father, but since she always maintained little communication with her family, they did not report her missing until August 1998. Since 1996, there has never been any activity on the Social Security numbers of the five missing people, and they remain missing.
In February 1990, Jun Ren moved from China to Sydney, Australia and by December of that year, she was married to a man named Bi Kui, living with him in the Kemps Creek suburb. However, it wasn’t long before their marriage fell apart. Bi supposedly had ties with organized crime in Asia and Jun told friends he had defrauded $100,000 from a Chinese company. Jun also allegedly had an abortion and told a friend that she hated her husband and did not want to have his child. In May 1991, Jun made an attempt to leave Bi and stayed with a friend named Helen Liu. Bi eventually showed up and took his wife away. This was the last anyone ever saw of her.
Jun never made any contact with her friends and family for the next two years. It was not until 1993 when Helen Liu finally went to the police and reported Jun missing. Helen claimed that shortly after Jun disappeared, she confronted Bi, who told her that Jun had left him and gone overseas with a rich man. When Helen still insisted that Bi report his wife missing, he allegedly raped her, which might explain why she waited so long to go to the police herself. Police have investigated Bi Kui, but have never been able to find any evidence that he was responsible for his wife’s disappearance. After more than 20 years, Jun Ren’s body has never been found, and she is still a missing person.
Because their parents were unable to care for them, Christina Richart and her two younger brothers were sent to live with their aunt and uncle, Wanda and Charles “Bubba” Richart, in Ozark, Arkansas. In 1997, one of Christina’s brothers was removed from the home by the Arkansas Department of Human Services after allegations of abuse. The same thing happened to her other brother in 2000 after the family moved to Fordyce. However, sometime in between these events, Christina herself just seemed to disappear. The last known sighting of her was in June 1999 when she was 14 years old.
Wanda and Bubba claimed that they lost contact with Christina in 2000. However, the Richarts continued to cash Christina’s Social Security benefits checks after she was gone. Authorities did not get involved in her disappearance until 2005 when a female witness came forward. She claimed that after an argument, Wanda took Christina into the bathroom and, from behind the closed door, the witness could hear the sound of the tub being filled with water and Christina screaming. When the door was opened, Christina appeared to be dead. While Bubba claimed he had nothing to do with Christina’s death, he would eventually confess to burying her body in a wooded area. Bubba and Wanda were both indicted for making false statements to law enforcement and, after accepting plea bargains, Bubba and Wanda were sentenced to 20 and 30 years in prison, respectively. However, they have not been charged with Christina’s murder, and her body has never been found.
Sometime between January and April in 2006, 20-year-old Liehnia “Lena” Chapin of Dent County, Missouri disappeared. However, the exact circumstances of her disappearance are unclear because she was never officially reported missing until November 2008. According to her mother, Sandra McCullough-Klemp, Lena went down to Florida with a boyfriend. However, she left behind an infant son, and when Lena’s biological father inquired about her whereabouts, he found out she hadn’t returned for two-and-a-half years and decided to file a missing persons report. There was speculation that Lena’s disappearance might have been related to the disappearance of her stepfather seven years earlier.
When Lena was only 13 years old, her mother was in the midst of a troubled marriage to Gary McCullough, who suddenly disappeared in May 1999. Sandra was allegedly having an affair with a man named Kristopher Klemp, whom she married one year after Gary’s disappearance. In 2003, Lena told Gary’s brother that Sandra shot Gary three times in the head and that she was forced to help her mother clean up the murder scene and dispose of the body. However, when Gary’s brother notified the authorities, Lena recanted her story. Gary’s family would file a wrongful death suit against Sandra in 2012, and they were recently awarded $8 million in damages, but it’s still unknown if these events had anything to do with Lena Chapin’s disappearance.
2 Walter Dunson
In June 1998, the Social Security Administration sent a letter to 97-year-old Cincinnati resident Walter Dunson, requesting that he meet with a representative to verify that he was still alive. Four days later, Walter’s son, Gary Adams, reported him missing and claimed that he disappeared while they were shopping together at Findlay Market. Gary had supposedly lived with his father in a rented house for the past 18 years, but the landlord and the neighbors could not recall ever seeing Walter and Gary’s own son apparently never even met his grandfather. Upon further investigation, authorities became very sceptical of Gary’s story and came to the shocking conclusion that Walter Dunson had been missing for nearly two decades.
The last known sightings of Walter were in 1980 when he was hospitalized for the treatment of dementia. Ever since then, there is no paper trail for Walter at all and no confirmed sightings of him from anyone except his son. However, Walter had been drawing pension and Social Security benefits since 1970 and during that time, Gary had co-signed over $100,000 worth of his father’s checks and deposited them into his own account. It’s theorized that Walter probably died sometime during the 1980s and that Gary covered up his death so he could keep collecting Walter’s benefits. Gary would be convicted on 25 counts of theft of public funds and sentenced to 27 months in prison. While it’s still unknown if Gary caused his father’s death or if Walter simply died of natural causes, Walter’s remains have never been found.
1 Michelle Pulsifer
In 1969, four-year-old Michelle Pulsifer lived in Huntington Beach, California with her mother Donna and six-year-old brother Richard. They all lived together with Donna’s abusive boyfriend, Michael Kent, and his son. According to Richard, he last saw Michelle in July of that year when his frightened sister hid in his room one night before Donna came in and took her away. The next day, Richard saw a large box covered with blankets in the garage and was told by his mother not to touch it. Soon afterward, the family moved to Illinois without Michelle, and Richard was told they were leaving her behind because there wasn’t enough room for Michelle in the car.
Over the years, Michelle’s biological father tried to track her down. Donna would tell him she left Michelle with friends or relatives, but even when her stories didn’t check out, Michelle’s father could not get police to file a missing persons report since Donna had full custody. Finally, in 2001, Michelle’s aunt hired a private investigator to search for her. He could not find any record of Michelle after July 1969. After the case was turned over to law enforcement, Donna and Michael were charged with Michelle’s murder in 2004. Before his death in February 2005, Michael confessed that he helped Donna bury Michelle’s body in a remote gorge after finding her dead in her bedroom. Donna denied these allegations, but since Michael died before his testimony could be taken, there was not enough strong evidence to convict Donna of murder. After two mistrials, the charges against Donna were dismissed, so there are still no answers about what really happened to Michelle Pulsifier.
Robin Warder is a budding Canadian screenwriter who has used his encyclopaedic movie knowledge to publish numerous articles at Cracked.com. He is also the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row and recently worked on a sci-fi short film called “Jet Ranger of Another Tomorrow.” Feel free to contact him here.