To have a person vanish out of thin air is extremely disturbing, but to have bizarre events surrounding the disappearance can make the situation even more unsettling. This list compiles ten of the most unsettling disappearances that have occurred. The circumstances surrounding each disappearance are extremely bizarre and many of the crimes have yet to be solved.
10 Jackie Sutton
Jackie Sutton was a passionate, former BBC journalist who was working for War and Peace Reporting to help local journalists in war torn areas. 50-year-old Jackie Sutton had landed in Turkey from her London flight around 10:00PM in October of 2015. Her connecting flight to Erbil, Iraq, was scheduled to leave at 12:15AM. It was said that Jackie had spent some time in the café leisurely drinking a beer and reportedly fell asleep. At around 12:30 Jackie walked up to the counter in no apparent distress only to be told that she had missed her flight. It’s said that she suddenly started crying and saying that she had no money to pay for another flight, but was told that nothing could be done. From there, the story takes a very odd turn. Jackie was seen entering the bathroom and a few minutes later two Russian women are seen coming out of the bathroom visibly panicked. This is because they found the body of Jackie Sutton after committing suicide in a bathroom stall.
While some have come to terms with the suicide, others believe that there had to have been foul play. Many of her friends say that she was an extremely happy and passionate person, who would never have taken her own life, especially over something as trivial as missing a connecting flight. Even more mysteriously, it was found that Sutton actually had 2,300 euros in her bag, which would go against the fact that she said that she didn’t have enough money to buy another ticket. She had spoken out previously about fear of being targeted by the Islamic State as her predecessor, Ammar Al Shahbander was killed in a car bomb in Baghdad in May of 2015.
9The Toronto Trio
The body of Philip Sit was found in a wooded area of York Region on August 9th, 2006, after disappearing in September 2005. His killer was never found. What is so odd about this case is not just Philip’s disappearance, but also the disappearance of his three friends, Eve Ho, Kevin Lim, Jackie Li that occurred on August 14th, 2006. Eve Ho had arranged to meet up with her best friend at the Eaton Centre, but never showed up. Jackie Li was last seen by her mother when he left their Scarborough apartment to go to work in the morning. He called her later that day, but that is the last she ever heard from her son. Kevin Lim was last seen by his grandmother as he went to the store to buy a drink. Eve and Jackie were dating at the time and Kevin was Eve’s childhood friend, but all three were friends of Philip. What makes this disappearance even more odd is that Philip’s murder was made public on August 25th, 11 days after the trio disappeared. The three are not considered suspects in Sit’s murder, and no leads have been given as to their disappearances.
8 Craig Frear
Craig Frear was a well-built, 17-year-old high school soccer player that vanished after walking into the woods on July 27, 2004. That day, Craig had been at the Cambridge Manor apartments where his girlfriend lived. His mother Veronica had gone to see Craig at Price Chopper, where He was working, but when she got there, she was told that Craig had just stopped showing up a while back. Confused, Veronica was able to get hold of Craig to ask him about what was going on. Craig had told her that he would be home to talk with her about it, but went to the Cambridge Manor Apartments instead. Two middle school boys last spotted him at 2:00PM on July 27, 2004, walking along railroad tracks. It is reported that he put his finger to his lips as if to make a “shh” gesture before walking into the woods and disappearing forever. Over 500 interviews have since been conducted with countless searches and no leads or evidence has ever surfaced.
Amy Fry-Pitzen took her 6 year-old son, Timmothy, out of Greenman Elementary School on May 11, 2011 for a ‘family emergency’. Three days later, his mother’s body was found in a hotel room in Illinois, dead from apparent suicide. With her body, a note was found stating that Timmothy was safe with people who would care for him and that “you’ll never find him”. Timmothy was never seen or heard from again. His father, Jim Pitzen, has no idea where Timmothy could be, but hopes that he is safe. Amy had suffered from depression and previous suicide attempts, but nothing had ever indicated that she was going to disappear and take Timmothy with her. Records show that she made several short phone calls from an unknown location. One call was to her mother who spoke with both Amy and Timmothy, neither appearing to be in any distress. Surveillance video and receipts chronicled what the two had done in the three days before Amy’s suicide. They were seen having fun and visiting zoos and waterparks. On Friday, may 13th, the day before Amy was found dead, however, she was seen visiting a grocery store in Winnebago, Illinois without Timmothy. His location is still unknown.
In 2010, Iwona Wieczorek was a recent high school graduate planning to take a vacation to Spain while waiting to hear back from the university she had applied to. On the night of July 16th, 2010, she went to a party with her friends at one of their places. Later that night, she went to a club in Sopot with her friend Adria and three boys she had gotten to know only the month prior. She was supposed to stay at the first party, but decided to go to the club instead. While at the party, there was an argument between the five, though no one knows what the argument was about. Iwona was seen running out of the club, visibly upset, and going towards the Seaside Promenade. She did not have any money with her and her phone battery was running low.
Once sunrise began, around 4:00AM, she began the 4-mile journey home through Seaside Boulevard; barefoot because her feet hurt from her new heels. On her way home, she texted Adria saying that she was angry that Adria didn’t follow her out of the club. Adria later said that Iwona called her and that they settled the argument. A few minutes after 4:00 she called Adria for the last time to tell her that her phone battery was dying, where she was at (which is consistent with the CCTV footage), that she was a bit drunk, and that she was headed to Adria’s house. She said that she didn’t want to meet Adria’s mom drunk, but Adria said her parents weren’t home and that she would leave the keys outside for Iwona to come in. Adria had almost made it back to her house when talking to Iwona and was walking past Iwona’s apartment.
It was reported that Iwona’s stepfather heard Adria and Iwona speaking because she had the phone on speaker. Surveillance footage at the Jelitkowo beach shows Iwona walking and an unidentified man in a plaid shirt walking behind her with a towel on his shoulder. Investigators are now convinced that he did not have anything to do with her disappearance. It is most likely that Iwona made it to the area she lived, but she never reached Adria or her house. That morning, her mother thought she was at Adria’s, but Adria thought she went home because the keys were untouched. By 5:00pm on July 17th, Adria and Iwona’s family came to the terrifying conclusion that Iwona had disappeared. The police have since questioned over 100 people and offered a 1,000,000 polish zloty award ($270K), but nothing from Iwona has ever been found.
5 Brandon Lawson
Brandon Lawson was a 26-year-old father of four from Texas who made a chilling 911 call in the early morning hours of August 9, 2013. He had apparently run out of gas near Bronte, Texas and began walking in the fields along Highway 277. In the 911 call, he can be heard saying, “Yes I’m in the middle of a field (inaudible) pushed some guys over, right here going towards Abilene, on both sides. My truck ran out of gas, there’s one car here, the guy’s chasing (inaudible) to the woods, please hurry!” The operator then asks him if he needs an ambulance and his final words were, “No I need the cops.” During the call he is clearly distressed and panicked, but no one is sure exactly what happened to him that night. Since the night he disappeared, there has been no cellphone or bank activity in any of his accounts.
Robert Hourihan is a 33-year-old man from Virginia who left his house at 6:00AM on April 8, 2011, to his job as an electrician for the state. Two hours later, his wife’s coworker said she had seen Hourihan’s white Chevy Cavalier with the license plate “TARAMAE” heading north on the SR53, completely out of the way. Worried, his wife, Tara, called his phone, but repeatedly got his voicemail. He never returned her call; out of character because he would always alert her when he had a scheduling issue.
He never returned home and has not been seen since. Former coworkers did see him eating breakfast at the EW Thomas grocery store in Palmyra around 8:00AM, but that was the last time he was seen. What is even more odd is that Hourihan was not even scheduled to work that day, but left his house in his full uniform. Seven weeks later, his Chevy Cavalier was found in a Target parking lot in La Plata, Maryland, with all of his expensive tools still in the car. Police learned that he planned to meet someone in Palmyra that day, but never arrived. Hourihan was diagnosed with a heart condition, which he took daily medication for. He had missed his dose, and there is no indication that the prescription was ever refilled, but his doctor said he would’ve died in a week without it. To this day, the police are no closer to solving the case than they were in 2011 and Hourihan has yet to be seen or heard from.
3 Kayelyn Louder
Kayelyn Louder was a 30-year-old social worker from Utah who was planning to spend her September 2014 weekend updating her resume and cleaning her condo. In the afternoon, Kayelyn was caught on surveillance taking her pug, Phyllis, for a walk. The next time she was seen on surveillance footage, Louder is seen sprinting out of her home in the rain completely barefoot and without any belongings. This was the last time anyone heard from her. The previous night it was reported that Louder had made an odd 911 call stating that there was a brutal fight going on in the clubhouse at her condo that involved guns, but when police arrived, it was a calm wedding reception.
An hour later she called 911 and abruptly hung up. When dispatchers called back, she told them that her friend had said she was being delusional and paranoid. The morning of her disappearance, she had made another 911 call to say that there was an intruder in her home and she could hear two people talking, even though her roommate said that the door was dead bolted and no one else was there. Weeks after disappearing, a body was found floating in the Jordan River that was identified as Kayelyn Louder. Unfortunately, the autopsy was inconclusive.
2 Lars Mittank
July 2014 started out like any other summer break for 28-year-old Lars Mittank of Germany as he went to spend time with his friend at Golden Sands in Bulgaria. Golden Sands was known as a popular party spot for young people from Germany and England. Partying on the beach, he got into a fistfight over football with some of the other tourists. Mittank sustained a ruptured eardrum and was advised by his doctor not to fly until it healed. During that time, Mittank got a room in a hostel located in the poorer part of town and told his friends to go back to Germany without him. After spending a night in the hostel, Mittank became extremely scared and paranoid. His mother received a panicked text from him stating that he didn’t feel safe, she should cancel his credit card, and that four mysterious men were following him.
The doctor confirmed that Lars had gone to his office the next day, but when he arrived, Lars immediately jumped up and ran out. He soon went to the airport and is seen on surveillance walking through the airport with his luggage. Suddenly, he walks off screen then is seen sprinting the other direction out of the airport without his bags, jumping over the fence, and disappearing into the forest. He was never seen again. He family confirmed that he didn’t suffer from any mental illness and they have no idea why their son would begin acting in such a bizarre and erratic manner. A massive search was launched to find Lars, but was unsuccessful.
1 Juan Martinez
It was June 25, 1986, at 6:00AM as a Volvo F12 truck carrying pure sulfuric acid came barreling down the Somosierra Mountain Pass in Madrid, Spain. The truck began passing other trucks, so close that he knocked the mirror off of one. Suddenly, he reached a third truck and instead of passing it, he pushed it from behind until it was forced off the road. It becomes apparent to the other drivers that the Volvo’s brakes were not working. Suddenly, the Volvo smashed into an oncoming truck going close to 87 mph, causing it to overturn and spill its sulfuric acid contents out all over the road. Rescue working come to find a man and woman in the cabin of the first truck dead and covered in the acid. They immediately begin rescuing the other drivers and pouring sand and lime on the acid to neutralize it. After three hours of work, they able to identify the bodies of Andres Martinez, the owner of the vehicle, and his wife Carmen Gomez, who frequently accompanied him on his trips, as the couple that were covered in acid. That afternoon a call is placed to Carmen’s mother in Murcia informing her of the tragedy. To everyone’s surprise, she replies with, “And the boy? Please tell me the boy is alright!”
Juan Pedro Martinez was the 10-year-old only child of Andres and Carmen. He had accompanied his father on his trips before, but never one this long. His father had promised to bring him on his trip to Basque if he got good grades, and Juan did just that. Andres had his wife come with him on the trip to watch Juan as he unloaded the truck then they would vacation in Basque for a few days. At 7:00PM on June 24, the three left for Cartagena with the truck loaded.
Examination of the cabin after the horrific accident did show child-oriented cassettes and boy clothes in the back, but absolutely no trace of Juan. Many people from the community banded together to search for Juan, digging through the sand and lime that was put down as well as searching through the rubble and surrounding area, but found nothing. While some believed that Juan was completely dissolved by the sulfuric acid, chemists maintain that there is no way that the acid could have dissolved his body that quickly and left no trace. Many tests were done and it was found that even if his body had landed in a ditch that acted as a tub, it would take 24 hours for the soft tissue to be lost and 5 days for bones to be damaged, but the hair, nails, teeth, and some clothing should still be found.
The trucks tachometer was intact and showed that they had reached their scheduled stops including a stop at a gas station and the Aragon inn. A waiter recalled the family and said that they came and went without incident. It was also found, however, that following the inn, the truck made 12 extremely short stops during the ascension of the pass with the shortest lasting less than one second and the longest one near the peak lasting twenty seconds. Truckers that usually drive that route say that they usually make one stop at most and two is a waste of time. Furthermore, there was no traffic jam that would explain the odd stops. Examination of the truck showed that the brakes were not damaged, which means Andre’s speed was voluntary.
The trucker that was run off the road stated that he saw a white Nissan van stop by his vehicle immediately after the accident. At that time, a man with a mustache and foreign accent got out with a blonde woman. He was told not to worry and that she was a nurse. She checked his injuries then moved on to the vehicle that hit the Volvo head on and was never seen again. It was also said that two shepherds saw the white van stop by the Volvo, a Nordic-looking man and women stepped out dressed in doctor clothing. They picked a package up from the wreckage and disappeared. The police attempted to locate these shepherds, but found none in the area that saw the accident. To this day, there has been no trace of Juan Pedro ever found. There are countless theories, but none have proven true.