Mysterious missing person cases are not hard to come by, and high profile missing person cases stay with us as a nation. Despite lapses in coverage, when we see their photo again, we are reminded of the details we know about the case, our personal feelings based entirely in speculation, and remember all over again that there is still a family waiting for them to come home. The more mysterious the circumstances, the more we stare in horror, watching their family’s world fall apart. Here are ten of the most fascinating and mysterious missing persons cases in recent history.
The night before she disappeared, Karlie Gusé
was seen at a party with friends in a neighborhood not far from her home in Chalfant
Valley, CA. She called her stepmother in a panic, saying she needed to be
picked up from the party. Melissa Gusé
picked Karlie up from the party, and later stated that she seemed disoriented
and exhibited paranoid behavior. Once home, it took hours to get Karlie calmed
down enough to sleep. When Melissa awoke the next morning, October 13, 2018,
Karlie was asleep in bed, but when she checked on her a second time around 7AM,
Karlie was nowhere to be found. Law enforcement canvassed the neighborhood and
turned up two witnesses who said they saw Karlie walking towards Highway 6 with
a piece of paper in her hand. All of Karlie’s belongings, including her cell
phone, were found at her home. Karlie had been experiencing problems prior to
disappearing. Her father and stepmother acknowledged Karlie’s history of
experimenting with drugs and attending alternative education in order to
improve her grades. Despite these factors, there appeared to be nothing that would
have prompted Karlie to leave the house that morning. Investigators, both in
law enforcement and independent firms continue to search for Karlie, while her father,
stepmother, biological mother, and the rest of her family wait anxiously for
Karlie to come home.
9: Teresa Butler
Teresa Butler’s husband came home on January 25, 2006 to
find his wife gone, their two young children unsupervised. At the time, the
family was living in Risco, Missouri. There were no signs of a struggle, nor
forced entry, but there were a series of valuable items missing from the home
such as a gaming console, camcorder, stereo, and Teresa’s cell phone and purse.
Her car was still in the driveway, and her wedding bands were also at the
residence. Investigators were stymied by this mixed bag of a scene. Was it a
crime scene? Or had Teresa simply left of her own accord—and if so, for what
reason? More whirlwind revelations came when investigators realized that Teresa’s
cell phone made two calls after she had vanished. Both calls were to unfamiliar
numbers, in two different Missouri towns. The owners of those numbers both
claimed that they had no idea who Teresa was, and did not speak to her. Thirteen
years later, there are still no answers in her disappearance.
8: Laureen Rahn
In 1980, Laureen Rahn was living with her mother in an
apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire. She was last seen on April 26 at that apartment
in the company of two friends. When her mother returned home that evening, she
had to grope for the door because all of the lightbulbs in the hallway had been
unscrewed. When she entered the apartment, she checked Laureen’s room, and she
appeared to be asleep in her bed. The next morning, she realized the body she’d
seen asleep in the bed was actually one of Laureen’s friends, and that friend was
clueless as to Laureen’s whereabouts. Authorities treated Laureen’s case as a
runaway, but details that emerged in October of that year cast a different
light on the case. Her mother, Judith, noticed three calls to a California
number on her phone bill that she knew she didn’t make. One was to a sexual
assistance call line for teenagers, helmed by a doctor’s wife who took in
runaways—could Laureen be with her? The second number was to a motel run by a child
pornographer by the pseudonym “Dr. Z.” But unfortunately authorities were
unable to connect the 14-year-old’s disappearance to either of these persons of
interest. To this day, what became of Laureen Rahn remains a mystery.
7: Lauren Spierer
The Lauren Spierer case is one of the most mysterious missing person cases. Many Hoosiers are familiar with the cautionary tale of Lauren Spierer, an Indiana University Student who disappeared on June 3, 2011 after a night out partying with friends in Bloomington, Indiana. After leaving her apartment around 2:30 in the morning, she walked around the corner and was never seen again. It wasn’t until her boyfriend, Jesse Wolf, realized that Lauren had been separated from her phone that something was wrong. When he sent her a text message two hours later, one of the employees at Kilroy’s bar responded. Wolf reported Lauren missing. Witnesses who had seen Lauren that night reported that she was highly intoxicated, which might explain why she left both her cell phone and shoes behind at Kilroy’s. Her observed level of inebriation has led to speculation that Lauren might have been drugged while at the bar, possibly with a drug like GHB, also known as “the date-rape drug.” Her family has remained suspicious of the men she was reportedly hanging out with that night, claiming that they know something about their daughter’s disappearance. That being said, investigators also spoke to friends of Lauren’s who informed them she was known to use drugs when she partied as well as alcohol. As of January 28, 2016—when FBI and other investigating bodies searched a property in Martinsville for signs of Lauren with no success—Lauren still remains missing.
6: Cynthia Anderson
The disappearance of Cynthia Anderson is regarded as
stranger than fiction. She vanished on August 4, 1981 from the law office where
she worked as a secretary. Her personal belongings were missing, but her
vehicle remained parked in the lot. While investigating her disappearance, authorities
discovered an open romance novel. In an eerie coincidence, Cynthia had stopped
reading during a scene in which the main character is abducted. Police were
already investigating Cynthia’s disappearance with the possibility of foul
play, but this gave them pause. Could she have faked her own abduction to
disappear and start over? There were anonymous tips months after her
disappearance that she was being held captive in the basement of a remote
residence, but authorities were unable to corroborate this statement. The wildest
theory about her whereabouts came when a lawyer from her firm was arrested for
drug trafficking. There was speculation that Cynthia might have known too much
about some illegal dealings going through the law firm, and met a violent end
as a consequence. But that’s all it is: a theory.
5: Maura Murray
Some mysterious missing person cases get so big they invite a great deal of media attention. Mara Murray is perhaps one of the most famous mysterious missing person cases in recent history. The University of Massachusetts Amherst student disappeared on February 9, 2004. In the days leading up to her disappearance, Maura told university staff and her professors that she would be taking a week’s hiatus from school to handle a family emergency. Around 7:30 that night, a car crash on Route 112 was reported to 911. When first responders arrived, the driver, Maura, was nowhere to be found. During the investigation, law enforcement turned up a witness who had passed Maura following the crash. When asked if she needed help, she said no, that she had called roadside assistance. In a window of less than 15 minutes, something happened to Maura Murray. What’s most puzzling about Maura’s disappearance is that her story about a family emergency could not be corroborated by her family. So the question remains: Why was Maura taking a week off from her education? What could have been so important? Maura Murray’s disappearance is regarded as the first missing person case of the social media age, having disappeared the week that Facebook launched. Her story has spawned many true-crime specials, documentaries, and a highly popular podcast called Missing Maura Murray.
4: Asha Degree
Asha degree was just nine years old when she left her house
on the morning she disappeared, Valentine’s Day, 2000. Inexplicably, she had
packed her school backpack and left the house in the early morning hours, after
which she was sighed walking along North Carolina Highway 18, just a little
over a mile from her home. When approached by passing motorists who noticed
her, Asha reportedly ran into a wooded area just off the highway. At first, it
appeared to investigators that Asha had run away from home. After interviewing
family members, they learned that the child had bene reading a fantasy series
about children who have spectacular adventures while the adults are asleep.
While it’s unclear whether or not Asha intended to return home, early search
efforts for her proved fruitless. Belongings of hers, including a pencil,
marker, and Mickey Mouse hair bow were found near a shed behind a business that
sat parallel to the highway. About 18 months later, Asha’s bookbag also turned
up at a construction site, curiously double-bagged, leading investigators to
think someone other than Asha had left it there. In October 2018, investigators were appealing to
the public for information regarding two key pieces of evidence—a children’s
book that was borrowed from the Fallston Middle School library in 2000, and a
New Kids on the Block shirt. Asha Degree remains missing to this day.
3: Annette Sagers
Eight-year-old Annette Sagers went missing on her way to
school in October of 1988. Less than a year earlier, her mother, Korinna Lynne
Sagers Malinoski had gone missing. There was little evidence to paint a picture
for investigators, except that her car was found parked in front of their home.
When Korinna’s daughter went missing as well, they searched the bus stop where
she should have been picked up for school. Investigators found a cryptic note
that placed her mother’s disappearance in a whole new context: “Dad, momma come
back. Give the boys a hug.” Authorities weren’t sure what to make of the note
at first, as they suspected someone may have forced Annette to write. After
careful examination, handwriting experts did determine that Annette likely
wrote the note. This looks like Korinna could have disappeared of her own
accord a year prior, and had returned to reclaim her daughter before vanishing
again. What could not be explained was that Korinna had left behind two boys
when she disappeared in 1987. Despite anonymous tips that claimed burial locations
for Annette’s remains, the mystery of the missing mother and daughter remains
2: Tara Calico
The case of Tara Calico continues to haunt the true-crime world, with both investigators and armchair detectives alike speculate to the circumstances surrounding this bizarre case and its sensational clues. Like Annette Sagers, Tara Calico disappeared in 1988 after leaving her home in Belen New Mexico to being a bike ride along Highway 47. Tara was never seen again. In the search for Tara, pieces of her Walkman were found along Highway 47. The bike was never recovered. Leads in the case dried up and it went cold until a year later when a disturbing piece of evidence emerged that has become famous throughout the internet. In Port St. Joe, Florida, a woman reported that she had found a Polaroid outside in the parking lot of a local convenience store. The Poloaroid featured a boy and a young woman, both bound and gagged, propped up against pillows in what appears to be the cargo area of a panel van. The witness told authorities that a white van had previously been parked in that spot, driven by a white man with a mustache. There is still speculation to this day about whether or not the woman in the photo is actually Tara Calico. The book lying next to the young woman in the photo is V.C. Andrews’ My Sweet Audrina, which was allegedly one of Tara’s favorite books. While no official cause for Tara’s disappearance has ever been established, the sheriff of Valencia County offered his theory: He claimed that boys who knew Tara were involved in some kind of accident along Highway 47, involving Tara’s bicycle and the boys’ truck. However, without a body, law enforcement were unable to make a case.
1: Diane Augat
In 1998, 30-year-old Diane Augat of Odessa, Florida walked out of her home and vanished without a trace. About ten years prior to her disappearance, Diane received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a mental illness that causes massive mood swings between periods of intense emotional euphoria, or highs, and deep depressive lows. Her case was so severe that it led to losing custody of her children and her husband divorcing her in 1991. She self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. On April 10, 1998, Diane left her home and was never seen again. What followed was a series of strange events that amount to the plot of a Hollywood movie. Just three days after she vanished, her answering machine received a chilling message, “Help, help, let me out,” followed by “Hey, gimme that.” It sounded as though there was a struggle over the phone in the background. The caller ID said Starlight, but when Diane’s mother called back, there was no answer. Two days after that, the severed tip of Diane’s right middle finger was found. Two weeks later, in perhaps one of the most bizarre events in any missing person case, a bag of her clothing was found in the freezer of a local convenience store. Despite the details reflecting that of a Hollywood blockbuster thriller, there has never been any satisfying resolution in her case.
Today marks eight weeks since 16-year-old Karlie Gusé wandered away from her family home in Chalfant, California, without a trace, leaving her family and friends with many questions about her safety and whereabouts.
Karlie’s stepmother, Melissa Gusé, told investigators she observed Karlie in bed around 5:30 in the morning on October 13, 2018. When she checked on Karlie again between 7:15 and 7:30, Karlie was nowhere to be found. She had left behind all of her personal belongings, including her cell phone, before walking away from the property. The teen had told her parents the night before, she had attended a party with her boyfriend, and smoked marijuana. Karlie’s stepmother and father, Zachary Gusé, told investigators Karlie was likely disoriented at the time of her disappearance. Her minor boyfriend told the Las Vegas Review that after consuming marijuana, Karlie became paranoid, “She got scared of the music. She got scared of me.” Karlie called Melissa around 9:00 PM to pick her up.
Because there was no evidence of abduction at the time Karlie was reported missing, no Amber Alert was issued. Law enforcement have issued statements declaring they are treating Karlie’s case as a missing persons investigation. A canvas of the Gusé’s neighborhood yielded three witnesses who place Karlie in the neighborhood around the time her parents realized she was missing. These witnesses claimed Karlie was wearing gray sweatpants and a white t-shirt, while heading towards Highway 6, the nearest major traffic vein, before she vanished. Footprints believed to be Karlie’s were found near Highway 6.
Karlie’s biological mother, Lindsey Fairley, described the hole left in her life where her daughter once stood, “We were always really open. We were literally best friends. She could talk to me about anything. She is absolutely loved by everybody that knows her. She’s such a sweet girl. She’s funny.” Her boyfriend shared a Facebook post, pleading with Karlie to come home:
“Words can not explain how much I miss you. I want to know your okay. I want to hold you in my arms. I want to lay your head on my chest and be in your presence because the only thing that can ever make me happy is you! You give me a purpose in this life. Come home so I can look into those beautiful, gorgeous, big blue eyes and see your amazing smile, and wrap you in my arms.”
Police have reiterated through press conferences and Facebook posts they are leaving no stone unturned in their search for Karlie, ruling out no single explanation for the teen’s disappearance. As far as Karlie’s family is concerned, it depends on who you ask. Melissa Gusé said in a Facebook video, which has since disappeared from public view, she believes Karlie was abducted in light of the confirmed sighting near Highway 6. Karlie’s father echoed her sentiment, “I don’t understand any of this. I don’t think she would run away. I don’t believe she would. But you can’t rule anything out. I think it’s possible someone took her. I think it’s possible she ran away.”
Lindsey Fairley remarks on her daughter’s disappearance, “There’s times I just don’t have the energy to cry. Nighttime is just so hard for me, because I pray that she is warm and safe and nourished. And I just pray that nobody has hurt her. I never thought I’d be dealing with this. It was always my worst nightmare—whose isn’t—to have a child missing. I don’t have enemies, but if I did, I wouldn’t wish it on them.”
Karlie Gusé is described as being 5’7” and weighing 110 lbs., with dark blond hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a white t-shirt and gray sweatpants at the time she went missing. If you have any information surrounding Karlie’s disappearance, please call the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at 760-932-7549 and select option seven. Please share this story on the social media platform of your choice to increase the chances of finding Karlie.
Carie McMichael is the Communication and Media Specialist for Lauth Investigations International. She regularly covers investigation and missing persons topics. For more information, please visit our website.
Many individuals who lived through natural disaster in the year 2018 lost loved ones to violent forces of nature. National news has been inundated, not only with updated death totals, but also long lists of names belonging to individuals who went missing during the disaster. The initial report in a missing persons case is a springboard for many complicated processes and procedures conducted by law enforcement and private investigators. Every relevant piece of information about the missing person must be collected, their last known whereabouts searched. If law enforcement determines the person is in immediate danger, or if they’re a minor, search teams are dispatched to the surrounding areas. The family makes themselves sick with worry. Spreading like a crack in a dam, the web of processes that stem from the first report can cause a cacophony of confusion. Now imagine that multiplied by five, or ten times. Or 1,276 times.
At its peak, that was the highest estimated number of missing persons during the coverage of California’s Camp Fire. Often, stories about mass groups of people vanishing are couched in mystery, intrigue, or even the paranormal, like the disappearance of the infamous Roanoke Colony that vanished off the coast of present-day North Carolina. Or Flight 370 of Malaysia Airlines, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew to Beijing when it mysteriously went missing over the South China Sea in 2014. In 2018, however, instances of long lists of missing persons following a single event have been instigated by tragedy—not intrigue.
State officials addressing this number have assured the public this number is an overestimation. One of the most complicated aspects of searching for missing persons during and after a natural disaster is the major breakdown in communication. During a natural disaster, individuals will often report loved ones missing when they are unable to contact, which could be for a myriad of reasons (downed power lines, lack of Wi-Fi, displacement, injury, etc.) After a few days, the loved one is able to establish a lifeline and is able to reach out to their family and friends. State officials claim the reporting individuals often do not call to follow up with emergency operations teams to let them know their loved one has been located.
Like in cases of individuals going missing, survivors of Hurricane Michael have had to turn to crowdsourcing in order to track down missing loved ones, an effort crippled by a devastated infrastructure and incapacitated communication systems. Police departments have become inundated with missing persons reports and individuals are turning to multiple entities in order to get answers to the whereabouts of their loved ones—individuals like Tracey Stinson of Fort Walton Beach. Her father lived in Youngstown at the time of the hurricane, and had not heard from him in many days. “I actually tried calling a store he shops at that’s near his home that was gone. So I was unable to reach them so then the next step was contact the sheriff’s office. I just kept calling every several hours to see if I could catch them with a phone line that was operating and there was no luck.”
Desperate parents and loved ones also combed Facebook for news or tips, and implored others for any information they might have about missing loved ones. Despite a classification of a Category 4 storm, there were many in the panhandle who doubled down inside their homesteads, rather than evacuate.
One of these people was Nicholas Sines, who lived in Panama City. His mother, Kristine Wright, begged him to go to a shelter before the storm ripped through the city. But Nicholas was steadfast, “I’m staying here.” Kristine went six days without hearing from her son before she took to Facebook, imploring other users to share any information they might have. “I’m not sleeping, I’m not eating,” she told The New York Times. “As his mother, my heart hurts.” It goes beyond earnest timeline posts and comments, however.
In 2014, following the terrorist attacks on Paris that claimed 129 lives, Facebook launched what’s known as its Safety Check Feature. The Safety Check Feature is turned on by Facebook administrators in the wake of any type of displacement disaster, whether it be natural or at the hands of man. The system sends out a notification to users in the effected area, prompting users to mark themselves as “safe,” if they are able. This action places an item in the user’s feed that will alert others on their friends list that they are okay.
Social media is not the only recourse for those desperate to get in touch with a missing loved one in the wake of a natural disaster. Platforms like CrowdSource Rescue have been connecting concerned individuals with their loved ones living in areas effected by natural disasters. It allows citizens to file a report for a missing person, which places their data on a map that directs rescue teams to the most affected areas. Company co-founder, Matthew Marchetti, told NPR, “We’re like a ride share company for disasters.”
Unfortunately, hurricanes were not the only natural disaster erasing entire communities in 2018. In a gross irony, the town of Paradise, California was reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble after it was consumed by a behemoth wildfire. The pictures of the devastation are truly haunting, evoking scenes from post-apocalyptic Hollywood films. Before the blaze erupted, Paradise was a town of around 27,000 people. It’s beautiful sights and small-community atmosphere made it a popular place for retirees to begin the third act of their lives. As such, a majority of the remains pulled from the debris and wreckage were found to be retirement age or older.
The California Camp Fire will go down in the history books as the deadliest and most devastating wildfire the nation has ever seen. Officials have only recently announced the fire has been 100% contained with fire-lines. It burned 150,000 acres (ten times the size of Manhattan), claimed the lives of 85 Californians, and left thousands displaced and homeless in tent cities. In the chaos, 200 people are still unaccounted for. In the past few weeks some reports listed the number of missing as high as 1,276 on November 17th, but just like the circumstances during Hurricane Michael, that number dropped dramatically once displaced Californians were able to find a line of communication to their families.
Investigators have been working for months attempting to identify the source of the California Campfire, but no single cause has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, rescue officials are still sifting through the rubble. Kory Honea of the Butte County Sheriff’s Department told the Huffington Post that they could not say with certainty how long the search will take, “My sincere hope is the majority of people on that list…will be accounted for.”
The dramatic drop in the number of missing is not unlike that of the Sonoma County Tubbs Fire in 2017. The number of missing during the Tubbs Fire was almost double that of the Camp Fire, but dropped to just 22 as individuals were located or found deceased. However, during the Tubbs Fire, search and rescue officials opted not to publish the names of those feared missing under caution during a disaster that was constantly in flux. Kory Honea had a different mindset: Publishing the list meant drawing out information from the public that could help officials whittle the list of missing from a sequoia down to a splinter. When questioned about whether or not possible inaccuracies on the list might cause issues, Honea said, “I can’t let perfection get in the way of progress. It is important for us to get the information out so we can get started identifying these individuals.”
Identification of the remains found is a grueling process, not only for officials involved in Camp Fire, but any natural disaster in the United States. Officials in paradise have collected DNA samples from those who tragically perished in the inferno, but are left with little recourse to identify them without help from the public. Jim Davis, the Chief Federal Officer of ANDE told ABC, “The only way we can identify those people is to have family members submit reference samples so we can match the two.” At the Family Assistance Center in Paradise, ANDE collected 68 family donor samples, but it’s nowhere near enough. Hundreds of family samples will be needed in order to confirm victims’ identities. Davis attributes the community’s hesitance towards this identification measure to the bleak confirmation of their loved one’s tragic demise, “As we’ve collected samples from people, you know we see this emotion that comes with accepting the possibility that their loved ones are gone.”
Since the development of DNA forensic technology, mass collection and catalog of DNA samples has been the subject of privacy debate. While everyone has a right to privacy, there are monumental benefits to a large database of DNA samples that go beyond victim identification. As such, legal professionals at Fordham University issued a report proposing principles that find the middle in the DNA privacy debate. The abstract reads:
Rescue officials have the monumental task of containing a natural disaster, searching the effected area for victims of its fatal destruction, and finally giving names to the remains—a process that can take weeks or even months. Meanwhile, Americans across the nation wait with bated breath for information about their loved ones living in or around Paradise, California. Relief organizations from FEMA to the Red Cross have online resources with steps private citizens can take to find information about missing persons after a natural disaster. While the reality of submitting one’s DNA for identification purposes might impose an emotional toll that’s too great for some, it is one of the most effective way to get definitive answers. Families can find closure in knowing the fate of their lost relative or friend.
The Red Cross offers many tips and strategies for locating and reaching out to loved ones that go beyond the straightforward. In addition to calling other family members and utilizing social media tools, individuals are also encouraged to call or visit places their loved one was known to frequent, like Tracey Stinson did when she asked around at her missing father’s usual grocery store. Resources also recommend calling during off-peak hours to increase their chances of getting through to an operator or official.
Following Camp Fire, many families and single individuals spent their Thanksgiving in warehouses, shelters, and tent cities in grocery store parking lots, with everything they own in a few small suitcases. For many, there is no home to return to when the natural destruction is finally snuffed out. According to relief organizations throughout the United States, the name of the game now is reunification—doing whatever is possible to reconnect those displaced by tragedy to their remaining loved ones. For example, one of the many reunification resources offered by FEMA is a collaborative effort with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, supporting all measures to return minors under the age of 21 to their parents or guardians. The American Red Cross has a similar database project called Safe and Well, which is an online database designed to help reunited families. Regardless of the scale of the disaster, Safe and Well is administered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and works closely with the local Red Cross Chapter of the area in question. While many will experience the miracle of reunification, the terrible reality is that so many more will be left with unanswered questions.
Carie McMichael is the Communication and Media Specialist for Lauth Investigations International. She regularly writes on investigation and missing persons topics. For more information, please visit our website.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office is fighting an uphill battle in their search for 16-year-old Karlie Guse. The teenager disappeared from her Chalfant, California home in the early hours of Saturday, October 13th, 2018. She is 5’7” tall, approximately 110 pounds, with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. At the time of her disappearance, Karlie was wearing a white t-shirt and grey sweatpants.
Three weeks after her disappearance, law enforcement—including the Federal Bureau of Investigation—remain stymied in their search for Karlie. Law enforcement involved with the case have described Karlie as possibly being disoriented when she went missing around 6:30 that morning. With no evidence of abduction, authorities in Mono County have theorized she wandered away from her home, without her cell phone, they later discovered.
What we know about Karlie’s movements, in the hours before she disappeared, comes in large part from Karlie’s stepmother, Melissa Guse in an interview with Dateline. The night before, Friday, October 12th, Karlie had been hanging out with friends at a party. Her boyfriend, Donald Arrowood III, said after a period of time, Karlie declared she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to leave. Melissa picked Karlie up from the party and brought her home around 9:00 PM. Melissa and Karlie ate dinner together before Karlie went to bed for the night. Karlie’s father, Zachary, said that’s when he noticed his daughter seemed “disoriented,” but offered no further details.
When Melissa checked on the children the next morning at a 5:45 AM, Karlie was in her bed, dozing. When she looked again less than an hour later, Karlie was gone. The Guses did not panic at first, believing Karlie might have gone for a walk. A little while later, they got in their car to search the area around the property. By 9:30, they’d seen no sign of her. They contacted Karlie’s mother, Lindsay Fairley, to let her know Karlie was missing, and then the Mono County Sheriff’s office to file a missing persons report.
Authorities arrived a few hours later to investigate, discovering all of Karlie’s belongings were in the home, so police had no means of tracking her movements. Despite the abrupt nature of her disappearance, police were clear from the beginning they were not treating it as an abduction. In a social media post, the sheriff’s department declared Karlie’s disappearance “does not meet the criteria for an AMBER alert…” Sheriff Ingrid Braun told the media, “This remains a missing person investigation. There is no evidence of an abduction or any other crime. However, we are considering all possibilities and investigating every potential aspect in case this becomes a criminal investigation.” Lindsay Fairley has echoed this sentiment in a Facebook post after Karlie was reported missing. In all capital letters, she wrote,
“PLEASE LEAVE ALL SPECULATIONS THAT MY DAUGHTER KARLIE GUSE WAS ABUDCTED! THAT HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT! PLEASE LEAVE ALL SPECULATIONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME, AS SPECULATIONS CAN HINDER THEIR INVESTIGATION! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYER FOR MY BABY GIRLS SAFE RETURN!”
Sherrif Braun also commented on how the Mono County Sheriff’s Department has scant resources in their search for Karlie, “Due to our remote location and limited resources, we brought in the expertise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and they continue to assist our investigation.” This is unsurprising, given the size of Mono County. Sandwiched between Yosemite National Park and the Nevada state line, the county only contained around 14,000 people as of the 2010 census. Because the community is east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and there is dessert nearby, authorities are concerned Karlie might be vulnerable to dehydration and exposure. On October 15th, authorities announced, via social media, there had been a confirmed sighting of Karlie walked towards Highway 6 near her home, but unfortunately, that’s where the trail ends. With the help of additional resources from the FBI and NCMEC, authorities have employed search and rescue teams, including helicopters and scent dogs. Off-road vehicles are also being utilized to thoroughly search the high-terrain areas near the Guse’s home.
In a video on Facebook, that has since vanished from public view, Melissa Guse articulated the negative space in the family left by Karlie’s disappearance, “I know everybody has so many questions. ‘Why did she leave? Where did she go? What’s wrong?’ I’m just concerned that she’s gone. And that needs to be the focus. If you know me and you know Karlie, you know she would never do this. This is not the person who would just leave her family.”
Lindsay Fairley described to Dateline the sick, sour feeling in her stomach left in Karlie’s wake. Not knowing where her child is—or if she’s safe—is a weight that drains her daily. “I never thought I’d be dealing with this. It was always my worst nightmare – whose isn’t? – to have a child missing. I don’t have enemies, but if I did, I wouldn’t wish it on them.”
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Karlie Guse, you’re asked to call the Mono County Sheriff’s office at 760-932-7549.
Carie McMichael is the Media and Communication Specialist for Lauth Investigations International. She regularly writes on investigation and missing person topics. For more information, please visit our website.
Elaine Park went missing on January 28, 2017 in Calabasas, Calif.
It’s every parent’s worst fear their child may be harmed while venturing into the world on their own. But, what parent could imagine “not knowing” where her only child is for nearly two years. That is the nightmare, Susan Park, the mother of missing actress Elaine Park is living.
Elaine Park, now 22, vanished on January 28, 2017, after she was last seen leaving her boyfriend’s home in Calabasas, Calif.
Her unlocked charcoal-gray 2015 Honda Civic was found at Corral Beach in Malibu, parked on the shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway, with keys still in the ignition. Inside the car was her cell phone, backpack and a laptop inside, makeup, and money.
Prior to her disappearance, Elaine looked forward to attending Los Angeles Pierce College and continuing to pursue her acting career. She loved performing in dance companies and musical theater. She had already appeared in small parts on E.R., Mad TV, Desperate Housewives, Crazy Stupid Love and Role Models.
The night Elaine went missing, her boyfriend Divine “Div” Compere told police he and Elaine had gone to a movie and returned home by Uber at approximately 1 a.m. that evening. His story was later confirmed on surveillance camera.
Div Compere is the son of Hollywood businessman Shakim Compere who co-owns Flavor Unit Entertainment with Queen Latifah.
Compere also told authorities that Elaine abruptly woke up at about 4 a.m., shaking and singing which he said was probably due to a panic attack. Surveillance captures Elaine walking to her car two hours later at 6 a.m., not appearing distressed. Then the camera shows Elaine’s vehicle leaving the Compere Compound, a large secured property near the 2600 block of Delphine Lane in the rugged Coldwater Canyon of Calabasas, Calif.
Elaine Park’s vehicle was found along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu
A resident of La Crescenta, a good 30-minute drive northeast of Cold Water Canyon to her home, Elaine’s car was found 20-minutes southwest at a Corral Canyon Beach pull out.
Police conducted an intensive ground search of the area with canines but found nothing. No information has surfaced to explain why Elaine would have driven in this direction.
Corral Canyon Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Calif.)
“It’s suspicious in the way that we found her car, her cell phone and things, in the manner we did,” Glendale Police Sgt., Robert William told Dateline. “We can’t rule foul play in or out because plain and simple, we don’t have any evidence to do so.”
Elaine Park’s gray Honda Civic founded unattended alongside Pacific Coast Highway SR 1.
Days and months have passed with no sign of Elaine. Now, nearly two years without her daughter, “As days go by, my hope finding her gets cloudy and losing hope,” says Susan Park. “It is very difficult to be in the same house with her shadow lingering with her laughter and my visual memories.”
Park has worked tirelessly to remind the public her daughter is missing, raising reward money and working with private investigators.
To date, Park is uncertain if investigating agency Glendale Police Department has et to “unlock” Elaine’s cell phone. The private investigator initially hired is no longer working the case.
Though Compere was ruled out as a suspect early on, Park is not satisfied that he has no knowledge of her daughter’s disappearance as he stated to detectives.
In a saddened tone and only the heartbreak a mother of a missing person would know, “There are no new developments except the $140K reward has been extended until the end of this year,” said Park.