Dana Bruce – A Mother Taken

Photo courtesy of Sedalia Democrat

She was a disabled single mother snatched from her children and family, first by him, then by drugs, and finally physically. What happened to Dana Bruce from Sedalia, Missouri?


October 4, 2008, a single mother broke away from her typical pattern and decided to take a night off. She leaves her toddlers at a babysitter’s house and goes out for a much-needed break. Dana Bruce, 23, was a devoted mom. She had no hobbies and no significant social life. Her life quite literally revolved around her two children.


Dana was once a fun-loving, somewhat mischevious teenager, but once she was introduced to Nathan Dotson, her life changed. She became a mother, and she was introduced to a drug-filled world. While Dana was disabled with multiple learning disabilities and blind in one eye, she had two little people who loved her unconditionally. Those two babies meant the world to her, and they were always with her.


Her relationship with the babies’ father was abusive and complicated, so Dana eventually ended up getting herself an apartment. Alienated from her family and many of her friends, Dana, became a target. Who targeted her? Eleven years later, we aren’t sure. Someone took the 98-lb woman, and she was never seen again.


September 2008, Dana broke down and called her stepmom, Rebecca. Although they weren’t blood-related, no one called her a step-mother. Everyone knew Dana as Rebecca’s daughter. Dana and her mother had lost touch a bit after Dana met Nathan, but she knew she could call mom if she got into trouble. That is exactly where she found herself in September. Her disability check had been stolen. She was out of diapers, her ex had broken her apartment window, and now she was being evicted. The worried mother had no idea that ten days later, her sweet Dana would disappear forever.

Public Timeline: October 4, 2008

  • Dana leaves her children at a babysitter’s house and heads out for a few drinks
  • She is seen leaving Malone’s Night Club around 11:30 pm
  • She leaves with a man in a RED Ford F-150
  • Dana stops by the babysitter’s house and asks if the kids can stay the night. She pays the sitter the extra fees and leaves with the man in the red truck
  • She is never seen again

Dana was seen with a man named Joe Rich from Atlanta, Georgia, at one point during the evening. He would become a “person of interest” after her disappearance. Police would even travel to Atlanta to question him, but nothing ever came of it. It was later revealed that Rich drove a WHITE truck. He claims he parted ways with her BEFORE she returned to Malone’s.

The rumor mill claimed she was with two local boys, and one was driving a borrowed red truck. Although law enforcement has followed dozens of leads, it seems they are no closer to solving this case than they were back in 2008. The rumor mill in the rural town has produced a horrific tale surrounding this mother, however.

Theory:

Dana Bruce was supposedly at a woman’s house with several other individuals. She had a few drinks with people she thought were her friends. A group of guys came in and shot her up with drugs inadvertently overdosing her. In a panic, they rolled her up in a carpet and threw her out by the road to die.

Although this is a very plausible story, family and law enforcement officials haven’t been able to find this poor woman. Where is Dana? All she wanted was to fit in and to be loved. Was she taken by drugs and then disposed of by people she thought cared about her?



Missing in Missouri is a podcast produced by a husband and wife team. They are from St. Louis County, MO and they are doing a great job digging into this case. I highly recommend everyone to listen to this podcast series if you’re interested in the case of Dana Bruce’s disappearance. Keep up the good work Zack & Morgan!

Listen to the series of podcasts here:

Missing In Missouri Podcast on Podbean


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Synova Cantrell may be known for her fedora, but she wears many hats. Synova volunteers with the Missouri Missing organization by highlighting obscure cold cases on her true crime blog to help generate tips. She firmly believes together we can give grieving families answers, hope, and support. Synova works as the Production Editor of True Crime: Case Files Magazine. http://www.truecrimecasefiles.com As SWMO’s #1 True Crime Writer, Synova authored Unorganized Crime; a biography of the ex-gangster Sidney Heard of Chicago, IL. This thrilling tale of con games, bank robbery, and mayhem has recently been endorsed by a retired FBI agent. Her best-selling series, Seriously Stupid Criminals, is a fan favorite in both paperback and e-book formats. Her latest e-book, Grim Justice tells the story of a judge and his wife retired in Palm Beach, Florida in 1955. Her first case files book, Snatched was released on New Year's Day. Fans eagerly await her newest serial killer series set to launch late 2019. Synova has a passion for helping fellow authors and knows how overwhelming it can be to get started in this business, that is why she created Synova's Simply Biz. Synova breaks down the business of writing in a simple way. If you need help with your business check out her new page www.synovaink.com/simplybiz. To follow all her adventures and read her true crime blog, log onto www.synovaink.com Connect with Synova: Twitter: https://twitter.com/synovaink Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synovacantrell Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/synovaink

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