Missing Mother – Sarah Burton



Mother of two goes missing in America’s heartland, and the police still have no answers. What happened to Sarah Burton after visiting the Payless shoe store with a friend? Why did said friend stop by Sarah’s mother’s house to drop off Sarah’s purse and a shoe a short time later?

On July 16, 2018, Sarah Burton was dropped off near 10th Street and Rex Avenue. She never returned home from this trip leaving her two small boys behind. Sarah’s parents and grandparents are looking after 3-year-old Xander and 8-month-old Zane while police search for the young mom. Although Sarah had a troubled past, family members are adamant that she would not have left her boys.

Burton was battling an addiction to drugs at the time of her disappearance. It has been reported that this former high school cheerleader had been a victim of a violent crime and began using drugs as a way to cope. Whatever the reason, 2018 found a determined young mother battling her demons and struggling to make a better life for her sons. Burton was seeking long term drug treatments, attending all of her court dates and working with an attorney to help with her legal issues. She had held a job for a year, but somehow trouble with her sons’ father caused her to lose this position. I would love to have more information on this incident, but there isn’t much available online.

Sarah stayed at the Lafayette House in September and October of 2017. The Lafayette House is a sanctuary for domestic violence victims, sexual abuse victims, and for those recovering from substance abuse. It seemed Sarah was finally getting her life together, but strangely when things appeared to be going well, she vanished without leaving a trace. The Joplin Police Department has constantly chased leads and conducted two searches over the 2018 holiday season trying to find the missing woman. Captain Trevor Duncan graciously answered my questions for this post. He states the case is active and ongoing and hasn’t grown cold. Joplin investigators followed lead #66 last Friday and were working on #67 yesterday. These leads have included several surrounding counties and the states of Oklahoma and Kansas. Joplin P.D. is actively searching for answers for the Burton family.

If you have any information, please contact the Joplin Police Department at (417) 623-3131

All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.

Don’t Forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter and receive her ebook Grim Justice as a free gift.

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#SarahBurton – #BringSarahHome – #MissinginMissouri – #TrueCrime – #UnsolvedCase


Sleepover Nightmare: Tracy Pickett Cold Case

tracy pickett

She spent the night with a friend and was never seen again. Police have had a suspect for 26 years, but without a body, justice for 14-year-old Tracy Pickett seems impossible.

It’s a parents worse nightmare and unfortunately, Glenda “Kay” Blaser cannot wake up from it. On August 11, 1992, Blaser agreed to let her daughter spend the night with a friend. Another girl was coming too, and Blaser knew the three girls would have a great time. If she had known who would show up in Webb City that evening, Blaser would have kept her little girl home. Two ex-convicts showed up to the girls’ party. One guy was dating one of the girls, and he brought along a friend named “Al.”

The sun broke over the horizon on August 12, 1992, and Blaser expected to see her daughter soon. Instead of her sassy little girl bounding through the front door, Blaser received a strange voicemail. It almost sounded pre-recorded. The female voice was unfamiliar to the worried mother.

“Tracy is on her way home to change her clothes”

This strange message was sent twice, but Tracy never showed up. Blaser went to the friend’s house searching for her daughter and found Tracy’s shoes in the closet, but didn’t find her little girl. “Al” was nowhere to be found, but witnesses claim he was the one who gave Terry a ride home to get new clothes.

Police discover “Al” is an ex-con named Lowell Andrew Billy. He drove a black van with Oklahoma license plates. The van had louvers down the side windows and boasted two sunroofs. Witnesses say they saw a gun inside. It took police a week to track him down, but by then “Al” had left the state by then. He claimed to have dropped the teenager off in front of a pawnshop in downtown Joplin on the morning of August 12th.

Neighbors claimed to have seen a young girl running down the alleyway screaming “leave me alone,” on the next morning. There was a possible sighting of the van near Carthage, MO. Witnesses say they saw “Al” cleaning out the van around noon, but authorities were unable to verify this sighting.

A year later, “Al” was arrested in Oklahoma for kidnapping and forcible rape of an Oklahoma woman. Police claim Lowell “Al” Billy is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Tracy Pickett, but there isn’t enough evidence to arrest him. “Al” spent time in jail for his crimes in Oklahoma but was released after a few years. He was re-arrested a short time later for failing to file as a sex offender and was incarcerated.

In 2005, police attempted to drain a mining pit in the local area without results. In July 2018, the Joplin police department began searching local ponds following leads on the other ex-con that showed up that night. Ernest “Michael” Hensley was dating one of the girls and was friends with “Al.” Police are looking into the now-deceased Hensley in hopes of finding evidence as to what happened to Tracy Pickett.

If you have any information in this case, please contact the Joplin Police Department (417) 623-3131

Further Reading:

Joplin Globe

The Charley Project

Joplin PD Facebook

All information used to create this content is a matter of public record and can be easily found online. Any participation or alleged involvement of any party mentioned within this site is purely speculation. As the law states, an individual is Innocent until PROVEN guilty. ©2017-2019. All rights reserved.

If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.



Each week Synova highlights obscure cold cases on her blog as a victim’s advocate with the Missouri Missing organization. She never charges for her services. If you’d like to help support Synova in this worthy cause, please check out the affiliate links below and on the sidebar of this page. By purchasing one of her books or using these links, you will be supporting Synova’s work on cold cases and will ensure her ability to continue to give a voice to the victim’s family. Thank you.

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