Phantom Disappearance – Carmen M. Owens

Carman Owens

 

A quiet, somewhat reclusive woman buys a bus ticket to Green Bay and vanishes. Her medicine is still at home, and she carries nothing but a purse. Did she even get on the bus? Did she get off the bus? No one knows, and now 20 years later her existence is almost erased from memory. What happened to Carmen Owens?

These cases are the hardest for me to write about and not because of the lack of information. The thought that someone can disappear and be forgotten is devastating. Carmen Owens was a quiet woman who lived a somewhat reclusive life. She had a few friends in Shawano but only seemed close to her mother, Verona Owens.

Carmen walked to the local grocery stores and coffee shops and frequently visited the library where her mother worked. She was an avid reader, but there are no records of what she was reading. The library hadn’t installed a computer system as of 1998. Perhaps she was checking out a book on starting a new life. We will never know.

The lack of information about this 41-year-old woman is frustrating for the police and armchair detectives alike. 

Verona Owens died in 2009 hoping her daughter would walk through her door one day, but that still hasn’t happened.

Greyhound employees cannot say if Carmen reached Green Bay, or even if she ever boarded the bus in Shawano.

One thing we do know for sure is the fact that Carmen frequently traveled to a shopping mall in Green Bay, WI with her mother. Perhaps this is why the woman left without her luggage or her required medications. Maybe she was going on a shopping trip and planned to return.

There’s a strange twist to this case that makes people wonder. When police searched her home, they found some names written on an envelope.

“Ashthanoth, Athanor, Carmen Owens Farnam.”

Were these names the scribblings of a mentally unstable woman on medication? Or, were these names aliases she planned to use when she ran away?

The police also found a notebook with names of apartments for rent in the Green Bay area, and they found a map of Minnesota. What did all of this mean? Did she run away? Why haven’t they found her if she rented an apartment under an alias? Why didn’t she take any of her belongings? Why did she leave behind the medication for her mental health issues?

The Shawano Police Department hasn’t given up on the case, and they hope to find her one day. Owens’ information was entered into several national databases in hopes of locating the missing woman. They collected and stored her DNA from items they found in her home. The police also plan to place her picture on the back of playing cards to distribute to prison inmates. So far none of these tactics have yielded any results.

I implore you to share this woman’s story and her picture everywhere possible. Please don’t let this woman be forgotten. She needs to be found, and you can help make a difference.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Shawano Police Department at (715) 524-4545.

 

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.

 

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Missing in Wisconsin – Sara Bushland’s Story

bushland

Sara Bushland stepped off the school bus at the end of her driveway. It was only 200 yards to the safety of her house, but she never made it there and no one has seen her since.


Sara lived with her mother and stepfather on a 65-acre plot outside of Spooner, Wisconsin. It should have been a peaceful place. The large house set nestled among the wooded acres and backed up to a beautiful lake. Surely, the troubled teen could find peace here, right? No. Paradise is only as good as the company you keep, and Sara’s family was dysfunctional and abusive.

Sara’s parents had divorced, and after a while, the teen girl chose to live with her mother and her new husband’s family. Sara stepped into a house full of stepbrothers and a manipulative stepfather. Jim Lambert, a former police officer, was also a hunter and was notoriously hunting illegally. He used his sons to poach deer and trap game illegally. He was a hard man and suspected in several arsons schemes that ended in insurance fraud.

To make matters worse, Sara was a victim of sexual abuse. It hasn’t been stated publically who was victimizing the teen girl, but it is a known fact that she was abused. Over time, she began to believe that’s the way a girl shows affection. This would cause her terrible trouble later when she became pregnant. Her mother & stepfather forced the teenager to have an abortion and then grounded the girl from leaving the house for any other reason besides school.

April 3, 1996, Sara was looking forward to her punishment ending the upcoming weekend. Her boyfriend, Travis, 21 stopped by the school on Sara’s lunch break, and the pair went to a friend’s house. Friends noticed a change in her demeanor when she returned. Her plans for the evening were quickly changed, and she was desperate to find a ride home from school. She claimed she needed to get back before her stepdad. If he read her diary again, she would be grounded for even longer. This story was strange considering her father was supposedly out of town and wouldn’t return until the next day.

Whatever the reasons, Sara couldn’t find a ride home and ended up riding the school bus. She stepped off the bus at the end of her driveway at about 4 pm. Students on the bus noted a dark-colored pickup truck had been following the bus and pulled into the driveway. Half an hour later, her stepbrother calls his dad saying Sara never came home.

The mother immediately returned home and began calling around trying to find her daughter. She traveled to a few places and continued searching. The stepfather didn’t change his plans and just returned home the next afternoon. By then Sara had been missing for 24 hours. Finally, they contact the police. No one knows why, but Sara’s case was classed as a runaway for three full years. The lack of investigation at the beginning was disturbing, to make it worse the local police wouldn’t allow Sara’s father to be involved.

After the case was reclassed as an endangered person, the police began zeroing in on the Lambert property. In 1999, they conducted the first of four searches. After Jim and Marie’s deaths in 2017, the police searched the property again. No information has been released on what was found, and Sara’s father and sister still don’t have an answer.

A book was recently published by Robert M. Dudley. It details this case and has much more information than what can be mentioned here. I will include the link.

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Searching for Sara Bushland by Robert M. Dudley

Sara’s sister has set up a facebook page for her that contains even more information and is updated regularly.

Find Sara Bushland

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact WISCONSIN CLEARINGHOUSE FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN & ADULTS 1-800-THE-HOPE (1-800-843-4673)

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. 

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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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VintageBee 10 Pack Mini Multi-Tool Multi-Functional Hair Clip Stainless Steel Women Self-Defense Tool EDC Survival Kit

 

 

 

bushland

Where Are All Wisconsin’s Women Going? Another Woman Missing 30 Years

cheryl_a._duvall_1

Cheryl Spaeth-Duvall has been missing for approximately 30 years. I say approximately because no one seems to know exactly when she vanished. After not hearing from her for two months, her ex-husband calls in a missing person’s report. This isn’t odd on his part since she would go a month sometimes without calling. Why didn’t her live-in boyfriend call?


Cheryl was 38 years old when she went missing from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She was reportedly living with her boyfriend John Neuser on a dairy farm out on South Parkview Rd. There is very little information to go on in this case, but in 2007 family members convinced the local police department to reopen Cheryl’s case.

Neuser continued to live on the dairy farm long after Cheryl’s disappearance and didn’t move until 2006. After the case was reopened the police searched both his previous and current properties for evidence in this case. They would not comment on what they found but hoped new advances in forensic science will solve this decades-old cold case.

Cheryl’s Stats:

  • Hair: Blond
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 5′ 2″
  • Weight: 100lbs.
  • previously broken foot
  • 13 sets of ribs instead of standard 12

The police have labeled the ex-boyfriend as a person of interest, but are quick to say that he is not currently a suspect and has not been charged. It has been reported that Neuser has hired an attorney and is not cooperating with police.

If you have any information concerning the case of Cheryl Spaeth-Duvall, please contact the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department at 920-683-4200.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.

More information:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17235417/24_jan_2008_missing_woman_case_still_a/

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/17614923/20_may_2012_cheryl_spaeth_duvall/


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.

IMG_20190316_075643_170.jpg

SIGN UP HERE 


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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VIPERTEK VTS-989 – 58 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun – Rechargeable with LED Flashlight


 

cheryl_a._duvall_1

A Lie, An Alias, & the Other Woman: The Sandra Bertolas Story

bertolas

On April 24, 1988, Sandra Bertolas left her family’s home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin to confront her ex-boyfriend. Not only did he give her an alias, but he was hiding the fact he was in a long-term relationship with another woman. Frustrated, she told family members that she was going to meet him in West Allis. The 20-year-old was never seen again. Her car was found a few days later abandoned in a bowling alley parking lot.

Sandra Bertolas was pretty, spunky, and smart. She loved makeup, fashion, and was studying cosmetology at the Waukesha County Technical College. Sandra was the youngest of eight children and seemed to have everything going her way until April 1988. She attended the wedding shower of a friend earlier in the day. There, she confided to friends that her boyfriend was cheating on her. To make matters worse he had also given her a fake name.

Family members say she left home around 7 pm. Her boyfriend had called and begged her to meet with him. She finally agreed and told her family that she was going to meet him before she left. When she hadn’t returned by midnight, her father became worried and started calling the local hospitals. Perhaps she had been in an accident. Sandra always called home.

The following June, a tip came in that lead the authorities to Mount Olivet Cemetery. Search dogs were brought in and focused on a 12-foot area around a grave that had been open at the time of Sandra’s disappearance. after getting permission the authorities opened the grave and searched in hopes of finding the missing woman. She was not there.

While many families keep hoping that their missing relatives will be found alive, the Bertolas family firmly believes that their beloved Sandra is deceased. They have a grave plot reserved for her in Saint Anthony’s Cemetery right next to her father’s grave. Her father died in 2010 never knowing what happened to his sweet Sandra.

The family hopes after 30 years someone will come forward with some information that will lead to the remains of their loved one. If you have any information please contact:
Menomonee Falls Police Department
Lt. D. Mueller
262-532-8700

Agency Case Number: I88-1528

More information on this case:

Missing Thirty Years

Charley Project

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.

The Strange Case of Jayme Closs

800JaymeCloss-FBI

Someone burst into a rural home in Barron, Wisconsin in the early morning hours of October 15, 2018. Neighbors heard something that sounded like two gunshots, and twenty minutes later 911 received a garbled emergency call from Mrs. Closs’ cell phone. When police arrived, the mother was deceased, and the father died shortly after the police arrived. Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs was missing. Where can this quiet, well-mannered teen be?

There’s a ton of online theories on this case, but the evidence released thus far doesn’t point to any of them. As of today, the parents are deceased, and Jayme is considered missing and endangered. The murder weapon wasn’t found on the scene, and the police are quick to say that Jayme is in no way a suspect in this case.

It’s been eleven days, and hundreds of tips have poured in, and the authorities are checking every one of them. The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the whereabouts of Jayme.

The family members made an emotional plea for information on October 24th proclaiming their love for their missing loved one. The authorities are looking for two vehicles. Surveillance videos picked up a red or orange Dodge Challenger or Charger and a Black SUV believed to be a Ford Edge or an Acura MBX.

In a small town of 3,500 people, 2,000 volunteers gathered to search for the missing teenager. Unlike other cases, the authorities have kept the searches well organized in hopes of finding the one clue that could save a child’s life. Unfortunately, the searches haven’t yielded the smoking gun everyone was hoping for. Citizens are left to wonder why this happened and how could it have happened in their otherwise safe community.

If you have any information, please contact 1 (855) 744-3879

jayme.png

Vanished – The Amber Wilde Story

amber wilde

 

Amber Wilde was a 19-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay working on becoming a pediatrician. Amber kept a detailed diary throughout her life and this chronical is now giving the police hope that this case can be solved. Clues in this diary lead to a suspect, but 20 years have passed with no arrests. What happened to Amber and why does her aunt believe she’s buried somewhere under the asphalt of Hwy 29?

Wednesday, September 23, 1998:

Amber is in a car accident on her way to school. Amber had re-ended the car in front of her. Although the accident was minimal, she hit her head hard on the windshield and complained of an intense headache. The drivers exchanged phone numbers and the day continued for both. Unfortunately, this would be Amber’s last day.

Amber checks in with the medical staff at the school and they advise her that she may have received a concussion. She called her father and relayed the events to him and he promised to call periodically throughout the day to check on her. The last call he received from her was around 7 pm. He was scheduled to call her first thing in the morning to make sure that she was ok before she went to class. That call went unanswered as well as several others. A worried father went to her apartment to check on her and although he found nothing obviously disturbing, he knew something was wrong. His daughter was pregnant and she had been having issues with the father of her child.

A few days pass without any word before the police find Amber’s abandoned car parked in the parking lot of Lambeau Field. Strangely, the car was unlocked, the phone was still charging on the front passenger seat, and her purse was locked in the trunk. Nothing looked odd or out of place until her father looked closer. Amber Wilde is reported as 5′ 2″ – 5′ 4″. (Some people fuss over this discrepancy, but as a short girl myself, I find my height determined by my stilettos.) The father noticed the drivers’ seat was pushed all the way back. There was no way his daughter could have driven the car with the seat in that position. Was this a clue or was this an intentional diversion?

To make things even worse, two days before her disappearance Amber’s car had been serviced and the mileage had been noted at that time. Now an extra 900 miles were on the odometer. Where had this car been?

In Amber’s diary, she outlined the love affair she had been having with a gentleman named Matthew Schneider. When she became pregnant this narrative changed drastically. She began to document their phone conversations. Schneider didn’t want his fiance or his family to find out about Amber and he didn’t want a baby. He even tried to convince her, according to Amber, to have an abortion. She refused. Could this be the motive behind Amber’s disappearance? Or, could she have run off to start a new life? Her family says it’s not possible and the police tend to agree.

When police interview Schneider he denies everything claiming that he never touched her. His fiance claims Amber was nothing more than a lovestruck teenager that had an infatuation with her man. Unfortunately, the phone records indicate that there were over 60 phone calls between Schneider and Wilde. Was he fighting for his innocence against a determined teen, or was the love affair a reality?

When Crime Watch Daily approached Schneider about this case he refused to talk. I’m sure that’s what his attorneys want him to do. What I find even more disturbing about this case is the comments by online skeptics. Some vilify the man before he can be proven guilty, but most vilify the victim claiming she had no right to approach Schneider’s family. She was a teenager that had been in love with an older man. Was he promising her the world? Who knows? But, whatever the case may be, it is never ok to murder someone.

As with all my cases, if you have any information please contact the

Green Bay Police Department (920) 448-3200

 

More information on this case:

FBI.gov

Crime Watch Daily Part 1

Crime Watch Daily Part 2

Crime Watch Daily Part 3

 

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.

Snatched at School – The Alexis Patterson Mystery

alexis pattersonShe was a bright-eyed 1st grader walking to the Hi-Mount Public School four houses down the street from her home. It was May 3, 2002, and the child would be out of school for the summer soon. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t be enjoying the upcoming summer break. Fellow students reported seeing her in the playground before school, but she never made it to class and hasn’t been seen since. Sixteen years have passed, and sweet Alexis still hasn’t returned. Who snatched her? Where is she now?


Alexis Patterson, 7 was walked to school by her stepdad and was seen by other kids in the playground. Everyone assumed she would be in class. She had a perfect attendance record, but it would be broken on this fateful day in May. When she didn’t return home from school, her family reported her missing. Within 24-hours of the call, the Milwaukee P.D. set up a mobile command unit in a nearby park. It would stay there for the next five weeks, while the entire community searched for the girl.A month later Elizabeth Smart was found alive, and I’m sure the news gave Ayanna Patterson hope that her daughter would be found as well. While the news found many other missing girls, her daughter’s name was never among them.Three months later the authorities received a tip that she might be in the Milwaukee River near Estabrook Park. They had already checked the area but rechecked the place just in case. She wasn’t found. Many new leads poured into the case files, but not one of them lead to anything.Fast forward a grueling 14 years and the authorities had been all over the country chasing leads in this case. One lead seemed promising in 2016. A man from Ohio called in claiming he thought his ex-wife was the missing child. She couldn’t remember anything before the age of ten, she had no photos of her childhood, she couldn’t remember how she ended up in Ohio, and she had several of the characteristics of Alexis Patterson. As usual, the police keep a few details private to help determine the truth in these cases. When this woman had a physical characteristic that wasn’t publicly known, the police made a trip to Ohio to get a DNA sample.While everyone in the Wisconsin community waited and hoped, the DNA test came back negative. It was not Alexis Patterson. The mother put on a brave face for the cameras and said she will never give up, but it was apparent she was struggling with the new information. She had so desperately hoped that this woman was her child and now that hope was gone.There haven’t been any new developments in this case in the last two years; at least none that the police are sharing publicly. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Milwaukee Police Department at (414) 278-4788.


The following links are for the benefit of Synova’s readers and are not an all inclusive source listing.More information on this case:http://archive.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/after-10-years-alexis-pattersons-mother-still-holds-out-hope-2p56uqc-149449205.html/


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.IMG_20190316_075643_170.jpg

SIGN UP HERE


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.Self Defense Tips and Tricks: Practical Self Defense Solutions for the Street, Home, Workplace and TravelVIPERTEK VTS-989 – 58 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun – Rechargeable with LED FlashlightSnatched: The FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes and more (Synova’s Case Files)