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10 Intriguing Disappearance Cases that Remained Unsolved

disappearance cases

Sometimes, we encounter cases so intriguing that we don’t know how to interpret or react to them. In fact, those incidents are happening around us, and you may witness such cases in your daily life even though we don’t hope for that. Every year, hundreds of missing cases are reported to the police, and while the police manage to solve some of those cases, some remain unsolved. Here, you are going to read the stories of some of those intriguing disappearance cases that remained unsolved. We wish all missing people will eventually return their home and reunite with their loved ones one day.

1. Trevaline Evans

On June 16, 1990, Trevaline Evans left a note on the front of her antique shop saying she would be “back in two minutes.” However, she has never returned and no one has seen her since then. The case has been re-opened twice, once in 2001 and once in 2011, but the police couldn’t find anything new.

 Trevaline Evans, Note written Back in 2 minutes
Image credit: cascadenews.co.uk via dailymail.co.uk, Image source: dailymail.co.uk

Trevaline Evans, a 52-year-old antique dealer, placed a note on the door of her shop on June 16, 1990. The note said she would be “back in two minutes.” According to records, she bought some apples and a banana, and the banana skin found in her shop implied that she returned to the shop, although this was not confirmed. The last sighting of Trevaline was near her home, although there were also two other suspected sightings. In 1992, Detective Chief Inspector Colin Edwards, head of the continuing investigation about the disappearance, said: “It is, without doubt, the strangest inquiry I have ever been involved with. How a happily married woman could vanish without a trace on a sunny Saturday morning in a busy town center is totally baffling.”

Later, the police reopened the case twice. The first one was in 2001. They thought that the new forensic technology may help solve the case, however, it didn’t work. The police arrested Trevaline’s husband, Richard, who was arranging a holiday at the time of his wife’s disappearance. But then, he was released without charge. The second was in 2011 when the police suspected that the case may be related to a serial killer named Robin Ligus. But, they ruled any possible connection out one year later. Her husband Richard died in 2015 without knowing what happened his wife.(1,2)

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2. Susan Cox Powell

Susan Powell, a 28-year-old married woman, and mother of two went missing in 2009. The police suspected her husband, Josh, but they couldn’t find any evidence verifying this. Josh told the police he left their home in Utah with the children to go camping, and when they returned she was missing. As the investigation continued, the police found out some family secrets including child pornography and voyeurism.

Susan Powell with her husband and kids
Image credit: Hardman Photography/Polaris via dailymail.co.uk

Susan Powell and her husband, Josh, moved to Utah in order to get away from Josh’s father who was sexually obsessed with Susan. Also, they had problems in their marriage, and Susan was expressing this situation to her friends. She even recorded a video and wrote a secret will saying: “I want it documented that there is extreme turmoil in our marriage, and if I die, it may not be an accident even if it looks like one.” On December 7, 2009, Josh’s mother and sister went to their home, but they couldn’t get into the house. They called the police. When the police came and entered the house, nobody was home. Then, Josh came with the children and told the police that when he left the home to go camping with the children, Susan was sleeping.

That was the day Susan went missing. Josh, who didn’t seem concerned about Susan during the interrogation, was the main person of interest in the investigation. However, the police couldn’t find any evidence that could prove his involvement in the suspected crime. When searching the house for a clue, the police found blood samples. According to a DNA test, one blood sample matched Susan, but the other didn’t match Josh or his father who was arrested on charges of child pornography and voyeurism because of the photographs of the children, neighbors, and Susan that were taken without their knowledge. In 2012, Josh blew up his house while he and the children were inside, and all three died in the incident. This incident led the police to close the investigation. (1,2,3)

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3. Bobby Dunbar

Bobby Dunbar went missing while on a trip with his parents in 1912. After a search of eight months, they found a boy who looked like Bobby, and the mother identified him as Bobby. However, in 2004, the grandson of Bobby had a DNA test with DNA samples of his father and his father’s cousin. The samples didn’t match, which means the boy Lessie Dunbar identified as Bobby wasn’t actually Bobby.

Bobby Dunbar
Image source: Wikimedia, Image credit: The Day Book/Wikimedia

In 1912, Lessie and Percy Dunbar, parents of four-year-old Bobby Dunbar, took their son on a fishing trip to Swayze Lake near Opelousas, Louisiana. On August 23, 1912, he went missing, and his parents reported the situation to the police. After an eight-month search, the police found a man named William Walters in Mississippi with a boy who looked like Bobby. Walters claimed that the boy’s mother, Julia Anderson, gave him custody of the boy, and his name was Charles Bruce Anderson. However, the police didn’t believe him and arrested Walters, and then they gave the child to Lessie and Percy Dunbar. The family identified the boy as their son Bobby.

After hearing about the case, Julia Anderson went to Mississippi to take her son back. Julia also had a chance to identify the boy, and she identified him as her son Bruce. But the judge gave the custody of the boy to the Dunbars. She also defended Walters, who had been sentenced to two years in prison. There was nothing she could do except for maintaining her claim that he was her son Bruce. In 2004, a grandson of Bobby Dunbar wanted to have a DNA test and took samples from his father, Bob Dunbar Jr., and his father’s cousin, the son of Bobby Dunbar’s brother, Alonzo Dunbar. According to the result, which was shocking, they were not related, which meant that the boy taken by the Dunbars was not actually Bobby Dunbar. It is still unknown what happened to the real Bobby Dunbar as of today. (1,2)

4. Brandon Lawson

In 2013, Brandon Lawson called his brother and told him he had run out of gas on a highway after leaving the home after an argument with his girlfriend. When his brother got there, he was missing. Also, according to records, he called 911 just before his disappearance saying he was being chased and needed cops.

Brandon Lawson
Image source: Help Find Brandon Lawson/Facebook

On August 8, 2013, Brandon Lawson, a 36-year-old father of four, left his home after an argument with his girlfriend with whom he had been with for more than ten years. After about forty-five minutes, he called his brother Kyle Lawson and told him that he had run out of gas on Highway 277 in Bronte, Texas. Then, Kyle and Kyle’s girlfriend drove to the location where Brandon was waiting. In the meantime, although Brandon had a warrant out for his arrest, he called 911 and requested the police to be sent immediately to his location. He told the police in a panic that he was being chased and didn’t need an ambulance, but cops.

Both Kyle and Audrey, Kyle’s girlfriend, called Brandon a few times before they arrived at Brandon’s location. But the signal was weak so they couldn’t talk properly. However, they stated that they heard that Brandon said he was bleeding during one of those calls. When Kyle and his girlfriend arrived, they saw the police were there too, and Brandon was missing. At first, Kyle thought that Brandon might be hiding because of the cops, and he put some gas in his truck in case Brandon would return. However, there has been no cell phone and bank account activity since then, and nobody has seen him again. (1,2)

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5. The Sodder Children

In 1945, on the night before Christmas, Jennie and George Sodder and their nine children went to sleep. After a while, they woke up due to a fire in their house. They managed to save four of their children, but they have never seen the other five children again. They couldn’t even find their remains after the fire.

Sodder Children
Image credit: Jennie Henthorn via smithsonianmag.com, Image source: unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com

On 24 December 1945, George Sodder, his wife, Jennie Sodder, and nine of their ten children (the eldest son was in the army) went to sleep as usual. But, later on that night, they woke up because of a fire in their house. While George, Jennie, and four of the children were able to escape, the other five children couldn’t. After the fire was put out, the bodies of the missing children couldn’t be found. The family didn’t know if they were dead or alive, but it was clear that they were missing. They didn’t rebuild the house, and instead, they converted the area into a memorial garden for the lost children.

The officials said that the cause of the fire was faulty wiring. However, the Sodders questioned this asking why the Christmas lights in the house had remained on during the fire because they should have gone out if it had been an electrical problem. Also, the investigators told the Sodders that the bodies must have been completely burned. But after talking to a crematorium employee, Jennie Sodder learned that bones would have remained. As of today, there is still a mystery what happened to those children. (1,2)

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