Saturday, May 11, 2019

List Series: Unsolved Party Mysteries

A list of ten unsolved disappearances and/or murders that occurred during a party.

10. The Disappearance of Kyla Porter

Kyla Porter went missing at the age of 19 on February 15th, 2008. She was last heard from that evening, when she called her sister from a party in Holiday, Florida. Kyla told her sister that she would be home within the hour, but unfortunately she never returned home and has never been seen or heard from again.

Kyla had recently moved back to Florida from Georgia shortly before her disappearance. Her fiance was jailed on drug charges back in Georgia, so Kyla decided to return to Florida to be with her family. Kyla’s family members said that Kyla would often leave for days at a time in the past, however she never stayed out-of-touch for too long. This time, Kyla left behind her identification, purse, and winter clothing. Due to this, her family members do not believe she is missing on her own accord.

Kyla’s family members are not the only people who suspect foul play. In fact, after her disappearance, a rumor circulated that Kyla attended a party in Moon Lake on the night she vanished. Many believe that a person at the party might have harmed Kyla, however it has never been confirmed that Moon Lake was the location where Kyla was partying. Despite this, investigators suspect that foul play is responsible for Kyla’s disappearance as well. She remains missing today.

9. The Disappearance of Toni Sharpless

Toni Sharpless (29) vanished after leaving a party at the Gladwyne, Pennsylvania home of former 76er Willie Green on August 23rd, 2009. She was accompanied that night by her friend Crystal Johns. The two of them went to several nightclubs together before being invited to Willie's home for an afterparty. However, shortly after 4:30am, Willie approached Crystal and told her, “your friend is freaking out, and you both need to leave.” Toni had apparently gotten into an altercation with another guest in the kitchen, which resulted in her pouring champagne on the floor and kicking things around. Toni and Crystal left in Toni’s car after that, and Toni was reportedly very angry and upset while leaving. After driving a few blocks, Crystal told Toni that she was too drunk to drive. This angered Toni, and she ended up kicking Crystal out of her car. Toni then drove off alone and has never been seen or heard from again.

Two weeks after Toni was last seen, her car’s license plate was scanned by an automatic license plate reader in Camden, New Jersey. By time the authorities in Pennsylvania were made aware of this, they were unable to track down the vehicle. Clues about Toni’s whereabouts where scarce after that—in fact, it was three years before they received another lead. On November 30th, 2012, a private investigator received a letter postmarked from Trenton, New Jersey. The letter stated, “[Toni] got into an argument with a police officer, she died as a result, and I was paid much-needed $5,000 to move her car from Brooklawn to a shop outside of Boston.” It is not clear if investigators believe this letter is authentic. Toni’s car has never been located.

Toni remains missing today. Both Crystal and Willie have cooperated with the investigation and are not considered persons of interest. [read more]

8. The Disappearance of Lelia Faulkner

Lelia Faulkner has been missing since July 4th, 2016. That evening, the 29 year-old woman left her daughter at her parent's Troy, Alabama home while she went out with friends to celebrate the holiday. She never returned home for the 4th of July festivities and has never been seen or heard from again. Her family members reported her missing two days later.

While investigating Lelia's disappearance, detectives learned that the last person Lelia communicated with before she vanished was her ex-boyfriend Blane Gralheer. Lelia and Blane had broken up two days prior, and they were not on the best of terms at the time of her disappearance. In fact, just hours before she disappeared, Lelia wrote a Facebook post that accused Blane of being gay, and that he left her for another man. Blane denies this, and he also denies any involvement in Lelia's disappearance. He has still not been completely cleared; as he allegedly failed a polygraph and refused to take another one. Despite this, Lelia's mother has stated that she does not believe Blane is responsible for Lelia's disappearance, but she does believe that Blane knows something about it. Lelia's disappearance remains unsolved today. [read more]

7. The Disappearance of Madison Scott

Madison Scott (20) was last seen during the early morning hours of May 28th, 2011. The previous evening, Madison and a friend drove to Hogsback Lake in Central B.C. to go to a party at one of the lake’s campsites. Madison and her friend planned to camp there overnight. Sometime after midnight, Madison’s friend, who was incredibly intoxicated, got injured and left with a male friend. Around 2:45am, when the party started to dismantle, many of the partygoers went home. Madison, on the other hand, apparently decided to stay and camp there by herself. The following morning, some of the partygoers returned to the campsite to clean up. They found Madison’s truck still parked in the lot and her tent still pitched, but Madison was no where to be found. This did not raise any alarm at first—the witnesses simply thought Madison had gotten up to go for a walk. However, later that night, there was another party at the campsite. Madison’s items were still there, but none the 150 people in attendance of the party saw her there at all. When Madison did not return home on Sunday, her parents drove to the lake and found her truck and tent still there as well. After looking through her items, they noticed that Madison left her purse and keys behind. Her parents subsequently reported her missing.

Over the years, there have been many ground and water searches for Madison that have yielded no clues to her whereabouts. Due to this, the police believe that Madison was taken away from Hogsback Lake that night by way of vehicle. They have interviewed every partygoer from the parties on both the 27th and 28th, but nobody from either party has been named as a suspect. What happened to Madison during the early morning hours of May 28th, 2011 still remains a mystery.

6. The Murder of Jada Rankin

Jada Rankin was only 15 years old when she was shot and murdered in front of her grandmother’s Detroit, Michigan home on October 16th, 2016. Jada had spent that evening with her family, celebrating her brother’s birthday. She was standing outside her grandmother’s home with her family around 2am when a driver began speeding up and down the street. Jada’s brother shouted for the driver to slow down. The driver then opened his car door and began firing shots into the crowd. Jada was the only person hit—she was shot once in the abdomen.

Jada was quickly transferred Sinai Grace hospital, but she unfortunately passed away a short time later. Jada’s killer has never been identified and police do not have a good description of him. His vehicle is described as a “gray or silver sedan, possibly a mid-2000 Chevy Impala or Lumina.” It is unclear if police believe that Jada or her family members knew her killer. Her case is still actively being investigated. [read more]

5. The Murder of Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown was just days away from her 28th birthday when she vanished during a party on December 18th, 2016. Four days later, her body was found at a trash facility five miles away from where she was last seen. Her murdered remains unsolved.

Prior to her death, Ashley was working as a surgical technician at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. She spent the evening before her disappearance going out with a few friends in downtown Nashville, before taking an Uber to a party at an apartment near Vanderbilt University. Ashley disappeared without a trace during the party, and when she failed to return home the following day, her stepmother called a friend of Ashley's who was also at the party. Said friend was helping with the post-party clean-up when it was discovered that Ashley’s purse, wallet, and keys were still at the apartment. Ashley’s family members were deeply concerned by this, and reported her missing to the Nashville Police Department later that day. Their worst fears were confirmed when Ashley's body was found just days laters. An autopsy was performed, which was initially inconclusive. However, a second autopsy revealed that Ashley had been brutally murdered: her cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Ashley’s family members suspect that somebody who was at the party knows exactly what happened to Ashley. Unfortunately, Ashley’s family has been unable to speak to any of the partygoers that night. According to Ashley’s brother Trevor, they planned to meet with the resident of the apartment, but she backed out at the last minute, claiming that she was not comfortable meeting without the police present. Police, on the other hand, have interviewed the partygoers from that night but have not made any arrests or announced any suspects in the case. Ashley's murder remains unsolved. [read more]

4. The Disappearance of Jeremy Jourdain

Jeremy Jourdain was 17 years old when he vanished on October 31st, 2016. Jeremy lived with his family in Cass Lake, Minnesota, but on the evening of his disappearance he went to a Halloween party in Bemidji with friends. The party was located on the 500 block of Wood Avenue.

Around midnight, Jeremy announced that he no longer wanted to be at the party. Suddenly and without warning, he took off running from the residence. Relatives who were also at the party tried to follow him, but they were unable to see where he went. It’s possible that Jeremy tried to walk back to Cass Lake, located over 14 miles away, but he never returned and has not been seen or heard from again after that.

Authorities believe that Jeremy left on his own accord, even though he has no history of running away and did not take any personal belongings with him. His loved ones are worried for his safety and are desperately hoping for answers in his case. [read more]

3. The Disappearance of Cynthia Martinez-Perez
The last known images of Cynthia Martinez-Perez (27), taken before she disappeared on July 16th, 2017.
Cynthia took the selfie on the left shortly before leaving her Woodburn, Oregon home on the evening of July 15th to attend a party. Afterwards, she went to Tequila Nights Bar & Grill in the nearby town of Keizer. Cynthia left the bar around 2:30am, accompanied by two Hispanic young men. One of the men has been identified as 30 year-old Jaime Alvarez-Olivera (pictured with Cynthia in the surveillance video above), but the other young man has not been publicly identified. Cynthia never returned home after this outing and has never been seen or heard from again.

Jaime is considered a person of interest in Cynthia’s disappearance. Witnesses saw Jaime and Cynthia drive off in a blue minivan that has since been located. It is unclear if the minivan contained any evidence/clues pertaining to Cynthia’s disappearance. Investigators have still not been able to question Jaime, and they believe that he has been on the run since Cynthia vanished. [read more]

2. The Disappearance of Cheyann Klus

Cheyann Klus (22) has been missing since December 1st, 2017. She was last seen at the home of Brian Biddle (38) in Downer's Grove, Illinois. Cheyann and Brian had recently started seeing each other, and both enjoyed drugs and alcohol. After spending about a day-and-a-half partying at Brian's house, Cheyann began texting a friend around 2am asking to be picked up. When the friend finally saw the messages and tried to call Cheyann back, she did not answer. Cheyann's friend later got in touch with Brian, who said that he slept for 18 hours and when he woke up, Cheyann was gone. 

After days passed without any sign of Cheyann, her family knew something was wrong. Cheyann hadn’t updated any of her social media accounts, which was quite uncharacteristic of her. It was also unusual for her to be out of touch with her family and friends. Then, 12 days after Cheyann vanished, a phone call to 911 was made from her phone. The caller hung up before the operator could say anything. It is still unclear if Cheyann herself made the call, or if it was somebody else in possession of her phone. The call pinged off a tower near Mallard Lake Forest Preserve, located around 20 miles away from Cheyann and Brian’s respective homes. That area was searched, but it is unclear if anything significant was found. Cheyann remains missing today. [read more] [also on the 'Unsolved Mysteries & Suspicious Phone Calls' list]

1. The Disappearance and Murder of Adrienne Salinas

19-year old Adrienne Salinas disappeared in the early morning hours on June 15th, 2013, while she and her roommates were hosting a party at their apartment in Phoenix, Arizona. Adrienne is believed to have left her apartment to drive to her boyfriend’s house at approximately 3:40am. About one block from her apartment, she crashed her car into median and blew out two of her tires. A witness to the wreck called 911 to report it at around 3:45am.

Adrienne herself did not report the crash—instead she abandoned her car and returned to her apartment on foot. Her roommates and friends were still partying. Between 4:10am and 4:50am, Adrienne made 32 unanswered calls to her boyfriend. At 4:32am, she called a cab to drive her to her boyfriend’s house and asked the driver to meet her at a nearby convenience store. At 4:53am, her cab driver called her to tell her that he was at the store. She answered and told him she was on her way. However, Adrienne never showed up at the convenience store and the cab driver left after calling her phone one final time at 5:07am. That call went straight to voicemail.

On August 6th, 2013, Adrienne’s partial remains were found in a creek bed 30 miles from where she disappeared. An autopsy was unable to confirm a cause of death and police have not publicly named any suspects or persons of interest in her case. Both Adrienne’s boyfriend and the cab driver who was supposed to pick her up that morning have been cleared of any involvement in her disappearance. The FBI is continuing to investigate the case.

Parties are not uncommon, especially in areas with large nightlife scenes. Unfortunately, young people and women are often targeted at parties. However, there are devices that can be used to help you stay safe:

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