Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Disappearance of Karlie Gusé


16 year-old Karlie Gusé disappeared during the morning hours of October 13th, 2018. She was last seen by her family at their home in Chalfant, California—a rural area in Mono County. Karlie’s stepmother Melissa Gusé told authorities that she last saw Karlie laying awake in her bed around 5:30 on the morning of the 13th. Melissa herself dosed back off to sleep after that, and when she woke up again around 7:15am, Karlie was gone. All of her personal belongings, including her cell phone, were still at the home. She was reported missing later that day.

Karlie’s family members later learned that three neighbors might have seen Karlie walking through the neighborhood between the hour of 6:30 to 7:30am. According to the stepmother, one neighbor was quite certain that they saw Karlie that morning, while the other two neighbors were not entirely sure because they had never met her before. However, all three neighbors provided the same description of the person they saw to police. One of the neighbors stated that they spotted someone who they believed to be Karlie on the corner of Highway 6, located about a mile away from her family’s home. When the news about Karlie’s disappearance began to circulate in the media, it was reported that she was last seen walking near Highway 6 around 7:30am.

The original report from the Mono County Sheriff’s Office on Karlie’s disappearance also stated that Karlie “may be disoriented.” There was no further elaboration on that statement, which caused a lot of speculation amongst sleuths and commenters on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Karlie’s stepmother Melissa later explained to news reporters that Karlie had admitted to smoking marijuana while out with her boyfriend and a few friends on the evening of October 12th. When Melissa picked Karlie up around 8pm that evening, she said that Karlie acted paranoid and seemed disoriented. Melissa stated that she attempted to calm her stepdaughter down—she even slept in Karlie’s room with her that night to make sure she was okay. That explained how Melissa knew that Karlie was laying awake in her bed at 5:30am the following morning. It is believed that Karlie left the home sometime between 5:45 and 7:15am, while Melissa had fallen back asleep. If the neighbor’s potential sighting of Karlie around 6:30am was in fact Karlie, that means she likely left her house sometime between 5:45 and 6:30am.

Due to the fact that the stepmother Melissa is currently the last confirmed person to have interacted with Karlie, speculation has inevitably fell upon her. At this time, Melissa has not been named as a suspect, but various sleuths have expressed a disbelief in her statements. Many found it odd that Melissa told police that Karlie was last seen wearing skinny jeans, while the witnesses who potentially spotted Karlie that morning stated she was wearing sweatpants. Melissa later clarified to Nancy Grace that she only said Karlie was wearing skinny jeans because that was what she often wore. She explained, “I only said that because she always wears her skinny jeans. So I just assumed her had her skinny jeans on.” The witnesses who might have seen Karlie stated she was wearing dark grey sweatpants, a white T-shirt and Vans shoes.

A massive search for Karlie, which included scent dogs, helicopters, foot patrol and off-road vehicles turned up no clues to her whereabouts. As months passed without any clues to Karlie's whereabouts, the case grew cold. However, suspicious against Karlie's stepmother, Melissa, has continued to grow stronger. One of the more prominent theories is that Karlie passed away of an overdose inside the house, and her stepmother and father covered it up. This has not been confirmed by investigators and it is unclear if they have looked into this possibility. 

A $10,000 reward has been offered for any information about her disappearance. If you have any information that could help, please contact the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at 760-932-7549, option 7.
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