Sarah Burton (28) went missing during the early morning hours of July 16th, 2018. The mother-of-two was last seen at an apartment building in northwest Joplin, Missouri. When Sarah was first reported missing, it was believed that she was last seen near 10th Street and Rex Avenue on the east side of Joplin. This is the location where Sarah’s friend dropped her off after a night out together. Sarah reportedly told her friend that she wanted to walk the rest of the way home. A few days later, said friend brought Sarah’s purse and one of her shoes to her parent’s house. The friend told Sarah’s parents that Sarah had left the items in her car. Sarah’s mother reported her missing the following day.
A few months into the investigation, detectives learned that Sarah was seen an additional time after being dropped off by her friend. A detective working the case explained, “based on our investigation, she was actually seen later that same morning at a residence in the northwest part of Joplin.” Detectives have kept quiet about how they actually obtained this information, but it was revealed that the residence where Sarah was last seen was searched twice in December 2018. Both searches came up empty.
Sarah was struggling with addiction at the time of her disappearance. She had reportedly began using after she graduated high school. According to her mother, Sarah turned to drugs after she was the victim of a violent crime. Her drug use landed her in prison in 2010, but when she was released, Sarah was determined to turn her life around. Sarah’s mother said that she landed a steady job and stayed clean for about a year, until troubles with the father of her children led her to slipping into her old habits. In the months leading up to her disappearance, Sarah was living with her parents at their home in Joplin, however they were hoping to get her into a residential treatment program. Before they could, Sarah simply vanished.
Sarah’s mother fears that her daughter is dead. Both parents are clinging to hope that Sarah will come home safely. If you have any information that could lead to Sarah’s whereabouts, please contact the Joplin Police Department at (417) 623-3131.