Friday, January 1, 2021

The Disappearance and Death of Jorden Sopher

Jorden Sopher had just recently turned 18 years old when she vanished on May 23rd, 2006. The teen girl lived in Wabash, Indiana at the time of her disappearance. Jorden had spent most of her childhood in the foster system before she was adopted at age 16 by Robert and Linda Sopher. That same year, she dropped out of high school and later began working at a local Hardee's restaurant. However, during the spring of 2006, Jorden told her family members that she planned to re-enroll in high school so she could get a diploma. Before she had that opportunity, Jorden seemingly vanished without a trace. 

Months before her disappearance, Jorden moved out of her adoptive parent's home and had been staying with various relatives and friends in the Wabash area. She was staying with her friend and coworker Erin Harlan the weekend before her disappearance. The two reportedly last saw each other around 5:15am on May 23rd, 2006--when Erin woke up to go to her morning shift at Hardee's. Jorden told Erin that she was not working until later that day--so she stayed behind as Erin left for work. 

At a later point that morning, Jorden was dropped off at her adoptive parent's house in a truck driven by Cory Bridenthal. According to Jorden's father Robert Sopher, she spoke briefly to him in the garage before leaving the house on foot. After walking away from the house, Jorden was never seen or heard from again. Later that evening, employees at Hardee's called the Sophers to inquire about Jorden's whereabouts--as she had not shown up to her scheduled shift. This was very out-of-character for Jorden, so her parents immediately began to worry. They reported her missing the following day. 

Once police began to investigate, they questioned both Erin and Cory. Erin told police that Jorden was not at her house when she returned from her shift at Hardee's at 10:15 that morning. However, all of Jorden's belongings, including her purse, were left behind. Cory told police that Jorden had accidentally left her cell phone in his car when he dropped her off at her parent's house that morning. He later reportedly gave the cell phone to Erin so she could return it to Jorden. The cell phone was later turned over to investigators, but unfortunately it did not yield any clues. Police also questioned both Linda and Robert Sopher. Linda agreed to take a polygraph exam, which she passed--but Robert refused to take one. Many found this suspicious, but both Linda and Robert maintain that Robert took one of their foster children to the doctor shortly after Jorden left their house that morning. 

Jorden's case quickly grew cold. Years passed without any clues or trace of her whereabouts. Then, in May 2009--nearly three years after Jorden's disappearance--the case had a break. A mushroom hunter at a creek in Peru, Indiana had spotted human remains amongst a thick canopy of raspberry bushes and honeysuckle. Dental records later confirmed that those remains belonged to Jorden Sopher. Due to the deterioration of the remains, an autopsy was unable to determine a cause of death--but police still began to investigate Jorden's death as a homicide.  It is believed that Jorden's body was in the spot where it was found ever since her disappearance. The clothes she was wearing that day were found amongst the remains. 

Years have passed since the discovery of Jorden's body, yet her murder remains unsolved. There has been very little information available about the investigation, especially in more recent years. Still, anyone with information that could lead to Jorden's case being solved is encouraged to call 1-877-226-1026 to submit an anonymous tip. 

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