11 creepy unsolved disappearances

 

Every year, countless people are reported missing.

In America, the number runs into the hundreds of thousands. In Australia, it's around 38,000.

Of those, 99 per cent are solved within a year - for better or worse.

Some of the missing, however, are never found. Tragically for their families and loved ones, they simply vanish without a trace.

Here are some of the most baffling missing persons cases that remain a mystery to this day.

The Beaumont Children

The disappearance of nine-year-old Jane, seven-year-old Arnna and four-year-old Grant from Glenelg Beach in Adelaide on Australia Day, 1966, remains one of the country's most enduring mysteries. Witnesses reported seeing the children with a tall, blond, tanned man in his mid-30s.

Last year, police conducted a new search of a factory site once owned by a man investigated in the case, but came up empty. In September, their mother Nancy Beaumont died at the age of 92, never knowing the truth of what happened to her children.

The Beaumont Children’s disappearance remains one of Australia’s greatest unsolved mysteries
The Beaumont Children’s disappearance remains one of Australia’s greatest unsolved mysteries

Ronald Tammen

At around 8.30pm on April 19, 1953, Ronald Tammen heard a noise outside of his dorm room at Miami University in Ohio that apparently disturbed him. He went into the hallway to investigate - and was never seen again.

The 19-year-old left behind his clothes, car keys, wallet, watch and all other personal items. His mysterious disappearance is still remembered at the university to this day. Some believe it was a fraternity hazing gone wrong and covered up, while others believe he was recruited by the CIA.

Asha Degree

In the early hours of February 14, 2000, in the middle of a thunderstorm, nine-year-old Asha Degree quietly packed her backpack and walked out of her home in Shelby, North Carolina. She was spotted by several motorists walking along a highway. When one turned around to approach her, she walked into the woods - never to be seen again.

In August the following year, her bag was found wrapped in plastic and buried in the ground off the highway, about 40km from where she was last seen. Last year, police announced two "new possible clues" - an elementary school library book, McElligot's Pool by Dr Seuss, and a New Kids on the Block T-shirt.

He Jiankui

In late 2018, a Chinese scientist caused global uproar after claiming to have created the world's first genetically edited babies. Dr He Jiankui was fired by the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen amid widespread condemnation.

Chinese authorities called for an immediate halt to his experiments, which they described as "extremely abominable in nature". Dr He went missing in January and hasn't been seen since - which is never a good sign in China.

The Springfield Three

A broken porch light, TV tuned to static, an obscene phone call, a deleted voicemail. In 1992, 47-year-old Sherrill Levitt, her 19-year-old daughter Suzanne Streeter and Suzie's 18-year-old friend Stacy McCall disappeared from Ms Levitt's home in Springfield, Missouri, after the girls attended a high school graduation party - leaving behind their cars and personal belongings, and a series of bizarre clues.

Their fate remains a mystery, despite police receiving more than 5000 tips from the public, including "several leads a week" to this day.

Brandon Swanson

In 2008, 19-year-old Minnesota student Brandon Swanson was on his way back from an end-of-semester party in the town of Canby to his home in Marshall, 48km away, when he drove into a ditch.

He called his parents at 1.54am and asked them to pick him up. As they searched for him, his father Brian stayed on the phone. "I talked to him for 47 minutes, and all of a sudden, he said, 'Oh, s***!' and the phone went dead," Mr Swanson said. Police believe Brandon may have fallen into a river, but his body has never been found.

Rebecca Coriam

Liverpool student and cruise ship worker Rebecca Coriam disappeared on March 22, 2011, from the Disney Wonder as it made its way from Los Angeles into Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The 24-year-old was last seen on CCTV at 5.45am in the crew lounge, speaking to someone on an internal phone line, wearing men's clothing and looking visibly distressed.

She failed to report for her 9am shift. Disney maintains Rebecca was swept away by a "rogue wave", but her parents believe she was thrown overboard after being sexually assaulted. Nine years on, they still have no answers.

Rebecca Coriam was working as a nanny when she went missing from a Disney cruise line.
Rebecca Coriam was working as a nanny when she went missing from a Disney cruise line.


Lars Mittank

Lars Mittank was last seen on CCTV footage, running in panic out of Varna Airport in Bulgaria before reportedly climbing over a fence and disappearing into a forest.

The 28-year-old German, who had been travelling with friends but stayed on after being advised not to fly due to a ruptured eardrum, had been acting strangely in the days prior his disappearance and thought he was being followed. He reportedly freaked out and fled from the airport medical clinic when a person described as a "construction worker" walked in.

Margaret Fox

"$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter's life is the buttered topping." That was the chilling voicemail believed to be a ransom message left by the kidnapper of 14-year-old New Jersey schoolgirl Margaret Fox - who disappeared in 1974 on her way to what she believed was a babysitting job.

The call, received by Margaret's family in the hours after she was reported missing, was released by the FBI earlier this year in the hopes someone might recognise the voice of her abductor and finally crack the 45-year-old cold case.

Ryan Chambers

Aussie backpacker Ryan Chambers was travelling around India on his gap year when he walked out of his ashram in Rishikesh - barefoot and wearing only shorts, leaving behind his cash, passport, phone and diary - and disappeared into thin air.

It was August 24, 2005, and the 21-year-old Mount Gambier native had been "restless" the previous night, according to his father Jock, who launched a desperate search for his son. Ryan's final diary entry read, "If I'm gone, don't worry. I'm not dead, I'm freeing minds. But first I have to free my own."

Ryan Chambers disappeared in India in 2005
Ryan Chambers disappeared in India in 2005

Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer walked into a bar - and never came out. In 2006, the 27-year-old Ohio State University medical student was out drinking with friends when, at around 1.55am, he was seen on CCTV coming up the escalator and re-entering the Ugly Tuna bar just before closing time.

The same camera never captured him leaving, although he may have slipped out a rear entrance as a panning camera looked the other way. Tragically, his mother died of cancer before his disappearance, and his father died in a freak accident not long after - leaving only his younger brother, Derek.



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