Two Ohio Women missing. Disappeared on shopping trip.

Two Ohio retirees are still missing. They went outlet store shopping from their home in Lebanon, Ohio and never returned. Click here for more

June 21: Still no word on this case…

July 7, 2007   Still no word.

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58 Responses to Two Ohio Women missing. Disappeared on shopping trip.

  1. Fools Gold says:

    Complications appear to be the lack of certainty about the destination, the preference for scenic routes (curves, bridges, dense vegetation, ravines, etc.) and the mental impairment which might cause them to continue to drive in the wrong direction, though obviously lack of credit card use indicates vehicle travel was not far.

    Is the 2000 car too old for OnStar?

    The instructions to volunteers contain some good comments but the county search grid is poorly designed.

  2. Fools Gold says:

    Some 2000 Chevy Impalas do indeed have OnStar but one of the first things the sheriff did was to determine that this particular car was not OnStar equipped.

    Most likely scenario is ran off the road into terrain that obscures the car from passersby and which left no obvious skid marks or tire tracks.

  3. JoeDuck says:

    FG – Have the ruled out foul play here? In much of that area visibility off the road tends to be good (ie not swamps or heavy forest)

  4. Fools Gold says:

    The official view at this time is that there are no indications of foul play of any sort but since there were two separate areas at which they might have intended to shop and several routes they could have taken by choice or by mistake there really is no specific area of concern. Three separate states are being searched. Given a recent history of mental confusion and lack of credit card use it is more likely that violence is not involved. Three day delay before initiating the missing persons report did not help matters. Local FBO has donated airplane time and fuel and local pilots have volunteered their time as well as CAP flight having been flown. No trace found. Scenic off-road areas are being searched by volunteers. There was an initial sighting from a Kentucky postal worker but I don’t think it was verified.

  5. JoeDuck says:

    Thx FG – this has made national news so hopefully that’ll increase the awareness. This does sort of remind me of the couple lost back east that drove into the swamp, but I think that terrain was more hostile than Ohio.

  6. Fools Gold says:

    Reported sighting in Velvay, IN (near Carrolton shops) is incompatible with auto accident scenario but skills of waitress in recognizing people and vehicles are unknown.

  7. glenn says:

    Any more information on this? Very strange scenario…

  8. JoeDuck says:

    This hit the national news a few days ago, but have not head since. Yes, it’s odd and the longer it goes the worse it looks.

  9. FoolsGold says:

    No sightings of vehicle or its occupants despite massive postings of flyers and extensive air and ground search of over 8,000 square miles. Air searches are considered to be of severely diminished utility due to increased foliage but pilots are still volunteering their time and flyers are up at most local FBOs and pilot lounges.

  10. FoolsGold says:

    How would you “techies” with Jim Gray experience view this search?

    There is a big difference between using satellite imagery to find a sixty foot yacht in the otherwise empty ocean and trying to find a ten foot vehicle in a complex and cluttered image of an Ohio roadway.

    Would Ohio traffic accidents listed by mileage post be correlated to turns in the road or nearby scenic view points that might have distracted an elderly driver? Are pavement or grass skid marks viewable from a satellite image?

    Is High Tech a help when there was a three day delay, uncertainty as to destination or route and lack of uniqueness to the vehicle?

  11. JoeDuck ... says:

    Would Ohio traffic accidents listed by mileage post be correlated to turns in the road…

    FoolsGold my overall take on technology and search (after very limited experience) is that “fancy” mathematical analysis like that, and even satellite imagery searches, are unlikely to add much to these searches. (There’s a fun TV show called “Numbers” that suggests otherwise, but it looks to me like they simply overlay some complex math theory on the storyline).

    I would like to see email efficiency and “wisdom of crowds” applied where we would find ways to use the internet to collect and distribute information from a large area (perhaps through ISP mailing lists with regional distribution). In that case the flyer for these women would be linked to an email sent to hundreds of thousands of people in the target area.
    People could opt out of such lists but the emergency emails would be promoted as a public duty.

    As with most technology (and most solutions in general) I think we often look for whiz bang stuff when what is most effective are simple approaches that leverage the extreme communications efficiency of modern tools like internet, cell phones, and GPS and combine this with the fact that there is a potential army of volunteer help sitting at keyboards or TVs looking for inspiration.

  12. FoolsGold says:

    I am sure that “Numbers” show is about as valid in relation to real life as any other TV show or Hollywood movie.

    Yes, email distribution of the flyers would be real good. What would be needed is a sort of ‘reverse 911’ wherein a central search coordinator sends emails to a particular geographical area rather than have volunteers go trekking to nearby airports and stores.

    I wonder if the image analysis of the Jim Gray search really was any good or not. I know it didn’t lead to anything but perhaps nothing was there anyway.

  13. FoolsGold says:

    Although some cars of this model have a sunroof this car did not and therefore was utterly unnoticeable from the air.

    Given the time that has elapsed hopes are ofcourse dim.

  14. Fools Gold says:

    Family is continuing search but hopes for survival this long are useless and family has agreed to allow the retirement room to go to the next person on the waiting list. Any spur of the moment side trip is unlikely. The supposed sighting at a yard sale in Indiana is unlikely since there were no other sightings.

    It was a difficult search because the elderly retired neighbors gave contradictory statements as to the shopping destination so there was not even a known starting point and the vehicle was unremarkable in any way.

    Most likely scenario is ran off the road into foliage obscured accident site or became disoriented and got stuck in foliage obscured remote area.

  15. Fools Gold says:

    Family members are consulting two psychics but are also trying to be responsible persons who do not cling to false hopes and are aware of the long period of their having been missing.

  16. JoeDuck says:

    Thanks for the updates Fools Gold. Now that so much time has elapsed I wonder if foul play is *less* likely since you’d think the car or Credit Card use or something would have shown up.

  17. Fools Gold says:

    Uh oh…

    First: as to foul play being less likely, I would surely agree. Any carjacker or purse snatcher usually has immediate needs and no patience anyway.

    The trouble is that with elderly patients they are often found very close to their last known location. It has been a problem with this investigation that the “shopping destination” and therefore the most likely highways were not known due to contradictory reports from fellow retirement home patients who are themselves elderly and have difficulty remembering things clearly.

    It now seems there are indications that the two women may not have gotten the early start on the day of shopping that everyone thought and there is a renewed search in the immediate area of the retirement home.

  18. Fools Gold says:

    I sure hope this doesn’t turn into another one of those Purdue University things wherein the missing youth left his coat inside one particular dormitory, his latest phone calls were about getting into that dormitory, he was last seen fifty feet from that dormitory … but the search which extended from Mexico to Michigan never included the dormitory’s electrical room which has an exterior door near the dormitory’s main entrance. It would be really embarassing to the sheriff if the “missing vehicle” is in its parking space at the retirement home or something. No details are currently available other than ‘renewed efforts based on the possibility of not having made an early morning departure’.

  19. DMarieCM says:

    Any word on what the psychics said? I’ve been trying to follow the case but not much has been said in quite some time!

  20. Fools Gold says:

    No. No word on the psychics. The family has admitted that they were merely pursuing all options and that elapsed time made survival impossible. Right from the start the search instructions have been clearly focused on avoiding injury to searchers. Family is now arranging for probing of ponds in a thorough manner. Sheriff is dealing with indications from other residents that departure time may have been afternoon not early morning. Psychics are just one of many options and family members have already consented to the rooms going to those next on the waiting list.

  21. Fools Gold says:

    “…but not much has been said in quite some time!”

    This is a problem and I think the update information may have been going only to ‘search bulletins’ and church announcements to the actual search parties.

    The sheriff has a tip line and the posters have that number on it so he has not made annoucements. What could he say ‘no reports of a nondescript car with no unique aspects to it at all that would make it noticeable from the air’?

  22. Fools Gold says:

    Search in Warren County will concentrate on Caesar’s Creek State Park off Highway 73 and will involve boats, poles, scuba team and use of sonar equipment. Search may extend into Clinton Conty even though creek itself does not. There are some indications that a departure significantly later than that thought to have been made might have involved a setting sun at or about the time they encountered Caesars Creek park area.

  23. Fools Gold says:

    New search area determined by psychic.
    Nixon said he has had a strange sense about a boat ramp along the Ohio, east of Warsaw. There are no tire marks, no ruts, and no obvious indication of a car going off the road and into the water, but Nixon said he had considered that the two missing women might have confused the ramp for road and driven into the water.

  24. Fools Gold says:


    “After searching up and down Interstate 71 through two states Brad Nixon – says the families have almost nothing to show for it. There are no firsthand accounts of them having been anywhere. So we think they may have been close by.”

    Sometime next week, when the lake is not busy with boaters, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will bring in side scanning sonar to search Caesar Creek lake.

    Nixon is also considering searching in Mansfield, Ohio as well as Richmond, Indiana and Covington, all because of a list of places that Mary Ellen and Ada had wanted to go to. We’re not sure they were actually using that list before their disappearance, but it’s something to follow up on.

  25. Have been following this case. You are a very good source of information.

    Will continue to tune in.

  26. Lee Bailey says:

    I was on vacation in CA for a week and when I returned in late May I wondered what had happened to the women, because there was no news. I searched today and found they’re still missing. The lack of news is distressing. The media are guilty of “ageism.” Had these been two missing kids, or two missing YOUNG women the local and tri-state media would have remained on the story day after day, and the national media would have had more than a passing interest. I’d like someone to tell me how this is NOT ageism.

    Buckeye 5

  27. Patricia says:

    I too, am a little put off by the lack of any discerning new information about this case of the Two Missing Women.

    Formerly a resident around Brookville and Dayton, Ohio, I do not remember the terrain. It does seem very odd that 2 ladies and a fairly new car can just totally disappear.

    One day someone who is walking along the creek or lake will come upon the car, and or a terrible odor, and thus they will be found.

    I do not understand still, the daughter’s and son in law lax concern for their mother. Especially at such an advanced age of 80.

    Hope that this case will open the eyes of many children, to pay more attention to their parents, and add a Lo – Jack or On Star or other methods of identifying or locating a missing loved one, in the event of some sort of off road occurence.

    Are there any “Gravel Pits” in the area around where they might have traveled. I remember them so much, as that is where I learned to swim with my family. Very young, age 4.

    No one has mentioned that the other lady, had any mental deficits that she might have insisted on driving that might have caused the car to go off road.

    My prayers are with all the families and friends of both Ms. Wasson and Ms Walters.

  28. sylvia schmitt says:

    Just following this case (Colorado Astrological Research and Investigation)and check every night and morning for details, as many of us are.

  29. Joe says:

    This web site provides the best information on this strange case. It is off the radar here–and I live in Columbus.
    I agree with the most probably scenario that the vehicle is in water of heavy brush. If hidden well, you can be almost right on top of them without being aware of their presence. Sooner or later someone is going to run across them.

  30. Patricia Velten says:

    It occurred to me this morning that I hadn’t heard anything in awhile about these two missing women. I had hoped that they had been found and the media was respecting their privacy. However, it appears they are still missing? How can this be? Has anyone put this information on national hotlines? What if their car was hijacked with them in it? The car could be abandoned on a street far away from the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana area.

    After such a long time, it also occurs to me that they could be the victims of foul play closer to home. I wonder about their living situation or any unusual occurrences there before they disappeared. For example, did they have problems with anyone? Or, have any of the employees at their residence disappeared as well recently?

    I wish there would be more effort to find an answer to their disappearance.

  31. JoeDuck says:

    This case has dropped off the news radar. It’s always disturbing when people drop off the map like this but the search area is so huge that I don’t see much hope in this case.

  32. Linda Probus says:

    I came about this story last week or so online and have wondered since if searches are still ongoing(?) I’m especially interested because I’m near the age of one of the ladies and I am, frankly, antsy about going anywhere alone..tho I live in the Dallas area (Tx), I am praying for these ladies to appear somehow. I would hope that were I or my non descript car to come up missing, somebody somewhere would be concerned. Esp. my sons. Didn’t either of these ladies carry a cell-phone? I suppose evidence points to the theory that the car drove off the road since they haven’t been seen and their credit cards (if any) not used. Could they have been abducted from an ATM? God be with them and their familes!!

  33. Joe says:

    They apparently did not have a cell phone. They were traveling in an area that is mostly rural and has lots of water around it. I would guess they went into a body of water. There is no reason to suspect foul play as the car has not been seen and none of the credit cards have been used.
    If they went into a large body of water like the Ohio River, I wonder if they will be found. Anyone have any experience in cases of cars going into a major river? Do they usually eventually get detected or can they stay hidden indefinitely?
    This is a very perplexing and tragic case.

  34. JoeDuck says:

    Linda I doubt there is much searching going on anymore – they usually call searches off when there are so few clues.

    Joe – good question, but I have no idea. I have learned that a LOT of missing people are never found. I think that sounds creepier than it actually is because many do not want to be found and other non-sinister stuff.

  35. Fools Gold says:


    No cell phone.

    No certainty of destination. Fellow residents are also elderly and gave conflicting statements as to destination. Later discovery of ‘Places to Go’ list caused further confusion.

    Memory problems and medical needs of missing women clearly made time of the essence.

    Ageism? Well ofcourse if these were white skinned, blond haired, blue eyed beauty pageant winners from the People’s Republic of Boulder there would be greater media attention. Teenage girls or ordinary housewives would hold media attention for while but two elderly women from a retirement home? No. Even the famed Honeymoon Husband ‘missing’ from a cruise ship was a non-issue until that teenage girl’s photo of the blood stain provided a “hook” for the media.

    Search: Its hard to spot a nondescript vehicle and the sonar search of the lake had considerable administrative and technical problems. No one really knew where to focus a search so a cursory search of large areas seems to have been chosen over a detailed search of more likely areas.

    An off-road SVA into thick vegetation or water is most likely, but look what happened in Oregon recently: A witness phoned 911 about an SVA on June 8th but the relatives didn’t start a search until over a week later and the search was nowhere near the site of the SVA.

  36. Fools Gold says:

    More on the whims of the media and ‘hooks’…
    That Handsome Hunk and Blond Bimbo from the cruise ship story never got much media play despite all the advantages offered by ‘honeymoon’ and ‘foreign land’ hooks. It took a curious 13 year old girl who photographed the blood stain the ship’s crew promptly washed away to get the media to pay attention to the case… and then they wouldn’t let go of it for days and days!!

    There were searches over a large area but no one knew what route had been taken or what the actual destination was. The reliance on psychics who seemed to pick a particular boat ramp out of thin air diluted search efforts.

  37. JoeDuck says:

    a cursory search of large areas seems to have been chosen over a detailed search of more likely areas.

    This is a good point and I wonder if it’s ever a good strategy. In the Kim Family search the size of the area made finding them extremely difficult and it was John Rachor’s specific insight about where they might have gone that found them. Though in Kim case it’s important to note that they took the wrong road *on purpose* rather than due to making a wrong turn as many of us speculated early on.

    But what I’m wondering is if there is a better “search algorithm” than working out from the “last known point” focus that is generally used in cases like this.

  38. Joe says:

    I would think that the search could be limited somewhat in that the vehicle presumably is in an area where it is possible for it to remain hidden for this amount of time–that eliminates a lot of the area where they may may have gone as it is not anywhere near as remote as an areas of, say, the western states might be. I would think an in depth search might be in order of some of those places, but, as has been mentioned, there are a lot of problems with this one from the get go.

  39. Fools Gold says:

    Well, I wouldn’t put it beyond the realm of possibility that the car is parked somewhere, I just admit that its more likely that the vehicle is in a pond or ravine of some sort. Its just very hard when no one really knows what roads would be used or even what the destination was. An aversion to freeways and preference for scenic routes also means an increased chance of the wrong road or the wrong direction being followed by accident. If it was some “kill the two old ladies for their cash” the car would probably have been found by now. Its more likely that it was an SVA in a really remote area. Since air searches, although perhaps poorly coordinated, have been performed without success I would assume that a lake is more probable than a ravine though with dense vegetation this is not certain.

    Even the website has not been updated in a rather long time. All the friends and neighbors are elderly so its probably difficult to have a core cadre of searchers.

  40. Jim B. says:

    On May, 7 I came home from work and opened my local paper and saw the article and picture of the missing women on page 7. I told my wife I was 80% sure that I saw these two women in the local Hardees in Effingham, Illinois. I called the Effingham City Police as well as the number on the search website. Both dispatchers told me that an investigator would very likely call me back. I have never heard anything.

  41. Fools Gold says:

    At what time did you see them in Hardees in Effinham. What caused you to notice them in particular? Where were they and what were they doing? Did you see their vehicle?

  42. Jim B. says:

    It was at lunch time on May 7. I was alone on my lunch hour seated in the corner. They were directly in front of me at a table. While I was waiting for my food I had nothing to do so I was just casually observing them.

    The lady I believe to be Wasson was thin and her hair was white/gray and the style was very tight to her head unlike the photo. She was smartly dressed with a white blouse and I believe dark pants. She seemed to be in charge. She did all the talking to the employee that brought their food out. She assisted her friend with setting up her lunch at the table. She made a comment to the employee that really wasn’t rude but was short. She seemed to have a rather formal possibly sour dispostion. The lady I believed to be Walters was heavy and some what unkempt. Her hair style was exactly like the picture. The top she was wearing was similar in style to the one in the photo. She appeared to me to be somewhat disabled and very dependent on the other lady.

    I related all of this to the dispatchers that I talked to. Maybe this was investigated and they did not need to talk to me. I don’t know. I had no reason at the time to pay attention to cars in the lot.

  43. Fools Gold says:

    This is often a problem in missing persons cases. Lack of followup to tips. Perhaps your calls gave them enough? Perhaps they discount anything that is not corroborated by other reports that come it: gas stations enroute to that town or something. I don’t know.
    It may be that the cops got the tape register, looked at anyone who paid with a credit card or got the security camera tapes and scanned the “lunch hour” and decided they were different women but never called you back.

  44. Joe says:

    I’ve seen the acronym SVA used here several times. That’s a new one on me. What does it stand for?

  45. JoeDuck says:

    Jim that really seems like a lead that may have slipped throught the cracks, and I’d encourage you to try to contact the family. In missing person cases there are often *so many* leads that the searchers often wind up having to make quick judgements about things and I suspect some good leads get lost in that process.

  46. Fools Gold says:

    SVA is a 911 code for Single Vehicle Accident.

  47. Fools Gold says:

    An unreported SVA would be my prime candidate for a vehicle that has not been spotted despite air and ground searches. In Oregon a motorist witnessed a ‘red car veering off the road’ and reported it to 911 as an SVA with unknown injuries on June 8th but it was over two weeks before the Portland Police and family members looking for a red Toyota learned of the accident report and the resulting confusion over jurisdictional boundaries in rugged, remote area.

    I think an unreported SVA into dense vegetation or water is the most likely scenario in this disappearance in Ohio. Lack of on-road indications such as skid marks is likely too, however, other possibilities do exist.

  48. Kelley Hall says:

    Last night i had a dream. My deceased grandmother came to me and told me that she was with these 2 older ladies in Sedamsville, Ohio near water. I have been known to foresee things from time to time. However,I am not claiming to be psychic. My grandmother was an adventurous honest and happy lady. she past on 2-18-06.This dream has troubled me all day, because I felt she was with me in spirit.I am from Cincinnati.I had no idea where Sedamsville was located in Ohio .I looked it up on map quest. To my surprise there is a place called Eileen’s Gardens near Sedamsville. My grandmothers first name is Eileen. My prayers are with both of the families.I am hopeful that some on search this area.

  49. J K says:

    I have been disturbed by the way we seem to hear nothing else about the two missing elderly ladies from the Lebanon, Ohio area. If nothing else, why isn’t the media continuously letting the community know there isn’t anything new to report. If these ladies had been young, famous or wealthy I think there would be more publicity, but because they are older, I feel the case has just been dropped like a cold case file. Are the local law enforcement folks still working diligently on this case? What is going on with the family members…are they still looking? Is the FBI involved? Have the local law enforcement folks thought of calling in a psychic for assistance or do they not believe in that sort of thing? Is there any way to look for them under water…I wonder if they might have been driving along the Ohio River and had an accident and drove into the River. I have driven the river roads on the Indiana side and they are awfully close to the water’s edge…I do not know about along the KY side…is it the same? Could America’s Most Wanted do anything special to launch a larger hunt for these two across the US? Did this story ever reach the national news level? Have all friends and relatives been thoroughly investigated? Have all old buildings and barns been explored across the area where they might have been? Have the police and sheriff departments all over Southern Ohio and Northern KY worked as a unit looking for these two? Have they brought in the special canine units or is it too late for that? I have read several of the earlier articles and it seems like there are a lot of unanswered questions.

  50. J Turner says:

    Our Search & Rescue team was contacted by a family member, but at the time we did not have a search location. I have since lost the contact information for the family, however we have K9’s and search tems if we can help. COntact us via our website.

  51. Fools Gold says:

    If young famous or wealthy… well ofcourse that would have generated more media interest. Do you think that the cable news outcry over Natalee Holloway would have taken place if it had been her grandmother who had disappeared?
    And do you really want the media cramming down your throat “nothing to report”?

    There are no indications of violence, an SVA (Single Vehicle Accident) in a location obscured from the view of passersby is the most likely scenario. Are others possible? Ofcourse. Its a question of time and resources.

    Eventually some hiker or hunter or maintenance worker will discover the vehicle in dense vegetation or a pond near the roadway.

    There is not much to be done when there is considerable delay in reporting the women being missing, no idea at all of what the destination really was, no real certainty about departure times or routes.

  52. cherie says:

    I can’t believe more information isn’t on the news about this. I was wondering if they had been found – but guess by these postings they haven’t been. My prayers to their families for what they must be going through

  53. Joe says:

    Unfortunately these ladies have not been located nor has there been any trace of the car, credit cards or anything else to suggest that they met with foul play. The most probable scenario is that there was a SVA (single vehicle accident) and that the car is either submerged or in heavy brush. Eventually someone will probably come across it.

  54. KimmySue says:

    Has anyone contacted a psychic? I understand this is an area we don’t like to go to but in this case, what could it hurt? We need to do something, we can’t just let this go on for more months. Lets get the ball rolling and ask for help anywhere we can!!!

  55. Lora Mick says:

    Has anyone tried mental health hospitals and nursing homes with alzhiemers /dementia units or mental health group homes.
    Due to patient confideniality they will not tell you who they have living in their units. If the ladies were confused the may be being called by different names. Middle name or the name of a family member. If the ladies ended up out of state they could be “being cared for” in a facility or by an mental health agency using public funding.
    A check with the social security administration, medicare, medicaid,or the private insurance carrier, may be helpful, elderly usually know their SS Number and birth day, even when confused. These agencies have the data bases and can tell if benifits are being paid and to whom, but again patient privacy will be their main concern, so the police would have to do the checking.
    don’t forget a tank of gas from their starting point will take you south to Knoxville Tennessee. Thats alot of facilities in a circle that big.

  56. Joe says:

    I don’t think it is likely that these ladies are in a facility without anyone knowing about it as they would have had a car and ID. That is an assumption, of course, and anything is possible. I think, though, that because there has been no trace of their car, no activity on their accounts, etc., that the most likely scenario is that they are in the car–either submerged or in deep brush. It seems strange that in this day and age two people can disappear like this, but it can happen–even in heavily populated states in the USA.

  57. Joe says:

    Kentucky State Police have reported that the car belonging to Ada Wasson has been found on a farm in Northern Kentucky near Campbellsburg. There were human remains in the car as well as 600 yards from the car. No identification has been made, but they report that foul play does not appear to be a factor. The car was found by a hunter about 9:10 AM on Sunday.
    A tragic, but not unexpected end, to this story.

  58. Joe says:

    The best coverage seems to be:
    This is a Cincinnati TV station, Ch.9.
    Family sources have told them that the remains indeed are of the two missing ladies. The car was in a an area of heavy brush and is said to be swampy, if not submerged, during wet periods. They certainly appear to be the victims of a SVA as was widely suspected.

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