People Who Vanished Without a Trace

When we think about people who vanished and have never been found, the names Amelia Earhart, D.B. Cooper and Jimmy Hoffa come to mind. As much as we might suspect an accident, an escape, or foul play, some people seem to disappear off the face of the earth, their fates a mystery forever. Not every cold case gets quite the attention that these three cases have gotten, but they are just as missing as those who are famous. Here are a few cold cases that have people stumped to this day. 



Sherrill Levitt, her 19-year-old daughter Suzanne Streeter, and Suzie's friend Stacy McCall, 18, all were at a graduation party for the two young women in their Missouri town one early June day in 1992. The next day, they were gone. All their personal possessions had been left behind — purses, wallets, car keys — and no signs of struggle were evident. Over the years, authorities have followed up several leads; all have been either discredited or found to be inconclusive. The Springfield police are treating the still-open cold case as an abduction. 



For a politician, Harold Holt was notoriously private, relishing the opportunity to escape from the public eye to swim and fish in the ocean. When he disappeared off Cheviot Beach in Victoria, in mid-December 1967, what has been described as "one of the largest search operations in Australian history" was launched. Conspiracy theories — he ran off with a mistress, was captured by the Chinese, was assassinated — abounded. He is suspected to have drowned in the churning waters, but despite the massive search, his body has never been found. 



In April 2005, the longtime district attorney for Centre County, Pennsylvania, told his girlfriend he was going for a drive. He jumped in his car and was never heard from again. None of the prosecutions that Gricar led seemed likely to spark an angry response. His car was found with his cellphone inside it, but no signs of foul play were uncovered. His bank accounts and credit cards were never again used. His laptop went missing, was later discovered, but yielded no leads. He was finally declared legally dead in 2011. 



What happened to Nicholas Begich, a member of the House of Representatives from Alaska, and his Democratic colleague Hale Boggs, the House majority leader from Louisiana, seems like an obvious plane crash. On a fundraising trip in Alaska in 1972, they were on a small plane from Anchorage to Juneau when the plane and everyone onboard disappeared over the Chugach Mountains. More than 100 planes, 40 military aircraft and hundreds of boats began a search that lasted more than a month. No trace of the plane or passengers were ever found, and the NTSB was unable to determine what happened. The case remains open today.