Going missing: it’s a terrifying concept. The idea that one day a person is there and the next day they’re not, is absolutely bone-chilling. No one knows where they have gone, why, or who was responsible. There are many tragedies that befall people in this life, but having a friend or family member go missing is perhaps one of the most painful. There is simply no closure at the end of the day. For something so horrifying, it happens surprisingly frequently. There are many, many stories out there of people mysteriously disappearing, never to be heard from again. A number of those who disappeared were children, or adults who had children they were leaving behind, who had no reason to go off and never return.
That was the subject of conversation on a recent Reddit thread, which we’ll read through to give 15 of the scariest and most mysterious disappearances the collective mind of Reddit has ever heard of.
15. Henry McCabe
“Pretty famous, but Henry McCabe. The most bizarre thing about his disappearance is the voicemail that was left, though. It had all sorts of noises where people speculate it could have been the sound of waterboarding or getting tazed. His family also apparently misled the police a few times and his friends, who were last seen with him, made a series of poor decisions which led to the disappearance. It was also odd that the FBI got involved in all this. As I said earlier, the creepiest thing I find is the voicemail of strange sounds that he left that no one can identify. Apparently there were a few recordings of it posted on the Internet, yet no one can find the full audio anymore and only bits and pieces.”
McCabe, a 32-year-old father of two from Minnesota, went missing on September 7th, 2015, after leaving a night club with a friend, who claimed to have dropped him off at a gas station. At around 2:30 that morning, Kareen McCabe, Henry’s wife, claimed to have been pocket dialed by her husband’s phone, and heard him screaming in distress and claiming he had been shot. This call is the last time anyone has heard his voice. Henry was declared missing, and it was discovered that friends who had been at the club with him had both his wallet and his keys, allegedly because he had been “very intoxicated” and they wanted to stop him from buying any more drinks or from driving. In the following days, there was no activity in McCabe’s bank account, no contact to friends or family, and no action on his phone. And on an evening in November of 2015, Henry McCabe’s body was found a few miles from where his friends said they dropped him off.
14. Yokota Megumi
“Yokota Megumi. Abducted off the streets as a 13-year-old by North Korean agents. The Koreans say she died in Pyongyang in her 50’s, but the bones they sent back to her parents weren’t hers. She’s probably still being held somewhere in Pyongyang. She has kids and grandkids there, too.”
This terrifying story is, indeed, true. The North Korean government has admitted to abducting Yokota Megumi. A North Korean agent kidnapped her in 1977, when she was a 13-year-old high school student. She wasn’t the only one either. At least 17 other Japanese citizens were kidnapped by North Korean agents in this fashion in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As Kurimyyama stated, North Korean officials claim that Megumi died in captivity, but there are many (including her parents and their supporters in Japan) who believe that she is actually still alive, and living in North Korea. Since her disappearance, they have been waging a public campaign to find her in North Korea and return her to Japan.
13. Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald McArthur
“Three lighthouse keepers went missing from a tiny island off Scotland. No one knows what happened but when people came to the island they saw that two of the three raincoats were missing, a meal was left half eaten, and a chair was knocked over on the ground. When they checked the diary of one of the lighthouse keepers, it talked about a violent storm and how the other two lighthouse keepers were acting weird. What’s creepy is that there never was a storm in that region even though the diary said there was. All three lighthouse keepers were never found.”
The lighthouse in question was on the Flannan Isles. In December of 1900, it was discovered that the lighthouse, which was manned by a three-person team (Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald MacArthur), was empty, with no sign of the keepers. No bodies were ever found. It is speculated that they were swept away by a storm, because storms had been recorded in their log book, though one theory suggests that a fight broke out near the cliff edge, started by the allegedly volatile Donald MacArthur, causing the three to fall to their deaths.
12. Fred Valentich
“The disappearance of Fred Valentich. He was a pilot who set off from a Melbourne airport on a training exercise over Bass Strait. He never arrived at King Island.
What makes this creepy is that he radioed in that there was a strange craft following him and the last piece of communication was a metallic scraping sound. Experts said that he was disorientated and was flying upside down and seeing the lights from his own craft on the water but the Cessna he was flying could only fly upside down for a few seconds before stalling. They have never found him or his craft.”
After his disappearance in 1978, Valentich, who was described as a “flying saucer enthusiast,” did, in fact, radio in before he disappeared, saying that he was being tailed by something around 1,000 feet above him. Though the official reports speculate that Valentich became disoriented when he saw the lights from his own plane, UFO theorists claim that his disappearance was caused by extraterrestrials either destroying his craft and killing him, or abducting him.
11. Amber Tuccaro
“She was picked up while hitchhiking her way from Nisku to Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada. Her body was found, in the same area as five other women had been found over the years. But Amber’s case is unique in that a cellphone recording was made during her abduction. You can hear her killer trying to tell her he is taking her to Edmonton, but he actually drove East instead of North, and took her into a very rural and quiet area to kill her. Someone knows who this man is.
The frustrating part is that Nisku is a very transient area. It is right next to the Edmonton International Airport, and is mostly cheap motels and industrial area for Alberta’s oilfield workers. I think it was someone local who picked her up. A transient wouldn’t know the back roads around here, and this man knew exactly where he was taking her.
These cases fascinate me because I grew up on the same Range Road that most of these girls have been found on, so there was a serial killer right in my backyard, and I didn’t even know.”
Like many of the other girls abducted during this time, Amber Tuccaro was an indigenous Canadian, hailing from Alberta’s Mikisew Cree First Nation. She was last seen in August of 2010 in Nisku, Alta. just outside of Edmonton.
10. Jamie Peterson
“A girl I graduated high school with went missing a few years ago. She had two young children, and was a single mom. One day she put the kids on the bus and was never seen again. Her car and purse were still at the house I believe. Her parents kept up the search for a few years, but nothing has ever broken in the case. It’s mostly just creepy to me because of proximity.. I graduated with her and we lived pretty close. And we have the same name.. idk why but that makes it creepy to me, we were two of maybe half a dozen girls in our graduating class with the same name, so while we weren’t friends, I did know who she was. From what people said, she loved her kids and was a good mother, so it had to be foul play of some sort. I still hope her family gets answers someday.. I think it was five or six years ago though, so idk.”
The morning of her disappearance in September of 2011, 30-year-old Jamie Peterson’s children, a 9-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, left for school. The last person to see her was an ex-boyfriend, whom she had recently broken up with. The ex-boyfriend said that he had come over to pick up clothing he had left behind. Witnesses saw the two talking on the front lawn, and then saw him drive away without Jamie in the car. Later that day, her children returned from school and did not find their mother; while her car was still there, her purse and phone were gone. She was declared missing and has not been seen or heard from since.
9. The Schulze Family
“The Schulze Family from Drage in Lower Saxony. Husband Marco (41 at the time), his wife Sylvia (43 at the time), and their daughter Miriam (12 at the time), went missing from their home in Drage, Germany in July, 2015, nowhere to be found. Marco’s body was found a week later in the Elbe (a river), he had a concrete block attached to his legs with a rope. Sylvia and Miriam, though, remain unfound to this day. Their house was just emptied of all their personal belongings and everything. It will be sold, and the money will be put in a secure bank account until they find out who will inherit it. Sylvia can’t be pronounced dead yet, until, earliest, 8 years from now, 10 years after her disappearance. Miriam, on the other hand, can’t be pronounced dead until she is 25, that is the law here in Germany. Many people believe that the dad killed his wife, daughter, then himself. Others believe mother and daughter are alive. Who knows though, we will may never know.”
The family was last seen alive together in late July, when they visited a horse farm together. The next day, which was the last day of school before the summer holidays, Miriam Schulze called in sick to school. Her father stayed at home to take care of her while her mother worked at a nearby supermarket, where her coworker was the last person to see her alive. On Friday, July 24th, Sylvia’s boss reported her missing after she failed to show up to work. When police went to the Schulze home, no one was there. Sylvia and Marco’s wallets were in the house, but Miriam’s favorite stuffed animals were missing. On the 31st, after exhaustive searching, the drowned body of Marco Schulze was found. Nothing was ever found of Sylvia or Miram except for Sylvia’s bike, which was found close to Marco’s body. Police initially suspected Marco of killing the family and then himself, though the details regarding how he could have done it remain murky. Others theorize that Sylvia left Marco and took Miriam, after which Marco killed himself. Still others speculate that a different person killed Marco and then either killed or kidnapped Sylvia and Miriam.
8. Michael Dunahee
“For me, the creepiest is the disappearance of a Canadian boy named Michael Dunahee, then aged 4. He vanished from a school playground with his parents close by and there no witnesses.”
Michael Dunahee disappeared from a playground in Victoria, British Columbia, on March 24th, 1991. Around noon, Michael asked his mother, Crystal, if he could go play on the playground, which was visible from the football practice field where Crystal was sitting. She told him it would be okay, as long as once he got there, he stayed there and waited for his father to come and pick him up. However, when his father arrived at the playground, Michael was gone. Michael disappeared from his parents, but not a single witness to his disappearance has ever been identified. Despite the fact that huge efforts were undertaken to find him—in one of the largest police investigations in all of Canadian history—there are no solid leads on the case to this day.
7. Brandon Swanson
“Brandon Swanson. On the phone with his dad when he exclaims ‘oh sh*t! and is never heard from or seen again.”
On May 14th, 19-year-old Brandon Swanson, a student at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, disappeared. The day he disappeared was the last day of classes, and he and other friends were celebrating. Afterward, Brandon was driving back to his parent’s house in Marshall, Minnesota. Sometime around midnight, he accidentally drove into a ditch on a gravel road, where his car got stuck. He tried to call multiple friends for help, but when none of them answered their phones, he finally called his parents.
He told his parents that he wasn’t hurt, just stuck, and was only a short drive away. His parents drove to the area where Brendan said he was, remaining on the phone with Brandon, and tried to flash their lights to indicate that they had arrived. Brandon, however, could not see the lights, and when he tried to get in his car and flash his own lights, his father could not see them, either. Eventually getting frustrated, Brandon decided that he would get out of his car and walk to the nearby town of Lynd, where a friend lived. He told his father he knew where he was heading, and could see the lights of Lynd as he approached, but stayed on the phone with him for 47 minutes as he walked. At around 2:10 AM, Brian heard Brandon say, “Oh, sh*t,” and the phone call abruptly ended. He tried calling Brandon back again and again, and both he and Annette searched the area all through the night, before finally reporting it to the police around 6AM. Brandon Swanson was never seen or heard from again, and no trace of him has been found to this day.
6. Brandon Lawson
“Around 2am he was in a field in Texas and called 911. In the call it’s hard to hear what he says but he sounds distressed and panicked. He cuts off and that was the last he was heard of. His brother said he called him after but he has yet to be found. It sounds like he said he ran into something and mentions he was chased into the woods. Somewhere else someone edited the audio and it sounds like gunshots in the background of the call. Allegedly at 1:03, you can barely hear a faint ‘help me’.”
Brandon Lawson, a 26-year-old father of four from San Angelo, Texas, got into a fight with his common law wife, Ladessa Lofton, on August 8th, 2013. He left their home with the intention of going to his father’s house, but called his brother, Kyle, approximately 45 minutes later, saying he was out of gas. Sometime after that phone call, something happened that made Brandon call 911, telling the dispatcher that he was “in a field” and that he needed a cop, because he had “ran into somebody.” By the time Kyle and the police got to Brandon’s truck, at around 1:10 AM, there was no sign of him, and his keys and cell phone were missing. No sign of Brandon has been found since, despite extensive searching.
5. Maura Murray
“Maura Murray. Out of all the missing persons cases, Maura’s is one I keep coming back to. The whole story is just bizarre.”
Maura Murray, a then-21-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, disappeared on February 9th, 2004. She had been acting strangely for several days prior to her disappearance. Three days earlier, she got a phone call while at work that caused her to become so upset that she needed to be escorted back to her dorm room by an R.A.. Then she borrowed her father’s car to drive to a party, later crashing it into a guardrail and nearly totaling it. On the day she went missing, she made several calls; all seeking information about how to rent apartments in places like Bartlett, New Hampshire and Stowe, Vermont. She then wrote an email to her friends and professors saying she would be out of town for a few days because of a death in the family, though there was no such death. She packed up her dorm room completely, emptied her bank account, bought $40 worth of liquor, and drove out of Amherst…only to crash on her way out. The last person to see her was a bus driver, who stopped at the scene to offer assistance. Maura told him she had already called AAA, and was waiting for them to arrive, but the bus driver called the police for additional help anyway. By the time they arrived, the car was abandoned. AAA say they have no record of a call. No one has seen or heard from Maura Murray since.
4. Sarah And Jacob Hoggle
A second tale from Redditor ephantmon:
“Sarah and Jacob Hoggle. Their mother took them ‘somewhere safe’ and has never told anyone where that was or what happened. She also apparently has paranoid schizophrenia and is not competent to stand trial.”
Catherine Hoggle, the mother of Sarah and Jacob Hoggle, had been struggling with severe mental illness for some time. On the afternoon of September 7th, 2014, Catherine’s father drove her and two of her children—Sarah and Jacob—to her mother’s house in Maryland.
During their visit, Catherine borrowed her father’s car and told her parents that she was taking Jacob for pizza. Three hours later, she returned without any food or her son, saying she had dropped Jacob off at a friend’s house for a playdate. She then went back to her own house with Sarah, without anyone realizing that Jacob had not returned home, and had not, in fact, been dropped with a friend. Troy Turner, the father of the children, worked nights, and so did not have time to notice that his son was gone. The next day, she told Troy she was taking Sarah to a daycare center, and returned two hours later saying that she had taken both Jacob and Sarah there. When Troy asked Catherine about where to pick up the kids, she would not tell him where they were. While he was distracted, she slipped away from him, and he called the police.
Catherine Hoggle was eventually tracked down nearby with an altered appearance, but without Sarah or Jacob. She has since been deemed psychiatrically incompetent, and therefore cannot be further interrogated about what happened to the children. There has been no trace of either Sarah or Jacob Hoggle since.
3. Dakota James
1fuzzybird7811 points out this missing person’s case:
“A local one for me, but the case of Dakota James. TLDR a Pittsburgh college student named Dakota James goes missing. Police say he fell in the river, city residents disagree. A bunch of guys went missing around that time, and they all had the same gay dating app on their phone.”
Dakota James was a 23-year-old grad student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The last known image of Dakota shows him walking through Katz Plaza in Pittsburgh’s cultural district near midnight on January 25th, 2017, the night he disappeared. After a six week search, his body was found in the Ohio River, near Neville Island. Though his death was ruled an accidental drowning, the James family is disputing those findings, saying that there’s reason to believe that his death was foul play, including a rash of violent incidents and disappearances of people using the gay hookup app Grindr, of which Dakota was also a user.
2. Johnny Gosch
“Johnny Gosch. Kid gets kidnapped while doing his morning paperboy route and more than likely forced into sex slavery for pedophiles. The mother claims that Johnny visited her at night 15 years later, talked with her for an hour while another man watched, and then vanished again. “>10 years later, a manila envelope shows up on her doorstep with pictures of Johnny bound and gagged. The rabbit hole goes much deeper (especially if you get into Paul Bonacci and the Franklin cover up), but that’s the skinny.”
The rabbit hole does, indeed, go way, way deeper in the Johnny Gosch case, and in fact, it goes way deeper than I have time to explain here. If you’re interested in hopping down that particular rabbit hole, start with the Wikipedia entry and go from there. The case is, at the very least, a tragic and horrific case of child abduction and possible murder, and is very possibly linked to a number of mind-bogglingly evil, well-organized crime webs. It’s definitely worth taking a look at
1. Asha Degree
“The disappearance of Asha Degree. This case isn’t creepy as in Twilight Zone theme plays, but in that she had a good family, she was a good kid, everything should have been fine and without risk and this girl still vanished.
On Valentine’s Day of 2000, 9-year-old Asha Degree went missing. Adults in her life sheltered her (to a fault?). There was no computer or Internet in the home, and no cell phone. Asha’s friends were from church or school. No one she interacted with was an “unknown.” A stranger would essentially have had no access to her. She was either at church with family, school, at a relatives home, or her own home with her parents and brother. I say this to illustrate that even in the early days of chat rooms and messaging, Asha would not have been using these things to meet someone online. Anyone unfamiliar in her life should have been quickly spotted.
But what we know is that the night of February 13-14, Asha crept out of bed, dressed, and brought a packed backpack with her as she went into the night. But for what? Asha was afraid of storms and dogs, yet that night was pouring, cold rain and she was alone with no one to cling to as she usually would when walking past yards with dogs. She was an obedient child who did not break rules. At 2:30 am, her father is awake and checks on his children. They’re both in bed, safe.
Drivers on Highway 18 think they see a little girl walking in the rain around 3 am, over a mile from the Degree home. When one driver circles around to check if the child needs help, the child runs off the road into the woods. If this was Asha, it is the last time she was seen alive. Has she managed to walk over a mile in such short time in driving rain at night all by herself? Or was there a car, waiting for her outside her house…? Did she willingly climb in? Was she let out or did she escape?
Candy wrappers, markers, and a hair bow are discovered in a shed back in the woods the child ran into. They belonged to Asha. And a year later, during construction, her backpack is discovered buried in the ground wrapped in several plastic bags. There has been no more clues as to what happened to this little girl.
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