http://tristatehomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=160926Disappearance of Debra Ann, Special Report
Reported by: Shalah Sasse Thursday, May 27 2010
October 14, 1974, was the last time anyone saw Debra Ann Wilhite in Evansville.
"There were reports from waitresses that she worked with there that she was talking to a man that they didn't know. They didn't think she appeared to know him but he was asking for a ride. He was hitchhiking somewhere and she did have a car. There's speculation that maybe she gave this man a ride and he did something that he kidnapped her or something," Carol Sugg said.
Carol was 10-years-old when her sister Debra went missing.
Debra was last seen at a truck stop at Highway 41 and 57 in Evansville. She was a waitress at The Windmill Restaurant which was located where the Dairy Queen is today.
She was last seen driving her green 1966 Ford Galaxy.
"I don't think she would've just ran off. She was married, had two children," Carol said.
Debra's husband called police and reported her missing.
"There honestly wasn't that I can remember a lot of investigation from the State Police. It was initially assigned to the Gibson County Police and then turned over to the State Police at a later time, and they said because she was over 18, and there was no signs of forced abduction that there was nothing they could do. I remember hearing that multiple times, there's nothing we can do, we have nothing to prove that she didn't just run away," Carol said.
Troopers said they have no idea what happened to Debra, where she's at, where her car is at, and most importantly who is responsible for her disappearance.
"We actually had several good suspects, but we were never able to obtain enough information or evidence to make an arrest and unfortunately over the years those suspects have died, so right now we're basically at a standstill," Sgt. Todd Ringle said.
Sgt. Ringle said about 20 years ago, ISP got a tip that Debra may be in a body of water in Elberfeld. Carol said her family asked to have the area excavated. Troopers looked in the area, but didn't conduct an extensive search because they couldn't pin down a location. Carol said someone reported Debra had been shot, put in her car or in the trunk, and the car was put in a stripper pit. She said it was never investigated, but troopers disagree.
There are several stripper pits on Marx Road off Seven Hills Road in Elberfeld. According to Indiana State Police, in 1994 a pilot flew over this area to see if there was a vehicle in any of the pits.
But the pilot never saw anything.
Today, Debra's daughter, Misty Walker has written a book about her mother's case. Now, the memories are back, and family members are re-living a tragedy all over again. Carol said she just wants to know what happened, so the family can have some kind of closure.
"Very seldom does someone just vanish, I mean it's been over 30 years and no one has seen or heard from Debra Ann or her vehicle, so it's safe to say that something happened and most likely she is dead," Sgt. Ringle said.
Sgt. Ringle said the likelihood of solving this crime without additional information is very slim. Carol understands there may never be closure.
"We may not have justice. Things aren't always in our hands. That some way there will be justice," Carol said.
She hopes there's someone out there who may know something.
Debra's daughter Misty now lives in Florida. She initially contacted us about updating this story and her book. However, once we started contacting family living locally she backed out of an on-camera interview for our report. She said she couldn't do it because of emotional and trying things going on. If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the Indiana State Police at 317-232-8280 or the Evansville Police Department at 812-425-2266.