View Full Version : CA CA - Nancy MacDuckston, 52, Santa Cruz County, 11 Aug 2003

11-01-2003, 08:30 AM
"America’s Most Wanted" turned its wide-ranging cameras on the windswept, rocky North Coast Friday as it joined the quest to find a missing Belmont nursery school director.

11-08-2003, 07:26 AM
Missing Belmont Woman's Family Holds Vigil

02-12-2004, 05:25 AM
It has been six months now since Nancy Jean MacDuckston's van was found abandoned on the California coast in Santa Cruz County, but her family and friends do not need an anniversary to be reminded that she is gone.

02-12-2004, 09:40 AM
Doyle- This is one that has continued to bother me. I don't think she just abandoned her family and I don't think she committed suicide. So sad.

03-11-2004, 04:32 AM
Any news on Nancy Jean ?

With love and hope, Lanie
Help For The Missing

03-11-2004, 11:03 AM
Yes, I'm interested in this case also.

08-13-2004, 03:33 AM
For Nancy

08-10-2005, 05:20 PM
Missing for 2 years, now.
Any updates?

06-27-2006, 12:17 AM
I am sure there was already a thread on here for Nancy but cannot find it anywhere.

A Popular Teacher Vanishes

It's a question that's been haunting residents of the small town of Belmont, California: How could a woman -- their friend and neighbor -- disappear into thin air? Yet that's just what happened to Nancy MacDuckston.
She's the last person they ever thought would wind up in the middle of a mystery. As one concerned friend puts it, "She's not the kind of person who would disappear without a reason." But police have yet to discover that reason, or find any sign of Nancy, since the day she vanished, August 11, 2003.

There was no sign of trouble in her personal life. She and her husband Bruce were happily married for 31 years, and have two grown children and a grandchild. Colleagues at the nursery school where Nancy was a teacher say she loved her job, and loved the young children she spent her days with. Her pre-schoolers called her "Teacher Nancy," a title her friends say she was proud of...

More at link http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/case.cfm?id=27149

06-27-2006, 12:20 AM

Another article about Nancy

06-28-2006, 04:30 AM
Boy this case is really a puzzle. I wonder if Nancy made it a habit to take a day alone to drive down the coast...find a spot by the cliffs just to relax and read? That sounds like something that I would love to do. But I wonder if it is something that she had done before?

The oriental man that she had lunch with might not have been a man that she was with but maybe someone that she ran into that she knew through the school where she was an administrater. She probably knew a lot of people through her work. Maybe they were both alone and just decided to eat together instead of alone. If people there knew who she was then someone must have noticed how the two people interacted with each other.
You can watch a couple just a little and get an idea if they have something going on or not. Body language speaks real loud. Sounds like he was a lot younger then her.

You would think if she was going to take off with someone she would have taken her wallet instead of leaving it locked in the van. Sounds like her chair, book and hat were right where she left them.....like there wasn't a fight with someone. If she had gone off a cliff she would have been found by LE. Sounds like she either went willingly with someone or was grabbed and taken.
But why would she have left her husband, kids, and grandbaby without even a hint of there being something wrong?

06-28-2006, 01:54 PM
I also believe I remember reading that she had bought little gifts to bring back for her grandkid(s) if I remember right. Why would you do that if you planned on leaving?

06-28-2006, 06:49 PM
One other aspect of this case if I remember correctly was that the book found where she was last seen was a Bill Bryson travel book about Australia. People might be grasping at straws but I think that some took it as a hint that she was leaving and going far away?

06-28-2006, 08:43 PM
I wonder if LE fingerprinted the chair, book, and hat. It could have easily been planted there by a perp.

I have a hard time believing she would up and leave too...with so much family and a job she loved, it just dosen't add up.

I'm pretty sure the guy she ate with had something to do with it...I wonder if he abducted her as she read if anyone could hear her scream or see her...How remote was this place she was reading at?

Another theory is that she could've run off with this man....who knows? Love makes you do crazy things....

10-22-2006, 04:00 AM
So sad that someone can just disappear off the face of the earth like she did. Here's a new article rehashing the same old same old:

NANCY MacDuckston wasn't known for being organized.

So when teachers at the Belmont Cooperative Nursery School arrived to work Aug. 11, 2003, they were surprised to find a note from MacDuckston, who worked as a director there, detailing the school's daily operations. "She left very specific instructions," said Kathryn Breaux, a pre-kindergarten teacher at the nursery school. "Some of us are organized. That was not in her nature."

11-13-2007, 07:20 PM
Still no news on Nancy. Here is her AMW page


05-01-2008, 09:01 AM
This is another case that has never left my heart. Apparently AMW has it as a featured case and here's their latest. It's not much, but interesting:
Nancy's disappearance, the winds would have moved her body south. But if you follow the winds in the days between August 20 and August 23 - that's nine to 13 days after her disappearance - "coastally trapped wind reversal" would have carried her body west from the point she was last seen. On the U.S. West Coast during coastally trapped wind reversals, the wind reverses from its normal direction to west and then north.
All of the areas highlighted by NOAA were searched, to no avail. It's also possible that she was carried out far to sea or caught in a kelp forest at the sea floor. But did her body go into the water?
(more plus pic at link)

05-01-2008, 06:44 PM
One other aspect of this case if I remember correctly was that the book found where she was last seen was a Bill Bryson travel book about Australia. People might be grasping at straws but I think that some took it as a hint that she was leaving and going far away?

They checked on Australia. Got nothing.

02-20-2011, 05:51 AM
Bumping this one. I can't believe that nothing has been found. Do her family think she left of her own accord because there doesn't seem to have been much of her story in the media over the years?

11-05-2012, 04:13 PM
City of Belmont


North American Missing Persons Network


02-25-2013, 10:50 PM
One thing that's intrigued me about this case is its similarity to the Patrick McDermott case. Patrick was the boyfriend of Olivia Newton John. He staged his own death in 2005 - leaving his wallet etc on a boat and declared "most likely drowned" by the Coast Guard in 2008. Nancy also left her wallet (and presents) in her van near cliff's edge. And like McDermott her actual fate was not clear as no body ever turned up despite efforts. McDermott was tracked down in Mexico a couple of years later on and didn't want to be bothered. Brian on Brian's Dreams web site said he "saw" her in Mexico and named the town. And in another oddity McDermott even looks a little like the guy Nancy was said to have dined with on the day of her disappearance.

All a bit far-fetched with the events being two years separated. But at the very least it shows that people faking their death at water's edge and starting a new life abroad to escape whatever - does happen. Nancy could well be alive - even hanging out with Patrick. An article in 2006 said McDemott had been spotted with a mystery blonde woman at a $33/night Mexican Beach shack.


Patrick McDermott - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_McDermott)


04-19-2014, 02:16 AM
@EdinburghLass I would say that most of the friends and parents of the nursury school where she was in charge felt it looked like a suicide. She left very very detailed plans about how to care for the animals at the school the night before she went to relax at the coast. And she left out things like insurance and other papers that would be critical to continuing the running of the nursury school in her absense. So just from those clues it seemed she knew she was going away forever before she left. Some who knew her argued that not too much should be read into those clues. But I would rule out stranger abduction because of the advance notice. Other possibilities would be of course suicide off the crazy high cliffs of Davenport. But another possibility would be a planned disappearance like Patrick McDermott who staged his disappearance water's edge and ended up in Mexico because of difficulties in his life. And she could have done this in coordination with another person - say the guy she was seen having dinner with at the Davenport Cash Store and Restaurant. Or it could be she had met that guy online or somehow and they planned to have a discreet romance and he turned out to be a kidnapper or murderer. They were never able to locate that guy.

06-03-2015, 11:43 PM
Did a google after thinking about Nancy today and found this 2011 article that says she sent postcards on the day she disappeared. I don't recall ever hearing that before?


A few days later two friends received postcards that Nancy probably mailed the day she went to the post office. They said, "Hey, I'm finally taking that vacation, a day trip."

08-04-2015, 04:07 PM
I have a couple ancillary connections to this story: I grew up in Santa Cruz and went to used to hang out with one of Nancy's nephews in college. Haven't talked to him in a few years but I still wonder about this case from time to time. Suicide off the cliffs of the the coast from Santa Cruz up to Pigeon Point is now more likely to be hypothermia or shark attack than it would be from any fall. The cliffs just aren't that steep that you would know you will die as opposed to severely injuring yourself.

Strange sugar.

08-04-2015, 04:11 PM
Actually the only cliffs that will almost guarantee a deadly fall are the cliffs at New Brighton State Park in Capitola.