08-17-2010, 12:34 PM #1
AL - Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey, 69, Opelika, 17 Aug 1974
The Doe Network:
Case File 918DFAL
Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey
Missing since August 17, 1974 from Opelika, Alabama
Classification: Endangered Missing
•Date Of Birth: July 21, 1905
•Age at Time of Disappearance: 69 years old
•Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4"; 105 lbs.
•Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown hair, gray eyes.
•Clothing: A flowered blouse and a long brown skirt or pants.
Circumstances of Disappearance
Dorsey was last seen on August 17, 1974 in Opelika, Alabama. She visited the Spring Villa Grocery between 16.30 and 17.00 and got gasoline for her car, a 1972 Ford Galaxy. Dorsey told the gas station attendant that a relative had called her and she was going to pick the person up.
One of Dorsey's neighbors reported seeing her turn into her driveway at 18.00. She has not been seen since. She was reported missing after she failed to arrive at church the next day.
When authorities went to Dorsey's home on Route 1 in Opelika, they found the front door open and a side door unlocked. Laundry was hanging on the outside clothesline, Dorsey's Bible and Sunday School teaching materials were laid out on the table, and her bed did not appear to have been slept in. Her three dogs were found in the bathroom.
Dorsey's car was found in downtown Opelika near the First Baptist Church after her disappearance. The keys were in the ignition and her eyeglasses and purse were on the front seat. Nothing appeared to be missing from the purse and it contained $11 in cash. There have been no withdrawals from Dorsey's account since she disappeared.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Lee County Sheriff’s Department
Opelika Police Department
The Charley Project
1979 Psychic used in search for Ruth
1979 Psychic tips- search does not turn up Ruth
(Note: Ruth was a widow at the time of her disappearance).
If Ruth were still alive she would be 105 years old. Her Children deserve to know what happened to her. She has been missing 36 years today. Come home soon.
08-17-2010, 05:27 PM #2
i wonder if any of her kinfolks came forward to say they were the one she was supposed to be picking up? if none of her kin asked her to pick them up anywhere then it seems like somebody targeted her specifically and tricked her somehow. but why would anyone want to harm her specifically? maybe someone tried to lure her away with a fake distress call from a relative so they could rob her house, then she figured out some way (phone call to the relative?) that the relative didnt actually need a ride so she stayed home. but apparently nothing was taken from the house and no signs of struggle...this one is so sad. they all are"Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another." Jesus
08-17-2010, 05:41 PM #3
The dogs being locked in the bathroom bothers me. It is not likely that the perp would do this. If they were big protective dogs, maybe...but then he/she wouldnt be able to get very close to them to do this...its more likely, in mho, that Ruth herself locked the dogs in the bathroom so she could open and leave open the side door so something could be carried inside the house and wouldnt want her dogs to get out into the front or side yard. I think someone surprised her, took her and her car, killed her....and then what? and why? They didnt want her money or her car...they simply wanted and set out to hurt her. Someone who knew her family or some of it in order for that call from a relative to take place....a thrill kill?
08-17-2010, 06:46 PM #4
like maybe she put them in there so she could carry the laundry out to the line without them getting outside. somebody could have surprised her and if they had a gun or knife that would account for no signs of struggle. but why if they didnt want to steal anything? and i would like to know where in the car her glasses and purse were found. were they neatly sitting or tossed haphazard in the floorboard or back seat? i would be interested to know who she was planning on giving a ride to that day and how the arrangement came about.
we will probably never know what happened to this precious woman. thank you kat for bringing it up today. at least we can leave a record that 36 years later she is not forgotten."Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another." Jesus
08-17-2010, 06:56 PM #5
I too was thinking that what she was carrying out was laundry to hang up...and while dealing with the laundry was surprised. It could be that she was planning on leaving the house as soon as she was done with a few things (laundry-perhaps to tidy up for a relative to stay) and that could be why her purse and glasses were in the car..maybe she only used her glasses to drive or read, and had no reason to bring either her glasses or purse into the house for a short time, but would be needing them when she left again so didnt remove them from the car. You are right the placement (neatly vs. haphazardly) of the glasses and purse in the car is important...
If the above is all true I think it points to a thrill kill or a revenge killing, or to keep her quiet about something she knew. Perhaps parking the car at the church (was this the same church she attended?) was simply done to throw police off. Looks like it worked.
08-17-2010, 09:07 PM #6
charley project says her car was parked near the church but in front of the first house she lived in with her late husband. thats odd. her purse and glasses were on the front seat it said. i tend to agree that it could have been a random thrill thing or possibly she knew something. she worked at the bank so maybe she knew something about somebody there. this lady was about the same age as my mom is now and she is not old. she still works as a nurse and i am pretty sure if somebody tried to take her out of her house at gun or knife point she would put up a fight and they would have to just kill her there. this was not a frail old lady from what i read. kinda makes me think she knew whoever it was that took her."Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another." Jesus
06-23-2014, 04:05 PM #7
An entry recently came up in NAMUS that described the skeleton of an older woman, about the same size as Ruth, found in Wisconsin in 1982. She's number UP12533. What caught my eye is the description of the clothing: the Jane Doe had a multi-colored blouse and brown slacks, and Ruth had a flowered blouse and a brown skirt or slacks.
I think it's unlikely that Ruth made her way to Wisconsin, but stranger things have happened. And would her clothes be recognizable after 8 years? Maybe, if they were 70's era polyester!
I'm not going to call this in because it seems like a very long shot, but I thought I'd put it out there in case anyone is working on Ruth.
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