Missing Since: December 7, 1971 from Vancouver, Washington
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: November 11, 1955
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'5, 125 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. Grisim's hair was bleached blonde before her disappearance; at the time she went missing her hair was in the process of turning back to brown and was a reddish color. She wears eyeglasses for reading. Her ears are pierced and one of her teeth is missing. Grisim's last name is spelled "Grissim" by some agencies.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red and white striped blouse with a round neckline and puffed sleeves, blue hip-hugger jeans, white tennis shoes with handmade drawings and the words "peace" and "love" handwritten on them, and possibly a long brown corduroy coat and long, dangling earrings.
Details of Disappearance
Grisim left her residence in the vicinity of the 5300 block of northeast 58th Street in Vancouver, Washington on the morning of December 7, 1971, and went to Fort Vancouver High School, about two miles from her home. It is established that she arrived at school and attended her classes. She told her foster mother she would walk home from school and would arrive at 1:00 p.m., but she did not appear as scheduled. She has never been heard from again. Grisim's purse, identification, and other possessions were found in May 1972, five months after her disappearance, in a wooded area alongside a road in the Dole Valley area of Northern Clark County, northeast of Vancouver.
Authorities initially believed Grisim had run away from home, and as a result, she was not officially declared a missing person until January 1972. Her loved ones never thought she left of her own volition. She was living in a foster home at the time of her disappearance; she and her sister had been taken into care when they were toddlers. Grisim was a good student, got along well with her foster mother and was close to her sister in 1971; she was also a talented artist and writer, and a member of 4-H. She had a savings account at the time of her disappearance, but the account has not been used since she went missing.
Police eventually decided Grisim had probably not run away; she is now believed to be the first victim of a suspected serial killer, Warren Leslie Forrest, who is thought to have raped and killed at least six young women in the Vancouver area. He was convicted of murdering one woman in 1978 and received a life sentence. Forrest is still incarcerated, but will be eligible for parole in 2014. The bodies of five other women have been recovered in rural Clark County, two of them within a mile of where Grisim's possessions were found.
Forrest has never been charged in connection with Grisim's case or in the other murders suspected of him. It is worth noting that his other presumed victims were hitchhikers and Grisim does not fit that profile, although she had the same physical characteristics as the other women. Grisim remains missing and foul play is suspected in her case.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Clark County Sheriff's Office