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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    MT - Barbara Bolick, 55, Corvallis, 18 July 2007


    I didn't put it in the Charley file, but the police seem highly suspicious of Barbara's friend. They made comments in the papers like "We only have his statement to verify she was even on the mountain" and "We're not sure she was ever on the mountain that day" and "He can't be called a suspect unless her body turns up."

    I'm not sure what happened here but if the friend's account is accurate, it does seem a bizarre, almost supernatural disappearance. One of the news articles I read mentioned that the area where Barbara disappeared has a lot of loose shale on the ground, and walking on shale makes a lot of noise, so it's not like she could have walked away without his hearing, or that any predator could have approached her and grabbed her without making a sound.

    Thoughts, anyone? Being an Occam's Razor sort of person, I am going to say she probably got lost or had an accident on the mountain, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

  2. #2
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New York City
    Wow, this is very strange. I am inclined to believe her friend is involved given the circumstances. She is 20-30 feet away, the friend turns away for a minute, looks back and she is just gone......it doesn't seem very likely. Would an abductor be so brazen as to kidnap someone in those circumstances and if so then surely there would have been noise of a struggle. If she fell or walked away there would have been noise.
    If the friend is truly innocent then something pretty weird happened up there on that mountain.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Case of missing hiker continues to baffle
    By PERRY BACKUS - Missoulian - 12/23/07
    CORVALLIS — From his kitchen table, Carl Bolick can look across the Bitterroot Valley to the place his wife vanished off the face of the earth last summer.

    Barbara Bolick was only supposed to have been gone a few hours that morning of July 18.

    Instead, her hiking partner said the experienced hiker disappeared in less than a minute as he took one last look at the scenic view.

    The view was what brought Barbara back time after time to this place.

    Carl’s wife of 14 years was an energetic hostess who loved showing visitors the scenery from Bear Creek Overlook. On this morning, she’d volunteered to take Jim Ramaker, a friend of her husband’s cousin from California, for the relatively easy hike up to the overlook in the Bitterroot Mountains.

    “Any time anyone came to visit, she’d always take them up there,” Carl said, staring out the window toward the cloud-shrouded mountains. “The view up there is absolutely spectacular, just breathtaking.”

    Carl’s cousin was feeling the effects of one too many frozen drinks the night before and decided not to go that morning. Carl was still sleeping when Barbara came and told him she and Ramaker were going hiking to the overlook.

    The last thing he told her was not to worry about dinner. He’d take care of it.

    “I’ll see you a little later,” she said softly as she walked out the door.

    It was sometime between 8:30 and 9 a.m.

    Carl spent the morning working on a carpentry project. When noon rolled around, his cousin started getting a little antsy about the fact Barbara and Jim hadn’t returned.

    “I wasn’t concerned a bit,” Carl remembered.

    His wife was an avid hiker. She kept herself fit by running, riding and taking long walks into the mountains. And, as an added bit of insurance, Carl knew she had the .357 Magnum pistol he’d bought her packed away in her daypack.

    “I always used to kid about packing that gun away,” he said. “If she met up with a mountain lion or a bear, she wasn’t going to have time to dig around and find that pistol. She was only about 5 feet tall and slight in build. She only weighed about 115 pounds.”

    Still, Carl was sure his wife could take care of herself. She’d never venture far off the trail. And she didn’t like heights. He knew she’d not get too close to the edge of any precipice.

    By 1:30, Carl’s cousin was getting scared. He told her to calm down. Maybe they’d had a flat tire. An hour later and she was really upset.

    “She told me I needed to call somebody,” Carl said. “About that time, the phone rang. It was a Forest Service law enforcement officer. She asked me if my wife’s name was Barbara and I instantly thought something terrible had happened.

    Barbara’s been reported missing, the officer said.

    “I said to her, ‘No way,’ ” he remembered.

    Carl told the officer he’d meet her at the trailhead.

    In the back of his mind as he began the 20-mile drive to the Bear Creek Overlook trailhead, Carl was certain his wife would be there waiting for him.

    “I just couldn’t accept it,” he said. “I just knew that she was going to show up one way or another, but it didn’t happen. It still hasn’t happened.”

    He’s still waiting for her to return.

    “This whole case challenges our life experience,” said Perry Johnson, lead investigator on the Barbara Bolick case for the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Department. “Whenever we go hiking, we expect that we’ll return to our vehicle with our hiking partners. We think nothing about it. That’s just the way it is.”

    Only this time it wasn’t.

    On this morning, the road leading up the trailhead was blocked less than a mile down the hill so a Forest Service crew could replace a culvert.

    By the time the crew arrived this day, there was already a pair of vehicles parked at the road closure sign: Ramaker’s vehicle and a light-colored older SUV that could have been a Chevrolet Blazer with Missoula County license plates.

    The Forest Service crew was busy digging up the roadway when a pair of young men in their early 20s came strolling into the work site. One of the men was considerably darker-skinned than the other.

    “They were well-tanned, average, fit young guys,” Johnson said. “They walked right through the construction site. They stopped and talked for a bit.”

    The crew remembered the black collie-like dog with white markings that enjoyed a few moments in the creek. The morning was already turning hot.

    The men walked off, seemingly without a care.

    Somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour later, Ramaker walked into the site and asked the crew if they’d seen Barbara. One of the road crew walked with him back to the vehicle to see if she was there.

    Ramaker walked back up to the overlook one more time.

    When he returned about an hour and a half later, he told the crew he needed help. He couldn’t find Barbara anywhere.

    Ramaker told investigators later that he and Barbara stopped at the overlook and had a snack. They’d seen the two young men and said something like, “How are you doing?”

    The pair then enjoyed the mountain views for maybe a half-hour or 40 minutes before deciding to head back down the hill. Ramaker said Barbara was only about 20 or 30 feet away when he turned to take one more look at the scenery.

    It was a short look, maybe 45 seconds, maybe a minute.

    When he turned around, Barbara was gone.

    It was the last time he saw her, he’d tell investigators later.

    “This is really a tough one for me,” Johnson said. “It’s outside of my scope of experience. I haven’t been able to find anyone else who’s had a similar experience. We’re talking about a minute and then you look back and she’s gone.”

    The area isn’t tightly timbered, and there is a lot of loose shale rock around it.

    “It’s hard to creep quietly across that loose shale rock,” Johnson said. “You’d make some noise. Just the fact that someone simply disappears like that is a cause for concern.”

    “I just don’t have that life experience,” he said. “How could that possibly happen?”

    Johnson believes the key to the case lies in identifying the two young men who were hiking the trail that day.

    He assumes they were local guys because of the Missoula license plates and the fact they were hiking on a Wednesday morning. The family of Barbara Bolick has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to their identification.

    “I don’t suspect them of doing anything wrong,” Johnson said. “I don’t think they were even in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    What the men can do is confirm that Barbara Bolick was there that morning.

    “Right now, I don’t have a witness to confirm or conflict with the information we’ve gathered so far,” he said. “These guys are the key to the whole thing.”

    Johnson is surprised that no one has stepped forward to help identify the pair.

    “This is the first time that we’ve had a $10,000 reward offered to help us locate a witness,” he said. “The person who helps us locate them will get $10,000.”

    As of now, Barbara Bolick’s case remains a mystery.

    Right after her disappearance, the sheriff’s department deployed search teams, brought in highly trained dogs and even called in high-tech infrared helicopters to scour the area.

    Johnson said they never found a thing.

    Ramaker has returned to California, but continues to cooperate in the investigation, Johnson said.

    “He’s been cooperative and returned all of our calls,” Johnson said. “He’s stayed in contact with us. Until something else happens — we find Barbara or find her body — I think he’s just a witness.”

    “I want to be fair to Jim Ramaker,” Johnson said. “There’s no evidence he did anything to Barbara.”

    Meanwhile, Johnson said Barbara’s family and friends can only wait and hope.

    “I think these kinds of cases are just devastating to families,” Johnson said. “There’s no closure. Every day they are looking for something, some kind of answer.”

    It’s going on five months since Barbara disappeared and the phone calls to Carl’s home are more infrequent now.

    The couple met when Carl was still an Air Force officer working on an air base in New Jersey. They decided later to move to Montana, but Barbara really didn’t take to the wind and cold of his hometown in Dillon.

    The first time he saw the Bitterroot was with her. She fell in love with the place and they eventually bought some land near Darby. Later they settled on a home near Corvallis.

    “We used to hike a bit together before I had my heart attack and couldn’t go anymore,” Carl said. “I think she hiked every canyon here. She knew them all pretty well.”

    It’s hard for Carl to fathom that she disappeared on the trail that was her favorite.

    “There are a lot of theories bandied about,” he said.

    Some think foul play was involved. Others have wondered if a mountain man spotted in the area might have played a part. Still others have asked Carl if he thought maybe his wife had just walked away.

    In his mind, Carl is sure she didn’t just leave.

    She wouldn’t have left without her beloved dog that had adopted her at a gun show. Nor would she leave her cat. All of her childhood keepsakes were still at the house. Her billfold, identification, and passport were all still there.

    But mostly, Carl believes she wouldn’t have done that to her family and friends.

    “Over the last five months, no one has heard anything from her,” he said. “I’m not the only one agonizing over this. Her family, my son, my daughter, my mother, our friends. It’s been hard on a lot of people.”

    Barbara was 55 when she disappeared. She would have turned 56 on Aug. 25.

    People don’t want to talk about it as much.

    “It’s to the point that people don’t want to bring it up any more,” he said. “It’s too emotional. ... The only answer that I have right now is that I just don’t know. I don’t know what happened to her.

    “None of it makes any sense,” he said, staring out the window toward the Bitterroot Mountains. “None of it makes any sense. She was only 20 feet away. That’s not that far.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Questions Remain in Bolick Disappearance
    December 7, 2007, 10:46 am
    by Timothy Mitchell
    It's been almost five months since Corvallis resident, mother, and wife Barbara Bolick, 55, went missing on a supposed short morning hike up Bear Creek Overlook. Jim Raymaker was her hiking companion and told investigators he turned away for a few seconds and when he turned back she had “disappeared.”

    “Not much has changed since July,” a frustrated husband Carl Bolick said.

    In spite of thousands of hours spent by Ravalli County and Missoula County Search and Rescue teams, volunteers, law enforcement, Lifeflight, Careflight, Montana Air Guard, Forest Service, and even a helicopter with infrared capability sent by Homeland Security, nothing has turned up.

    “I know a lot of people have gone up there searching. I've gone up there searching and there is no sign,” Bolick explained.

    Raymaker was a trusted family acquaintance, according to Carl Bolick, and was the last person to see Barbara Bolick. No one else that has been interviewed saw Barbara up there.

    “Raymaker is the only source that Barbara Bolick was up there that day,” Ravalli County Detective Perry Johnson said. “We are wondering if she was ever up there.”


    Forest Service crews observed Raymaker leaving alone. A crew also saw two unidentified youth with a dog in a light-colored SUV that had Missoula County plates.

    “It's mind boggling to me. There's a reward and everything else,” husband Carl Bolick said. “I don't understand why they haven't come forward or been identified.”

    A $10,000 reward has been offered for information about the two potential witnesses.

    “They aren't in trouble. They can even collect the money themselves,” Johnson said. “They came off the mountain earlier than Raymaker did. We have gone to a lot of time and effort to appeal to these boys as to what they saw that day.”

    With no suspects and after extensive interviews with Raymaker, the case hasn't moved forward.

    “I doubt someone would be able to grab her without Raymaker being aware that some altercation was going on,” Johnson said. “We can't eliminate foul play; nor can we suggest foul play. We just don't know.”

    Bolick echoed the detective's words. “I've gone over and over and over this again and again and I don't have any answers,” Bolick said. “It doesn't add up. No answers. No theories. It doesn't make any sense.”

    “The real difficult part is not knowing and it has gone on for so long. We don't have any answers.” Bolick explained, “Our families are taking it hard. Anything that can be done to resolve this has to be done. We need an answer.”

    After 19 missions, searching nearly all of the trails and surrounding areas on both sides of the Bitterroot Valley, Barbara Bolick is still classified as a missing person.

    “I don't think she was or is up there,” Johnson said. “But those boys were up there and we haven't located them either.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    DOB: 1951-08-25

    Date Missing: 2007-07-18

    From: Corvallis, MT

    Age ATD: 55

    Gender: female



    Identifying Characteristics:



    Circumstances of Disappearance: Barbara went missing while on a hiking trip. She was an experienced hiker who was familiar with the trail she was on. She has not been seen since.

    Investigative Agency: Ravalli County Sheriff's Office

    Phone: 406-375-4005

    Case #:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Ravalli County officials searching for missing hiker
    By The Associated Press - 07/30/2007

    MISSOULA (AP) — Authorities in Ravalli County are searching for a 55-year-old woman last seen hiking in the Bear Creek Overlook area west of Victor.

    Barbara Bolick became separated from 58-year-old Jim Ramaker on July 18, and hasn’t been seen since.

    Ramaker said he peered over the overlook sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. that day. When he turned around, Bolick was gone.

    Authorities want to talk with anyone who had contact with Bolick or saw her around the trail head that day, particularly two young men who were seen hiking in the area with a black, mixed breed dog.

    The men may have been driving a light-colored sport utility vehicle with Missoula County license plates.

    Although Sheriff Chris Hoffman is not ruling out foul play, he said the men were not considered suspects and help find the missing woman.

    ‘‘Right now, they are not suspects, they’re only witnesses who could give us extremely important information in our efforts to bring Barbara home,’’ he said. ‘‘We believe that this is survivable. We think we can still find Barbara Bolick alive.’’

    Bolick is 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing tan shorts and a pastel-colored shirt. She was also carrying a black day pack.

    http://www.ravallicounty.mt.gov/sher...nessPoster.pdf poster

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    This is such an unusual case. I wonder if they used dogs at all to search for her, or to at least see if her scent was on the trail at all that day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Missing Hiker

    It's been nearly a year since a Bitterroot woman vanished on a hike, but still, officers have no leads. I sat down with Barbara Bolick's husband, Carl. He says more questions than answers remain in his wife's disappearance.

    July 18th, 2007 began like many days for Barbara Bolick.

    Carl Bolick: "She was an avid trial hiker. She enjoyed the outdoors."


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Bumping this thread. I also found the answer to my above question on http://www.nampn.org/cases/bolick_barbara.html
    Search teams, brought in highly trained dogs...

    I guess the dogs were for some reason unable to pick up her scent.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    This whole thing stinks. Could her husband, cousin also be involved. If the dogs didn't pick up her scent, was she really there? How long where they married?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I was guessing the dogs didn't pick up the scent, it didn't say if they did or didn't. The reason I thought they didn't is because police are trying to find the two young guys who were there with the dog to confirm whether or not she was there that day.

  12. #12
    gaia227's Avatar
    gaia227 is offline I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting - M. Twain
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New York City
    If she was there at the look-out then wouldn't the dogs had picked up her scent? I am beginning to wonder if she ever made it there. Then again, I keep thinking if Ramaker did kill her certainly he would have thought of a better story than I looked away for 45 seconds and turned back around and poof, with no noise, no struggle, Barbara vanishes into thin air. If he is telling the truth then it is really bizarre.

    The two with the dog - I think if they had anything to do with it then they wouldn't have been behaving like they were - wandering around talking, letting their dog play in the water, etc. How much local press has this gotten? They may be the types who don't watch the news and are clueless anyone is looking for them

    Do we know if they poly'd Ramaker?
    'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Here is an article from 6/18/08:
    There are several interesting comments under the article.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    The companion's story does sound kind of suspicious, I'd agree. But on the other hand -- why would he want to harm Barbara? What would he have to gain from doing so?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    A somewhat likely explanation in my mind could be...
    She had to go to the bathroom but didn't want to say, so she snuck away for a couple minutes to go behind a bush that was not real close by. Maybe she got what they call turned around in the forest and did not know which way she came from and walked in the wrong direction leaving her completely lost or she fell in the process.

    Another possibility, she snuck away to go to the bathroom and returned to the trail in a couple minutes but the guy had already left. Maybe she thought he must have gotten lost looking for her so she went off the trail to search for him and ended up lost.

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