Missing Since: January 1, 1980 from Auburn, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 8, 1965
Age: 14 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4, 130 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Root has a tattoo of a blue heart, about the size of a quarter, on one of her breasts. She goes by her middle name, Violet.
Details of Disappearance
Root was staying with her then-25-year-old boyfriend, Scott Petchek, in Penryn, California in late December 1979. Petchek told investigators that Root asked him to drive her to her aunt's home in Rio Linda, California on January 1, 1980. Petchek stated that he dropped Root off at her requested destination, then continued on to his job at McClellan Air Force Base. Petchek went on to state that when he returned to Rio Linda to retrieve Root, she had disappeared. Petchek informed authorities that he did not consider her disappearance unusual, since Root reportedly had a reputation as an occasional runaway and hitchhiker at the time.
Root's family told investigators that she did not have an aunt who lived in Rio Linda. She may have traveled with a male companion after her initial disappearance. Root's case was reopened in the 1990's at the request of her biological father, but no new leads have been uncovered since then. Some agencies classify her case as that of a runaway.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Placer County Sheriff's Department