OH - Ruth Baumgardner, 21, Delaware, 1937
Ruth Baumgardner was a 21 year old senior at Ohio Wesleyan College in Delaware, Ohio. By all accounts she was a good student, popular on campus, and was in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was engaged to a boy (Bud Moore) from her home town of Lakewood, Ohio. Her father was a wealthy manufacturer. She received a red convertible for her graduation gift, and had once remarked that if she ever wanted to disappear, she'd leave her car behind because the fiery red vehicle would be easy to spot. The last time she was seen was the evening of May 4, 1937, when she went to the sorority house for choir practice. She was described as being "jovial" that evening, but had seemed "nervous" for the past few weeks. She was last seen hurrying to her room, and seemed "excited" about something. She had received three calls from an unidentified male that day.
The next day, Ruth did not show up for class, missing a test that she had been studying for the previous day. Finally, when she missed dinner, some classmates went to her room (she roomed alone) to look for her. The room was tidy, the robe and pajamas she had worn the night before were hanging in the closet. Either she had not slept in her bed that night, or she made the bed before she left. Her watch, sorority pin and change purse were on the dresser. Her room keys and her ID were found in the stair railing near her room. A brown suit, hat and shoes, and a small overnight case (recently purchased) were missing from her room. Her new car was left in the garage. Her car keys were on the front steps of her dorm. A woman reported hearing a scream around 2 a.m. near the Olentangy River, but an investigation of that area revealed no clues to Ruth's disappearance.
After the disappearance, there were a lot of "sightings" of Ruth, none of which panned out. A mentally ill woman was arrested by the police in Boston, claiming she was Ruth Baumgardner. However, it turned out she was not.
In 1938, four men were arrested for killing a police officer. One of those men confessed to the kidnapping of Ruth Baumgardner, and for a while there was hope the case would be solved. It was later proven these men could not have been the kidnappers.
I have searched newspaper archives and have not found anything relating to this case since 1951, when a newspaper ran an article on the 14th anniversary of Ruth Baumgardner's disappearance.
If anyone out there knows about this case, I'd love to hear from you regarding your thoughts about it. I continue to research this, and will attempt to locate anyone who was connected to Ruth Baumgardner. As this case is so old, it may be hard to locate anyone who knew Ruth personally.
I'd appreciate any help.
Last edited by Kimster; 05-24-2011 at 12:21 AM.