AL AL - Diane Leigh Avera, 22, Mount Vernon, 28 May 1982

This is a case i've been stuck on for a little while now. Does anyone know when the last time Diana was actually seen by family? I see the dates from the hospital and the arrest dates but i'm not finding the last time her family ACTUALLY seen her.

The hospital had check in and out logs but most of her reports were “destroyed” because of the amount of time that had passed. I did contact the dept of mental health because they conducted an investigation of their own at the time of her disappearance. The investigator on her case has now passed and his files of Aunt Diana were also “destroyed”
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The family gave DNA to the detective last year. I call for updates but there haven’t been any yet.
I did read somewhere on another case that DNA is taking longer than normal due to Covid. I just looked at Diana's NamUs profile, she still doesn't have any rule outs listed.

I hope you get answers on what happened to your Aunt.
 
Hi, just wanted to post and say sorry to the family that are going through this. I can't imagine. I am from Mt.Vernon where the hospital was located my entire life. Most of the employees there were family members. The only one that I know for a fact was working there during that time is my great aunt but ssadly she has dementia now. I plan on asking around to see if anyone remembers this or has any relevent information to share. I have never even heard of this case until i came across it on Facebook which is odd since it's such a small community.
 
Hi, just wanted to post and say sorry to the family that are going through this. I can't imagine. I am from Mt.Vernon where the hospital was located my entire life. Most of the employees there were family members. The only one that I know for a fact was working there during that time is my great aunt but ssadly she has dementia now. I plan on asking around to see if anyone remembers this or has any relevent information to share. I have never even heard of this case until i came across it on Facebook which is odd since it's such a small community.
Also wanted to add in case the family isn’t aware there is a grave yard behind the hospital we’re many Jane and John does are buried. Don’t know if that’s public information or not.
 
Hi, just wanted to post and say sorry to the family that are going through this. I can't imagine. I am from Mt.Vernon where the hospital was located my entire life. Most of the employees there were family members. The only one that I know for a fact was working there during that time is my great aunt but ssadly she has dementia now. I plan on asking around to see if anyone remembers this or has any relevent information to share. I have never even heard of this case until i came across it on Facebook which is odd since it's such a small community.
That would be wonderful if you could find anyone that might remember anything. The smallest thing could help there was never a missing person report or anything done. Her escape was kind of swept under the rug
 
Also wanted to add in case the family isn’t aware there is a grave yard behind the hospital we’re many Jane and John does are buried. Don’t know if that’s public information or not.
I have heard this. The hospital has security 24/7 and will not let anyone in though
 

Letters from Diana: A family searches for their sister who has been missing for 40 years​

by: Bill Riales
Posted: Jun 7, 2022 / 11:51 AM CDT
Updated: Jun 8, 2022 / 05:04 PM CDT
SHARE

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A woman missing for forty years—yet no one has bothered even looking for her until two years ago. Now there is renewed interest in finding out what happened to her from a family member who never met her.
Diana Avera was involuntarily committed to Searcy Hospital in Mt. Vernon 40 years ago in 1982.
In a letter to her mother, Diana wrote, “Dear Mother and Daddy–Please all of y’all come and see me. Johnny, Darlene, Alice–Come see me. Becky, Cherie, Alice, Janie–come see me. I love you with all my heart. I miss you. Love always–Diana.”

ADVERTISING

3 Mobile Co. murder victims worshipped together, Ministry mourns their loss

“So she was arrested for disorderly conduct in May of 1982 and she spent three months in Searcy. In August of 1982, they said she escaped and nobody has seen or heard from her since then,” said Amanda Collins–Diana’s niece. Diana had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Diana’s sister, Becky Hoover, told us, “She was always paranoid–worried about–I hate to say but a lot of time she talked about spies, people watching her.”

“Momma, I’m sorry about telling you I’ve been depressed. But you are my mother and I don’t want to lie to you about how I feel.”


Amanda Collins voiced these letters from Diana, written to her mother and other family members while she was at Searcy. Collins is Diana’s niece and has worked for the past two years trying to find out what happened to Diana.
Mobile woman dies in Baldwin County crash

“I started working on it in 2020–the day I started was because my mom was on the Doe network and she was upset–and I just told her I was going to find her,” said Collins.

The Doe Network is the International Center for Unidentified and Missing persons. What compounds Diana’s disappearance according to her family is that there didn’t appear to be much of an effort to find her after she reportedly escaped from Searcy. A missing persons report that should have been filed in 1982 can’t be found. Amanda filed one in 2020, some 38 years after Diana disappeared.

“And of course, Searcy shut down and they brought it to our attention and I began investigating her as a missing person,” said Mobile County Sheriff’s Detective J.T. Thornton.

Records provided by the Alabama Department of Mental Health were vague about her treatment there and her disappearance.
Thornton said, “We did obtain some files from the Department of Mental Health but they are not as adequate as I thought they would be.”
Two of Diana’s sisters remember visiting her at Searcy.
Lawmakers call for investigation into firing of Bishop State’s president

“The last time we saw our sister she wasn’t herself at all–she was like a zombie. She could barely speak. I know they were doing shock treatments and some other things going on at Searcy that came out in some letters,” said Becky Hoover.


Another letter read, “I ain’t going to kill myself. I just was mad at these people ruining my life. I just was saying I want to get out. I have two young sons who need me.”

“Towards the end, that’s the last visit I saw was her coming down that hall, barely walking–dragging her feet–my Momma being super upset,” said Amanda Penn, another sister.

Her family hopes that modern technology that wasn’t available when Diana disappeared could now help them find out what happened to her. The family provided DNA samples and Detective Thornton has entered Diana’s information into a system called ‘Name Us.’
“Which is the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System–and that kind of helps us reach out further to outside jurisdictions and see if we can’t identify an identified person as a missing person.”

Mobile Police kickoff Youth Violence Prevention Summer Events
Detective Thornton says he’s hopeful the case can be solved. It’s not known if Diana is alive or dead. Her family is also hopeful.

“She might not even…She might still be here–We just don’t know,” said Collins.
The family continues to search for answers, including trying to get in touch with two people who may have been the last to have contact with her. They include a woman who worked at Searcy and a former boyfriend. WKRG will update the story with any new developments.
 
And I still feel hard to understand why her family did not looking for her for 40 years
 
And I still feel hard to understand why her family did not looking for her for 40 years
Are they claiming they're the ones who filed the missing persons report in 1982? And then did nothing?
 
The family thought the hospital filed a missing persons report. An investigator would come to their house and ask questions, etc. The investigator was actually employed by the department of mental health. When I tried to find record of her at all (police records), there were none. I had to jump through hoops to even get her reported as a missing person.
 
The family thought the hospital filed a missing persons report. An investigator would come to their house and ask questions, etc. The investigator was actually employed by the department of mental health. When I tried to find record of her at all (police records), there were none. I had to jump through hoops to even get her reported as a missing person.
I am sorry, but that does not make sense, I could not believe the family would simply "assume" the hospital had filed a missing person report without go to police for follow up. Look, she obviously had some issue with her family, and the family of course do not want to put every details of their relationships in the public, I understand that, we all have secret.
 
The family thought the hospital filed a missing persons report. An investigator would come to their house and ask questions, etc. The investigator was actually employed by the department of mental health. When I tried to find record of her at all (police records), there were none. I had to jump through hoops to even get her reported as a missing person.
I hope your family gets answers. I am still wondering if she is the Jane Doe found in GA.
 

Members online

Online statistics

Members online
154
Guests online
1,803
Total visitors
1,957

Forum statistics

Threads
587,122
Messages
17,876,161
Members
226,967
Latest member
spiderx
Back
Top