Ca - Karen Marie Mitchell, 16, Eureka, 25 Nov 1997

Discussion in 'Humboldt County' started by Doyle, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

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  3. Up2theminute

    Up2theminute Former member

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    Karen Mitchell is the primary missing person who was suspected of being a victim of Robert Durst (aside from the case of his wife).
    Of course that was all just speculation and intertwining of connections like the fact that Durst had just recently been a customer at Karen's Aunt's store shortly (or maybe it was after) this disappearance.
    I had a thread on her here before but maybe it didn't survive the software update.
     
  4. Litlstar04

    Litlstar04 New Member

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    Hey Up2, It didn't survive, but here's the article that started the whole discussion on the possible connection between Karen and Durst: http://www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/082503/a0125durst.html

    Jury selection tomorrow in Scarsdale man's murder trial
    By JONATHAN BANDLER
    THE JOURNAL NEWS
    (Original publication: August 25, 2003)

    Suspicion in his wife's disappearance has hounded Robert Durst for more than two decades. It intensified when his best friend was shot to death in Los Angeles three years ago — and grew even more when he admitted killing a cantankerous neighbor in Texas and was accused of chopping up his body and setting it adrift in Galveston Bay.

    Now, as the 60-year-old Scarsdale native and scion of a Manhattan real estate empire goes on trial in that Galveston killing, investigators in northern California are taking a close look at Durst, suspecting he might have played a role in the disappearance of two teenage girls there in 1997 — 18-year-old Kristen Modafferi in San Francisco and 16-year-old Karen Mitchell in Eureka...

    ...Information linking Durst to the two California cases was first reported in publicity material for the paperback edition of "A Deadly Secret," writer Matt Berkbeck's book about the Durst saga that will be published next week.

    Five months before Mitchell disappeared, Modafferi vanished after leaving her waitress job at a San Francisco coffee shop, headed for Land's End Beach on San Francisco Bay in Oakland. One of the original detectives in that case, John Bradley, is now an investigator with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and has spent the past several months investigating Durst's ties to northern California. He said information he has obtained put Durst in the area at least on the weekend before Modafferi disappeared and on the day that Mitchell went missing, although Parris said he was still looking into whether Durst was in Eureka that day.

    Bradley, too, sees similarities between Durst and the sketch in the Mitchell case, but is even more intrigued by the description of the car. Although Durst had a green Ford Explorer in northern California at the time, a drug user and prostitute who reported Durst befriended her told authorities she only knew him to drive a light blue car, Bradley said...

    I hope all is well with you! :)
     
  5. Litlstar04

    Litlstar04 New Member

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    I just realized that I don't even know what Karen Mitchell looks like, even though we've talked about her extensively before. Here's some information on her:
    http://www.pollyklaas.org/missing/kids/karen.htm
    The drawing of the suspect looks a lot like Robert Durst!
     
  6. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

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    with that hairdo... she reminds me of Dru Sjodin...
     
  7. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    For Karen

    With love and hope, Lanie
     
  8. WasBlind

    WasBlind Former Member

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    For Karen, and all who love and miss her.

    Praying for answers, Lanie
     
  9. weatherwax

    weatherwax Inactive

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    Does anyone know if Ward Weaver from Oregon was ever positively eliminated as a suspect? I've never heard if it was established whether he was in Hoopa at the time or not.

    Ward Weaver is the man who murdered two teenage girls in Oregon last year, and buried them in his yard. He apparently lived in Hoopa for some time.
     
  10. Up2theminute

    Up2theminute Former member

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    When was there a connection made between Ward Weaver and Karen Mitchell? :confused:
     
  11. weatherwax

    weatherwax Inactive

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    He apparently grew up in the area (Hoopa, I believe), and there were some rumors he may have been there when she disapeared. His family denied it. No solid connection that I know of. I was just wondering if it had been established that he was or was not in the area.

    His father's name was on the original suspect list, but he has a solid alibi. He's already doing life.
     
  12. Up2theminute

    Up2theminute Former member

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    Thanks. I hadn't heard that. Interesting.

    Do you have an opinion about Robert Durst being a suspect? Do you think Weaver is a more likely suspect than Durst, vice versa, or..?
     
  13. weatherwax

    weatherwax Inactive

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    I'm a little skeptical about Durst. He seems to kill people he's associated with. Now if what they're saying is true, that he was in her business the week she disapeared, then I'd say he was a good suspect. But I haven't seen any of the evidence of that yet.

    Id give better odds to Weaver, but again I don't know if it's been established if he was in the area or not. Right now the police seem to be concentrating on a group of tweakers in Eureka. But they're guarding whatever evidence they have pretty closely.
     
  14. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    Dave Parris doesn't need reminding that Karen Mitchell was last seen 10 years ago today.

    While working as a detective with the Eureka Police Department, Parris made the Mitchell case a top priority when she was reported missing. He still does, keeping a position with the department while working as police chief of the Yurok Tribal Police Department.

    ”I've actually kept a reserve status down there so I can work on it,” Parris said. “We're working it on a weekly basis.”

    Mitchell was last seen along Broadway on Nov. 25, 1997, walking to the Coastal Family Development Center, where she cared for children. She was almost 17 -- just five days short of her birthday -- and living with her aunt and uncle, Annie and Bill Casper, in an unincorporated area of the county.

    Her disappearance is treated as a kidnapping-homicide case.

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_7554193?source=most_viewed
     
  15. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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  16. marysawol

    marysawol New Member

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    I just looked at Karen's photo's and she reminds a lot of that girl that was pictured in that photograph found in a car or a dumpster or something like that. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Someone had found a couple photo's somewhere. One was of boy, the other was a girl. I think they both had duct tape on their mouths and hands tied behind their backs. Also, near the girl was books by VC Andrews. I'll do some research to see if I can find more information.
     
  17. Sable

    Sable Former Member

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  18. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Former Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Missing Since: November 25, 1997 from Eureka, California
    Classification: Endangered Missing
    Date Of Birth: November 30, 1980
    Age: 16 years old
    Height and Weight: 5'5, 130 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Sandy brown hair, blue/green eyes. Mitchell has pierced ears. Her hair was neck-length at the time of her disappearance.
    Clothing/Jewelry Description: A long-sleeved tan shirt, dark brown baggy-style corduroy pants and buckled tan leather shoes.

    Details of Disappearance

    Mitchell was on holiday vacation from high school on November 25, 1997 in Eureka, California. She departed from her place of employment, the Coastal Family Development Center, during the afternoon hours. Mitchell's aunt, Annie Casper, was her legal guardian and owned a store inside Bayshore Mall. The shopping center was in the 3300 block of Broadway Street, approximately one mile from Mitchell's place of employment. She briefly visited her aunt's business before departing from the mall at approximately 2:45 p.m. Mitchell was last seen walking towards West Sonoma Street shortly afterwards. She has never been heard from again. She was carrying a Nalgene water bottle at the time of her disappearance.

    A witness stated that Mitchell may have entered an unidentified four-door 1976 to 1978 sedan, which was possibly a Ford Grenada, a Mercury Monarch, or a Nissan. The vehicle is described as light blue in color, with California license plates and "Eureka" imprinted on the rear plate's frame. The driver of the car is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 60 to 70 years old, with balding light gray or sandy blonde hair. The unidentified man had green or gray eyes and a large-sized nose that appeared to have been previously broken. He had a small build and wore eyeglasses. The driver was wearing a long-sleeved button-down light blue shirt. Sketches of both the driver and vehicle are posted below this case summary. The driver is wanted for questioning as a possible witness in Mitchell's case. The witness claimed that the car pulled across Broadway Street and nearly hit him before stopping for a girl matching Mitchell's description.

    Authorities identified a vehicle similar to the car reported by the witness shortly after Mitchell vanished. The owner passed a polygraph exam and was cleared of any potential involvement in her case.

    Casper said that her niece planned to attend Humboldt State University in 1998. She said that Mitchell was interested in politics, education and environmental issues. Mitchell is described as an intelligent and responsible. Investigators do not believe she left the area of her own accord.

    Confessed murderer Wayne Adam Ford, who killed several women in California during the 1990s, denied any involvement in Mitchell's disappearance. His photo is posted below this case summary. Ford turned himself into authorities one year after Mitchell vanished. He has never been charged in connection with her case.

    Robert Durst apparently visited Casper's store several times in March 1998, four months after Mitchell disappeared. Robert's first wife, Kathleen Durst, disappeared from New York in 1982. Her case remains unsolved and Robert is considered the prime suspect, although he has never been charged in connection with her case. Robert was charged with the 2001 Texas homicide of Morris Black. He claimed he murdered Black in self-defense, and was acquitted in 2003. Investigators looked into the possibility that Robert was in the Eureka area at the time of Mitchell's disappearance, but he has never been charged with any involvement. Ford and Robert's photos are posted below this case summary.

    Investigators announced that they had received a "new, substantial" lead in Mitchell's case in 2004. Afterwards they began searching an area on Hilfiker Lane in Eureka with cadaver dogs. The site is often camped on by transients. It is the same place where the body of Matthew Anton Large, 22, was found in February 2003. Large disappeared from Huntington Beach, California in 2001; his case is not thought to be related to Mitchell's. Investigators would not give details about the new lead but stated that they believed two people were involved in Mitchell's apparent abduction. Her case remains unsolved.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Eureka Police Department

    707-441-4044
     
  19. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Type of Abduction: Missing, Suspicious Circumstances
    Date Missing: 11/25/97
    Missing from: Eureka, California
    Date of birth: 11/30/80
    Age at disappearance: 16 years old
    Race: Caucasian
    Complexion: Fair
    Sex: Female
    Height: 5'5"
    Weight: 130 pounds
    Hair: sandy blond, neck length, straight
    Eyes: blue-green
    Last seen wearing: tan long-sleeved shirt, baggy dark brown corduroy pants and tan leather shoes with buckles. She was carrying a Nalgene water bottle.



    Links:
    http://www.pollyklaas.org/missing/kids/page.jsp?itemID=27044524
    http://www.missingkids.com/missingk...NCMC&seqNum=1&caseLang=en_US&searchLang=en_US
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/mitchell_karen.html
     
  20. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Okey Dokey-

    I spoke with Det. P Oneill of Eureka, CA. He is handling Karen's case. He recently received it, and has received some tips since it was posted on the Polly Klaas website. He was not familiar enough with it to be able to discuss any defining characteristics for Karen that were not already listed, and the county had taken the website off line for maintenance so he could not look her up. I told him I would send him a case summary of MJD and he could get back to me when he was back on line. One cool thing-they have DNA from Karen's mom and it has NOT been entered into CODIS yet! So now they have incentive to get it entered, lol...

    I sent him this email:

    [FONT=verdana,geneva]Dear Det. O'Neill,

    I appreciate you returning my call regarding your missing person's case, Karen Marie Mitchell. As you are aware, Karen went missing on 11/25/1997. She was last seen entering a vehicle on her way out of the mall in the afternoon. She was never heard from again.

    [/FONT][FONT=verdana,geneva]Karen Mitchell's name came up as a possible match for an unidentified Jane Doe in Maricopa County, Az. On January 26,1999 a teen was pushed or thrown from a moving vehicle just outside of Phoenix. She hit the highway at 75 miles per hour and died the next day from her head injuries. She was 5'5"-5'7" in height, light brown hair dyed blonde, blue eyes and between 110-130lbs. Her dentals are on file, her DNA is in CODIS and her fingerprints are available. She had multiple piercings in her ears, a tattoo of a blue heart on her breast and a pierced belly button. Her estimated age, based on XRAYS of her bones, was 13-18. Her UNIDEN number is 99-0305.

    [/FONT][FONT=verdana,geneva] I have the ME report should you need it. I also have the police report should you have a need for it. I am going to attach a photo of her in the hospital prior to her death, as well as her morgue photos. The photos are very [/FONT][FONT=verdana,geneva]GRAPHIC [/FONT][FONT=verdana,geneva]in nature, just so you know.

    Here is the link to the ME website:
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana,geneva]http://www.maricopa.gov/Medex/Unidentified/search.aspx?caseNum=99-0305


    I appreciate any assistance you can give us to rule your missing girl in or out in this heartbreaking case.

    Take care and I appreciate your time!

    Sincerely,
    Believe09

    [/FONT]
     
  21. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    I think Karen looks a lot like MJD notwithstanding the swelling post mortem. Very similar features including eyebrows that were/could have been shaped later. MJD has that not long from adolescent look and Karen changed remarkably in the 2 pics shown with enough resemblance to be the same person. (not the age progression pic)

    I really haven't seen any other pics that are this close. Let us know if this works out.
     

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