MO MO - Loy Evitts, 29, Kansas City, 28 Feb 1977

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Hello everyone!

As you might be able to tell from my member's name, I have something in common with Loy. We share some DNA, although I might say she got the better share of it, due to her well known beauty in personality and looks. She is my second cousin that I did not know existed until a few months back. I was barely in this world when she went missing. For all of you on here who have hopped something would be done for finding her, I hope to remedy with that to the best of my ability. I've read every comment on this thread and it warms my heart to see such passion and thought into her disappearance. Thank you to every one of you who has commented, I have read (as of this date) every dot and tittle of comments and replies. Your information, ideas, and links have been very helpful for me in my new quest.

I have reached out to Loy's husband, and I have received his blessing on doing what I can to chase this down. Many of you have given me leads that I will likely follow up with you on. There is much to share! Who knows? You might one day be publicly (if you wish to be) thanked for your help.

Blessings,

J. Gillespie

Hi and welcome @JGillespie! Good to see you here. Good luck in your quest to find out what happened to your second cousin. Good thoughts for you and her husband.
 

JGillespie

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Donald, Loy's husband, stated that there was a True Detective magazine article that ran either in 1977 or around then that had Loy's story in it. He found out about it when one of the detectives working the case called him asking for permission to speak to the magazine. Donald could not remember the name of the magazine (he thinks it is True Detective) nor the publishing date. If anyone has info on this, or is a better Google sleuth than me, I would greatly appreciate help. Thanks!
 

TheArtfulDetective

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I posted this previously in Rosie's thread:
MO - MO - Rosie Schlicker, 20, Kansas City, 14 March 1978
but I wonder if there was any connection between their disappearances? Loy disappeared a year before Rosie (March of 1978) in the same vicinity of town- only about 4 miles from one another. Both were in their 20's with blonde hair, about 5'5 and 120-ish lbs. with a similar resemblance. Most likely a coincidence but still worth considering.

Rosie Schlicker
Loy Gillespie Evitts
 

TheArtfulDetective

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Police Hold Man in Case of Loy Evitts
21, March 1977

Clipping from The Atchison Daily Globe - Newspapers.com

npa.jpg

This being one of the few viable leads, it seems like after it was investigated, it was just cast aside and forgotten.
There's a phone call regarding her investigation traced to a suspect.
This person gave the police a tip which prompted them to search in Lee's Summit, presumably in the area where the purse was found.
Furthermore, the police determined something, whether it was based on information provided by the caller or something significant was found during the search, to then search the suspect's house. What did they discover that prompted them to search the suspect's house?

The police spokesman declined to say if any evidence was found during the search of the suspect's house. If the police decline to reveal any findings, doesn't that mean they probably did find something of interest? Otherwise why didn't they just say nothing of significance was found?

It also of interest that it was never mentioned if anything significant was found in the Lee's Summit search.

This person appears to be a valid suspect, if not the abductor, at least someone who was involved or someone with knowledge. Why have we never heard about him again? Especially with so few leads in this case?
 
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TheArtfulDetective

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Very comprehensive and interesting recap on Loy's case. The author has shared some excellent and detailed observations, with many posing questions to be considered in the investigation of this case.

Missing: Loy Gillespie Evitts
JUNE 5, 2017

Loy Gillespie Evitts (Dec 12, 1947 – missing Feb 28, 1977) disappeared more than 40 years ago. She was 29 years old.

Introduction
The Kansas City Police Department (MO) think that someone abducted Loy. This is their longest unsolved missing person’s case.

There are no new leads. They have suspended the case until they receive new information.

Police have eliminated Loy’s husband as a suspect. Thanks to him, we have Loy’s DNA in the NamUs database.

The Case
Loy disappeared from Kansas City, Missouri. This article describes the case well. In this post I just wish to discuss every question mark that popped up when I read about Loy’s case. If you have links to articles where some of my questions are answered please contact me so I can update this post.

Loy left for lunch between 3-4pm from the Miller & O’Loughlin Law Firm at the Plaza Center Building parking garage. Loy had just started working at the law firm as a legal secretary. In fact, she had been there for just a month.

I saw comments online about possible law partners or their clients who could have something to do with her disappearance. Depending on what her tasks were, who she worked for precisely, or what her privileges were inside the firm (e.g. attending all meetings or not, etc.) her work may not have anything to do with her disappearance.

Loy’s husband is Donald Evitts. They lived in Overland (Kansas) which is near Kansas City (Missouri) where Loy worked. From the papers we know this about their relationship:

The couple met in their hometown of Coffeyville in southeast Kansas. He was 19 and she was 17. They went on their first date on Nov. 4, 1965, when they went to the movies to see “Cat Ballou.” They continued to see each other while Donald earned an undergraduate degree at Pittsburg State University. In 1968, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and shipped to fight in the Vietnam War.

Back home, Loy Evitts went to study nursing in Tulsa, Okla., before she transferred to Kansas State University, where she majored in fashion merchandising. Evitts let her drive his Firebird while he was overseas and wrote every week. Loy decorated a bulletin board she kept in her dorm room with his military photos.

They got married in a small ceremony on Nov. 4, 1972 [in Coffeyville, Kansas]. They eventually settled in a small bungalow in Overland Park where Don continues to live.”

We know Loy went outside to run errands. She had her watch adjusted, shopped at Country Club Plaza, and drove to a drug store for coffee. She also bought an umbrella there. Authorities found her beloved car parked in the usual spot. The new umbrella was on the car’s front seat. On the driver’s seat or the passenger seat? Did they find the coffee cup?

Twelve days later, children looking for a lost dog found Loy’ purse in southeast Kansas City. Authorities scanned the area but found nothing else. They interviewed hundreds of people and followed up on more than 1,000 leads. Husband Donald Evitts even consulted a psychic.

Statistics from NamUs
  • Approximate Height and Weight: 5′ 5″; 126 lbs.
  • White female with long blonde/strawberry hair
  • Eyes: hazel brown
  • Scar on abdomen (from appendix surgery)
  • Dental charts available
  • DNA on file
She was last seen dressed in
  • A hand-knit 3/4-length blue sweater with vertical maroon lines
  • maroon turtle neck blouse
  • maroon slacks
  • carrying a leather shoulder bag and a black and white pocketbook
  • wooden wedge shoes with a brown leather strap
Undisputed
According to all papers (see resources below), the only undisputed details in this case are:
  • Loy went missing from her lunch hour on Feb. 28, 1977. Who else took their lunch at that time? Was this an established routine? If so, someone watching her could have used it to plan her abduction.
  • Her purse was found weeks later under a bridge in the southeastern part of Kansas City. Was that purse preserved? See my notes for testing with modern technology.
  • Police interviewed a man from Grandview (MO) in July 1977. This man was never charged for any crime related to the Evitts case. Are the notes from those interviews still there? Were they ever revisited years later?
  • Partial remains of a woman found on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock, Ark., in 1977 did not match Loy.
  • Nobody was ever charged or arrested in Loy’s case.
Possibilities with modern technology
Reading an article from Taylor News gave me ideas for further investigating this case with modern technology. That is, if all the evidence still exists. Note: that article has been taken down or their link is broken.
  • It says about Loy’s yellow 1970 MG sports car that there was “not one scratch on the car body, nor even the slightest shred of fiber from Evitts’ clothing, could be found on the vehicle.” Obviously someone cleaned that car but when? It cannot have been the night before she went to work. Then during the day? Were there any CCTV cameras in the garage?
  • How about mud, did someone check the car mats? Mud holds clues about surfaces, pollen, dust, and can contain pieces of shoe soles.
  • The stick shift would be a good spot to search for touch DNA especially around the knob.
  • Loy was meticulous about her looks so the mirror in her sun visor could hold clues as well as the grip from the glove compartment.
  • Tires are an excellent source of information to see on what type of surfaces she drove last.
  • There were no fingerprints from Loy on her cosmetics case. Why do we assume (as per the article, second column, half way down, see picture) that it was Loy herself who wiped the cosmetics case clean? Anyone could have done so. Was that case found in her car, her purse, or in her home? It isn’t specified and that bothers me. What exactly is a cosmetics case anyway? Do they mean a fabric bag for toiletries or a plastic compact with eye shadow, powder, blush, etc.? If we are talking about a fabric bag then check the inside around the zipper for touch DNA. The M-Vac comes to mind. If they are talking about plastic containers (for pressed powder, etc.) finding finger prints on the mirror might still be possible. We could even find touch DNA on the brushes and/or sponges.
  • Loy’s typewriter at work should have her prints on it. Modern technology can find prints even if someone else used the typewriter as well. We can separate a print that is partly placed over another finger print. The type of typewriter is interesting too. Was it mechanical or electro-mechanical? Did it use a ribbon or a writing ball? Each presents its own challenges but if preserved it is worth a shot to look at again to see what she typed last.
More Questions
  • Why did her husband felt “forced” to declare Loy legally deceased? Did Loy have a will and last testament, life insurance policy, assets? Not accusing, just wondering.
  • We do not learn from the newspaper articles what other jobs Loy had. She had only been with the law firm for about a month but she was 29 years old. She must have had another job before this one. What was that? Any enemies there? UPDATE: Loy had previously worked for another attorney.
  • Loy and Don didn’t have children. Was that a mutual choice or not? Do we know if she ever wanted children? Did she ever mention motherhood as an option for herself? Is there any chance she disappeared to have a family life?
  • Could someone from Don’s past have abducted Loy?
The Leather Shoulder Bag and Staging
Loy carried a leather shoulder bag and a purse. In itself not surprising if you go to work. The purse is personal, the shoulder bag is for work/lunch items. However, this combination has led to speculation online that Loy may have planned her disappearance. After all, the purse was found but not the leather shoulder bag. I wish we knew what kind of shoulder bag she used. Was it a satchel type? The type of shoulder bag tells us a little more about the content capacity and thus options.

What speaks against staging?
People worried about her. There are notes in articles about bad feelings as if some danger was looming hence my questions about earlier jobs and old enemies. However, there is nothing concrete. According to the papers Loy and Don were happily married with no rumours about affairs, financial disasters, or high-risk lifestyles.

What speaks in favour of staging?
Please understand that I am wondering out loud here about an option you must entertain in cases of missing persons.

If big enough Loy’s shoulder bag could hold items needed to disappear. From the way NamUs lists everything it seems she went to lunch with both the purse and the shoulder bag. Going for lunch I can imagine taking the purse. Why also take the shoulder bag? Was that shoulder bag with her in the office all morning or was it left in the car? Was she seen carrying it? These details matter. If the shoulder bag had items she needed to stage her disappearance then the dropped purse could have served as a decoy. After all, we have no proof (in the public domain) that Loy or an abductor placed the purse there. That is why we need to check that purse for touch DNA. Use the M-Vac.

I did not read anything about credit/debit cards. Were there any suspicious withdrawals in or around the time that she went missing? How much cash did she usually carry in her purse?

Where was her passport or other items of identification? We know the purse “and some other belongings” were found but what specifically was found? Where is her driver’s license?

The jewelry she wore when she went missing could it have been worth enough to disappear? From NamUs we know that she had a plaid gold bracelet with a knot in the center, a wide gold wedding band, a wide gold engagement ring with a single solitaire diamond from Herzberg, and white gold, square-faced woman’s watch. Do we know the value of all these items? Do we have pictures? Were all pawn shops in the area alerted to these items?

People have different opinions about Loy. They range from just a happy wife to a driven, ambitious career woman. Is it possible that she wanted another life? She was just 17 when she met Don.

If you look at her pictures you can see she is photogenic. With hair and makeup variations she looks completely different. Those who saw Loy during her late lunch probably saw what they expected to see: Loy as she normally dressed for work. But we don’t know whether at some point she went inside a store, changed her looks in a dressing room or public restroom, and walked out of the Country Club Plaza without anyone thinking twice.

Some people said that she’d never walk if she could drive. Maybe she did just that. Maybe she did what you didn’t expect her to do. It seems unlikely that she would walk a while on wedges in the cold in February. But what if she had different shoes in that shoulder bag?

We have no witness who heard a scream or saw her run in the street.

There is no mention of a jacket anywhere despite the fact that it was February when she disappeared. From the way NamUs lists her wardrobe it seems she was dressed for a quick errand to then quickly go back inside. But what was in the shoulder bag? A jacket? Did she have a jacket at work? Many of us leave a sweater or a scarf at work for when we get cold. Did she have extra clothes at work, maybe a gym bag in the car trunk?

These questions need answers if we wish to know what happened to Loy Gillespie Evitts.

Contact
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Kansas City Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (816) 234-5136 or call the KCPD’s TIPS hotline, where you may leave anonymous tips: (816) 434-TIPS.

Agency Case Number: 00-J81177

NCIC Number: M-552248964

Thank you for remembering the case of Loy Gillespie Evitts with us.

Missing: Loy Gillespie Evitts - Defrosting Cold Cases
 

JGillespie

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I posted this previously in Rosie's thread:
MO - MO - Rosie Schlicker, 20, Kansas City, 14 March 1978
but I wonder if there was any connection between their disappearances? Loy disappeared a year before Rosie (March of 1978) in the same vicinity of town- only about 4 miles from one another. Both were in their 20's with blonde hair, about 5'5 and 120-ish lbs. with a similar resemblance. Most likely a coincidence but still worth considering.

Rosie Schlicker
Loy Gillespie Evitts

Thanks for the info....I will definitely be looking into this. At this point there is no stone I see that can be left alone.
 

JGillespie

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Thanks for that post....I have not gotten to that article yet. I have been sifting through a couple hundred hits one Newspapers.com and it's slow plodding. The article on the Lee Summit tip is intriguing and will be checked out. I made my first trip to KC on Monday of the week. Just to check the sites. I'm getting all known info sorted and organized and then I'm going to start doing some interviews. I will definitely keep you all post and appreciate any help......to find closure on this is going to take a team. Thanks again!
 

TheArtfulDetective

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Thanks for the info....I will definitely be looking into this. At this point there is no stone I see that can be left alone.

Another coincidence about the two cases... Rosie disappeared after leaving Truman Med Center -Hospital Hill location in KC- and Loy's purse was found a few minutes from (formerly named) Truman Med Center East in Lee's Summit (now renamed University Health Lakewood Medical Center).

If there really is a connection between the two cases, the abductor could have had an affiliation with TMC. Perhaps he was an employee or he delivered supplies or repaired equipment where he was familiar with both locations? He could have followed Rosie after she was discharged. Maybe a year earlier, he was on his own lunch break and randomly saw Loy that day? It would at least place him in that particular area of KC.

It would also explain how he would know the remote area where TMC East was, not far from where Loy's purse was discarded. I still think that whoever dumped Loy's purse out there, either knew the area or at the very least, knew that it was isolated. Not much was out there back then, aside from the hospital.
 
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TheArtfulDetective

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The article on the Lee Summit tip is intriguing and will be checked out.

The thing I would like to know most about the Lee's Summit tip, is where the police searched based on the caller's tip.

Most accounts at the time vaguely stated that the purse was found "under a bridge in Southeast KC". Then "Colbern Road / Unity Village" area was mentioned. So the police were already basically searching in Lee's Summit / Lee's Summit border before the call was made.

The caller knew already that the purse had been found. But did he know where specifically? He gave the police a "Lee's Summit" tip so where in Lee's Summit did the police search? Was it also in the same proximity as the purse? We know the police had already conducted periodic searches near the purse so did the caller's tip lead them elsewhere in Lee's Summit?
 

cenazoic

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I’ve been thinking about her car, mostly because I had a 1979 MGB, also in yellow. With some small differences, the 1970 and 1979 are virtually identical, assuming she had a B. A Midget and GT (hardtop) were also produced in 1970, but weren’t as common.

These are tiny cars. They’re 2-seat convertibles with virtually no space between the front seats and the rear of the cockpit (it’s where the top folds down into, and where the battery is located.)

The trunk has about enough room for some groceries, or a smallish suitcase or two. It would be hard to cram an adult person in there unless they were pretty small.

There is no mention of a jacket anywhere despite the fact that it was February when she disappeared

These cars are COLD in the winter! There’s a heater that blows some engine heat on you, but between the canvas top and general MGish-ness, there’s no real insulation. The high in Kansas City that day was 45F, with a low of 31F.

Random note about car keys: MGBs had both a door key and a trunk key.
 

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TheArtfulDetective

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These are tiny cars. They’re 2-seat convertibles with virtually no space between the front seats and the rear of the cockpit (it’s where the top folds down into, and where the battery is located.)

The trunk has about enough room for some groceries, or a smallish suitcase or two. It would be hard to cram an adult person in there unless they were pretty small.



These cars are COLD in the winter! There’s a heater that blows some engine heat on you, but between the canvas top and general MGish-ness, there’s no real insulation. The high in Kansas City that day was 45F, with a low of 31F.
.

Interesting and thank you for sharing! I am unfamiliar with the MGB but I have driven many tiny sports cars that had very little interior space so I know what you mean. Many times I didn't even wear a winter coat or jacket while I was driving for that very purpose because it felt very cramped and uncomfortable, although I am much larger than Loy. She walked between stores during these lunch break errands so she must have been wearing her coat when she was abducted or it probably would have been located.

I definitely agree that her car was not a means of transport in her abduction. It appears she was either abducted right after she parked it in her usual spot in the garage while she had her coat on or someone drove it back to her spot after abducting her elsewhere. If that is the case, that is one meticulous abductor if her car was really wiped clean and returned to her normal parking spot.
 
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TheArtfulDetective

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Rhinehart Road Bridge
Posted August 14, 2010, by C. Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] co)
This was the bridge beneath which they found the only clue--her purse--in the disappearance of Loy C. Evitts, a 29 year old secretary who disappeared from The Plaza in late February 1977. This is one of Kansas City's most puzzling missing person cases.

I am extremely curious as to how this "C. Vance" came across this information (assuming it is accurate) as this bridge was never specifically mentioned either. Who is this person and how does he know?

Ok following up to my own question. I forgot to report back that I contacted "C. Vance" aka Clark Vance. He is a "bridge hunter" and I had found his post (quoted myself above) here on bridgehunter.com. If you look at the sources on that page, you will see at one time a Missing Persons poster was provided but the link is now dead. Perhaps that was the source Clark had to begin with.

Regardless, I asked him how he came across the info about Loy's purse being found specifically under the Rhinehart Road bridge. I also told him that some have suggested it was actually the Chipman Road bridge. Although he wasn't 100% sure, he had some interesting things to say.


via Clark Vance

"Rhinehart Road bridge. They described finding items under a bridge about a mile from Unity Village. I probably need to edit my BH (bridge hunter) entry. I got that bridge in my head in 1977 when they described the location but I find no other information to back it up.

The Star article doesn't mention a bridge but I am fairly sure I recall that being mentioned. At that time there were also pony trusses over the Little Blue on Noland Road and Bannister Road, and a bit farther away a through truss over the Little Blue on view High Drive which had recently been closed just south of the bridge as they cut I-470 through. Rhinehart Road was the only one with houses nearby, making me think that kids out looking for a dog probably would have had a short walk.

Chipman Road Rock Island "bridge" is actually a large concrete culvert wide enough for one car to pass. The railroad bridge on Colbern Road would be the one over the Missouri Pacific (now Union Pacific) which is very close to Unity. It was a long, narrow, and high bridge. It's been considerably widened since the '80s.

I hope some of the online sleuths get access to the case files and can pinpoint the location. Commenting is open on BH so anyone can post info they find. More importantly, I hope they figure out what happened to her. I recall some years ago they found a body in an old cistern near Raymore. I recall a KCPD comment that finding a blond female body it was probably one of two. This one was the other, a waitress who disappeared from the Patricio's formerly on the NE corner of 99th and Holmes.

Hope this answered your questions."
 
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