The Doe Network: Case File 1958DFPA Katherine Dolan Heckel Missing since July 15, 1991 from Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania Classification: Endangered Missing Vital Statistics •Age at Time of Disappearance: 40 years old •Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'5"; 140 lbs. •Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Dark brown, shoulder-length, curly hair. Wears contact lenses. Pierced ears. •Clothing/Jewelry: A sleeveless, maroon print dress. She was wearing gold and diamond engagement and wedding rings. •AKA: Kathy Circumstances of Disappearance Katherine Heckel, of the Mill Hall area, was last seen on Monday, July 15, 1991 as she was leaving her office at the International Paper Company in Lock Haven, where she worked as as an IP management secretary. Heckel called her two children, both now adults and living outside the area, just before lunch on July 15, 1991, told them she planned to run errands and would be eating alone. She left to go to lunch, driving her car out of the parking lot, but never returned. No one has reported seeing her since she left for lunch. She was reported missing by family members the following day. She didn't have money or personal belongings with her, and her financial accounts had not been used or emptied. Her car was found on Thursday, July 17, 1991 at 22:30, near the Lock Haven Hospital, but did not contain any evidence of any consequence. The search for Heckel began with police, local firefighters, volunteers, horse-mounted search crews and canine rescue teams scouring the nearby forests and rural areas for weeks looking for clues and evidence. Kathy was a married mother of two children. Her husband, a full-time National Guard member, was away at a 2-week training exercise at the time and is not a suspect in her disappearance. Kathy grew up in Blanchard and lived with her husband and two children in Mill Hall. Shortly after Heckel disappeared, police announced they had a suspect, who was identified as a male coworker whom Heckel had been seeing socially. Police seized his van, which was seen leaving the Hammermill plant about the same time as Heckel's car. Traces of human blood of the same type as Heckel's were found on carpet in the van. Also found in the van were a box of .25-caliber ammunition, a hunting knife, a partial roll of duct tape and two athletic bags. A .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol was found in the man's desk at the paper plant. The man denies any involvement in the disappearance of Heckel. Foul play is suspected. To date, no arrests have been made. http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1958dfpa.html Articles (including Katherine's photo) http://www.lockhaven.com/page/conte...y-of-a-missing-LH-woman-remains-unsolved.html (Katherine's photo is on the right) http://www.lockhaven.com/page/conte...Kathy-Heckel-case-gets-a-new-set-of-eyes.html http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/504781/Fresh-eyes-on-old---not-cold---case.html On a personal note, I have no connection to this case other than this..... Katherine's daughter was a year behind me in school (we had Spanish together) and her son was a few years younger than me. I was not what you would call friends with either but I did feel bad for them as many of the kids we went to school with were more than willing to relay whatever hurtful things they heard other adults say. I also remember seeing Katherine chaperoning at a school dance and also at a basketball game or wrestling match (can't remember which). She was a beautiful woman who seemed completely dedicated to her kids. Definately not someone who would just walk away. I thought that the first time I saw the news report about her disappearance. As for the rest of this, it's mostly talk or rumors I overheard from adults. Whether it was reported in the paper or not I can't confirm. The local paper here doesn't have news articles from 1991 available on-line (but I'm not opposed to checking the mircofiche at the local library if it comes to that). I remember hearing there was blood in her car. The papers now report nothing of evidentiary value was in her car. Whether that means there was no blood is something I don't know. When it comes to the two most likely people involved I will leave them namesless. I will only refer to them as husband and boyfriend. Blood was found in the boyfriend's van (or the supposed boyfriend; he denies there was a relationship at all) on the floor carpet, the middle backseat and a dome light matching her blood type. DNA was not widely used at that time. I know DNA is now widely used but not in this case which leads me to believe the blood evidence was either not collected properly or not stored properly. There are living children so their DNA could be used to compare to the blood in question, assuming there is testable blood samples from the suspect's vehicle. As far as I know the van was not confiscated and there are no reports as to whether blood samples or items such as carpeting or seats were removed. As I said (although possibly wrong) I believe the blood evidence from the van is gone. It was also rumored (possibly reported in the paper) that the boyfriend had barrel(s) of chemicals at his home that could disintegrate a body. Kathy Dolan Heckel - Cold Case Investigations Someone from this website also mentioned the chemicals so I assume at some point it was reported unless that poster is also a local. I also heard the suspect lived in Renovo (can't confirm). The road leading to that town from Lock Haven has a large river on one side and state game land on the other and the town itself is surrounded by miles of forest. I also heard the suspect was seen leaving Pine Creek (also a very densly wooded area) on the day she went missing. It's possible the suspect lived in Pine Creek, as I can't confirm where he lived. I've never heard that this was an actual verified sighting either. Unless his van was either very distinctive or the witness recognized the driver it's possible this was a mistaken sighting having nothing to do with the case. And this last part is pure rumor. The adults I overheard discussing this case claimed the husband's alibi wasn't as air tight as it seemed and some people questioned his apparent disinterest with his wife being missing (again, I have no idea how he acted, if he was actively involved in the search, seemed concerned, etc). People claimed that because he was a "career" National Guard member his two week training was a formality and that he actually could have came and went as he pleased without anyone noticing. Whether that is actually possible I don't know. It's just what I heard. I do know the local authorities requested NCIS to help in the investigation a few years ago but they never said why they wanted NCIS to help. I have always wondered if the investigators were trying to verify his whereabouts but the DA here refused comment on the NCIS aspect. I imagine that because Katherine was a service member's wife NCIS might have some jurisdiction over the case so that could also be a reasonable theory about why local authorities are requesting their help. In any event Katherine was not officially reported missing until the following day. I imagine her husband was notified by family that same day but the exact hour is unknown. I guesstimate she left for lunch at either 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. that day. Her kids might not have even realized there was a problem until at least 4 or 5 p.m. Possibly even later. I will assume by 6:00 p.m. the kids were calling relatives and by at least 8:00 p.m. (although could be later) her husband was notified and thus accounted for by witnesses. That gives him at least eight hours after she went missing to hide the body and make the three hour trip back to training. In theory he could do it unless someone states they actually saw him at training between at least 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. that day. The boyfriend probably went to work the following day as expected (7 a.m. I assume) so he had roughly 20 hours to hide the body before people started paying attention to his whereabouts. I've also created a map of the locations of interest in this case: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208447250766798382818.0004af21a8a8cf398f45b&msa=0 I used the satellite version just to give everyone a better idea about how easy it would be to hide a body assuming chemicals weren't used. Most of the locations (and the roads getting to them) are densly wooded areas. It's been twenty years since this woman went missing and I'm praying someone can look at this case and see something that might solve this case. Her family deserves answers.