Home > Missing Persons > The Disappearance of Leah Roberts

The Disappearance of Leah Roberts

Last Edit: February 26th, 2011

I originally wrote this blog posting back in December 2010. This is a case that I have been interested in since it originally happened. At the time, I was 12 years old and in the 6th grade. Since I lived in Washington, it was on the local news frequently. Even at the time, it was clear that it was a very baffling missing persons case. 11 years later, the disappearance of Leah Roberts still remains unsolved. When I wrote this blog posting last December, my main sources of information were news articles, and a story on Leah’s disappearance on Unsolved Mysteries. However, last week, a new documentary aired on the disappearance of Leah Roberts. It contained a lot of new information, and so, I have decided to rewrite this post.

Leah Roberts was a 23-year-old woman from North Carolina who disappeared in March of 2000 in northern Washington State. Before Leah went missing, she was having a hard time with life. Both of her parents died, and she decided to drop out of college. Leah spent her days writing poetry, journal entries, and thinking about life.

On March 9th, 2000, without telling anyone, Leah Roberts decided to take off from North Carolina and drive across country to Washington State. This clearly wasn’t just a small trip. It can take up to a week to drive from one coast to the other. Leah told no one of her plans in advance, but Leah did leave a note to her loved ones explaining about her trip and insisted she was not suicidal. This was the last time Leah’s family saw her alive.

Nearly 10 days later, Leah’s jeep was discovered wrecked off Mount Baker highway in the cascade mountains in northern Washington State. Fuel receipts, a movie ticket stub, some of her belongings, and $2,500 of Leah’s money was found in a pants pocket in the jeep. In addition, clothes were hanging over the car, as if someone tried to build a shelter and protect themselves from the weather. Clothes were also on the side of the road, as if someone put them there to signal for help. Leah, however, was nowhere to be found.

Through gas receipts and surveillance tapes, police were able to establish that Leah did make it to Washington State and that she appeared to be alone. She also went and saw a movie on March 13th, 2000 and went to a nearby restaurant to eat. It is at this restaurant, that Leah talked to two men about her trip. Both men insisted though that they had nothing to do with Leah’s disappearance.

So, where was Leah? A few days after Leah’s jeep was found, a witness called police and said he believed he and his wife had seen Leah inside a gas station about 30 miles from the crash. He stated that she seemed confused and did not who she was. Before police could obtain additional details though, the man hung up.

Up until the episode of “Disappeared” that appeared on Investigation Discovery, this was about all that was known of Leah Roberts disappearance. The case was profiled on “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Larry King Live”, but this was several years ago. The leading theory appeared to be that Leah Roberts crashed her jeep, and suffered some sort of amnesia and may still be alive. Although foul play was never ruled out by police, I always personally leaned towards the theory that Leah Roberts had some sort of amnesia, or may have gotten lost in the woods. If there was foul play, I figured it may have been someone that came in contact with Leah AFTER the crash. With Leah’s case being profiled on “Disappeared” though, a lot of new details about the case came to light. Some of the biggest new information that was made available in this case was this:

- Leah’s jeep appeared to have been tampered with. This would have made it so that Leah’s jeep would accelerate (and crash) by itself.
- The second person Leah spoke with at the restaurant insists that she left with another man, and a sketch was created.
- Fingerprints and DNA were recovered from Leah’s Jeep.

This is clearly some major information that was revealed in “Disappeared”. A lot of the new information seems to support the theory that foul play was involved. This new information though seems to contradict some of the other bits of information. For instance, if someone tampered with Leah’s jeep and crashed her jeep, why would they do that? Why was some of the stuff in Leah’s jeep set outside of the jeep? Why were there clothes over the windows of the jeep? If someone was responsible for her disappearance, wrecking her jeep in the way it was done would just bring more attention to her disappearance.

Some more questions:

- What about the sighting at the gas station? This was not mentioned at all in the “Disappeared” documentary.
- How confident are detectives with the fingerprints and DNA that was recovered? For instance, could the fingerprints under the hood be from a mechanic with no connection to Leah’s disappearance?
- Why were some of Leah’s personal belongings (such as her hat, and her kitten) never found with the jeep?

Throughout these last 11 years, all sorts of theories have been thought of. Here are some of the theories people discuss:

- Leah wrecked her jeep, hitchhiked to get help, and was kidnapped by someone.
- Leah wrecked her jeep, hit her head, and is alive with some sort of amensia.
- Leah was kidnapped sometime before her car crashed, and the kidnapper crashed her car.
- Leah staged the crash and decided to start a new life.

With each of these theories, you can pretty much argue for or against the theory. It really is truly a baffling case. Evidence points in all different directions.

So what exactly happened? Is Leah still alive? Does she have amnesia? Was she murdered? Who was driving her jeep? Did someone really intentionally crash the jeep? Why did someone appear to seek shelter inside the jeep? There are so many questions, and so little answers. However, detectives refuse to give up on this case. With possible fingerprints and DNA being found, it’s possible that one day, we might finally know what happened to Leah Roberts.

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  1. Britney
    February 24th, 2011 at 06:56 | #1

    I just watched the episode of Dissapeared on Investigation Discovery Channel. I hope that oneday the family gets the answers they are looking for. I couldn’t imagine not knowing what happened. In the episode they had searched all the way down to the river (I forget the name of it). I wonder if the searched along the riverbank. Wouldnt you think that the river flowing like it showed on tv would be an option for grtting rid of a body If foul play is what took place what happened? They had said on the episode the car was set to excelorate on it’s own. That would have to mean she was followed up there. If so more than likely someone from the shopping mall that day. And the two men from lunch did know she was traveling alone. The one lying about her leaving with a man. Is calls to the police department recorded? Would be something to start doing. They could compare the voice of the anonymous caller with the men from the bar. Why would her mothers ring be off? Why would nothing be stolen out of the vehicle? You would think if she wanted a new life the one thing she would have took was the ring and the cash. Is it possible she did know someone from up there and the crash and leaving everything behind was set up to throw everyone off. It’s really a case that points to so many different directions. It could be anything. I really hope the family finds her alive and safe. I’ll be praying for them and googling her name often in hopes of a good update. Love and prayers to the family. Thanks for this website. Hopefully more post will come up and she will be found.

  2. Justin
    February 24th, 2011 at 11:42 | #2

    Thanks for the comment! Also, your comment made me aware of her case being discussed on the show you mentioned. I looked and found it listed on iTunes. I’ll have to watch it soon and see the episode. Thanks again.

  3. Paula
    February 25th, 2011 at 22:33 | #3

    I tend to think that one of the guys at the bar is the correct suspect and someone could have disposed of her body and then staged the car crash to deflect suspicion. She had told the men all about her Jack Kerouak sp?? ideas and why she travelled there. The sheets on the windows could just be more misdirection.

  4. Justin
    February 26th, 2011 at 01:02 | #4

    The recent show on Investigation Discovery was really eye-opening about the case. Up until that aired, very little information was known about the possible suspects, or the vehicle being tampered with. Previous media references towards the case all referred to the possibility of Leah having some sort of Amnesia. This documentary really didn’t take that route. But it also gave a lot of other theories to think about. I’ll update this post soon with the newer information.

  5. Mary
    February 28th, 2011 at 00:28 | #5

    It seems to me that with the jeep being tampered with, foul play was involved – especially since her mom’s ring and the money were still in the car. I wonder if they talked to the first guy at the bar/rest. again about the #2 guy. Seems #2 guy is suspect. He couldn’t have know where she was heading and caught up with her after she left. Even if the fingerprints they found under the hood didn’t match, it still could have been him. The fingerprints could have been a mechanic from the past that worked on the car. He’s in Canada – fled? Maybe he had done this sort of thing before. She sounded like a feisty girl and he probably knew she had money and when she wouldn’t give it to him he killed her and got rid of the jeep, hurried, so he never found the money. Hope this someday is resolved.

  6. Jeff
    February 28th, 2011 at 00:44 | #6

    Just watched show and went online looking to see if there were any updates. I have a semi detective mind so based on the evidence here’s my best guess.

    From what I could gather although Leah was well traveled, she still seemed from her actions to trust most everyone. Telling the men at the restaurant that she was traveling alone, etc. That being said, my guess is that one of them invited her to something that evening. Or a recommendation on a place she could spend the night in her car. In nature, etc.

    Anyway, this I think would explain the drapes on window, pants with still in car, ring off, etc.. Leah being on an adventure I think would be into Something like that. A quiet night sleeping in her car in nature. She took off clothes and ring to sleep. But instead as she slept man or men pull her out of car then rig car to crash well off road. There main goal was getting her hence why they didn’t look for or take anything like money and ring,etc.

  7. Justin
    February 28th, 2011 at 01:38 | #7

    @Jeff

    There’s a lot of different theories in the case. It really seems like anything could have happened. One thing to remember though was that the clothes draped over the window would have happened AFTER the crash, meaning, if Leah stayed in the car and took shelter, she likely had crashed the car.

  8. JJ
    March 5th, 2011 at 19:16 | #8

    I just watched the episode of her story on Disappeared. It struck me with the theory of foul play. I believe her abduction occured at the restaurant. Whomever is responsible for disappearance probably already had information about her soul searching journey as she seemed to willing share this information everyone she encountered. I believe the wreckage was a cover up to make it look like she wrecked and was injured, etc covering windows. If someone killed her out of cold blood then robbery wouldnt be a factor.

  9. Jada Stewart
    March 8th, 2011 at 21:43 | #9

    I can’t get this story out of my head. I live in Washington but knew nothing about this case until seeing it on Disappeared the other day. I think the 2nd man at the bar knows what happened to her. I think she probably told him she was traveling alone and he followed her after leaving the bar. The show said that his story did not fit with the story the 1st man gave at the bar and he gave a very detailed description of a man she supposedly left with, probably to draw attention away from himself. I think he ditched her jeep afterwards to make it look as though she had been in an accident. If she had amnesia and was in the area, I think at some point someone would’ve recognized her from the news.

    If she did drive out there on her own, I wonder how she knew about that road, not being from the area? Did someone guide her there or suggest she go there? This is a remote area where a crime could easily take place without anyone hearing/seeing anything. I know the surrounding area was searched, but it being dense woods, many things could be overlooked/not seen.

  10. Justin
    March 8th, 2011 at 22:06 | #10

    @Jada Stewart

    If I remember correctly, she had wanted to visit Mount Baker possibly because one of the books she liked took place there. The road her jeep was found at is just off Mount Baker Highway. You go up the highway, and there is a road you can turn off onto. That road is where her jeep was found.

  11. Janice
    May 6th, 2011 at 06:55 | #11

    I’d have to agree with the foul play scenario. I have a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, and have had experience with everything from police detectives to the DA’s office of a major city and the Sheriff’s Deparment, as well as having served as a jury member on a criminal case where forensic evidence was involved, and two of my close relatives were murdered. I can tell you from a professional standpoint that nowadays with all the forensic technology we have and new policing techniques, it is extremely hard to just disappear or wander around with amnesia unclaimed for this long when you are the story of national news headlines. If she did have amnesia it is extremely likely that she either would have wandered into a hospital at some point, or that someone would have taken her in to get help where her identity would be cross checked. And even if she wanted to disappear, the internet and tv shows are a huge privacy killer, and it would be very hard to do so after all this exposure. Also, considering she left a note to her sister telling her about her trip, it is unlikely she would willingly disappear from her family for this long. Most likely it was one of the men she ran into along the way. I had an ex-gf who was very into this kind of thing, and went on a few solo cross country trips just like Leah’s and she confirmed that she ran into a lot of potentially dangerous scenarios with strangers along the way, but she was lucky to make it unharmed. These cross country solo kind of trips get lonely, and you reach out to people you meet along the way, and as a young single woman, unfortunately this can go terribly wrong as it did in this case. Though new technology and advances in detective methods make it incredibly hard to get away with murder nowadays, unfortunately that usually only holds true if the murderer knows and can be linked to the victim. If it’s a random killing or an isolated abduction, it may as well have taken place in the stone age, and those are the cases that unfortunately will continue to remain unsolved despite contemporary advances in policing and investigation science.

  12. Justin
    May 6th, 2011 at 11:44 | #12

    @Janice
    Good comment!

  13. Todd
    May 8th, 2011 at 22:19 | #13

    No doubt it was foul play. And more than likely it was the guy who lied about her leaving the restraunt with another man. As for why he would have crashed her car into the woods, well, what was he going to do with it? It’s not like he could Keep it in his garage. He had to get rid of it after doing whatever he did to Leah. I’m sure he knew it would be found eventually, but what other choice did the person have? The only slightly plausible other scenario is that Leah did it herself in order to disappear and start a new life. That, however, is a HUGE stretch and begs the question, how would Leah have known enough about cars to rig hers to accelerate on its own? Only someone with the knowledge of an automechanic (which the suspect in this case has) would be able to pull off something like that. There is almost no doubt in my mind the suspect in this case did something to Leah. I just hope he can eventually be forced to face justice.

  14. Justin
    May 10th, 2011 at 20:00 | #14

    @Todd

    You make a lot of good points. However, I think the way the jeep was found should be looked at closely. It’s not uncommon for a suspect to get rid of a car but this is usually done by burning it, driving it into a pond, leaving it at the side of the road, etc. Messing with the car under the hood, crashing it, putting clothes over it, putting clothes on the side of the road, etc., is very unusual and if this is the work of foul play, there must be some reason as to why this was done.

  15. Todd
    May 11th, 2011 at 00:15 | #15

    True, but we don’t know exactly how things went down. Perhaps this guy told Leah about a secluded area where she could sleep in her car that night without being disturbed (I think somebody else already mentioned that possibility) and then came after her later that evening. Maybe a struggle took place that would explain clothes being on the side of the road. If this guy had never done anything like that before, it’s possible he didn’t fully think it through and panicked after harming Leah. It’s possible that Leah herself put the clothes over the windows to keep bugs out while still being able to have the windows down while she was sleeping. There are a lot of things I can’t make sense of, but just thinking in broad strokes, I have little doubt that the guy she met in that restaurant who lied about seeing her leaving with some other man MUST have had something to do with whatever happened to Leah. I’m stating the obvious here, but people who haven’t done anything wrong have no reason to lie. Plus, he would have known how to rig a car to accelerate on its own, which is a skill I’m pretty sure Leah didn’t have. You’re right that it would have made more sense for him to burn the car or put it in a pond, but panic make fools of all of us. That or he might not be that bright. I’d like to know if he has relatives in Canada or any prior connection to that country. If not, then his moving there puts an even larger bullseye on him as far as I’m concerned.

  16. Justin
    May 11th, 2011 at 15:04 | #16

    @Todd

    Yeah, you make a lot of good points. There are still a lot of unanswered questions with some of the evidence even. Personally, I am curious as to just how difficult it is to rig a car to crash the way it did. That struck me as being something that would require a lot of skill. Then again, I’m not much of a mechanic and I don’t really know what I’m talking about. lol ;)

  17. Todd
    May 11th, 2011 at 15:54 | #17

    @Justin
    A vehicle mechanic would know how to do that. It really wouldn’t be that difficult for someone with knowledge of how a car engine operates. And he wouldn’t neccessarily have to be Einstein to do it. I know a guy who could probably take a car apart and put it back together again while blindfolded, but if you asked if what two plus two equals, he’d likely say “five” even after thinking about it for a few minutes. I, on the other hand, graduated from high school with a 3.89 grade average and college with 3.8. My major was psychology. Despite that, I can barely change a tire, let alone do anything with a car engine.
    I just can’t get past several things when it comes to the suspect.
    1. He gave a detailed description of a guy he says Leah left the restaurant with, but we know almost as a fact that this person never existed. In other words, the suspect lied about a major detail.
    2. He has knowledge of car mechanics and would have the skill to rig an engine to accelerate on its own.
    3. He moved to Canada. Like I said before, I’d like to know more about that. If he had previous connections to that country, maybe he would have other reasons to move there besides attempting to distance himself from authorities in the U.S. If he just moved there without ever having even visited before or having friends or relatives there, that would seem like an odd move.
    The bottom line is that this world is not always a good place. A pretty, young, and sweetly naive female like Leah apparently was (and by calling her naive, I mean no insult. Perhaps saying she was too trusting might have been a better way to put it) going on a trip by herself thousands of miles away from any family or friends is not a good situation.

  18. Richard
    June 11th, 2011 at 01:22 | #18

    I,m from Durham,N.C. just saw the story on disappeared tonight. I hope she is alive and well.
    but I don’t think she would take her family through all the pain if she just wanted to start over.

  19. Wayno
    June 11th, 2011 at 01:52 | #19

    She wasn’t in the car when it went down the hill. There would have been some blood from such a wreck. If she was kidnapped and the kidnapper wrecked her car then he obviously lives very close to the crash site or had an accomplice. Someone had to pick him up. Maybe it was both of the guys at the bar. Just a theory.

  20. Blake
    June 11th, 2011 at 04:21 | #20

    The only mystery surrounding this case is who killed her. Foul play is clearly involved. Clearly someone abducted and killed her. Then tampered with the jeep, to have it drive off the road at a high rate of speed. There was $2,500 in the jeep, along with all of her possessions she considered of value to her. Obviously, this man isn’t motivated by money, it goes far beyond that, to something more sick and sinister then most of us will ever understand. I think their’s a strong chance this man is a serial killer. To make matters worse, he’s clearly very intelligent. Obviously through conversation with her, he discovered she was over 1,000 miles away from home. Had just arrived in town, didn’t know anyone and most importantly, nobody would immediatly miss her.

  21. June 11th, 2011 at 12:59 | #21

    i agree with most foul play was def. a factor and that man at the bar/rest. who saw her last had something to do with it i think just my opinion… but my prayers go out to her family and friends i hope this case is solved

  22. jeeps – nj
    August 15th, 2011 at 18:29 | #22

    I think her ring was taken off and left in the vehicle by the perp in case the body was ever found. The ring would have identified the body.

  23. August 15th, 2011 at 19:18 | #23

    The fact that the killer passed up 2,400 dollars in cash suggests he was a sexual sadist. He could have removed her clothing without checking her pants pocket. He could have rolled the jeep down the steep hill without bothering to check the belongings inside it. (Was the 2,400 dollars found within the clutter inside the jeep or in Leah’s pants pocket ?) Either way, someone who looks over his shoulder for police / sheriffs and then declines a “free gift” of such a large sum of money has to be a psychopath with an obsessive fix on torturing and raping women or necrophilia.

    The Investigation Discovery channel repeated the “Disappeared” segment on Leah approximately two hours ago in the Pacific time zone. Did you all notice the soundbite comment by Detective Collins (who inherited the case from the older detective who investigated it in 2000 and then retired from the sheriffs’ office) that Leah spent only one hundred dollars in cash during her entire trip ? That reveals she had a personality trait that her killer could have had, or he could have pretended to have that trait in order to harm her. I shall explain.

    Throughout Leah’s entire cross – country journey, the only purchases she made with her debit card were for gas and one motel room in Tennessee. In 2000, one hundred dollars barely covered all the meals she would have needed for eight days plus her multiplex ticket for the movie American Beauty plus her meal in the Bellingham, Washington eatery where the psychopath chatted her up.

    Backing up to the four days she spent in the Deep South, Texas and New Mexico, we know she had to sleep inside her car there. I visited those parts in 2000, and I can tell you that a single night at a motel near an interstate would have eaten up too big a chunk of the 100 dollars cash that was her limit. So she slept inside her car near those interstates. Even if she parked in parking lots in order to nod off in the driver’s seat, that tells you she had a quality that a murderer could have picked up on, and he could have told her he, too, preferred nodding off in a parked car to an Econolodge. And then he sank his hooks in deeper.

    This a tactic that abusive husbands do with women they have known for several months, and it’s a tactic that a sexually twisted psychopath uses with a woman he has seen for a few minutes. Read “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them” by Dr. Susan Forward.

    So we know Leah had something in common with her murderer: neither enjoyed spending money lavishly. It is likely neither was interested in visiting Las Vegas. That is a place that most drifters west of the Mississippi want to see at least once. I promise you Leah’s killer was a sexually twisted psychopath who presented to strangers the one part of his personality that seemed positive: a Jack Kerouac — style disgust with lavish spending and consumerism. (I won’t say “hippie style disgust” because Kerouac became famous before anyone coined the word hippie. Kerouac’s friend Ginsberg coined “hipster,” but not hippie.) That’s not going to work with a Las Vegas prostitute who is legally allowed to turn tricks, so I promise you the Las Vegas police are the last people on Earth who can find Leah’s murderer. Sheriffs in Bellingham, Washington should use a profile of a white man who is knowledgeable about jeep engines and pretends to be an antimaterialist iconoclast in order to satisfy his sexual fetishes. And keep looking for a match for those fingerprints and that DNA. Keep in touch with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Sheriffs can solve the case.

  24. Leslie
    August 15th, 2011 at 22:54 | #24

    Here is my take and questions to this, First off has anyone read the details of the book that was spoke about? It stated that he wanted to travel free? Maybe she followed details of the book and created her own disappearance to throw everyone off to think she has died and in actuality she may have started a totally new life. I have a large interest in forensics and crime scenes and some of the things just scream staged to me! Her mothers ring for one everyone knew she would never take it off well maybe she was aware of that. Also she pulled 3k out of the bank before she left, Why would she use a credit card for just $20 worth of fuel if she didn’t purposely want to leave a trail an also use it several other times to show her travel direction? There are too many pieces of this puzzle that don’t fit for foul play. If this was a case of persay a rape murder the killer would have taken momentos why wouldn’t he take cold hard cash? You could tell she was alive and stayed by the vehicle for a time period. The note to her room mate stated the she was fine and it did not speak of her intentions of coming back also Jester the cat does disappear and when he reappears noone knows him

  25. Leslie
    August 15th, 2011 at 23:38 | #25

    I also just wanted to add this from Jack Kerouac bio sounds like he really inspired her to do this. Early career: 1950–1957

    Kerouac wrote constantly, carrying a notebook with him everywhere. Letters to friends and family members tended to be long and rambling, including great detail about his daily life and thoughts. Prior to becoming a writer, he tried a varied list of careers. He was a sports reporter for The Lowell Sun; a temporary worker in construction and food service; a United States Merchant Marine and he joined the United States Navy twice.
    here is the link just so much info that sounds like her story.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac

  26. Pamela
    August 16th, 2011 at 17:46 | #26

    I just watched the show yesterday and it has stayed with me – I read Jack Kerouac’s book, ‘On the Road’ several years ago and it struck me that Leah’s state of mind could lead her to both take this trip and to stage this crash, leaving the money behind as well as her mother’s ring to confuse people investigating her disappearance. Perhaps her different crowd of friends back in Durham included a new friend (possibly boyfriend) who lived in Washington or at least met her there to help her stage this disappearance. I can identify with loving one’s family but feeling very separate in your own soul from them at an early age and wanting to go off and lead your own life unencumbered in a way that could be that much more pronounced by losing both parents in Leah’s case, as well as living through her own traumatic, almost fatal accident. I agree with Leslie that if foul play was involved that the person most likely would have searched for, found and taken the money and also the ring. I wonder if Leah did have a ‘friend’ helping her if he/she would already have had enough financial security to leave Leah’s money untouched to confuse any investigation.

    It would be interesting/enlightening to know more of the man who moved to Canada though –
    I wonder if our laws or theirs in Canada allowed any further questioning and if so, what did he
    say? We assume guilt but perhaps he is legitimately innocent and only left this country to avoid
    what may have been ongoing harrassment and suspicion – or perhaps there is some other reason
    for his move not related to Leah’s situation at all.

    Somehow I hope that Leah is still alive and happy in her life. I do feel for her family members at the same time as it must be so hard to live with this mystery.

  27. viv
    September 12th, 2011 at 01:15 | #27

    @Justin
    i don’t think it’s strange that someone tried to get rid of leah’s vehicle by making it go off the side of the road.
    i’m wondering if he thought it would go so far off the road, it wouldn’t be found. and when it didn’t end up too far off the road – he went down & tried to make it look worse than it was by throwing clothes & things around. that way, if the car was found, people might think she’d been disoriented and wandered off into the wilderness.

  28. viv
    September 12th, 2011 at 01:18 | #28

    @Pamela
    i don’t think the money & ring being left behind rules out foul play AT ALL. it’s an unfortunate fact of life for the female gender – but, foul play in the case of a missing lone female isn’t usually due to robbery.

  29. viv
    September 12th, 2011 at 01:24 | #29

    @Pamela
    i don’t think the 2nd guy from the bar moving to canada is the shadiest thing he did. it was making up some story about a guy named “barry” who leah supposedly left with. remember – the bartender said leah left alone – so, the 1st guy from the bar (who voluntarily called the police 1st), probably was telling the truth when he said he saw leah leave alone.
    so, why did guy #2 make up “barry” – even giving a detailed description of him. and who would remember that sort of detail about another restaurant patron you weren’t even talking to?
    i really think guy #2 is super shady & i’m sure there are many details that aren’t shared in the t.v. show (“disappeared” – which i just watched on youtube). hopefully, one of those details is that they have a lot more on the suspect than they want him to know so that he’ll trip himself up someday.

  30. Troy
    September 20th, 2011 at 11:38 | #30

    When I saw this story and did some research on the internet, I formulated my own opinion. Here is my theory:

    Leah goes to the restaraunt and eats at the bar, just like most people do when travelling alone. While at the bar she strikes up conversations with two men AND the bartender (a local resident). When Leah gets up to leave, the bartender walks her out. I can understand how some details, the physical description, and timeline might be messed up. For example if you go out to eat during a restaraunts “slow time”, an employee or host/hostess normally says goodbye or thanks for coming. This probably doesn’t seem unusual to anyone in the establishment since she could be asking for directions or making arrangements to meet later. Maybe the bartender was “Barry”. Anyways, Leah goes to a movie by herself to wait for the bartender to get off work. They meet up and hang out. While driving on a scenic highway, something happens in her Jeep, whether accidental or on purpose causing an accident. Leah is knocked unconscious or something similar and thinks her passenger is going for help. But in reality she is confused and her passenger actually escapes in fear of being in arrested for assualt or something similar. Her passenger may have even been married or committed to someone else and ran in fear of being caught by their spouse or partner. Maybe they did not realize the extent of Leah’s injuries or the possiblity of amnesia. Leah then camped out waiting for help that never arrived and left her Jeep looking for help, not knowing where she was at or who she was. I pray she is still alive.

  31. Malcolm
    October 1st, 2011 at 08:21 | #31

    Some questions for me:

    - Why was her mother’s ring removed?
    - Why was the money still in the car?
    - Why was a blanket draped over the broken window?
    - Who messed with the car’s accelerator?

    Foul play was almost certainly at hand:
    - by someone who had no need for money;
    - by someone with mechanical knowledge

    The second suspect in the bar, the one who fled to Canada, is really suspicious. Why did the police not ask him to submit to a polygraph, to at least allow them to rule him out?

    What about footage from the Mall – surely there would have been recorded images of her leaving the mall, possibly of another car following her?

    Where did she go after leaving the mall?

    Did Leah go to the cinema before or after the meal in the restaurant? If after did someone go to the movies with her?

  32. Dex
    October 2nd, 2011 at 06:09 | #32

    fter seeing the documentary on I.D. I’m very curious to find out whether there’s any news on the DNA that was found. Based on all the comments above I guess not…?

    My money would also be on “bar guy #2″.

    He (apparently) dreams up a suspect for the police, with a very detailed (to good to be true) description and a conveniently common name like “Barry”. There’s no other logical reason to do this other than to lead police astray, in a direction away from yourself i.e. the real suspect. Innocent people don’t do that.

    Something worth keeping in mind is the very fact that he gave such a detailed description. This is a telling clue about his personality, and how his mind works. It’s not that easy for most people to dream up such a specific and detailed picture from blank. For most people it’s even rather difficult to give a good description from someone they actually know. Let alone ‘create’ a realistic description out of the blue. It’s not as easy as one might think, since all separate features have to ‘match’ to get a realistic face in the end. If he was videotaped during his description it might be *very* interesting for a profiler to study his facial expressions, body language etc. during this session.

    Secondly, the question *why* he gave such a detailed description is equally interesting. Why take the time and effort? It would be a lot easier (and quicker) to be rather generic with the description, less specific. Yet this guy opts to spend quite a bit of time with the police to give a very detailed face to an imaginary guy, combined with a very generic name. That speaks volumes about his personality.

    Methinks it would be wise to let a good (FBI) profiler take a look at this. The guy is a very likely suspect, finding out what makes him tick might prove to be very revealing.

    Leah doing a voluntary ‘disappearing act’ makes no sense to me at all. First of all; why would she? She was already living her dream… Why shove her means of transportation (aka her “symbol of freedom”), her inheritance (financing her dream), her favorite music, clothes and everything she cared enough about to take it with her down a mountain? No way! Let alone the fact she probably couldn’t even rig the Jeep that way if she wanted to.

    Secondly, you’d have to really hate your family & friends to put them trough such an ordeal, I don’t believe that to be the case.

    The most likely scenario is that someone (probably guy #2) pointed her towards a “great spot to camp out in the car” which advice she probably took. The creep followed her and attacked her on this isolated spot. He tried to get rid of the car in the way we’ve seen.

    The clothes and other items strewn across the scene are actually explained by detective Collins; this was thrown from the car when it rolled several times, sideways and end over end. That’ll do it, so no mystery here.

    The blankets were most likely clamped between the car door by Leah, in an attempt to put up improvised curtains for the night. Makes sense for a girl sleeping alone in a car I guess…

    Therefore I think this wasn’t done after the crash but rather before the night…

    The car windows will break upon impact, but a blanket fixed this way could probably stay more or less intact, even while rolling off a mountain.

    Leah may have been a bit to trusting but she would hardly tell a stranger about her money. He probably wasn’t after that, didn’t know about it and never looked for it. It was found in “a pair of jeans” which is not necessarily the pair of jeans she was wearing. Given the sheer bulk of the bills it’s even more likely she hid the money in her spare clothes instead of on her person.

    The ring was important for her, maybe she dropped it between the floor boards on purpose when she saw her attacker, to prevent him from taking it or perhaps even seeing it. Not really a stretch, to drop something small but valuable between the seats f.i. if you fear you’re going to be robbed.

    It’s not very likely she survived the attack, but at the other hand, every now and then you hear about kidnap victims being kept prisoner in someone’s back yard or cellar for years or even decades. Apparently the perverts all look “normal” right up to their arrest… Maybe even more reason to take a very close look at “guy #2″.

    I sincerely hope the DNA results will soon enable justice to finally be done, and maybe bring some closure for the family.

    One would also wish international and interdepartmental cooperation will be streamlined drastically. It’s absurd in this day and age that it takes years to exchange data between the US and Canada f.i. It’s in everyone’s interest to terminate this bureaucracy immediately. Stop sheltering criminals, law enforcement organisations everywhere in the civilised world cooperate!

  33. jeffspirit
    October 7th, 2011 at 22:27 | #33

    Wow. All great comments and interest of this person. Good. Connections. That makes things happen. Saw this on the net, won’t say where cause the goof stupes will yank it.

    But great. Hope this is resolved someday. Too bad this great young lady did this of recent day. She’d might have made it had she done this 40, 50 years ago. Seemed smart girl, but have to think too the girls then mind set would not be today. Can’t imagine Patty Duke off on mystery mind tour for universe/God.

    Then though, James Deans girlfriend might just do that. So today is now, the young lady had sights for insights for those mysteries some of us seek, some say no, others go. Watching this story made me think just what I said above. Too bad it was not that author’s time who did this, she’d a made a great partner for the dude. Then she’d a made it.

    And yeah, one of the first things I thought of, Green River Killer. Was this an unclaimed/unconnected victim? Dude could have been in the area, passin’ thru.

  34. Patrick
    November 8th, 2011 at 05:10 | #34

    Justin’s 3rd theory is most likely correct. Except what most are missing is the fact that it took one person to drive Leah’s vehicle to the scene and another to pick or follow the first person. How else would a person make it out after crashing the car?

  35. jimmyB
    November 9th, 2011 at 19:39 | #35

    She was alive but injured after crash. She used jeep as shelter(covering windows with clothing) protecting her from the elements. She gained strength and attempted to hike out of forest. She died from exposure or wild animals.

  36. Scott
    November 10th, 2011 at 03:25 | #36

    My theory is very similar to one of the shared theories above, many seem to be very strong opinions which make very strong don’t points. Obviously, guy number 2 is a predator preying on a young women because this is what he does! He lies to police giving this detailed description for one reason and one reason only, to mislead the investigators because he knows its been several years and the other witnesses’ accounts will be somewhat blurry. Then we find out that he has a background as a mechanic so this is definitely red flag #2 now! Now we find out he has moved out of the country. If there is not a very good, plausible explanation for his move such as family, prior residence there, or something that makes everyone rule him out as a suspect, he should be extradited. Have a good idea that they have a substantial amount of evidence we don’t know about. After a polygraph and DNA analysis, this will more than likely be your monster or knows the answers to her whereabouts and if she is deceased, what happened and who/why this happened giving he passes analysis, test, and interrogation which I strongly believe he will be their guy. Just pray he isn’t continuing to do this while we have to go thru all of the proper international procedures to get his ass back in Washington!

  37. Scott
    November 10th, 2011 at 03:40 | #37

    @Scott
    But anyone who thinks that there is not fail play involved needs to open there eyes. She would have never left her last 2400$ and especially not her mother’s ring. She only has one brother and one sister left in her immediate family, I just cannot fathom her putting them thru this because she wants to start a new life. Pretty sure that theory has been ruled out along with the amnesia theories. FOUL PLAY is the only theory that answers every question the Jeep evidence provides us. We must hold this monster/monsters accountable and bring JUSTICE FOR LEAH! I pray she is alive but the evidence points elsewhere!

  38. Justin
    November 10th, 2011 at 04:47 | #38

    jimmyB :

    She was alive but injured after crash. She used jeep as shelter(covering windows with clothing) protecting her from the elements. She gained strength and attempted to hike out of forest. She died from exposure or wild animals.

    But why would she need to hike out of the forest? Her jeep was found just off the road. If she was injured in a crash, she would have likely been found if she had stuck to walking along the road.

  39. Justin
    November 10th, 2011 at 04:53 | #39

    Scott :

    @Scott
    But anyone who thinks that there is not fail play involved needs to open there eyes. She would have never left her last 2400$ and especially not her mother’s ring. She only has one brother and one sister left in her immediate family, I just cannot fathom her putting them thru this because she wants to start a new life. Pretty sure that theory has been ruled out along with the amnesia theories. FOUL PLAY is the only theory that answers every question the Jeep evidence provides us. We must hold this monster/monsters accountable and bring JUSTICE FOR LEAH! I pray she is alive but the evidence points elsewhere!

    At this point, I don’t think any of those theories has been ruled out. The problem with the foul play theory is that there is no direct evidence of foul play. Leaving her money behind is strange. Leaving behind her mothers ring is strange. Having her car potentially altered is strange, etc. It’s all strange, but it’s not the same level as a potential weapon being found, eye witnesses spotting her being abducted, any type of evidence of assault at the scene, etc. At this point, there is no direct evidence.

  40. Ashley
    November 10th, 2011 at 09:41 | #40

    Just got done watching the Disappeared episode. I think there was definitely foul play involved. In my opinion i believe both patrons from the bar followed her or told her where she could go and “nothing would happen to her.” She was sleeping in the car, they snatched her out of her car and forced her into another. After crashing her car and kidnapping her who knows. I find it suspicious not only about #2 description of “Barry” but also when #1 called the police he knew exactly who #2 was and where to find him. I think they both had something to do with this and that was their MO. Find innocent unsuspecting females at these bars or restaurants. Once the police questioned both of them about the activities of the day, they intentionally had opposite stories about how she left to throw off the police. Everyone has really good points and questions but unfortunalty i dont think there will ever be answers. I pray for her and her family for some kind of closure, they have been through hell.

  41. Rachel
    November 10th, 2011 at 22:57 | #41

    just watched the disappeared show and all that money they found? If she was killed why leave all that money.

  42. laurie
    November 14th, 2011 at 00:09 | #42

    she is dead from foul play..she was probably raped and her body was buried deep in the woods. thats why the money and ring were not stolen….

  43. Stephanie
    November 14th, 2011 at 00:17 | #43

    I have traveled cross country before and although I was not alone whenever we stopped we covered everything that was in the car (luggage, personal items, etc.) so that no one was tempted to break in and steal anything. I wonder if this might explain the clothes covering the windows, especially if she stopped to eat lunch and watch a movie.

  44. Justin
    November 14th, 2011 at 00:19 | #44

    Stephanie :

    I have traveled cross country before and although I was not alone whenever we stopped we covered everything that was in the car (luggage, personal items, etc.) so that no one was tempted to break in and steal anything. I wonder if this might explain the clothes covering the windows, especially if she stopped to eat lunch and watch a movie.

    To my knowledge, the clothing was placed on the car after the crash.

  45. Tom
    November 14th, 2011 at 00:38 | #45

    @jimmyB
    Actually, I think Jimmy is correct. I don’t think the car was wrigged by a mechanic; the cops found what they consider to be that evidence years later, when the vehicle had spent long years outside.

    I think she accidentally wrecked the car, was indeed injured, but not immobilized. She was trying to use the car as a shelter, and stayed there for a while. Then instead of going back to the road, she tried to make her way in unfamiliar territory. I think she was found by a wolf pack, or mountain lion, or a bear, and she lost her life that way.

    There’s not enough evidence of any abduction or foul play for me,a nd I just find it far easier to imagine that she was in a state she knew nothing about, with driving conditions she had never faced before. She wrecked the car and was injured and probably mentally impaired, which prevented her from goign back up to the road.

    I agree with Jimmy. I think wild animals killed this girl.

  46. alexander supertramp
    November 17th, 2011 at 03:46 | #46

    I too have just finished the disappeared episode… foul play seems obvious in this case but I also keep thinking of the similarities in leah and Chris mcCandles… same authors, same spirit, east to west, ditch the car, burn/leave money… hopefully not dead though. Wierd

  47. Raging Ranter
    November 28th, 2011 at 04:14 | #47

    I just saw the episode today. They definitely revealed some new information, particularly the crossed stories of the two men who sat on either side of her at the bar the last time they were alive. This is the first time I’ve even heard of them having a suspect. However, I was confused about the detective’s assertion right at the end, when he said, “Hopefully we can rule him out.” Even if the DNA does not match, that doesn’t completely rule him out does it? Someone else could have left DNA in there at any time. Could be from just about anyone. I don’t see how the detective could make that statement. But then there’s probably a lot more they aren’t revealing, so who knows?

  48. Marie
    December 16th, 2011 at 11:57 | #48

    @Justin
    Yes, very good comment!

  49. Marie
    December 16th, 2011 at 12:01 | #49

    Ouch. Commented the wrong comment:) Janice left a very good comment.

  50. December 26th, 2011 at 21:41 | #50

    Really strange …

  51. Kellyann Fable
    January 2nd, 2012 at 23:37 | #51

    I honestly think she was on her own quest…and something went awry…it is sad and strange

  52. connie
    January 2nd, 2012 at 23:47 | #52

    @Justin Maybe…but the clothes were rolled up in the window so they could have been there before the roll down the hill. If the windows didn’t break then the clothes would still be trapped in the rolled up window. I agree with Jeff that I think she was sleeping in the car and was taken from it then it was sent over the edge to cover it up. There is no way she was in the jeep when it went down the hill. No blood in the car at all?? I don’t see how that it possible. even a drop from a scratch? and the fact that the kitten wasn’t there…well it could have walked into the woods.
    Was she at the movies alone? Which one of the two guys from the cafe is lying? They assume it is the 2nd one cuz he gave a description of someone she left with and the 1st guy says she didn’t leave with anyone. maybe the 1st one is lying to protect someone.
    It is a terrible story and I truly hope she does have amnesia and is found soon.

  53. Sara
    January 3rd, 2012 at 00:26 | #53

    Did anyone fingerprint the back of the car? It seems that it could have been pushed down the embankment!!! Yes, it seems as though someone tried to live in the car after the crash but no matter what, she was not in the car. It would be notable to fingerprint around the windows where the towels were put as well. I think she did branch out on a voyage alone but then came in contact with someone who ended her trip so short of where she wanted to end up. I pray she is found and answers to what happened to her can come about.

  54. Paige
    January 3rd, 2012 at 08:27 | #54

    I agree with you. The car would have shown trace evidence of blood if she had been in the car while it crashed. No one is able to get away from a wreck like that with not even a scratch. The second witness was to detailed. How often are we detailed with a common conversation at a restaurant. Plus, it shows that he had way to much interest in her.
    Then the call from a unknown man stating that he and his wife had saw her looking confused.
    Why would he hang up unless scared of being recorded. Possible that call was planned to try and lead the police to any but homicide.
    If Leah did walk away from that sight with a kitten etc
    She would never have survived the wilderness and it’s animals.
    I hope that she is one day found and that she will be alive and well.
    I can not imagine the fear and grief her family has been going through.
    @Jada Stewart

  55. mdh
    January 15th, 2012 at 05:28 | #55

    there is a video up on her hometown cbs station website about her but it’s nothing new:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/10601523/#/vid10601523

    • Justin
      January 15th, 2012 at 05:55 | #56

      Great link, thanks!

  56. tmintz
    January 24th, 2012 at 01:38 | #57

    check out this site. i put in Leahs info and got back 2 hits, https://identifyus.org/en/cases/search

  57. tmintz
    January 24th, 2012 at 01:53 | #58

    Sorry this is the correct link.
    https://identifyus.org/en
    You just put in as much info as you know and it tells you if there is an unidentified person in the state.
    I did not know this website existed until today.

  58. February 3rd, 2012 at 22:23 | #59

    I saw the episode today and felt like sharing my observations. I haven’t read all of your comments above so maybe a similar idea has been mentioned before. If it has, I’m sorry.
    As far as I remember, one of the witnesses claimed that Leah has been talking with the men at the restaurant about Jack Kerouac. She could have told the men about planning to go to Mount Baker because of his books. Who knows, maybe they were pretending to be his fans as well, asked her about the details and suggested to keep her company? Or at least guy #2 who made up the whole story about Barry. It’s really suspicious that he gave such a detailed description of the other man. I don’t think I would perfectly remember the appearance of a person randomly met at a bar. Plus, he had the knowledge of car mechanics, so it would have been easy for him to make Leah’s car accelerate on its own. It has been proven that the driver couldn’t have been inside the vehicle when it fell down, so I believe that the suspect must have faked the accident. Of course, the vehicle could have been burned or driven into a pond to get rid of all evidence, but if it was found by the detectives, it would immediately lead to the conclusion that Leah was murdered. In my opinion, the suspect wanted the others to believe it was an accident caused by Leah herself. Blankets covering the windows were supposed to mean that she was badly injured, planned to spend the night in her car and keep her warm. She might as well have been murdered somewhere else and the car could have been taken there to fool the detectives. After all, there were no signs of people walking in the woods. As much as I would like to believe in the fact that she has amnesia or wanted to disappear, I’m afraid something really bad happened to her. It’s virtually impossible to hide for over 11 years without being recognized. Let’s take Michele Whitaker for example, she decided to leave her family and someone eventually recognized her… What are your opinions?

  59. Wendi
    March 13th, 2012 at 03:21 | #60

    At the time of Leah disappearance her family/friends spent lots of time and resources in Whatcom County. I understand it was a very odd case but still some of the comments and statements the authorities would make to them were not helpful. In fact they were told that it looked like branchs were placed on top of her jeep making it hard to see from the road. The clothing stuff came out later. At the time of Leah’s case there were 5 missing women cases in that County and one unsolved murder of a young women. Just checked and there are still only adult women listed as missing in that county…no child or teenager or men listed. The one unsolved murder was also of a young woman that took her dog for a walk. The dog returned, she did not and her body was found a few days later. I wish with all my heart that Leah’s family could have some true idea of what happened.

  60. MJ
    April 5th, 2012 at 07:11 | #61

    In the convenience store, when she was seen on videotape, looking at something outside the window, she may have been looking at someone who was following her in his own car, but for obvious reasons didn’t want to go in the store with her.
    He may have offered to help her in some way (like show her a safe place to sleep).

  61. Foxie
    April 9th, 2012 at 23:49 | #62

    In regarding the accident site, I was wondering if the police looked farther up the road, from the crash where the car might have started to where it ended up. It would make sense that if Leah met with foul play that her body might have been disposed of where the car was originally, rather then where it rested. I also have thought that if they took special dogs and walked more in that area, maybe they would find more of a trail or cadeaver smell? If I was a baddie I wouldnt want to carry or move the body much from where she was originally was. In fact, moving the car would misdirect. So why wouldnt a baddie move the body off the road area where the car was originally? Moving the car would have been an after thought.

    This story is so sad. And I hate that women are often the victims when alone. It really isnt fair.

  62. Peter
    April 15th, 2012 at 23:49 | #63

    Unfortunately I think this young woman was murdered. Here are some facts: 1) After Leah made headlines the police got a call from a man who told them that he and his wife saw Leah at a gas station acting like she didn’t know who she was. When the police asked this man more question he hung up. 2) Her jeep was rigged so that all one had to do was step on the gas once and the car would go without pressure on the gas pedal. 3) The jeep looked like someone had been living in it. 4) 2500 dollars and the ring and other items were not stolen. 5) She went to a restaurant and spoke to two men. 6) The first man that talked to Leah told the police that she also talked to another man and left by herself. 7) The second man told police that Leah left with a man named Barry and that the to left together. 8) The second man was able to describe what “barry” looked like. 9) The second man had experience working on cars.

    Well it seems to me that one of these guys might be lying. Why does the second man know so much about “barry”. How does the second man know his name and how is he able to describe him so well. Lets assume that this is the killer. Well, having spoken to her, he probably realized that she would be an easy target. He doesn’t leave with her but he does follow her and at some point kills her. After he kills her he takes her car and tampers (or has some other mechanic tamper with it so that he can crash the car and make it look like she got into an accident. He hung her clothes in the window to make it look like she had been staying in her car after the crash. After the case gets media attention he starts to worry and calls the police and suggest that she was wondering around with amnesia, the alternate explanation, but hangs up when the police ask for more information.

    Another piece of evidence that I think suggest murder is that her body hasn’t been found. If she had amnesia I’m sure she would have been discovered if she was alive. If she died in the woods from injuries or something like that, he body shouldn’t be that hard to find, I’d imagine. But since there is no body I think she was killed at a totally different location which means her body could be anywhere or has been possibly disposed.

  63. April 16th, 2012 at 18:29 | #64

    ive been thinking about this poor girl, mabey! she was travaling with someone she didnt trust? ,for some reason…she hid her money and her ring! this was found in her car!, she would never have takin her ring off, we know someone was with her! , at the gas station she seemed like she was looking outside!, from the camera! you could see this…she left the place where she was having something to eat! that was the last anyone saw of her…they find her car! it was set to run over the hill..no one was in it!, right? i think someone did something to her, somewhere else, then got rid of her, and then dumped the car, putting cloths over the door’s to make it look like she was living out of it!, she had money, so that does’nt add up! and some makes a call to the police saying some girl was at a gas station! looking confused! then hung up! anyone who would make a call who would care enough! to do this in the first place ..would follow up, especilly sense everyone was looking for her!…no! i think who ever called had something or? knew something about this! made that call….it does’nt make sense she would leave her money and ring! in the car, and walk off! she wasnt in that car, i think she was gone , then someone dumped her car to make it look like she had an accident! and wonderd off…..if so? the where is she? someone would have found her by now! i think she’s buryed somewhere! or in the river! i hate! to saythis, i really do…but who ever fixed her car to run off the road, did something to her…the guy in canada! his prints dont match! , it could be more then one person involved in this, i believe the bartender said she left with someone? and someone else! says she left alone? is the bar tender covering up! for someone? i think someone in that bar knows something! i do hope with all my heart she is found someday!,, i cant imagine the pain her family is going through…. god bring them peace.

  64. Erik
    April 16th, 2012 at 20:09 | #65

    connie :
    @Justin Maybe…but the clothes were rolled up in the window so they could have been there before the roll down the hill. If the windows didn’t break then the clothes would still be trapped in the rolled up window. I agree with Jeff that I think she was sleeping in the car and was taken from it then it was sent over the edge to cover it up. There is no way she was in the jeep when it went down the hill. No blood in the car at all?? I don’t see how that it possible. even a drop from a scratch? and the fact that the kitten wasn’t there…well it could have walked into the woods.
    Was she at the movies alone? Which one of the two guys from the cafe is lying? They assume it is the 2nd one cuz he gave a description of someone she left with and the 1st guy says she didn’t leave with anyone. maybe the 1st one is lying to protect someone.
    It is a terrible story and I truly hope she does have amnesia and is found soon.

    Before I was in a car accident myself -driving from Pullman (Eastern Washington) to Seattle – I would have agreed that there is no way she could have been in the car when it went off the road and down the hill because of a lack of blood. However I myself was in a crash where the car hit ice, flew off the road and rolled 7 or 8 times eventually ending up 30 to 40 feet off the road. There were 3 people in the car. I sitting in the back seat escaped with zero injuries of any kind. The driver had a dislocated shoulder but not a single cut and didn’t loose a drop of blood. The 3rd person sitting in the passenger seat did get a number of cuts to face and bleed but 2 of the 3 people didnt bleed. We were in a Ford Explorer. You don’t realize how much the frame protects you when your rolling if your buckled in.

  65. Erik
    April 16th, 2012 at 22:10 | #66

    That being said – I still believe she was murdered and likely not in the car (because of the modifications made under hood). But I just wanted to point out that the lack of blood isn’t necessarily rock solid evidence she wasn’t in there.

  66. Jj
    April 20th, 2012 at 08:33 | #67

    I think she is alive and maybe was traveling with somebody who she may have been involved with.I wonder if the police searched her computer to see if she had plans to meet up with someone she may have met online.Maybe she just wanted to start a new life in a new place possibly Canada.I find it strange that this is the first time she had ever left without telling somebody where she was going.Also the cryptic letter that she left behind with the cat face from Alice in wonderland who disappears.To me I think there is a strong possibility she is in Canada living under a new name with a hole new life

  67. Michael Pratt
    May 2nd, 2012 at 00:30 | #68

    I think both the amnesia and abduction stories could be true.

    She also bought her cat with her on her trip.

    Here’s my theory.
    Her car goes over the thing. She wakes up with no memory. She buries the body of her cat who died in the crash(this explains why there was no sign of the cat when the police were checking out the car).
    She then walks around confused, and someone picks her up, and probably killed her.

  68. Barek Halfhand
    May 9th, 2012 at 21:29 | #69

    My theory is that Leah pulled over to sleep somewhere near the crash site and someone broke the Jeep window to accost her. He or they then covered the window to conceal her body while they drove to a location to dispose of it then staged the crash elsewhere even arranging the articles of clothing surreptitiously after the crash to further hinder the investigation.

    Sadly I doubt she is still alive and I really feel for her older brother and sister who continue to agonize over her disappearance.

    B.H. Chicago

  69. mrskailuakona
    May 20th, 2012 at 21:10 | #70

    Barek Halfhand’s theory may be right if not why the broken window?

    I think Leah appeared vulnerable so this killer zoomed in to kill
    her alone and very naive. I think the killer may have staged the
    accident to make it appear Leah died as a result of this. Meeting
    up at the bar that night she most likely met her killer who led
    Leah to a isolated forest to sleep in her car. I’m thinking the killer
    sat in her car which right now in 2012 the investigators are doing
    a DNA match on the male suspect. Then he got Leah outside of
    the car she locked it up then he killed her. Needing to stage the
    accident he broke out the window when he couldn’t find the key.
    Naive Leah would have opened the car door to her killer so he
    could lead her to her death deep in the forest.

    Leah most likely was a sheep surrounded by a lone wolf who decided
    to end her life. As a single young female this was my greatest fear
    to be killed just because you’re a target. While I wanted to visit
    places alone or take a vacation or a Carribean cruise by myself my
    common sense prevented me from becoming a victim.

    I don’t think Leah will ever be found alive nor do I believe her bones
    will be found as I feel the killer buried her somewhere close by. The
    staged accident was just a guise to draw the investigators away from
    the grave site. This plus the fact there is no activity on Leah’s account.

  70. Justin
    May 21st, 2012 at 13:10 | #71

    Having watched the episode again. A few things come to mind.

    1. I didn’t really find it mysterious that Leah was looking out the window at the Gas Station in Oregon. The most logical explanation was that she was looking out at the gas pump number she was at. Since she went in, and was looking out before walking up and paying, that would seem to be the most likely scenario to me.

    2. Someone else mentioned on these comments that the detective said her items were thrown outside the car which solves the mystery of how they ended up outside. However, other segments and articles state that some of the items were intentionally placed outside.

    3. Someone else made a comment and asked if she went to the restaurant where she met the two men before or after she went to the movies. I thought that was a great question. It appeared to me that she probably saw the movie alone as she had the ticket stub. If she met a guy and he took her to the movies, he probably would have held onto the stub. If she met these two men BEFORE the movie, she may not have left with one of them after all if she was then at the movies by herself.

  71. Maggie
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:56 | #72

    If someone tampered with the car, it would then be obvious that this person had access to her car; so presumably it could have been someone who serviced her car, and likely to be the person who she was looking at from inside the gas station while she was paying.

  72. Jan
    May 29th, 2012 at 22:22 | #73

    Excuse me for my bad english. I just saw the episode too and I am wondering why the curtains where over the car window. My idea is that she probably parked the car somewhere remote to sleep. She didn’t spend much money, so I guess she didn’t go to hotels. Someone saw the car and broke into it and abducted her. Then he ‘fixed’ the car to make it disappear and run off with Leah. Because it all had to happen quickly, he didn’t bother about money and other stuff.
    This is just simple and plain. I would suspect the man from the bar who claims to have seen her leaving alone, because maybe he left with her and the other man at the bar noticed just that! The composition drawing could be correct. I imagine they talked outside and Leah told him she would go alone. The man followed her and that is what she noticed at the gas station.

  73. Nancy
    June 6th, 2012 at 02:31 | #74

    I knew Leah and her family well. I grew up with them. It’s nice to see so many people interested in this case. She was a free spirit but I don’t think she would put her brother and sister through this after losing both her parents. They only had each other. They are all still actively pursuing this everyday. I just hope that they get some kind if closure one day. That family has been through hell and back but they aren’t letting it stop them. Keep saying prayers for them and for Leah!

  74. jenn
    June 28th, 2012 at 22:26 | #75

    No doubt in my mind she was followed outside of the restaurant and killed somewhere else. I think the cat might have ran out of the car at the attack site.. Not the accident site. Was there any cats found and taken to a local animal shelter? Any reports of this lost cat around the mall/restaurant area? I really think the killer took off the ring to remove anything that would identify her. The killer also left the cash bc that’s not what he/she (most likely he) was there for. This kind of killer has probably a steady income, and a higher IQ than your average poor criminal. A truck driver could also be very possible.. It has to be someone familiar with the area.. And, possibly the restaurant. Someone knows. I want to tell the brother, sister and investigators to keep searching, keep fighting.

  75. jenn
    June 28th, 2012 at 22:33 | #76

    She could have been taking the cat out of her carrier when she was attacked and it escaped in fear.. That’s what I forgot in my first post. Could her roommate or sister know the pattern on how she took out her cat to feed or pet? Was it frequently, would she hold it for awhile with her back facing a possible predator?

  76. Steven
    July 10th, 2012 at 08:19 | #77

    @Tom
    Evidence of an accelerator being rigged is not something that can be mimicked by accident due to a car simply being left outside for a long time. This vehicle was tampered with, that’s just the way it is. Leah would not have known how to do this. Guy#2 at the bar was the only guy that we know for certain had contact with Leah, who we also know for certain had mechanical knowledge, something required to rig the car in this manner. He was also the only guy in the trio of men who were last in contact with her that created a fictional suspect, in great detail, for the police. He’s also the only guy to have fled the country.

    I think he would have felt the need to deal with Leah’s vehicle somehow; that he couldn’t just leave her vehicle sitting, pristine and abandoned exactly in the state that he had left it. I think in his frame of mind he would have felt that it looked too suspicious that way.

    “The car is here in perfect condition, but where’s she?”

    Same reason he didn’t take her valuables. Signs of robbery allude to foul play, and he doesn’t want them heading in that direction (until he finds later that they’re heading that direction anyway, at which point he concocts “Barry”).

    In my opinion, he meets Leah at this bar/restaurant. In the ensuing discussion he is able to gauge her method of travel and reasons for doing so (Kerouac, soul searching, alone, not in contact with family/friends, a long way from home). He makes a recommendation for a good “car camping” spot. He knows where she’ll be, so there’s no need to follow her immediately, or confront her in a public place. He waits till late in the evening, and ambushes her.

    He takes her first, perhaps even restraining her in his vehicle, whilst disposing of her Jeep. Perhaps he’s already victimized her in whatever way, BEFORE he disposes of her vehicle, whilst hiding the body in his own vehicle. I feel he probably did not assault her in her vehicle, given the scarcity of DNA (seminal fluid, blood, etc.), and because he knows before hand that he’s going to have to do something with her car. At the same time, he likely feels pressed to get this business of her car over with in a hurry. His car will be sitting at the area where he found her, unattended, looking suspicious. (He’d be feeling especially rushed if she is actually in his car at this point, unattended).

    This is why, although the car was found in a “wild” area, the area is not all that remote, being not that far off of a major roadway. He doesn’t feel he has the time to travel deep off the beaten path in order to burn, sink, or otherwise dispose of the car in a more typical fashion. He travels just enough distance up the mountain that the car will be able to build up a good bit of momentum, and have a reasonable distance to fall. His hope is that the car will be obliterated in a chaotic tumble down the mountain-side, and into the river (which would perhaps explain the missing body). The problem is, once he’s committed to this plan, and the car doesn’t exactly explode into a million pieces and tumble as far down as he had hoped, there’s not much he can do to remedy the situation.

    He can’t just burn it then and there. He’s too close to the main road, and again, he’s trying to lead police down a path that DOESN’T involve foul play. Burned out vehicle=holy crap what happened to Leah? At the same time, he can’t NOT deal with the car in some fashion. Staged accident is his one option (again, in HIS addled mind).

    As far as the money, the ring, and the rest of her valuables, he’s too concerned about staging this scene, and distancing himself from his depraved act as quickly as humanly possible, to concern himself with rifling through her belongings. Especially when he’s probably pretty convinced that she doesn’t have much that would be all that valuable to begin with. Perhaps he doesn’t even know about the money, or is financially well off enough that a couple thousand doesn’t really entice him all that much? (I don’t buy the “anti-materialist” angle presented by another post. Those that prey on others also tend to be rather greedy, and find enjoyment in taking a “sucker” for all they’re worth. The connection should be rather obvious.)

    Once the vehicle is inextricably wrecked on the mountainside, he returns to his vehicle on foot. He’s then free to dispose of Leah (or take her captive) in whatever fashion he chooses. I should also say that I find the multiple assailant angle to be intriguing. This would have made it even easier for them to deal with Leah’s car, as one could have followed him to the dump site in another vehicle, so that he wouldn’t have to risk being spotted returning to his vehicle on foot.

    Whatever the case may be, I can’t help but feel sorry for her family and friends, and most of all, for her. She seemed like a nice, genuinely interesting girl, and from the documentary, you could see she was a very pretty, bright young lady. A tragic loss to say the least. Here’s hoping we’re all wrong, and that she staged all of this, and is living it up in France or something.

  77. Another viewer
    July 18th, 2012 at 13:47 | #78

    -Definitely foul play. As someone else noted, if she had crashed (because of the engine tampering?) her body wouldn’t have been too far from the car. The metal detector use alone would have found the metal plate from her leg. Her body is not there – who would bury a body so close to her car, anyway? It’s not very bright, from a criminal point of view.

    -Oregon and Washington have a disproportionally large amount of serial killers (compared to the rest of the U.S.) I lived in the area for 10 years and had two within my own town, then met another randomly on the train. It’s very possible she ran into one of these deviants.

    -Despite all the commenters with psych degrees, am I the only one who noted she showed signs of bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? This doesn’t mean she was “crazy” and didn’t likely have her life ended prematurely, but her impulsivity, lack of interest in graduating college, the delusion of recreating a journey read from a book, and the odd note left in her bedroom show she had bipolar characteristics. Stress can trigger depressive or manic episodes (the latter usually being a trigger for impulsive actions/not following through on plans). The stress of being a senior in college and moving into adulthood, a near- death experience in an accident, and the death of both parents could have led her to biochemically react this way. Maybe it could help explain her actions to her family. If these behaviors are considered, it makes the story much less puzzling. “American Beauty” may have influenced her, too. Maybe she took her own life after tampering with her own car? Did anyone compare the fingerprints on the hood to hers?
    (I don’t believe any possibility should be ruled out until there’s a confession or she’s found.)

    Thanks to Discovery and Netflix, her story won’t be disappearing anytime soon. There’s still a chance she’s alive, and her family deserves closure of some kind. Lets hope someone, somewhere knows something important and shares it with police.

  78. July 27th, 2012 at 02:58 | #79

    Just saw or saw this story again on a segment of UM. I think she was/is the victim of foul play. Unfortunately she did not confide in two or three significant others in her life. I agree with one or two of the Commenters above that there are a lot of serial killers around, both in the woods and in cities. God knows where she is and if she was killed, God will take care of the perpetrator(s).

  79. Cindy N
    July 30th, 2012 at 06:35 | #80

    I can’t imagine why she would have thought it was safe to sleep in her car but I think it was her downfall for sure. They didn’t take the money because they didn’t know it was there. Who sleeps in the car when they have $2400 in cash ? It makes me sick to think that for $100 she could have rented a clean, safe hotel room but instead choose to sleep in her car where she was a crime just waiting to happen. Also cats don’t do road trips well. What in the world did she have a cat with her for ? I think Leah was seriously lacking in some good common sense and good judgement. So sad.

  80. ashley
    July 31st, 2012 at 04:26 | #81

    just watched this episode on disappeared and wanted to see if the DNA they found after more then seven years brought this case back to life.

  81. Jess Holmes
    July 31st, 2012 at 16:09 | #82

    Just watched replay of the “Dissapeared” episode about Leah. Don’t know if this has been brought up yet as there are posts here that are like a year old I had a hard time reading them all, anyhow I’m Canadian ( as stated in said episode most viable suspect now resides in Canada)we do see much less of these kinds of terrible stories than you guys (Americans) do. Point being I believe a great direction to go with that lead would be to check for similar cases of missing persons in Canada. Generally I believe that an accident is an accident however murder on the other hand is not. From what I’ve seen it’s not always a one time deal and if someone has gotten away with it for long enough who knows if they’ll try it again. I would love to believe that law enforcement has already considered this scenario however, I also believe that different agencies don’t communicate enough in their own countries let alone from country to country.

  82. Grzesiek
    August 3rd, 2012 at 07:02 | #83

    Sorry for my english. Ive just watched disappeared on tv (Poland). Many clues come to mind while wathcing this episode. But most important- cinema ticket
    Maybe the murderer was from there? Maybe she met a guy before or after the show (or during)? Why everybody thinks that suspect must be one of the guys from the bar. The bar pathway is the only one better KNOWN by police investigators but who said she couldnt been in other places in that city? I dont know im from Poland maybe the us reality is different but whe had very similar case here near my city. The trip girl slept on the forest parking lot, girls feel saver while in dark lonely places (especially in car) covering windows with clothes etc so the girl covered it but was murdered by a truck driver passing by (guy was from germany), he was sleeping on the same parking lot. Then he pushed her car into the lake and her body took to his truck , was found digging grave 400 killometers further somewhere in the forest in the east of country. So the possibility to find her remains is null i think. (If shes dead).
    One more think- did Her family know that Leah was “copper toxic”? Read about copper toxicity and copper toxic people, their characters mentality, way of live , habits (drinking coffe etc) Leah was copper toxic im sure for 100% thats why she threw her studying, old friends, she was spiritual etc search in google “dr wilson copper toxicity”

  83. Jeremy
    August 4th, 2012 at 04:21 | #84

    Hello,

    I just watched the episode and was doing some follow up research when I came upon this site. I believe that this was a murder/kidnap that was done by a very experienced serial killer. As you can see, there was nobody in the car when it crashed. He also did not take any property or money (maybe a trinket for memories). She did not go off to start a new life as she would have taken her mother’s ring – but even if she left her mother;s ring to signify her new life, she most definitely would have taken her cash!

    One other possibility — She fake crashed the car herself, left her mother;s ring so her sister/brother could have it, left all her belongings and went into the woods…..i mean, kept walking and walking and walking…..then, when she was far enough out there, she killed herself. She may have had a feeling that she would like to die out there after reading all the books on the subject.

  84. Jeremy
    August 4th, 2012 at 04:31 | #85

    @Grzesiek

    That is also a very good comment about the truck driver. If I were the detectives, I would find out who traveled that road on a regular basis and also find out HOW busy that road really is.

    I would also check any security cameras that could be anywhere on route to the location and see if they could catch the jeep…maybe someone else would be driving, etc.

  85. Rebecca
    August 13th, 2012 at 07:25 | #86

    I dont see why the police never went to the movie theatre and checked their
    Video survaillence. She could have went to the mivies with
    Someone, possibly one of the 2 men she met at the restaurant..

  86. Justin
    August 13th, 2012 at 07:41 | #87

    There likely wasn’t video evidence for one of two reasons. 1. There just weren’t any cameras that caught Leah or the people she was with. 2. By the time the police discovered her jeep (nearly a week later), the footage had already been overwritten with new footage.

  87. jenn
    August 20th, 2012 at 20:37 | #88

    Is there evidence she did go to the movie? What if the killer got a ticket too (or just said he would and never bought it- check box office sales for theater) to use as a decoy from where he really took her.

  88. Justin
    August 20th, 2012 at 20:56 | #89

    The two men said they saw her at the restaurant, which was in the same mall as the movie. So based on this, police seem to believe she was at the mall at least, unless both of the men were lying. I can’t remember if it was said if the ticket was bought with Leah’s credit card or in cash. From everything I’ve read though, police have never expressed any reason to doubt that Leah went to the movie.

  89. jenn
    August 24th, 2012 at 14:23 | #90

    Check out how close these two cases seem to Leah Roberts. Christine Lindsey Walters: http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/13/mom-seeks-answers-in-daughters-2008-disappearance/

    And Heather Coats-Cole (recent disappearance):http://www.arcataeye.com/2012/08/missing-washington-woman-sought-august-23-2012/

    There is some distance between WA and CA but doesn’t mean that killer (killer(s)) had moved.

  90. Katz
    August 27th, 2012 at 18:55 | #91

    I just watched the disappeared episode (we get things a bit late here in Africa). I have never been to the US so forgive my ignorance. If Leah was traveling to see the country, why would she travel in such a ‘straight line’; doing over 1000 miles in just four days. It appears she was heading somewhere with a purpose, on her last ‘recorded’day she did a 6/7 hour trip, that does not seem like someone who is seeing the country. Who were these news friends of hers?

    I read a comment above about her maybe being bipolar, as someone who has bipolar I can’t see her being in a manic state for four days while doing over a thousand miles; she would have ‘clicked’ out of that state and realised what she was doing and atleast contact her family. Did she not have a cellphone? Could they not track the phone calls?

    Why would you do a seven hour journey and than go to a movie? This is a very strange case…

  91. Justin
    August 27th, 2012 at 19:13 | #92

    Katz, I agree. She traveled so much in such a short period of time, that it seems like she was intent on reaching her destination. In all, she likely traveled well over 2,500 miles.

    Last year, I did a trip across country. Coming back, I just really wanted to get home (and stop spending so much on hotels). I ended up driving over 2,000 miles in the final 3 days. Speaking from experience, there is no possible way she could enjoy that. She had plenty of money to stop along the way, but she was set on reaching her destination. Why? Who knows…

  92. Shannon
    September 11th, 2012 at 20:43 | #93

    I would like to say… my thoughts on this whole thing, She was not in the car when it crashed.. No evidence.. someone going off the side with a seat belt on or not would have had some type of injuries and not just broken bones.. did you all see the tree’s that truck smashed into? the clothes scattered about the woods due to windows smashing out.. she was no way in that car. I have a horrid feeling she met her demise before that accident. someone ran it off the road , thats obvious no? I have to say the person that did it wasnt the brightest bulb in the pack, but bright enough not to get caught the sick f$%^! Word to the wise on solo trips; never tell strangers what your up to and where your going. that second guy had way too much information about her for just meeting during a meal. The poor kid was naive and way too trusting. only 23 years old :( its just sad.. prayers they find her .. knowing is better than never knowing. god bless her family

  93. Allie
    September 13th, 2012 at 06:43 | #94

    I can’t believe people think Leah left her car on her own accord. Did you not hear what the detectives said about her car? Her car had been tampered with on purpose. Most girls don’t have a lot of mechanic experience. Also, she seemed to be very gullible about life: her decision to carry $2,500 in cash, her decision to bring a cat, her decision to sleep in a car in places she’s unfamiliar with. Men who want to do harm look for these types of women. In the bar she went to people heard her telling others of her road trip alone. She was way too trusting of strangers. Again, a trait bad men look for. Perhaps she took her mom’s ring off at night to sleep. A lot of people remove jewelry before going to bed. Sadly, I believe leah is deceased. The money wasn’t stolen because men who rape, totrture, and kill are not motivated by money.

  94. Justin
    September 13th, 2012 at 07:11 | #95

    @Allie
    None of that really discounts the idea that she left the car though. The car may have been tampered with, but we have to look at the other details from the scene as well. There was a possible shelter, there was items placed on the outside of the jeep, there were clothes along the side of the road, etc. One could argue that a potential killer did that, but why? Why stage such an elaborate scene in the dark?

    In addition, there are questions in itself about the tampering. How confident are detectives that it was really tampered with? Did the jeep accelerate and crash with Leah inside of it? What was the motive for the tampering? Did the person who tampered the jeep just not like her and wanted her to get hurt? Was it to stage an elaborate scene?

    This is what is so frustrating about the case. There are so many potential possibilities, and with every theory, there seems to be bits of evidence that argue for or against each theory.

  95. Niks
    September 22nd, 2012 at 04:20 | #96

    I, too, just finished watching the Disappeared episode on Netflix.

    Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (Portland, specifically), I remember seeing this case on the news back in 2000. In fact, Leah’s case hit the news almost 3 weeks after my 20th birthday.

    There’s just a few things I wanted to say about the case that it appears that others have missed. And maybe even myself.
    First of all, Disappeared never mentioned she took her cat with her… where did this information come from?
    Second, my thoughts is that she met with foul play. I think guy #2 in the restaurant/bar had something to do with it. I’ve never heard of someone giving such a great description of a man they’ve never seen (remember, it was never said that “Barry” met Leah in the bar, so where did the description come from anyway?) and then later is found to be living in Canada? Yeah, that just blew up my BS meter.
    Third, I think that if Guy #2 had something to do with it, I can understand why $2,500 and her mother’s ring would be stashed in the pocket of a pair of jeans she was NOT wearing. She knew something bad was going to happen to her. Also, her jeep was tampered with. Smells like Guy #2 to me.
    Fourthly, I’ve read a lot of comments where people just don’t understand why anyone would make it seem like she had an accident, camped out in car but then took off. I say to those who question this: THINK, REALLY HARD. If you were trying to draw suspicion away from foul play to “Ooops, Leah done went and got herself all hurt and lost”, no one would think to look into murder and thus you’d be home free. I think Mr. Mechanical Guy #2 staged that entire scene.

    Anyway, just my two cents.

  96. Justin
    September 22nd, 2012 at 08:16 | #97

    @Niks
    Thanks for the comment!

    I believe it was revealed that she brought her cat along on the Unsolved Mysteries episode but I’m not positive. I know it was mentioned somewhere though.

    I can’t speak for others, but for me, the reason I hesitate on the idea of it all being staged is just that it would have been so elaborate. Besides all of it been staged in the dark, it would have been someone going through a LOT of extra effort for very little gain. By messing with the car, it’s left potential evidence of foul play and DNA. If this was really foul play, simply getting rid of the car would seem to be a better idea for a potential killer. Without this accident scene, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much media attention, and many would have just assumed that she decided to start a new life. By staging a scene like this, they left some indication that Leah was in trouble.

    Hopefully we will have some answers soon. If someone did indeed stage the scene, it may be what leads to their arrest.

  97. Joseph OGERSHOK
    September 30th, 2012 at 12:33 | #98

    I would check to see if the reason why she used the debit card instead of cash was because the store was closed but the pumps were not. There would be a timestamp on the receipt. I too notoriously use cash to buy gas. She withdrew $3000.00 in cash and $2400.00 was found in her car. From where did the comment she only spent $100.00 come? @Leslie

  98. Joseph OGERSHOK
    September 30th, 2012 at 13:02 | #99

    Nothing look similar other than their age. This is a stretch. @jenn

  99. Gerry
    September 30th, 2012 at 13:39 | #100

    After seeing the episode of Unsolved Mysteries, and Disappeared, I am under the impression that Leah, unfortunately, met up with foul play. I also believe that foul play’s name is guy #2 at the bar.He just up and moves to Canada. Hmmm. I believe Leah was killed hours before the car was wrecked, at a different location, and then he drove the car to the wreck location. I think Leah hid the ring under the floorboard so her family and friends would know that foul play was involved. Same with the money, she put the money in another pair of pants. She knew she was in a bad situation and she was in her car with the killer. When she got the chance she did those things with the ring and money.

  100. roxyb
    October 3rd, 2012 at 10:35 | #101

    @ Niks I don’t recall it mentioning her taking a cat . On the discovery doc it said they found a can of catfood in the jeep so they figured shed taken her kitten..Every one keeps mentioning why the killer if there was one didnt take the money.Well im purdy sure they didnt figure someone carrying thousAnds of dollars eould be sleeping in their car.plus im sure she didnt tell the men at the resturant tjat she had thousands on her,if guy 2 was the attacker.I really liked the comment someone made that she was most likey looking for the pump.number at the gas station. In my opinion she was murdered before the dumping of the car.he just figured it be the easiest way of getting it out of sight and confusing the cops.

  101. roxyb
    October 3rd, 2012 at 10:39 | #102

    @ Joesph Yea i.was thinking the same thing about the money but she did leave money to her roomate in the note for bills, her sister said it was enough for a monthsworth of nills so maybe it was the 500.

  102. roxyb
    October 3rd, 2012 at 10:41 | #103

    The detective on the disappered doc said she had 2500 in cash and they found 2400 thats where the 100 came from, so yea thats why i kinda figure she left the 500.

  103. roxyb
    October 3rd, 2012 at 10:47 | #104

    Oh and also if she was planing on just disappearing why would she take out so much money from her avvount just to leave it in her car. I think she d at least spend some on hotel rooms on her trip up rather then sleeping uncomfortably in a cramped jeep.

  104. Colleen
    October 7th, 2012 at 02:12 | #105

    roxyb…she was on an adventure. She was on an exciting alone time trip. She loved the outdoors.

    She didn’t want to hotel/motel it because of that. She wasn’t a spoiled princess. She was a chick who could rough it up a bit when she wanted. She was following a path, to her. Also the book, On The Road, is a staple of an adventurers small library.

    Hate to say it, but I believe she is dead. I hope she died with no pain, no anguish.

    For her family I hope the way and how it happened comes to light soon.

  105. Snow
    October 20th, 2012 at 18:55 | #106

    Questions:

    If Leah was headed towards Desolation Peak, why wouldn’t she head towards the Marblemount Ranger Station instead of the one in Glacier? (she shouldn’t have been in Bellingham unless she was headed to Canada, or was encouraged to do so by a hitchhiker?)
    Was Desolation Peak even accessible in March 2000, or would snowfall prevent travel?
    Did Leah have an adequate hikers backpack?
    Why would Leah stop at a mall to watch a movie when she just traveled over three days to reach Mt. Baker which was now only one hour away??????????

  106. Snow
    October 20th, 2012 at 19:48 | #107

    Other things to consider:

    March 12th, the day before she was seen on video in Brooks, Oregon buying gas, was Jack Kerouac’s birthday. Had she attended a pre-planned event celebrating Jack’s birthday? Maybe met up with someone there? Looking at Kerouac’s routes, and possible routes from N. Carolina to Desolation Peak that Leah might have taken, I don’t understand why she would end up in Brooks anyways?

  107. Kim
    November 17th, 2012 at 01:04 | #108

    I’m 24 and have my own theories about her because I’m like her in many ways, and I feel a strange yet strong connection. I even thought at one point I inherited her soul when she passed, but it’s still unclear. On the upside, I’m almost certain it wasn’t foul play, but she wasn’t happy about this trip. She arrived too suddenly to her destination for it to be out of adventure. I’m a road warrior myself and she would have stopped way more often had she really wanted to see the sights. As much as nobody likes to think about it, I believe she planned to off herself (despite what the note may have said), gave the car to someone else, and had him drive her to her chosen destination from the book. That’s why I’m also thinking when he found out she was missing, he had to trash it and make it look like something he wasn’t involved in. I don’t get much of a feeling at all that someone ended her life. I think it was all just too much for her to bear. Once her car and belongings were gone, that pretty much sealed the deal. No turning back. This is just my own observational theory and it may be far from fact. As others have stated time and time again, the possibilities are endless. Her last act of love for those dearest, is making it look like she’s wandering off into the sunset, bright-eyed and eager to see the wold.

    RIP Soul mate I never met.

  108. Vicki
    November 23rd, 2012 at 04:37 | #109

    I have only just watched the ID episode – disappeared. It is incredibly sad and there are numerous possibilities. Living in Australia, I am fascinated by the comments of people who know the region where Leah disappeared and have so much to add to this mystery. I hope and pray the mystery is solved. I too initially strongly suspected the ‘second man’ in the bar – the one who gave such a detailed description of a ‘person of interest’. Then I think though, that it was the FIRST man (who phoned in the tip) that actually put himself into the investigation which is what many criminals do, just to see what police know. The second guy just may have wanted the limelight for a little while? What do others think?

  109. Justin
    November 23rd, 2012 at 05:53 | #110

    @Vicki
    As a whole, I don’t really know what to think about the two persons of interest. We can’t even say for sure if there is anything significant with those two men. After Leah disappeared, the case got a bit of national coverage. However, investigators didn’t really seem to play up the potential connection to these two men. This is a case I have followed for years. Until this ID program, I had only seen brief snippets about these two men in newspaper articles shortly after the disappearance occurred. Authorities never gave much information about these two men until this program, and it never came across to me that they were searching for information about them. I’m not sure if something happened to change the detectives minds, or if the producers of this documentary decided to spotlight these two persons of interest for unknown reasons.

    Also worth noting is that a caller called in about possible sighting of Leah. I had mentioned this in the original post, and it seemed to be a possible clue in her disappearance. This person was never mention in the ID documentary. Between the Unsolved Mysteries segment (you might be able to find it online) and this program, the case is presented a bit differently, although the details are the same. Whether the differences in media coverage are due to decisions by the producers, or new evidence or insight by investigators, it’s hard to say.

  110. Vicki
    November 25th, 2012 at 03:07 | #111

    Hi Justin, I appreciate that you took the time to reply. I am going to search for the Unsolved Mysteries segment. It would be great to get a clear/unbiased list of events; given the period of time which has elapsed since the ‘crime’ that is not likely. Do you blog on anyone else? I love dissecting mysteries and exploring other viewpoints. @Justin

  111. Justin
    November 27th, 2012 at 05:58 | #112

    @Vicki
    I sent you some other cases you might be interested in.

  112. Morgan
    November 30th, 2012 at 08:18 | #113

    I found this case very interesting and related to Leah in many ways. I was graduating high school when this occurred. What bothers me is they found $2500 dollars in her pants and if someone would have been with her at the time the vehicle crashed you would think they would have taken it. She definitely wouldn’t have left it. The whole vehicle thing is strange to me especially since it had been tampered with. I cannot believe they didn’t look under the hood the first time they analyzed the vehicle.

  113. Kaysi
    December 1st, 2012 at 19:37 | #114

    @Blake
    I soooo agree with you on that! This young girl so far away it’ll be awhile before anyone notices giving him plenty of time to get rid of any evidence!! Then he conveniently moves to Canada??? I’m with you guys it seems SUPER FISHY!!! I mean how would he know so many details abt some guy he saw walking out of a restaurant with her & where’d he come from bc they both said she was sitting between them the whole time! He was trying to take suspicioun off him & most definitely did something to her. Idk what but I’d guarantee he has something to do with her disappearance, I bet he followed her out of the restaurant or either heard where she was going. Crashed the car after & put the clothes up to make it appear she was stranded & trying to survive after wards which is apparently clever bc even tho we suspect he is involved he is still free! Please do more research on him! How do the police know he is the one who went in to the station in Canada? Maybe it’s not even his finger prints! He could’ve sent a friend in for him!! People have done crazier things & how would the Canadian police know any different! Someone def needs to get some more info on him!

  114. Kaysi
    December 1st, 2012 at 19:38 | #115

    Oh & Blake I agree with that too! It was in an accident & they never thought before to look under hood & see what may have caused it!!? Seriously you’d think that would ve been the FIRST MOVE!! I wonder sometimes !

  115. Kaysi
    December 1st, 2012 at 19:45 | #116

    @Vicki
    I considered that the first man may have been involved as well & still is possible. However the 2nd man had mechanic experience & also gave such a detailed description it was odd that he knew so much. That was there point & my point in addition to that is they both said she sat between then talking to them both the whole time, yet the 2nd guy says she leaves with this 3rd mystery man??? Where did he come from! She didn’t talk to him while eating & she didn’t know anyone there & I highly doubt she ran into a man walking out the door & immediately decided to leave with him! It makes absolutely NO sense’ so I think he is full of it if ya ask me!

  116. Kaysi
    December 1st, 2012 at 19:45 | #117

    Their^ point not ‘there’ sorry misspelled that when typing !!

  117. Annabelle
    December 3rd, 2012 at 07:11 | #118

    I just watched this on ‘Disappeared’ today. It’s an elaborate assumption but I’m thinking maybe Leah did not want to be found and that she’s staged her own death/disappearance. Maybe, like the police suspected, no one was in the car. Suspect number two (the mechanic) is her lover, he knew he could make the car crash on it’s own and together they’ve come up with a plan and have fled to Canada. You would think a trace of her would come up somewhere if this was the case, but crazier things have happened. She knew taking her unspent money and most treasured possessions would lead her family to believe she is still alive, so she left it behind and started a new life. She couldn’t say a face to face goodbye to loved ones because it would be too hard for her. I think Leah is one very, very bright girl and knew exactly what she was doing. That, or she has fallen victim to something terribly indecent; in which case I pray she is okay or in a better place now.

    As for other details – I don’t have a theory to go along with it, but I instantly thought when they showed the clothes masking the broken windows that maybe she was living in the car? Could have just been for a night but why else cover the window..

  118. Rachel
    December 8th, 2012 at 04:39 | #119

    Hi – Leah Roberts lived two doors down from me at the time of her disappearance. I just saw this murderer in Alaska who confessed to many murders. I wonder if he could somehow be connected. I do not think she staged her own death. She was too close to her family and she would not want them to be worried about her. The amnesia theory seems possible or the sad possibility that she might have been killed. She was a fun, energetic young woman and I remember the shock I felt when I heard she was missing.

  119. Justin
    December 8th, 2012 at 05:23 | #120

    Rachel,

    I too wondered if the serial killer in Alaska could be connected. From what I’ve read, he was stationed in Washington State from 1998 to 2001. However, he claimed that he murdered 4 people in Washington beginning in 2001. Leah disappeared in 2000. So at this point, his confessions don’t seem to point to a connection.

  120. mikeysgirl
    December 31st, 2012 at 09:51 | #121

    i found leah on GINA while looking for my bestfriends brother whose last name also starts with R, before this Ive never heard of her. I just spent about an hour looking around facebook and the internet for clues. Before I found your blog and even actually read her story something is bugging me about her smile…almost like its familiar..then I started reading your blog and wondered if she had amnesia maybe she remembered parts of her name and fit the parts into a new name..highly unlikely but possible.

    The more I read though about the jeep being tampered with and the idea that somebody had followed her I am now wondering if there is any information about her parents died? Im just super curious if there is a connection between them dieing, her abruptly leaving and then instantaneously becoming missing. Did she know something?? Was she trying to get away from something/someone???

    Lets keep at this and try to solve this one for Leah. It just seems like trying to answer the questions leads to more questions

  121. Nobody
    January 5th, 2013 at 12:35 | #122

    Seems like no one’s noticed that the sketch of the man Leah supposedly left with is James Dean. Look at the hair, the high forehead, the piercing eyes. Very clever… I tend to think foul play, but I don’t really know. Sometimes when you cut ties with loved ones it can be difficult to pick up the phone once you’ve been gone so long due to the guilt and fear of rejection.

  122. January 10th, 2013 at 22:10 | #123

    (1). I wonder why the name of the men who sat with Leah at the bar while she ate has not been released, especially the guy who went to Canada. (2). Leah no doubt had hidden her stash of cash purposesly, and because she had so much stuff the killer(s) didn’t have time to search all of her clothes or simply missed finding it. (3). This is clearly a murder case! (4). The clothes could have been purposely thrown about to create the ruse that others who came upon the crashed car then went through it and tossed away her clothes because they served no purpose for them and were of no real value. A ruse within a ruse theory if you will. (5). It is puzzling as to why blankets were put in the window as part of the staged crime scene, unless it was just part of the ruse to throw people off to make it appear that she was sleeping in the car, but all she had to do was roll the window up . (6). The killer(s) may have taken her ring off to examine it to see if it was really valuable and decided it wasn’t and just threw it on the floor. (7). Did she have some type of car trouble and flagged down a would be helper, or stopped another car asking for directions and was then taken?

    Concluding; It is very hard in these technological times of communication between law enforcement to simply vanish of your own free will and not be spotted somewhere.

  123. Anne C.
    January 11th, 2013 at 02:52 | #124

    @Rachel

    I don’t believe she staged the accident and disappearance. She had just lost her parents. Could she be so cruel as to make her sister think she was dead too? And why bother to leave a note if she just wanted to disappear and start a new life? It has been a while since I saw the episode about her on TV and I don’t remember the part about her car being tampered with. To me, that is a pretty clear indication that someone did that in order to run her car off the road to hide it. I’m afraid Leah is no longer with us and I am sorry for her friends and family. I hope one day they will find her and her killer and put this case to rest. I watch a lot of Disappeared shows, but this one will always stick with me for some reason.

  124. Brett E
    January 24th, 2013 at 01:27 | #125

    I have just watched the episode on her case titled “Soul Searcher” and it is indeed a baffling case. There seem to be three main theories:

    1. It was a staged accident to start a new life. This seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. One, it is indeed difficult in this day and age to remain hidden and to begin a new life with the internet and various other media. Besides, why would she put her family thorugh such trauma? It seems to me that she would at least call her family to let them know that she is alive and well.

    Related to the above, some say she committed suicide. There was indeed a lot of trauma going on in her life at the time but the people she met described her as upbeat and not depressed. Also. an extensive search was done of the area and no body found.

    2. Accident and amesia. There is not much evidence to support that she was in the vehicle when it crashed. No blood for example. It has also been determined according to the documentary that the seatbelt was not being used at the time of the accident. Finally, the car had been tampered with and it seems that Leah would not have the mechanical knowledge to do so. When you combine all three, it is highly unlikely that Leah was in the car when it plunged over the edge of the road.

    3. Foul play. Given all the evidence, this seems the most likely scenario unfortunately. It seems to me that she met ‘foul play’ either somewhere in the mountains or another place. She was probably followed from the town and murdered. The jeep was then sent over the edge of the road on purpose in an attempt to try and hide it. Obviously, the suspect(s) from the restaurant would be persons of strong interest regarding her disappearence and possible murder.

    Even so, I do have a couple of questions for other people:

    1. In the documentary, it mentioned that she had withdrawn 2, 500 dollars from the bank. Why would she carry around such a large amount of money?

    2. I saw some photos of the clothes placed on the car. It indeed looked like they were ‘placed’ rather than falling there after the car plunged over the edge. What theories are there for this?

    3. Why was she not wearing her ring? In the documentary, it implied that the ring had been placed under some flooring in the car on purpose. Why would that have been done?

    Thanks for any replies. Brett

  125. Jessica K
    January 25th, 2013 at 16:07 | #126

    I just watched this case about leah Roberts on Youtube. Such a sad story for her family, I believe she was going to just go on a trip by herself and she ran into a no good person. The car sitution was so set up because after 7 years they finally looked under the hood and realized that the car had been tampered with and that someone made the car crash on its own.

    To brett – The question you have about the 2,500 dollars i agree why carry so much when she chas credit cards no only that but didn’t they say they found most of the money in the car? even if she left she didn’t take it with her and if someone killed her wouldn’t the money been with them? very strange.

  126. Shelly
    January 30th, 2013 at 01:28 | #127

    Have they got the DNA yet? And the gas station just a thought if I’m paying cash for gas 9 times out of 10 I forget to look at the pump number and ill look out and try to get the number so maybe she was looking for the number to tell the clerk what pump she was on…

    • Justin
      January 30th, 2013 at 01:37 | #128

      There has been no word on any news with the DNA.

      I tend to agree with you about the pump number. It seems by far to be the most likely explanation. It is always possible though that detectives know something else that they aren’t releasing to the public.

  127. The Big Guy
    February 2nd, 2013 at 06:12 | #129

    The point made by Nobody that the sketch is likely of James Dean blew my mind. It clearly is. That’s a person describing James Dean of a professional James Dean lookalike.

    We can’t say for certain what did happen, but we can rule some things out and some, really most, of the unhinged theories on this board can be ruled exceedingly unlikely at minimum.

    The defining evidence is the tampering requiring a specialist’s craft. That’s where the deliberation has to start and it immediately precludes all the bizarre sudden medical event scenarios. The requirement of specialist knowledge means some other person was involved in staging the crash. Now either she consented to the staged crash or she didn’t. If she didn’t, then it’s foul play by definition.

    And if she did? It’s a bizarre thing to do, but it’s plausible. So now we’re considering all the possible scenarios where she and a person she knows, either from that day or a long time prior via the internet (and secret from others). In either case, she’s presumably not going to live her new life under the sea, so there’s no explanation for the leaving behind of the cash and the ring. So we’re left with this question: If she didn’t meet foul play, then why did she start a new life with a companion without taking objects of either sentimental or monetary value?

    So she must not have consented to the crash and it must not have been caused by nature. Instead, it was an act of malice. But by whom?

    Our details here are obviously far less conclusive, but I share the common sentiment that the individual who described the imaginary man is a probable (but far from certain) culprit. Less but still plausible candidates include the other man at the bar and the unidentified stranger about whom we have no clues at all.

    The evidence does not point its finger at a culprit, but it does cast light on what did not happen. Sadly, no explanation in which she was not the victim of planned and carefully executed foul play is consistent with the known facts and there’s good reason to believe that (to us unknown) additional evidence that might change that conclusion would itself be incompatible with existing evidence. Very sad.

  128. Katz
    February 11th, 2013 at 16:45 | #130

    I see I commented in August, can’t believe its been nearly six months and I am still “haunted” by this case…

  129. Devon
    February 25th, 2013 at 23:23 | #131

    I believe Leah may have been sexually assulted in the car, Then someone other than Leah intentionally wrecked the car leaving Leah behide without transportation or a way to contact the authorities….thus leaving Leah to seek refuge in the battered automobile for an known amount of time.

  130. Anthony
    February 26th, 2013 at 02:28 | #132

    What happened?

    I just saw the episode on ID today.

    Do we have any new information regarding her whereabouts?

    • Justin
      February 26th, 2013 at 02:37 | #133

      No further information has been made available.

  131. Jenny
    March 2nd, 2013 at 18:02 | #134

    I just wish for a break in the case. Not just for her sake, but her family must be going through a constant hell. I hope someone has more information. I have a question….since they know that the guy from the bar was the last person to see Leah, why isn’t that enough evidence to get DNA from him? Couldn’t that rule him out??

  132. Justin
    March 2nd, 2013 at 18:30 | #135

    @Jenny
    I hate to speculate, but my guess would be that either there is no DNA match, or authorities were unable to obtain DNA from certain suspects. The documentary aired two years ago, so any DNA matches done at the time should have been made public by now.

  133. Ariel
    March 9th, 2013 at 19:47 | #136

    I find it strange that nothing has been heard about the male dna found on Leah’s clothes. If dna was really found, at the very least they should be able to rule out the 2 guys from the bar and any boyfriend/s from back home.
    The movie ticket was found in her “memory box”, right? So we know she must have made it safely back to her jeep after the movie. I think this is important, in creating a timeline. I don’t know if she went to the bar before or after the movie, but I think the blanket was probably over the jeep window for privacy.
    It seems likely she was planning to sleep, or was sleeping in the jeep, having taken off and hidden the ring, when she was disturbed/attacked.
    There is no way she would have taken off to start a new life without her money, and I don’t think she would leave her siblings and friends not knowing what had happened to her.
    I think we have to accept that there was foul play.
    I hope that Leah’s remains are found, so that her family and friends can have closure.

  134. Delmar
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:41 | #137

    Did anyone ever take a look at this girl’s laptop? She mentions her laptop in her “goodbye” note. It is also mentioned she worked on her laptop while at her favorite coffee shop where she lived. She was also said to have met a lot of people at this coffee shop. It does not make sense that nobody in law enforcement ever checked her internet activity. What about her phone records prior to her leaving on this trip? Did she have a cell phone?

  135. Delmar
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:56 | #138

    What is known about this situation: 1) She made it to Bellingham, WA. 2) She supposedly saw a movie there 3) She is said to have had dinner at a restaurant there. If both the movie theater and the restaurant were in a mall, wouldn’t this mall have its own security cameras both inside and outside this mall? 4) Her vehicle was found outside of Bellingham, WA in a mountainous albeit not that remote area (it was near a main road). There is no proof she was ever even there. In other words the last place she was supposedly at was the mall in Bellingham, but even this is based on hearsay by so-called witnesses. The last actual filmed footage of her is when she got gas the last time prior to arriving in the Bellingham area. Also, there is no real evidence she was traveling completely alone. This is why I would really like to know if her laptop and internet activity were ever researched, as well as any phone activity prior to her leaving on this trip, or if she ever had a cell phone.

  136. Justin
    March 17th, 2013 at 16:34 | #139

    @Delmar
    It’s usually standard for the police to look through a missing persons computer, so I would assume it has been searched with nothing of interest found. I have never heard anything about Leah having a cell phone. With the note that she left stating she would be back in a few days, it doesn’t appear that she planned to have any contact with anyone back home during the trip. Her friends would have likely tried to reach her via cell phone if she had one.

    My guess with the security cameras is that they didn’t catch anything, or police are not releasing it for unknown reasons.

    And finally, like you said, not really knowing where she may have disappeared from makes this a really tricky case. She did have the movie stub from the movie at the mall. However, I suppose the argument could be made that someone else put it in her car.

  137. Delmar
    March 17th, 2013 at 22:12 | #140

    I doubt that Leah’s laptop was searched or her internet activity researched. If this was done then why was there no mention of it in either show about her disappearance? Here is what I think happened: This is an Into the Wild scenario. Leah wanted to disappear just like the main character Christopher McCandless. Leah’s disappearance has all the hallmarks of this type of scenario. I think the entire episode in Bellingham was planned in advance of her arrival. The movie ticket stub and her making sure she was seen publicly in the restaurant was on purpose. Just as the whole trip was made public by her putting all of her gas she needed on the trip on her credit card. If she really wanted to disappear she would have used cash to pay for her gas. I think the men she was sitting with in the restaurant with her she knew in advance, and they helped her to make her great escape. I would bet that if anybody bothered to check her email activity and phone usage prior to her leaving on this trip they would find a trail to these very men in Bellingham. This situation does not give any indication of foul play. What it does look like is that she had help in disappearing. On a side note, just because you assume that her laptop and internet activity was researched does not mean it was done. How about researching the email and phone activity of the two men in Bellingham who gave police reports? I doubt this was ever done as well.

  138. Lee-Anne
    April 27th, 2013 at 17:07 | #141

    my theory is that.. it was late and she probably drank alot.. so she parked across the road.. and maybe when she was sleeping she mistakely moved the gears.. and got crashed.. she survived it.. but had some amnesia.. and wondered around..

  139. June
    May 22nd, 2013 at 18:46 | #142

    If she had planned all this as you suggested, Why would she leave $2,500 cash in her pants pocket in the car? It is just not reasonable to believe she would have left that much money behind, especially when we know that that is the amount she had in total.
    @Delmar

  140. Sophie
    May 26th, 2013 at 23:29 | #143

    Most people with $2,500 on them would tend to rent a motel room, not seek a spot to sleep in their car. Therefore, it is likely that she crashed the car at night or in bad weather or needed to reflect/recover somewhat after the accident. Another thought: was the car “tempered with” to cause a crash, or simply to cause it to be brought back to the shop? Just because it was tweeked to speed up doesn’t mean the mechanic intended that or knew what he was doing. This happened to my fiance. It’d be interesting to ask repair shops where she left from if/when she was there, & for what… I’d also want to obtain a photo of her kitten and ask vets near where she crashed if she or someone brought it in for help… Just a few thoughts.

  141. Jeff
    June 24th, 2013 at 05:19 | #144

    @Sophie
    I think that from the records that it may have shown that she wasn’t staying at that many hotels/motels across the country. Like she was just pulling off some place each night and sleeping in her car. That’s at least more “Kerouac” like. He rode the trains and camped with the transients. If not for #2 guy at restaurant making up a story about a third person, I would say that it would be easy to say that she pulled off somewhere not too far from the main road to sleep for the night. And then some freak came by and did her harm. But #2 guy seems guilty. The problem is not matching any dna AND not finding a body. Unfortunately, this guy might actually get away with murder.

  142. Dave
    November 12th, 2013 at 04:28 | #145

    I live near the NW area now for the past decade and find this case interesting. I also am retired from working with sex offenders in the Cali prison system. After viewing the latest ID show on Leah I really felt heartbroken for her family. I read a bit of Jack Kerouac and certainly appreciate those of you that wax romantic about Leah’s motivation and belief she’s alive but I’m a bit more hardened. From the receipts and the accounting of her money it seems obvious she sleeps in her jeep most of the trip. No crime. I’ve done it, too. I’m not convinced her route was entirely random. But I believe that Leah is a little emotionally fragile, naive and lonely. So for those of you that don’t understand predators, this type of woman is of great interest to them. Many of these guys have a type,meaning hair color, voice tone, race,etc so when they see a woman that meets the criteria, they are gripped by an inner urgency to manipulate the situation and create a con in an attempt to isolate the woman to victimize her. So if she sat in that restaurant announcing her long trip from NC and how she slept in her Jeep, a normal guy would feel genuine concern for her safety, a predator something else altogether. Many of these guys are quite brilliant which is why many don’t get caught as often as they should. Leah, I think, was killed by the “mechanic” unless another citizen pops up. The primary concern of these guys is the assault. Some of you mentioned why didn’t they take the money? Well, he might not of known it was there or wasn’t interested in it. Not all of them have the necessity or compunction to steal money or goods. Again the assault is the chief objective, then covering their tracks of course. Rigging the Jeep certainly worked. From reading this forum plenty of people bought into that show. But that’s what these guys excel at. They’re crazy makers and cons. BTW, the Jeep was quite a ways from the theater. I’m going to keep an eye on this one. I’d be delighted to see this guy caught.

  143. Rachel
    November 18th, 2013 at 20:05 | #146

    Hi – I periodically look up this story. Leah lived two doors down from me in Raleigh when she set off on her trip. Yes, no one knew she left. All of us were confused and then for her to disappear on the journey. I keep hoping she will turn up one day and that when I do a search for her name I will get a FOUND story. Thanks for all the interest in her case. Let’s hope her brother and sister and friends get some type of resolution in their lifetimes.

  144. Pete mcnulty
    November 24th, 2013 at 00:23 | #147

    Just seen this story on disappeared. It is obvious that the police in the original investigation did an absolute botch job with the evidence and as we all know the first period in cases like this is critical. Not picking up fingerprints and crucially not looking under the hood of the car is absolutely crazy. They knew that it was intentionally crashed as there was no signs of anyone in the car but yet fail to check the engine. The guy in bar is absolutely nailed on as prime suspect. Canada moving and mechanic skills. But and it’s a big but. When leah was in the service station she kept looking out at the car as if checking on someone so it’s possible she may have already picked up someone before then and that person could of been the man who the prime suspect give the photofit for. After all the dna did not match the second guy in the bar. My best guess is she had already picked up her killer and he staged the crash. Most likely him who called in to say he seen her looking confused 30 miles from accident in order to puzzle cops further. The amnesia and running away theories are not plausible. Anyway with dna advances and sickos tending to be serial offenders there is a chance he could still be caught but time can be an enemy. I just hope that the family get justice.

  145. Mark
    December 11th, 2013 at 19:20 | #148

    I wonder if Israel Keyes could have done this? He mentioned that he was responsible for murders in Washington state but never gave details. I also wonder about him and the Pinnacle Lake shootings of Mary Cooper and Susanna Stodden.

  146. December 18th, 2013 at 17:55 | #149

    I believe Leah is no longer alive she has been gone too long I believe she would of contacted her sister and brother they were very close its the jeep that shows a grim story it was totally distroyed the money was still in the jeep who walks away from that much money plus how could she have survived all these years without proper id and money and no extra clothing where would she stay she didn’t know anyone there she would of called her siblings and told them she got in a accident and to come and help her or she could of called the police but she didn’t you just don’t get on a bad accident and just get up and walk away and start a new life I think someone should comb the wooded area. Not much efford has been done to find her.

  147. Melissa
    December 18th, 2013 at 19:05 | #150

    Her mothers ring was left in the vehicle. I think she was at one point in the car with someone and she knew something bad was going to happen, so she left the ring as a clue that she did not leave of her own free will. Maybe clothes were on windows because she was raped or had consensual sex in the vehicle? Or someone, a vagrant or drifter found car and slept in it before moving on. He could also be the one that left clothes outside the vehicle, in search of items he could loot. Very strange case. For all we know she was kidnapped and is still alive being held like the (Smart) girl or the girl that was abducted in Lake Tahoe.

  148. Jonathan Stough
    December 18th, 2013 at 19:13 | #151

    I just watched the case of Leah’s disaperance on the program of the same name.
    I have no clues or answers but wanted her family to know my heart goes out to them and she is in my prayers that some kind of conclusion to this mystery will come about.

    God bless all involved,
    Jonathan

  149. Pen
    January 24th, 2014 at 16:12 | #152

    I just saw this case on Discovery. Having lived in Washington State, I know the area has many religious communes and private compounds. I wonder if Leah could be being held against her will or has no idea who she is- living in one of these places. Or even if anyone has gone done this avenue.

  150. Concerned Cop
    January 24th, 2014 at 17:48 | #153

    Just saw this story on the ID Channel…

    I feel for her family and hope there is resolution for them in the future.

    1. She may have staged this and found someone to start over with, completely, and left everything behind. By descriptions of her personality, this seems feasible.

    2. Someone she met had kidnapped her, staged this and still has her, has since killed her, or has eventually convinced her to embrace a life with him. This person would have left all traces of her behind.

    3. Two men have done harm to her and in that kind of natural area, there is good chance she will never be found.

    4. She did have an accident, as it appears the road curves where it went off the roadway. She may have hit her head and suffered an internal brain injury, walked away, and any number of possibilities occurred from there. This might explain the phone tip, leaving property behind, and taking the ring off.

    * From what I can gather, # 3 above seems least likely. # 4 seems most likely – just because there is no blood, doesn’t mean she wasn’t in the car. I’ve investigated accidents where someone changing a CD left the road, hit a tree, and they hit their head, causing a concussion, with no outward signs of trauma. I simply list #1 and #2 as possibilities due to her apparent personality traits. But was she THAT eccentric to leave it ALL behind, including the ring and cash? I don’t know.

    ** This is very tough. A free-spirited young with a sad history, that we all want found alive and well. In a 1 hour show, you can get emotionally invested, but you get VERY VERY limited factual investigative information, at the discretion of a television show.

    *** I have to assume restaurant diner #2 was thoroughly investigated and watched. Many times it is the last person to see her that plays a part in the criminal activity. OR did he actually pay enough attention to provide a solid lead? I don’t know. He almost seemed to provide too good a description. I wouldn’t write off diner #1 yet, either. All it takes is a phone call to a friend to set up a criminal act. Again, unfortunately I don’t have all the police reports to read, so I can only come to potential possibilities.

    Again, I hope this ends with a happy conclusion, and I urge those close to Leah to never give up hope. Miracles do happen, everyday. God Bless.

  151. reese
    January 24th, 2014 at 19:10 | #154

    I watched “Disappeared” this morning & have to wonder….why did they never question where the note that told her sister that the car was found came from? On the show they made it look like it was a piece of notebook paper, left in a letter slot..wouldn’t a professional come to her door to tell something like that in person? that along with the “sighting” phone call with no name.. along with the James Dean look-alike mislead that came from the guy in the bar? It sort of seems that someone was purposely leading the police/family to or away from something…so weird & so sad…

  152. Marissa
    February 14th, 2014 at 02:15 | #155

    I just watched this episode on disappeared and I truly believe she just wanted to start a new life and literally leave everthing in her previous life behind. I believe she crashed her own car and wanted to make it appear as if there was foul play. I don’t think she wants to be found b.c she’s looking for herself.

  153. Kevin
    February 20th, 2014 at 03:27 | #156

    IMO the kind of person that Leah seems to be would either have an epiphany and decide to start over with a bang or be too trusting of a stranger with bad intentions

    If she wanted to start a new life why go through the trouble and hassle of crashing the car on a logging road? She could have left it at a bus stop or gas station or, from her described personality, hand the keys to someone who could use it.

    From the new evidence that the engine was tampered with it looks like foul play occurred. Maybe she was kidnapped and they drove her car out there to make it look like an accident. Put the clothes over the windows to give the story more credibility.

    What a tragedy. Seemed like a young women who was full of life. We need more people in this world like Leah who were not afraid to ask questions and be critical of social norms.

    I hope her family can find some kind of peace.

  154. Judith
    February 20th, 2014 at 12:57 | #157

    I too believe someone at the restaurant heard Leah talking about her cross country trip. They got up and left the restaurant before she did, and waited until she got in her car and they followed her. They knew the area and met up with her at some point, probably cutting her off with their car, made her get out of her car bound her, put her in their trunk and accelerated the car into the woods to make it look like an accident, or maybe Leah had to make a rest stop to urinate and that is how someone grabbed her, bound her and took her from the scene, or maybe she did stop to get some rest the reason the clothes were on the window, someone drove by, someone from the restaurant of course, and abducted her. It’s one of the three. Someone knew she was there.

  155. Freethinker
    March 18th, 2014 at 07:55 | #158

    Her jeep was not found 10 years later, That needs to be corrected. No where can you start over with no money, I.D for a job, SS#, all is needed to survive a new life unless you hit the streets with the homeless. I believe her mother’s ring is the most telling and tells it all. Someone she may have shared her secret journey with took advantage of no one knowing her whereabouts. If she was in them woods where her jeep was found the dogs would have picked something up, but they hit on absolutely nothing. I heart really goes out to her family and friends, the unknown has to be unbearable and torturous and very hard to attempt to move on and find peace.

  156. adelfavero@mi.rr.com
    April 21st, 2014 at 16:41 | #159

    Most likely an early victim of Israel Keyes,who was working that area at the time.

  157. April 21st, 2014 at 16:59 | #160

    The solution to what happened was given in the first few minutes of the “Disappeared” TV show. The voice over said she spent entire days at the coffee shop with her computer. Using the computer, without peripheral vision blocking protection, aka Cubicle Level Protection where coffee shop customers could walk in her peripheral vision allows Subliminal Distraction exposure. She would have had a Subliminal Distraction mental break.

    She is not the only person to have vanished like this. Most were college students. Remember Brian Shaffer, Maura Murray, Michael Negrete, Justin Gains, or Josh Guimond? They all vanished under strange circumstances and all are still missing. The oldest case with similar evidence was Ron Tammen; who walked away from Miami of Ohio in April 1953. Tammen was sighted a three hour walk from the school, so confused he didn’t know his name. He had not been reported missing so the woman allowed him to walk away. Pictures of his dorm room on a site maintained by the library as Miami University show his study desk in the room with no protection. There were four engineering students in Canada who vanished. Only one was found in Texas with no explanation of why he wandered that far. If you set a Google alert for you will get returns from around the world.

    There will be cases that turn out to be crimes or accidental deaths. A few are never found. Some return and approach police to ask for help in finding out who they are and where they should be. The group of interest are found or recovered with altered mental states. In one such case a Presbyterian College student missing three months was recovered when he tried to enter Canada without a passport.

    It is possible Leah is still alive with a new name and job. Not many people watch cable TV so the “Disappeared” program won’t generate enough noise in public media to alert the public to look for her. To find her someone must spot her and report the sighting. The family should generate a story news agencies will want to cover. Try linking the disappearance to college disappearances and suicides through Subliminal Distraction exposure.

    I have written the TV show channel but got no results. There are several stories “Disappeared” has featured with similar evidence of Subliminal Distraction. But they won’t make the phone calls necessary to learn about the problem.

    Everyone aware of Subliminal Distraction mental breaks believes they only happen in incorrectly designed large business offices and only cause a believed-harmless episode of psychotic-like confusion. Those mental events from light exposure in business offices are temporary and remit with no treatment once exposure is found and stopped.

    When this happened to my wife she heard voices and had depressive crying episodes concerning guilt about impossible criminal situations she hallucinated. The subliminal appreciation of threat from a massive number of subliminal FAILED attempts to startle will color thought and reason. That guarantees the voices and hallucinated situations will be negative with elements of guilt, fear, panic, paranoia, anxiety, depression and with extreme exposure thoughts of suicide. (Visit the College Suicides page at VisionAndPsychosis.Net.)

  158. Cece
    April 21st, 2014 at 17:27 | #161

    I too have been watching for results in this case. It seems like the theory of Leah driving to the forest at someone’s suggestion for a place to park and sleep makes the most sense. Then, was attacked once she settled in. If a predator showed her the way in HIS VEHICLE, he would have a way back out after the crime. I would suggest her remains are elsewhere in that same forest!
    It’s the only thing that makes sense. How terrible, it’s a huge Forrest to search. I wish her family the best and hope any evidence proves fruitful. The agony of not knowing WHERE her remains are goes on until this is solved.

  1. February 28th, 2011 at 01:54 | #1