For many, the end of October excites people as they prepare for Halloween and fall celebrations.
But for Carolyn DeFord, who hasn’t seen her mother, Leona Kinsey, since 1999, every end of October marks another year since her mom vanished.
For years, Leona Kinsey and Carolyn lived together in trailer park La Grande, Oregon, and were members of the Puyallup tribe. Carolyn remembers her mother as free-spirited and independent, as she worked various jobs and did whatever it took to keep them afloat.
Then, after October 25th, 1999, when Leona was 46 years old, she vanished.
Carolyn, who was living in Washington at the time, had been informed at work that no one had seen her mother in a while. Leona allegedly was supposed to go to a friend’s house but never showed up and never answered Carolyn’s concerned texts and calls over three days.
After not hearing from her mother, Carolyn filed a missing person’s report. Two days after filing the report on Leona, her car was found abandoned in a grocery store parking lot, prompting Carolyn to fly from Washington to Oregon to visit her mom’s house.
When Carolyn went to Leona’s house, it looked like she had just returned from the grocery store and vanished. There was bread on the kitchen counter, untouched bananas starting to brown, and coffee in her coffee pot.
When Carolyn entered Leona’s bedroom, she noticed her purse, keys, pager with all her unanswered messages, and other belongings were left behind.
It’s been almost 24 years since Leona went missing, and neither the police nor her loved ones know what happened to her. Carolyn has publicly expressed her disappointment in the police’s lack of action and drive in her mother’s investigation and has taken to doing some investigating herself.