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Cold Case Spotlight

More Questions than Answers Nearly 42 Years after Washington Teen Vanishes

Laurie Partridge

When you read about Laurie Partridge’s case, you’re left with more questions than answers.

Laurie was the oldest of six children, was on her high school’s drill team, wrote for the school newspaper, and was hoping to marry her high school sweetheart soon.

But on December 4, 1974, Laurie disappeared.

“Laurie was such a beautiful, beautiful person,” Laurie’s younger sister Kimberly Partridge Carroll told NBC affiliate KHQ in 2010. “Whoever took her changed the whole course of our lives.”

Laurie, 17 at the time, had left her classes at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington around noon that day, telling friends and teachers she was suffering from menstrual cramps

She did not have a car, or anyone to give her a ride at that time, so she headed out on foot to walk the two or so miles home. Her family had just recently moved to the area from Fountain Valley, California.

Family members reportedly knew something was wrong when the blonde, blue-eyed teen failed to show for her shift at the Lincoln Heights Theater. After contacting her boyfriend and several friends, they called police to report her missing.

Laurie’s father had bought her two general admission tickets to a Beach Boys concert for later that week at the Spokane Coliseum. Family members said there was no way she’d miss the concert, so police went to see if they could spot her there. But she did not show up. Her tickets, however, had been used. Authorities were never able to uncover if it was Laurie or someone else who used them.

Laurie’s loved ones were insistent that she would never leave on her own. She had just become engaged to her 20-year-old boyfriend, and the two had planned to go pick out an engagement ring. She was settling into her new life in Washington and was looking forward to her future, according to newspaper reports from the time.

Investigators questioned several people over the years in connection with Laurie’s disappearance, but no charges have ever been filed. Laurie’s boyfriend was extensively investigated, but was never named a suspect in the case.

The notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was even interviewed, but was ruled out at as he was in Utah at the time of Laurie’s disappearance.

In 2011, detectives announced they had a new witness who said he had seen Laurie several hours after she left to walk home talking to a white male in his 40s or 50s near a white truck with a van backend and a dark door.

Despite the new possible lead, Laurie’s case remains unsolved. Laurie’s siblings are now dotted throughout the country. Her parents divorced, but then remarried several years later.

Her mother passed away in 2004, without any answers as to what happened to her oldest daughter.

“It’s torture not knowing,” Laurie’s sister Kimberly told NBC affiliate KHQ. “It’s absolute torture.”

If you have any information regarding Laurie’s case, please call the Spokane Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

For more information, you can visit the Facebook page ‘Laurie Partridge Missing from Spokane, WA’ or the website lauriepartridgemissing.weebly.com.