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Family still searching for answers 36 years after Amanda Fravel disappeared in Las Vegas, Nevada

The 20-year-old was reportedly last seen hitchhiking across town to see her ex-boyfriend and collect her paycheck from Taco Bell on June 13, 1986.

“She had no reason to disappear,” Melisa Fravel said of her older sister, Amanda. “She was on her own already.”

20-year-old Amanda Fravel was reportedly last seen in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 13, 1986.

Melisa told Dateline her sister was supposed to fly home to California that week. “She never made it,” Melisa said.

Amanda and Melisa Fravel were born and raised in sunny California. “We grew up in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol,” Melisa said. “We were outdoor kids.” Melisa said the two loved sliding down hills, riding bikes, and skating. “California is great for that kind of stuff,” she added.

Amanda and Melisa Fravel.
Amanda and Melisa Fravel.Melisa Fravel

The sisters were only two years apart, and extremely tight-knit. “We were so close because we came from a rocky foundation,” Melisa said.

Melisa told Dateline that their parents struggled with alcohol and split up when the girls were young. She said their father stayed in Santa Rosa, while their mother moved two and a half hours away to Gilroy.

In 1982, Melisa and Amanda were living with their father and stepmother in Santa Rosa. “My dad was going through rehab, and [Amanda] got kicked out by -- I think it was his wife at the time,” Melisa said. She told Dateline that Amanda “stood up for herself” and as a result, was kicked out. “She went down to Gilroy to live with my mom and her husband,” she added.

But before long, Amanda was having difficulties there, too. “She also got kicked out of there,” Melisa told Dateline.

Tom Davis was married to Melisa and Amanda’s mom, Glenda, from 1986 to 2012 but the two started living together in 1983. Tom told Dateline that Amanda was a “typical, rebellious, 16-year-old.” Tom said that as Amanda got older, her defiant attitude persisted. By 1986, they had kicked her out of their house, too.

In April 1986, the month before she turned 20, Amanda moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. “She got to Vegas and stayed with her girlfriend from Santa Rosa,” Tom recalled.

Melisa told Dateline that the woman was a friend of Amanda’s from high school who had gotten married and moved to Vegas. Melisa said the living arrangement didn’t last long. “They had a new baby and Mandy liked to hang out with bands and rockers and stuff,” Melisa said. “She ended up moving out.”

After Amanda moved out, she got a new job. “She had a job at Taco Bell on Boulder Highway,” Tom told Dateline.

Amanda Fravel.
Amanda Fravel.Melisa Fravel

In June, Amanda decided to take a break from Las Vegas. She booked a flight back home to visit her mother, Glenda, and stepfather, Tom. “She was due to fly back -- due to be in San Jose on Saturday, June 14, 1986,” Tom recalled. “She never showed up.”

Tom said they initially thought Amanda might have just changed her mind about coming to visit. But after more than a week of no communication, her mother started to worry.

“Her mother started to become very uneasy and made a phone call to [Amanda’s] last known location,” Tom recalled. He told Dateline that a man by the name of Lew Frank answered the phone when Glenda called Amanda. According to Tom, Amanda and Lew were roommates. “He said, ‘Well, I haven’t seen her since June the 13,’” Tom said.

Tom told Dateline that Amanda’s friends told her mother she was going to “hitchhike across town to see her boyfriend before she flew back.” Melisa clarified that Amanda and the boyfriend, Xavier Romano, were no longer a couple at the time. Dateline attempted to get in contact with Xavier Romano to see if he had any further insight on Amanda’s plans that week, but was unable to reach him.

On June 22, 1986, Tom and Glenda reported Amanda missing to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. “They didn’t do much,” Tom told Dateline. He believes that since Amanda was an adult at the time, authorities didn’t really look into the disappearance.

Dateline spoke with Public Information Officer Larry Hatfield who confirmed that Amanda “was supposed to leave on June 14, 1986, to return home to Gilroy, California.” He added that she “was last seen by a friend named Lew who she supposedly” was “keeping house for and living with,” at an “apartment on South 3rd Street” in Las Vegas. Officer Hatfield noted that Amanda “was going to her boyfriend’s house but never showed up.” He said that at the time, “her boyfriend’s address and name were unknown.” Officer Hatfield followed up in an email to Dateline that authorities do suspect foul play in Amanda’s disappearance.

Tom told Dateline that shortly after they reported Amanda missing, he and Glenda flew to Las Vegas “just before the July 4 holiday” to search for her. Tom said they stopped at a 7-Eleven near Amanda’s apartment on South 3rd Street to hang a missing person’s flyer. “There was this older guy, older than me at the time,” Tom told Dateline. Looking at the flyer, the man said, “That’s Mandy.” Tom said the older guy identified himself as Lew Frank -- Amanda’s roommate.

Tom told Dateline the 7-Eleven encounter was the only interaction they had with Lew Frank. He also believes Lew Frank may not have been the roommate’s real name.

Officer Hatfield told Dateline there are no known suspects or persons of interest in the case at this time, although the investigation remains open.

Tom believes the worst about Amanda’s fate. “Obviously, she was abducted or murdered,” he said. “Or both.”

Melisa told Dateline her sister’s disappearance was extremely hard on their mother and haunts her to this day. “My mom had a nervous breakdown,” Melisa said. “She’s never been the same since.”

Amanda and Melisa Fravel.
Amanda and Melisa Fravel.Melisa Fravel

Melisa said all she wants is closure for herself and her family. “We’ve never had any type of clues or anything,” she said. “I don’t want anybody to forget she’s a real person.”

Melisa told Dateline that she decided to honor and remember her sister the best way she possibly could. “I named my daughter after her,” Melisa said. “She was born the same month as my sister.”

Amanda was 5’5” and 110 lbs., with bleached blonde hair with black underlay at the time of her disappearance. Her natural hair color is brown and she has green eyes and a tattoo of a rose on her left hand. She would be 56 years old today.

Anyone with information on Amanda Fravel’s disappearance is asked to contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 800-492-6565.