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Brother desperate in search for missing sister Loghan Starbuck

The 25-year-old was last seen on a bus going from Cheney to Spokane, Washington

UPDATE: According to the Starbuck family, the body of 25-year-old Loghan Starbuck has been found. Blake Starbuck shared the update about his sister on Facebook saying, “We don't have all the details yet. We aren't sure about a date for a service just yet. Loghan will be greatly missed and we appreciate the joy and funny moments that we all shared! We all love you Loghan!”


Editor’s note: Updated to include additional contact information.

25-year-old Loghan Starbuck was last seen on December 18, 2021 in Cheney, Washington.

Her older brother, Blake, told Dateline that Loghan is very driven. “She won't take no for an answer,” he said.

Loghan Starbuck
Loghan StarbuckBlake Starbuck

Loghan is on the autism spectrum and currently has a caretaker, but she was adamant about becoming self-sufficient. A few months before she disappeared, Loghan moved into her own apartment in Cheney. “That was one of her longtime goals – was she wanted her own place, she wanted her own apartment,” Blake said. “I helped her move all her stuff in. You know, brought a couch over, gave her a TV. I was kind of with her, just helping her out, getting her situated.”

Another goal, Blake said, was that she wanted to be able to drive herself. Blake said Loghan was always told she would never be able to get a driver’s license, but she paid for herself to go through driver’s education multiple times until she finally passed. Although the Starbuck family would have preferred Loghan continue to take public transportation, Blake said his sister eventually saved up enough money and bought a car from a friend of his. “She bought herself a car a Ford Taurus,” Blake said. “And it was her -- it was her baby.”

Blake told Dateline that Loghan had been going through a rough time before her disappearance. She had been dealing with a breakup, and her driver’s license had been suspended, because she had been in a few fender benders, and that one insurance company was looking to get about $4,000 from her.

Blake said that after getting her own apartment, Loghan quickly ran out of money. “I was always there to help her out with that side,” Blake told Dateline. “I've paid her last two months’ – and utilities in December, trying to help her out.”

Blake mentioned that Loghan’s car had been in the shop and then a couple of days after getting it back, a tire blew out. With no car and then a suspended license, Loghan lost her job at Amazon in November. According to Blake, Loghan tried to handle the situation herself. “She tried calling the 1-800 number to get HR,” Blake said, “but couldn’t get through to them to explain why she wasn’t coming to work. And she ended up losing that job.”

December is not an easy month for the Starbuck children. Their mother, Chanin Starbuck, was found murdered in December 2011. Her ex-husband, their father Clay, was convicted of her murder in 2013. Dateline reported on the Starbuck case later that year in an episode called “A Cold December Morning.”

Loghan Starbuck, 2013
Loghan Starbuck, 2013

Both Loghan and Blake were interviewed in the episode. Clay Starbuck has always maintained his innocence and his five children have always stood by him. In June of 2021, Spokane Superior Court Judge Julie McKay granted Starbuck’s motion to have additional DNA tests conducted in his effort to get his conviction overturned.

The breakup, the car, the job and the 10th anniversary of their mother’s murder. “There's, you know, those things that were kind of weighing on her mind,” Blake told Dateline. “She was like, you know, ‘Why does all this stuff happen to me?’”

On December 18, 2021, Loghan got on a bus in Cheney and headed to downtown Spokane. “It appears that she was alone,” Blake said. “This is when it was about 8-10 degrees out. She was wearing shorts. She didn't have a bag with her.”

Loghan Starbuck getting on the bus from Cheney to Spokane, Washington
Loghan Starbuck getting on the bus from Cheney to Spokane, Washington

Captain Nathan Conley of the Cheney Police Department told Dateline “the 17th is listed as one of the dates that somebody last saw Loghan.” Conley added that the police report indicates Loghan was seen at a bus stop in Cheney on December 18. “They determined, I think, that Loghan rode the bus to Spokane,” he said. “I think they were able to determine that through the bus’s surveillance.”

Blake told Dateline that the next day in Spokane, some tourists found a beanie with a phone, wallet, earbuds, and house keys sitting inside it. They turned the items in at a local tourist shop, which Blake said then turned in the items to the police.

“I had texted her on the 16th… because I knew she was out of money and I asked her what her plans were for rent,” Blake told Dateline. “And I never – I never got a text back.”

Blake said Loghan had talked to her caretaker on Friday, December 17 and the two had plans to go somewhere together on Monday, December 20. Blake told Dateline that on Sunday, December 19, the caretaker called him and told him that they hadn’t been able to get ahold of Loghan to confirm the appointment for the following day.

According to Blake, the caretaker went to Loghan’s apartment that Monday to see if maybe she was there. Blake said the caretaker then called him and said Loghan’s car was there with snow on it and all the lights in her apartment were off. Blake said he also went to check Loghan’s apartment a few times, but she didn’t answer the door and he didn’t see her through the windows.

Loghan Starbuck with her older brother, Blake at her graduation
Loghan Starbuck with her older brother, Blake at her graduationBlake Starbuck

On Tuesday, December 21, Blake got someone in the maintenance department at the apartment complex to open up Loghan’s apartment. “I went in there and no signs of anything,” he said. “I left a note for Loghan.”

Blake said he went to the Cheney Police Department and filed a missing person report the next day.

Captain Conley told Dateline that the Cheney police are not aware of any bank or social media activity on Loghan’s part after she was last seen, but did confirm they searched Logan’s apartment and her cell phone. He did not elaborate further.

Blake told Dateline the family arranged for a search and rescue dog team to go out on a search for Loghan on December 27, 2021. Dateline contacted Misty Wegner, a volunteer K9 handler with the Steven’s County K9 Search and Rescue team. “We have very strict standards. We have to certify with dogs every year to two years, depending on the given discipline,” Misty said.

“I knew about the area that her items were found, because the cops told me, but I didn't know the exact location,” Blake told Dateline. “I got items from Loghan's apartment, you know, for the dogs to smell and the dog did pick up her scent.”

Misty has three multi-discipline dogs and assisted with the search for Loghan herself, “We obtained a scent article, and started around downtown Spokane,” Misty told Dateline. “We started walking towards the river, we had tried working up the river, below the falls, just in case she had gone into the water and been pushed down.”

It’s been well below freezing in Spokane and “the river is very violent right now,” Blake told Dateline. “I've tried multiple times to get divers in there.”

Blake also told Dateline that there is a hydroelectric water plant on the river with intake turbines that take the water and turn it into electricity. “They have basically a grate, so you don't suck in rocks and sticks and stuff like that,” Blake said. “A lot of times bodies are found in those grates. And they check them about every week. And they haven't found anything there.”

Misty told Dateline that “the dogs didn’t have any interest there, and so we moved up to the bridge area.”

Blake said it was about a 70-yard span between where the dog picked up Loghan’s scent and what he said was the exact location the tourists had found the items belonging to Loghan.

Unfortunately, Misty told Dateline, the dogs signaled that where Loghan’s belongings were found was the end of the odor trail, and that “it was nine days after the fact. Odor is only viable for a certain amount of time.”

Since there haven’t been any confirmed sightings of Loghan, Misty told Dateline that they haven’t been able to run their dogs again. “We have to have a point of contact,” Misty said. “We need to have a place last seen, or last known place that she was at.”

As it gets warmer, Misty hopes that her team will be able to take to the dogs out again to try to find Loghan.

In October of last year, Loghan started taking testosterone to begin transitioning, Blake told Dateline. He recalled having a conversation about it with her on Thanksgiving. “She kind of opened up with me about it,” he said. “Her plan was to get surgery.”

Blake said he is supportive of Loghan’s decision, but will continue to refer to her as female while she is missing, so as not to confuse people who might be keeping their eyes out for his sister. He wants the public to be on the lookout for Loghan as she currently appears. “It's been, you know, coming up on two months now. We need the public to understand that when you see her she's going to look like a female, not like a male,” Blake said.

Loghan Starbuck
Loghan StarbuckBlake Starbuck

Blake told Dateline that Loghan is 5’3” and around 140 lbs. She has very short dark brown hair, around two inches long. Loghan also has snakebite piercings on her bottom lip, a nose piercing and several piercings in each of her ears. Blake also mentioned that Loghan has a few tattoos: a sleeve on the left arm that goes up to the elbow on the inside of the arm and up to the shoulder on the outside of the arm and a cross on her shoulder blade. “It's like a memorial for our mother and it says Chanin Conway,” Blake told Dateline.

The Cheney Police department is the main investigating agency at this time, but Captain Conley told Dateline that after determining Loghan went to Spokane on the bus, the “Spokane Police has been involved at least to a certain extent.”

Captain Conley confirmed authorities have conducted interviews with family, friends, and Loghan’s former coworkers, but they do not have any persons of interest or suspects in the case. He added that authorities do not suspect foul play at this time.

Blake told Dateline that the Starbuck family is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to Loghan’s whereabouts. The Starbuck family has also been working with Plan B Forensics, an organization led by surgeon and death investigator, Dr. Suzan Marshall. Blake told Dateline that Dr. Marshall is also handling his father’s case right now and getting the post-conviction DNA testing done.

In Loghan’s case, Blake said that Dr. Marshall helped organize the search and rescue dogs, got a digital forensics team to get into Loghan’s laptop, and personally spent hours on foot handing out fliers with information about Loghan’s disappearance. “She has helped me understand the steps I need to take and who to talk to in a missing person situation, Blake told Dateline. “She has been through it before with her husband who was missing for two days, then was found alongside the river murdered.”

The Starbuck family has created a website to post updates and information about Loghan’s disappearance, and requests that the public reaches out to Plan B Forensics at 509-862-5000, if they have any tips or have seen Loghan since December 18.

If you have any information that can help bring Loghan home, please also contact the Cheney Police Department at (509) 535-9233.