In July 2022, Dateline NBC launched a new podcast series called Dateline: Missing in America. Heidi Planck’s case was featured in episode 2 with correspondent Josh Mankiewicz reporting on her disappearance.
It’s available now:
Click here to follow and listen to Dateline: Missing In America wherever you find your podcasts.
Mystery continues to surround the disappearance of a missing Los Angeles mother who vanished after leaving her son’s football game early last month.
Heidi Planck, 38, was last seen on October 17, 2021, in the 7800 block of Gardendale Street in Downey, Los Angeles County, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Security footage released by the LAPD shows Heidi leaving her home with her dog prior to arriving at her son’s game.
Her ex-husband, Jim Wayne, who has 50/50 custody of their son, told Dateline that she left their son’s football game at halftime and appeared to be a little “edgy” and “antsy.”
“She was a little bit antsy, yes. I don’t know why,” Jim said. “All I know is that was the last time I saw her or talked to her.”
Over the next few days, there were no texts or calls from Heidi to her son, which Jim said was extremely unusual. But Jim assured his son that his mother would be there to pick him up at school on October 20, which was her next scheduled day to have him.
So when Heidi didn’t show up to pick up their son from school on October 20, Jim told Dateline he knew something was wrong.
“She’s a devoted mother who would never, ever leave her son,” Jim said. “We have a 10-year-old boy at home that’s looking for his mom and we just need to find her.”
Jim told Dateline that on October 20 he filed a missing persons report with the LAPD and detectives performed a wellness check at her home.
“The home was in pristine condition,” he said. “But her phone and laptops were left behind."
Jim said one of the texts received on Heidi’s phone was from a woman who had found Heidi’s dog, who was chipped, and tried to contact Heidi.
Jim said this is how he discovered that Heidi’s dog was found about three hours after she was last seen, on the 28th story of an apartment building in Downtown Los Angeles.
Jim told Dateline that the security to get access to each door and floor in that building is extensive and that he doesn’t know how the dog got into the building and up to the 28th floor. He added that he also doesn’t know why Heidi would be in the building.
Friends and family are worried that foul play is involved, especially with the unusual circumstances surrounding Heidi’s disappearance.
According to local reports, federal agents and homicide detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department searched Heidi’s home on Friday, but details of what they found were not released.
Both Jim and one of Heidi’s best friends, Danielle Nadolny, told Dateline that they are doing everything they can to keep her name in the public in the hope that someone with information will come forward.
“I just want to know where my friend is,” Danielle said, adding that Heidi's son called her wondering where his mother was. “He needs his mother. We all need her home safe."
Heid’s ex-husband told Dateline that what’s really at stake is their son.
“He was doing OK until he saw a photo of them the other day - and then he just broke down,” Jim said. “He told me that he just wanted one more time to talk to her. That hurt. That was really painful.”
Jim added that their son turns 11 this week.
“What kid wants to spend his birthday without his mom,” he said. “We’re just hoping for a miracle and that she comes home.”
Heidi is described as being 5’3” and weighs 120 lbs. She had blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing jeans and a grey sweater, driving a 2017 Grey Range Rover with California license plate “U840X0.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Heidi Planck is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, at (213) 996-1800 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.