On what would otherwise be characterized as a routine Thursday afternoon 33 years ago last week, Pamela Lynne Neal left work for her lunch break.
Pamela was a bank teller at Key Savings and Loan in Englewood, Colorado. It was March 31, 1983. The 22-year-old left work on foot; she didn’t have a car at the time. She cashed a check at a different bank nearby, then stopped at a Safeway grocery store and bought a lottery ticket, cigarettes, and a takeaway lunch. Her apartment was just across the road, and her roommate, also an employee at the bank, told police she saw Pamela make her way the short distance.
Hours passed, but Pamela never returned to work. Her roommate set out to check their apartment, thinking maybe Pamela had lost track of time or perhaps was feeling sick.
Instead, she found the door to their apartment ajar, her roommate’s lunch unopened on the table, along with her purse and the unscratched lottery ticket. Pamela was not inside.
And with another anniversary of her disappearance here again, there are still no answers as to what happened to the bubbly brunette.
Several theories have emerged over the decades since. Police thought perhaps Pamela had run down to grab her mail and someone abducted her there. Another scenario, the most likely according to Englewood police, was that Pamela did not lock the apartment’s front door and someone surprised her and kidnapped her. Whether it was someone she knew or a stranger, police are still unsure.
Neighbors told police they didn't seen anything amiss that afternoon. No one had spotted Pamela being forced into a car, nor did they see her leave her apartment. Dozens of investigators collected evidence that was sent away for testing, but the efforts turned up no solid leads.
Although Pamela’s body has never been found, her case is listed as a homicide and not a missing person’s case.
“It would be painful if they found her body, but the uncertainty of what happened just amplifies the pain by a factor of many times,” Barney Neal, Pamela’s father, told the Denver Post a few weeks after his daughter vanished. The family poured thousands of dollars and hours into searching for Pamela, but have remained private in recent years.
Pamela Lynne Neal was described at the time of her disappearance as 5’4” tall, weighing 105 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.
If you have any information that can help crack this case, please call the Englewood Police Department at (303) 762-2460.