Part V: Kathleen McBroom Missing Person

This is a continuation in my series on missing person Kathleen “Beanie” McBroom.

Ms. McBroom has not been seen since October 27, 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska. Four days later, her truck was discovered abandoned by family members on a highway south of Anchorage. The vehicle contained her cell phone and other personal items.

Mrs. McBroom was an avid writer and her online journal can be viewed here.

If I was a member of Kathleen’s family, and my loved one had disappeared, there are several questions that I would want answers from authorities including:

1) Were Kathleen’s medical records subpoenaed?

From her journal, Kathleen had several troublesome health issues. She had previously fallen down a flight of stairs and the injury had been causing her serious back pain. She was a victim of previous abuse.

The missing woman wrote that her relationship with her supervisor was causing her great stress, and that she disliked her job. Also, she stated that her medications were making her loopy and tired—-seemingly a change from being a driven worker who had difficulty sleeping.

With these health issues and since accidental death and suicide are still possible explanations for the disappearance,, determining what medications she was taking as well as in what quantities is important.

It could also be used to compare medications with those, if any, that were found in her truck.

Further, it may be important to understand any other undisclosed serious health problems that Kathleen may have been dealing with. The subpoenaed records certainly could provide insights into Ms. McBroom’s actions and behavior on the day she went missing.

2)Was Kathleen’s encounter with the Alaska State trooper videoed?

If so, I would want to see the recording of the police officer’s administration of the field sobriety test. If there is no video, I would want an explanation as to why.

Just a little background on Ms. McBroom's police incident: At around 8 am on the morning she went missing, Kathleen was evidently seen driving her green truck (the truck depicted above) erratically well south of her workplace in Anchorage.

Reportedly, she was observed by several motorists including a trucker--who saw her swerve into oncoming traffic, strike a guardrail, and continue driving. The truck driver then contacted police, but was dismissed by the trooper after the officer arrived on the scene.

According to news accounts, the trooper’s call involving Ms. McBroom lasted for more than 30 minutes. During that time, Kathleen was questioned, a field sobriety test was conducted, and she was run through warrants. The trooper’s agency stated later that Ms. McBroom passed the field sobriety test and there was no other legal reason to detain her at the scene. The trooper then advised her to take a nap if she was tired. He then left.

In many police departments and just about every large agency, field sobriety tests conducted by officers are recorded using video. It is reasonable then to assume that at least part of Kathleen's encounter with the state trooper was recorded-—maybe there was also audio of the contact.

If video and/or audio exists, I would want to see the tape. I think viewing the video (especially if it had audio) could provide clues to people who knew her well; especially as to her state of mind and the potential effects of any medication.

Perhaps one of Kathleen's responses to the trooper on that morning would mean something to a loved one, while the value would not be perceived by the law enforcement "stranger."

I'll continue next time with more questions regarding Ms. McBroom's disappearance.

Previous posts in this series can be accessed by clicking "Kathleen McBroom" on the right margin of the home page or a list of historical posts is here.

The photo was used from here.


Anonymous said...

How long are the police recordings saved?

J. J. in Phila said...

Both points are excellent.

Even being tired could point to a medical issue.

Stephanie Faris said...

Does the family have an attorney? It seems the attorney could try to get a court order to get the tape.

Simply Reaganesque said...

First I want to thank you for your service, I salute you. From browsing your blog I can see that you do wonderful work. God bless you and your lil ones. It is people like you that make this country great. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

terri said...

Hard to believe this case has stalled out. Then again, there are hundreds, probably thousands of cases a year that never get resolved. Maybe it's that this one just hits so close to home... a wife, mother, average joe, just like the rest of us. Or so we thought.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
Terri sort of asks the question I have. How typical is this? I see that

Sometimes I hear that America is still an "on the move, pull up stakes" kind of place. Other times, I hear, "not anymore."

Ms. McBroom doesn't seem like a typical runaway. Something terrible happened to an already-vulnerable woman.

Thanks for teaching us,
Ann T.

corvedacosta said...

Hope something breaks in this story.

Slamdunk said...

I appreciate the comments all.

@ Stephanie: If a video exists, an attorney would certainly be of use to the family in coordinating with all of the agencies that had been involved in this.

@ SR: I appreciate the kind words.

@ Ann T: On my first or second post on this case police officer "Christopher" made the observation that missing person cases in Alaska are different than the rest of the states. There are more transient folks, and so much more open wilderness.

I hope to do a more general missing persons post in the future that talks about how rare cases are where the missing person is actually a homicide or suicide victim. A large percentage of missing persons are located alive and well--either they return to their loved ones or are discovered to have simple moved elsewhere.

I agree that the likely scenarios in Ms. McBroom's case are grim.

Slamdunk said...

One more thing.

@ annonymous: each police agency would have a retention policy for video and audio recordings. Since it has been over 12 months that Kathleen encountered the trooper the incident recording (again if there was one) may have been destroyed.

I am going to try to find out about the Alaska State Troopers specifically, and post the information later.

Holly said...

I am totally intrigued and going to check out the other posts. I actually find your other posts intriguing too. I love law enforcement type issues I grew up with it being a huge part of my life - my dad was an officer for over 20 I will be your newest follower.
Holly @ 504 Main

Javajune said...

Wow this is so interesting. I have learned so much by reading your posts. You bring up points I had never thought about. It amazing me how many cases go unsolved each year-sad. Keep up the good work; I love it!

Lela B said...

I know people in Alaska
and they said Alaska is like it's own country.
A totally different world there.
? if they even do videos there.
Thanks for stopping by. You got there before I could even get the invite up! :))I'll be back.

Lipstick said...

What a sad and tragic mystery...I have not read about the case until your blog. I am anxious to look at her online journal.

Thank you for visiting my blog today and for your kind comment. I am happy to find you!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the encouragement Holly, JJ, and LS.

Tara R. said...

Thank you for keeping Beany's story in the public. After more than a year I hold little hope that she is alive, but I am so glad that I was her friend even for a short time.

BobKat said...

Thanks again for an excellent post ... I have to say I find the lack of "investigation" into Kathleen's disappearance very troubling.Personal belongings in her car for 4 days; she missed work (apparently that day), no questions from her employer?); I suppose I should ask when were friends of family first feeling concern? Was a missing person report filed?

If her cell phone had been used later that day as I read you saying, that changes my thoughts on what may have happened, away from suicide and more towards she met someone.

RE: Medication... whatever meds she was taking would seem critical to know... there are unusual and annoying side-effects like being "loopy or tired",.

I am so glad you are looking into this case, in your interest to help find her. I have one more question:

If her truck hit a guardrail as the truck-driver reported, then there'd be damage to the front of her truck. Yet I see the picture of the rear of the truck. How much damage is in the front would tell a story...


C.L. (Cindy) Beck, author said...

Excellent points! If there was a video, it may well provide a clue to what happened to Kathleen.