Part VI: Kathleen McBroom Missing Person

Sheila Kathleen “Beany” McBroom has not been seen since October 27, 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska. She was reported missing by her family the next day.

Three 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.

In the previous post, I presented two questions that I would want to know if Ms. McBroom was a missing relative of mine:

1) Were Kathleen’s medical records subpoenaed?
2) Was her encounter with police (on the morning she vanished) videoed?

Here are two additional issues I would want addressed by authorities:

3) Was a traffic collision/accident report completed concerning Ms. McBroom’s truck striking the guardrail that morning?

In addition to wanting to know if the missing woman’s field sobriety test was recorded, it may also be important to review any police reports that were completed-—since the trooper who spoke with Ms. McBroom that morning was evidently the last person to see her.

I would want to know if the accident report contained any statements made my Ms. McBroom. Did she say that she was falling asleep at the wheel or provide another reason for driving erratically?


For instance, say that Ms. McBroom stated that she swerved her car because she was talking on her cell phone and was distracted. That excuse would seem reasonable to an officer investigating the incident.

However, maybe her family would characterize such a statement as odd if Ms. McBroom was firmly against distracted drivers talking on the phone. It would seem to indicate that the conversation Kathleen was having was very important and/or she was acting out of character by speaking on her cell while driving.

In any event, the report may reveal clues as to the reasonableness of Ms. McBroom’s thoughts and actions on that morning.

Note: Depending on the policies of the Alaska State Troopers, a traffic accident report may not have been required of the minor collision; thereby, no report may exist. If the guardrail was damaged and another state agency needed to be notified, then one would expect such a report to have been completed.

4) Was her cell phone active beyond 9 am that morning?

From examining the case, Ms. McBroom was not a person to be stopped by police on a regular basis. Whatever the reason that Ms. McBroom was driving poorly and was not close to her office that morning, an encounter with police could have certainly had a negative effect on her.

As noted previously, Ms. McBroom was wearing her walking shoes that morning and not her work shoes. Despite my thoughts and some of the commenters that this may not be important, her friends and family described this out of character.

Kathleen wanted to portray a professional image at work and would not have worn walking shoes--one family member commented previously that she did not believe that Kathleen intended to go to work that morning at all.

The embarrassment of being detained by police and "caught" not going to work, performing field sobriety tasks, and being interviewed on the side of the road, in full few of the public for more than 30 minutes, may have turned what was a bad morning into a world-is-crashing-in-on-me dreadful experience.

I understand the privacy issues involved with releasing specifics about Ms. McBroom’s cell phone activity, but the family should be able to confirm whether it was in use beyond 9 am.

If it was being used until late in the afternoon that day (as was rumored), then the location of her truck may be less important as a focus area for searches.

Next time, I’ll complete my list of questions.

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.


Javajune said...

Reading her on-line journal made her seem so real- not just another news story. It is evident that she was having some inner struggles. Someone has to know something! I feel for her daughter that wrote the desperate plea for information.
I hope this story breaks soon. Thanks for the update. Have a great monday.

J. J. in Phila said...

I have to agree with Javajune, somewhat. That diary, especially the last several entries, indicated a change. She may have had "inner struggles" before that, but something changed.

terri said...

Something's not right. Even though her struggles were evident, her last post seems to indicate some level of peace and trust in God.

torn blazer said...

I can see from the last entry that she was looking for peace and a place to "rest".....something was troubling her....surely someone knows

BobKat said...

Keep digging Slam... you are the the man! It doesn't make sense an accident report wasn't filed, and that's just for starters. Being in what I feel is a similar "job crisis experience", it may well be she called in sick just needing a day to breath. As such days may go, first the boss calls her on her cell-phone - berating her and threatening - happened to me recently. Next, she gets pulled over, after maybe being distracted by a phone call, and narrowly missing, or hitting (BIG DIFFERENCE)a guardrail. To the truck driver it may have looked like she hit it, but maybe she didn't, which would make more sense as then the officer wouldn't file an accident report. He'd evaluate her ability to drive.

Thanks Slam for digging into this case!


Karen Stuebing said...

You raise some important questions in your post. This sounds like a story that won't end well for Kathleen who you get to know through her journal. Hopefully, they will find her soon. Keep at it, Slam Dunks.

Oz Girl said...

I can understand Kathleen's distress with her job... and I can understand how something like that can begin to override everything else in your life.

I, thankfully, was saved by my sweet husband and moved to KS, right at the point where I did not know what might become of me if I had to stay in my Ohio job much longer. It is sad indeed that the miserableness of someone's job can drive them to commit unspeakable acts that they might not even consider - but if one feels there is no other way out of a situation, I can understand how this might happen.

I hope for the sake of Kathleen's family that they receive closure and find out what happened to her. It is disturbing to me to read her blog and see the person that she was, before she disappeared. It would seem that her blog writings might have helped to shed some light onto her disappearance.