Part II: The Disappearance of Beau Ramsey

Programming Note:

1) There were some new developments in the Kathleen McBroom missing person case, and I'll have a new post soon.

2) I hit an obstacle for my next update on the Brianna Maitland case in that I have been unable to find a short video clip from another disappearance that I wanted to include--as a result I am still working on that one.


This is a continuation of my series on the disappearance of Beau Ramsey.

A summary of the case is:

On August 17, 2004, twenty-three year old Beau Ramsey, was following his employer to a construction site in Benton, Arkansas. Beau’s coworkers reported that Ramsey fell behind in traffic and never made it to the job’s location. This was only Beau's second day on the job.

A few days after the disappearance, Beau’s motorcycle, with the keys in the ignition, was found abandoned on a dirt road near the county line, but no other evidence was discovered.

Nine-months later, Beau's decomposed body was found in a heavily wooded area about three miles south of where the motorcycle had been recovered.

Last week, I talked about the victim and provided the basics of the case. For this post, I'll discuss two reported sightings of Beau on the same day he left work, and someone who evidently spoke to him by phone.

A Search of the Victim’s Residence

When authorities searched Ramsey’s basement apartment they found several items including his wallet, money, checkbook, bank debit card and backpack.

Also recovered was a Wal-Mart receipt dated 8/17/2004 at 1:30 pm, and a bag of syringes. Detectives viewed store video and verified that Ramsey did make a purchase that day.

What did Ramsey buy?

Authorities stated that he purchased items consistent with methamphetamine use. They felt that the young man could have quickly become frustrated with his labor intensive job in the hot August sun, and the Wal-Mart trip and syringes perhaps indicated that the victim had relapsed.

The victim’s mother admitted that her son had battled with an addiction to meth previously, but that his two month stint in a rehabilitation clinic had allowed him to kick his habit.

She raised the possibility that the syringes may have been for steroid use and unrelated to meth problems.

The Witnesses

It was reported that a young woman and a 12-year old girl, saw Ramsey walking on the side of the road around 5 pm on 8/17. The woman was visiting her grandparents, and after she stopped and got out of her truck, she stated that the man asked if she had a gasoline can.

She retrieved a can, offered him some gas, and watched him add fuel to a tank that already looked near full.

The witness reported that the man seemed scared and acted if he was being watched--almost like he was expecting someone to confront him.

He then, without any additional conversation, gave her the gas can back and a $5 bill, and rode his motorcycle in the direction toward his home.

This appeared to be the last sighting that authorities had of Ramsey.

A Person of Interest

It was reported that childhood friend Jon Thibault spoke with Ramsey by phone shortly after he disappeared in traffic. The two evidently talked about meeting later in the day, but Thibault stated that he never saw Ramsey again.

Cell phone records indicated that Beau's phone was used to contact Thibault several times on the day he went missing. An examination of Thibault's criminal history revealed that he was a convicted felon with an outstanding warrant.

Thibault claimed that after he was arrested, authorities attempted to pressure him into revealing additional information about Ramsey's disappearance, but it is unknown if any new leads were gleaned. Thibault bonded out later, and has since referred all questions to his attorney.

In sum, an unfortunate set of circumstances that included the victim quitting a new job, purchasing items consistent with meth use, and being described as fearful and somewhat disoriented, led police to initially favor the possibility that Beau Ramsey had voluntarily left behind his life in Benton, Arkansas.

How did that impression impact the investigation?

I'll cover that next time.


Previous posts in The Disappearance of Beau Ramsey series are here.

Additional Note: The primary source for information contained in this post is from articles linked and contained on this website.


Lady Fi said...

Oh gosh, how awful!

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

When I hear stories like this, I just wish I knew what was going on in their mind!

J. J. in Phila said...

I think that the impact of a wrong assumption might be key.

 ALH said...

I'm interested to see how this view affected the investigation, or if it did rather. It's hard to believe that things like this actually happen as it seems so much like a plot line out of a mystery/suspense movie.

Thanks for your comment earlier. Great suggestion! Maybe they could even be called vultures as I constantly feel pressured to hop off the elliptical when people start circling the cardio area just waiting for people to give up a machine haha.

Amber Paterson Photography said...

That is so horrible. What a sad start to the new year for that family.

Iva said...

how tragic.

Luisa Doraz said...

I am also interested to see what will come up. Sometimes, people jump to conclusions too quickly.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I have heard that once the first impression is formed in an investigation, the alternate impression is rarely given any time.

Is that because (mostly) the first impression is correct, or perhaps budget constraints, or some other reason?

Thanks for this post and I can't wait for the updates on the others.

No pressure though. You're sleep-deprived enough. :-)

Ann T.

BobKat said...

sheleThe "Witness account" was most interesting. But broken up - the whole deal with the gas and the observation by the witness that the can appeared full.

Reminds me how difficult it is to remember things you never saw coming.

Thanks for drug use info.

You talk about "childhood friend John Thibault ", as a "person of interest". Looking forwards to more about him, and their friendship as adults.

mrsofficer said...

Wow, it seems there can be two possibilities that I can conclude from this. One, Beau had a relapse with meth and overdosed, but I don't know many tweekers who shoot meth. Two, a drug deal gone bad. It's late, but I will read more about it tomorrow.

10-7 EOW
Mr. Officer

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all.

@ Mr. Officer: I appreciate your insight, and I think that part of my post fell victim to over zealous editing on my part. The syringes were believed to be related to the use of other drugs while the Wal-Mart trip and buy was for medicine and other items that coudl be used for creating homemade meth.

@ Ann T.: Good question and I don't have comprehensive answer for you. I will say that a variety of factors impact the way each case is investigated and once evidence begins to create a picture of what happened, the more along the path one follows, it becomes difficult to change perspectives.

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

Another interesting case. It definitely sounds like drugs are involved, and the "friend" is certainly a suspect.

Very sad for the young man's family, though.

Amber Paterson Photography said...

That is heart wrenching. My gosh. Your writing draws you in as if stepping into a picture. Write a book. I'm serious. Do it right now.