Shelia Kathleen "Beany" McBroom has not been seen since October 27, 2008 near her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. On that morning she did not show up for work, but was stopped and interviewed by an Alaska State Trooper who was investigating a reckless driving complaint.
Reportedly, the trooper was the last person to see Ms. McBroom.
Four days later, family members discovered her abandoned truck on a highway south of Anchorage. The vehicle contained her cell phone and other personal items, but offered no sign of Kathleen.
Prior to disappearing, Ms. McBroom was an avid writer and her online journal can be viewed here.
A reader over at the site Peace4themissing asked me several questions regarding Ms. McBroom's disappearance.
Here is some of that exchange:
In this report, it says she was pulled over by the trooper because she was driving erratically, and yet, in the next paragraph, the spokesperson says she pulled over to take a nap because she was tired. Which is true?
The published articles vary on exactly what happened that morning, but here is what I believe:
Citizens, including a truck driver, apparently observed Ms. McBroom driving erratically and possibly striking a guardrail. One or more of them called 911.
The citizens were able to get her stopped and everyone waited until an Alaska State Trooper arrived. The trooper told the citizens he would handle the incident and they the other witnesses left.
The spokesperson for the State Troopers stated that Ms. McBroom passed a sobriety test, was checked through records, and the trooper talked with her for a short time.
Ms. McBroom evidently told the trooper that she was sleepy.
Finding no reason to detain her any longer, the trooper allegedly told the woman that if she felt tired she should take a nap (apparently they were off the road of a well-traveled highway). The officer then left.
This link has some interesting comments....
This comment particularly stood out to me, from someone in Anchorage, because it was my first gut reaction, also. The Trooper was the last person to see her alive, haven't found the name mentioned in news reports (yet), and sends up a red flag to me:
...Lie: Trooper says he pulled Kathy over morning of 10/27.Why wasn't the family told about what had on 10/27? The family reported her missing Tuesday.
Truth: 3 civilians had her blocked (after flashing their lights and getting her to pull off the road) to prevent her from getting back on the highway as they waited for the trooper, after witnessing her erratic driving and confused, odd behavior, one witness even spoke to her.
Trooper also says she was sleeping, yet witness had just talked to her minutes before.
He shouldv'e called a family member to come pick her up. It was absolutely incompetent for the trooper to allow her to drive again. She needed help! That type of driving could've killed someone.
Troopers and detective never contacted witness after she went missing. Witness had to contact them.
Lie: Troopers say they found her truck still there and further down the road doing a welfare check.
Truth: The family found her truck as they searched themselves and were not notified by troopers until that time that a trooper had talked to her the previous Monday.
What are the troopers hiding?
I was not there and do not know Ms. McBroom's condition when she was stopped. From the statements released by authorities, they argue that their officer had no legal ground to prohibit Kathleen from driving that day.
Thus, the trooper made a judgment call to let Ms. McBroom operate the vehicle again.
It is unclear if a traffic accident report was completed (if Ms. McBroom struck a guardrail), but since it appears that the trooper did not get the witnesses contact information, representatives from the agencies involved (Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Police Department) had no choice but to ask the public for those with information to come forward for statements—-and they did.
Why the family was not told is simple: it was two different large agencies involved, and representatives had no idea that Ms. McBroom had been stopped there that morning by the police since little or no paperwork was completed due to the trooper’s selected course of action.
Unfortunately, these things happen.
From my perspective, it is not uncommon for a trooper or officer’s name not to be released to the press in cases like this unless there is a proactive media or family representatives involved to push for such.
In this investigation, I don’t see the police as "hiding" something.
I think it could be argued that authorities were concerned of the civil litigation involved in the trooper's decision to let Ms. McBroom go that morning--especially concerning would be if the disoriented woman fell to her death after she was released by police.
The other thing that's worrisome to me is why her family would have her declared dead so quickly, and how did that happen if Alaska law says 5 years?
Alaska law does include a year limit, but an application can be made at any time when there is a strong evidence to believe that the missing person is deceased.
I do not know what evidence was presented that had her declared legally dead.
One reader suggested that the information might be available via public records, and I am researching that possibility.
More questions and answers from this conversation can be found here.
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.
*Photos were used from local media reports.