Vickie Ellington Missing and the Linda Reed Case

This is Part V of the Vickie Ellington missing person case.

Case Summary
On the afternoon of Thursday, January 27, 2011, Vickie Ellington pulled her Chevrolet Suburban into the Wal-Mart parking lot in Louisville, MS. Reportedly, the fifty-three year old business owner and grandmother was going to meet someone there.

Video cameras from several stores show Ms. Ellington park in the front lot and exit her vehicle, but walk away from Walmart--towards a McDonalds and Taco Bell across the street. She then walks out of range from all the cameras and vanishes.

Vickie Ellington has not been seen since.
Last time, I outlined what investigators would look for in supporting or dismissing this theory: that Vickie Ellington voluntarily walked away from her life as a grandmother, mother, and business owner in Attala County, Mississippi.

And though that argument can be made, from what has been released about the case, there is not much evidence to support a voluntary walk-away.

But, is there a missing person example where someone seemingly disappeared without a trace and was later found to have chosen to start a new life elsewhere?

Certainly and here is one from not too far away.

Linda Reed Vanishes
Linda Gale Reed, then sixty-five-years old, was reported missing by her husband on April, 30, 2012.

An investigation indicated that the previous day, she was seen on video leaving a Walmart in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Ms. Reed was alone at the time and left the parking lot in her GMC Envoy.

Everyone was especially worried about Ms. Reed after her vehicle was found abandoned yet undamaged in a wooded area near the Interstate and not far from the Walmart.

Her purse, keys, and cellphone were located inside the vehicle.

Why would Ms. Reed leave?

The missing woman had a good job.

She was integrated into the community, and was married with a family who cared about her.

With the presented scenario, crime theories were prevalent.

Were authorities dealing with a kidnapping?

The woman's husband believed so.

He organized searches with the help of Texas Equusearch--one of the best finders of missing persons.

He also told the media: "she (Linda Reed) wouldn't have left her friends, family and me…"

But sadly, she did.

In October of that year, Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones made a startling announcement to the media.

He told reporters that the missing woman was suspected of embezzling thousands of dollars from the petty cash fund of her former employer, Moore's Fabrications--a place she had worked as a bookkeeper since 1999.

Two weeks later, Linda Reed was found in Texas and arrested.

Apparently, she staged her disappearance and fled to Longview, Texas. She was able to find work as a bookkeeper there, and had led her new boss to believe that she was maintaining a low profile due to domestic problems. Eventually, her boss became suspicious, researched his new employee, and contacted authorities after seeing her missing person story.

This article describes the mixed emotions of her family when Ms Reed returned: the disbelief, the relief, the confusion, and the pain.

How her grandson had: "buried his grandmother in his mind months ago."

A few months later, Linda Reed pled guilty to embezzlement.

How did she pull off the disappearance?

Did she have any help?

Why would she do this to her family?

The details will likely never be released to the public, but it serves as an interesting model: we never know everything about an individual's life.

The things that people are involved in like financial problems, relationships, life pressures, etc., can be a well guarded secret.

Secrets that family and close friends may not know anything about.

And sometimes disappearances that seem to best fit a crime theory, are explained by an individual's hidden thoughts and actions.

Actions that direct them away from their current life; a choice.

As in the case of Linda Gale Reed.*

*Note: Nothing has been released that indicates that Vickie Ellington was involved in anything similar to that of Linda Reed. My purpose with this post, was to show an example of a similar case where information was later revealed that helped the public understand what would motivate an individual to voluntarily start a new life elsewhere. 
Next time, I'll examine the Ellington case in terms of crime theories. 

For all of my posts on the Ellington case you can click here, or for more Missing Person Monday posts, go here.


ladyfi said...

You've got to wonder what happens to all these missing people.

Bijoux said...

It's amazing that in this day and age, that someone could disappear for any length of time. How do you get a job without a SSN? How do you drive a car without license registration? It just seems impossible to me.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Very unusual but anything is possible so I am not surprised.

messymimi said...

It is more difficult to disappear like that now, but not impossible. And sometimes i understand the pressure to just walk away and start over fresh. The problem is, you take yourself with you, so not much changes, and that's a totally different topic, but there it is.

Pat Hatt said...

It is possible if someone wants to do it, but then if someone else is determined to find you, it sure makes it harder. Most seem to run because its run or get caught.

Jessica Lawson said...

Wow, that's an amazing story about Ms. Reed. Hopefully Ms. Ellington hasn't done the same thing (at least where money is concerned), but I also hope she hasn't been hurt.

Carol Kilgore said...

I think some people believe they are so clever they can get away with anything. Most find out that's not the case.

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, a staged disappearance! How can you put your family and friends through something like that?

Chrys Fey said...

Wow! That's really fascinating. I don't know who would stage their own disappearance, but that sure would be a great story. (I'm always thinking like a writer.) ;)

Clarissa Draper said...

Sometimes people just have a midlife crisis and disappear. But, it doesn't happen often. Not with 65 year old grandmothers. Or does it...

Gail Dixon said...

Amazing what people can pull off when they think no one is looking. Wow. My dad's neighbor was caught embezzling funds from the school board treasury. He didn't run away, but has to pay it all back and was relieved of his job, of course. I do hope there's some resolution to Vickie's case.

Brian Miller said...

wow. can you imagine how her family had to feel...shock...disappointment...the relief she was still alive but...oy

Stephanie Faris said...

There was a case on Disappeared where a woman had chosen to start a new life elsewhere. I can't remember the case! Seems like there may have been another case of that, as well...the woman was a teenager when she disappeared and she was sure her mom was mad at her about something. Her mom found her years later, married with kids and a new last name.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Most of the time we assume the worst happened. Sometimes people have to escape because it's the only way to get away from stalkers or domestic abuse. You forget that sometimes people do bad things and need to go on the run. But what kind of person would put their family through that? That's just selfish.

BobKat said...

Thought-provoking Slam. Yes, possible... I known of three cases now that I followed...

Does seem rather difficult to pull off... maybe some personality types are better at it?

I liked this that you said: Actions that direct them away from their current life; a choice."

It is a choice. Committing a crime like embezzlement, no, not a choice.

Well written.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Always blows my mind that people could do that to their loved ones.

Gloria Baker said...

Im really; really impressed I read about this case always when you post about this.
But never think in something like that!
Poor family poor hubby ohmy!
Im really impressed!

Stephanie said...

Life can be terribly hard. I often say you never know what's going on behind closed doors, this just confirms that!! Imagine that kind of desperation to just walk away from your entire life. Sad.

lisa said...

it does boggle the mind of any sane person. But I suppose that is the operative word--sane. I can't really fathom behavior like that unless there is some sort of abuse, but just goes to show that anything is possible.

lisa said...

it does boggle the mind of any sane person. But I suppose that is the operative word--sane. I can't really fathom behavior like that unless there is some sort of abuse, but just goes to show that anything is possible. said...

There have been some high profile voluntary disappearances.

Brenda Heist in Pennsylvania, who was missing for 11 years and turned up in Florida. Michelle “Shelli” Whitaker, from South Carolina, who turned up in Washington state. Neither was a fleeing felon, though the latter may have been facing some minor charges.

Michelle McMullen, disappeared in similar circumstances. Her crime was so minor, she was released with time served.

My Inner Chick said...

Scary. I wonder if the culprits who kidnap these individuals assume that the police will assume that they just left of their own free will. Are their lives that horrible? Perhaps. x

Christopher Doty said...

I'm from Kosciusko. I rember the day Mrs. Ellington went missing. She was respected and loves by many in Kosciusko and throughout Attala County. She went to Louisville and then vanishes. Seems crazy still today. We may never know what happened to her, but I can say I pray wherever she is that she's at peace. I truly do not believe she is the kind of person to just up and start over and leave her family and friends all behind, but if that is the case I pray it comes out so her family, friends, and community can have answers instead of speculations and questions. Her picture still hangs on almost business door as Missing. So if anyone knows of any new leads please contact the proper authorities.