Deborah Jean McKneely

Deborah, circa 1991

  • Missing Since 01/29/1991
  • Missing From Rockdale County, Georgia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 04/14/1951 (68)
  • Age 39 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 155 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes. Deborah's nickname is Debbie and her maiden name is Quarles. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Deborah was last seen at the residence she shared with her two children on in the 3700 block of Union Church Road in Rockdale County, Georgia on January 29, 1991. She was apparently abducted from her home between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.

Deborah's eleven- and thirteen-year-old sons were at school during that time and she disappeared by the time the children returned in the late afternoon. They called 911 when they saw the condition of the house.

The back door of Deborah's residence had been kicked open, a window pane in the garage was broken, and the phone lines were cut. Blood was discovered inside the home and in the carport area. There was no indication of robbery.

Deborah's tan and black 1985 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was discovered on January 30, 1991, the day after her disappearance. The vehicle had been parked at a housing project on Jackson Way in Decatur, Dekalb County, Georgia.

The keys were inside the car and $100 in cash was scattered in plain sight on the front seat. Investigators believe this tactic was utilized to trick potential car thieves into stealing the vehicle. Blood was found inside it.

Authorities believe that two people were involved in Deborah's presumed abduction. An unidentified white pickup truck had been spotted in the area of her home prior to her disappearance, but it is not known if the truck is connected to her case.

Deborah and her husband, Donald McKneely, were going through a bitter divorce. They had been separated since November 1989. On November 14, 1989, Deborah filed a police report stating Donald had beaten her with a board. She told her brother and a neighbor that if she tried to divorce Donald, she believed he would kill her.

Deborah and Donald's divorce was scheduled to be finalized at 5:00 p.m. on the day of Deborah's abduction, but it hasn't been proven that the divorce had any bearing on her disappearance. Donald has always maintained that he had nothing to do with her kidnapping.

In 2001, Deborah was declared legally dead. Her case remains open and unsolved, and is classified as a homicide.

Investigating Agency

  • Rockdale County Sheriff's Office 770-918-6700
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation 800-597-8477

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 7, 2019; picture added.