Gayla Christine Schaper

Schaper, circa 1979

  • Missing Since 06/29/1979
  • Missing From Latah County, Idaho
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 05/01/1951 (68)
  • Age 28 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 135 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A blue sweater, a gold-colored shirt, blue Levi's jeans and sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Schaper was last seen when her husband dropped her off at a pasture near the family's dairy farm on Lenville Road southeast of Moscow, Idaho on June 29, 1979. When her husband came home, she wasn't there.

Some clothing was found in a nearby meadow, but Schaper herself has never been located. She wasn't carrying any identification at the time of her disappearance.

During the several months prior to Schaper's disappearance, she and her husband had gotten "strange" telephone calls, often in the middle of the night. On Good Friday of 1979, the couple got an anonymous note that said only, "You have sold out to Satan" written in cut-out letters from magazine and newspapers. The person(s) behind the letter and phone calls has never been identified and it's unclear if the communications were related to Schaper's later disappearance.

Schaper's husband was initially considered a suspect in her disappearance, but he passed a polygraph in 1993 and was cleared of involvement. He remarried after Schaper went missing and still lives in the local area.

Larry Hagedorn lived close to the pasture Schaper disappeared from; his son, Bill, was later convicted in the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend. Bill is presently serving a life term in prison. There were some accounts that his girlfriend was murdered because she knew something about Schaper's disappearance.

Larry was considered a person of interest in Schaper's case; he owned a backhoe and was excavating his property and burying trash at the time she disappeared. A search of the Hagedorn property turned up no evidence, however, and Larry passed a polygraph in connection with the disappearance. He died in 2005.

Schaper's case remains unsolved. She was involved with her church and had a stable home life at the time of her disappearance, and isn't thought to have walked out of her life. Authorities believe she was taken against her will.

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 23, 2019; details of disappearance updated.