Details of Disappearance Dove was last seen working at the Imperial gas station on south Main Street, Route 11, in Harrisonburg, Virginia on June 18, 1982. The station was located on an isolated section of road a mile south of the James Madison University. Dove's three sisters also worked there; she had traded shifts with one of them that night.
During her shift, Dove called the Harrisonburg Police Department to report a male customer was harassing her. She explained she was working alone and asked the police to "keep an eye" on her. A short time later, she called the police again and said the man had come into the station and was "dressed improperly."
At 2:30 a.m. Dove called authorities a third time, sounding frightened. She said she had received an anonymous, obscene phone call and the man was back and driving a silver or gray vehicle, possibly a Ford. She asked the police to send someone to help her.
Authorities stated they arrived at the gas station only two minutes after Dove terminated the conversation, but she wasn't there. Her purse and a magazine she'd been reading were left undisturbed on the counter, and a cigarette had burned out in an ashtray. There were no indications that the store had been robbed, no signs of a struggle and no clues as to Dove's whereabouts. She has never been heard from again.
Investigators estimated it would have taken as little as 15 seconds to abduct Dove, force her into a vehicle and drive away. Her family thinks whoever took her must have been armed; they described her as the sort of person who would have fought back if she could have.
Someone working at a nearby convenience store said a man driving a gray car stopped at the store about about half an hour before Dove disappeared. The witness described the man as 20 to 25 years old, with shoulder-length blond hair. It hasn't been proven he was involved in Dove's disappearance.
Dove's four sisters worked at the same gas station as she did, and they stated obscene calls and gestures were very common when women were working there alone at night. However, the calls stopped almost entirely after Dove disappeared; in the six weeks following her apparent abduction, the station got only one such call.
Dove's parents believe a man she went to high school with was responsible for her disappearance. This individual, who has not been named publicly, had a record for indecent exposure and making obscene telephone calls. He has never been charged in connection with her case.
Dove had been married for five years by the time of her disappearance and lived in Bridgewater, Virginia with her husband and four-year-old daughter. She was declared legally dead in 1989, and the gas station has since been torn down. Dove's case remains unsolved.
- Harrisonburg Police Department
Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 26, 2017; distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.