Details of Disappearance Leigh was last seen at her family's residence in the 100 block of Honey Locust Drive in Tupelo, Mississippi on August 27, 1992. Her mother saw her before leaving for work at 7:35 a.m. Leigh planned to attend an open house at her school that day, and was waiting for her grandmother to come pick her up. It was the first time her mother had left her at home alone.
There were heavy storms that day as Hurricane Andrew moved over the area, and Leigh's mother was concerned for her as a result. Her mother tried to call her at 8:30 a.m., but got no answer. She tried to call once more before returning home, but there was still no answer. Her mother became worried and returned home to check on Leigh, and discovered that the garage door was open and the light was on. Another door to the house was left unlocked. There was no sign of Leigh at the scene and she has not been seen again. Her mother called the police at 9:00 a.m. to report her daughter's disappearance.
There were no signs of forced entry into the home, but there were some indications that a struggle had taken place. Type O blood stains were located inside the house on the walls, a doorframe, the carpet, and the bathroom countertop. There was a blood trail leading from the hallway to the living room to the back door, and blood and hair stuck to a doorframe. One of Leigh's nightgowns and her brassiere, both items bloodstained, were in her bedroom.
Someone had made efforts to clean up the blood in the bathroom, but police couldn't find a used rag or towel anywhere. Leigh's reading glasses, shoes, some of her underclothes and a sleeping bag were missing. Police searched the area with bloodhounds, but due to the weather conditions the dogs weren't able to get a scent.
About one month after Leigh's disappearance, her glasses arrived at her residence in the mail. They were addressed to Leigh's stepfather. He and Leigh's mother had separated a short time before her disappearance. There was nothing else in the envelope. It was postmarked Booneville, Mississippi, a town about thirty miles from Tupelo, and the street name in the address was misspelled "Hony Locust." Handwriting and forensic tests on the envelope yielded no results and the person who mailed the glasses has never been identified.
Authorities stated they had very little evidence to determine who was responsible for Leigh's disappearance. Several persons of interest have been interviewed, but no one has been charged in connection with her case. Her mother was given three polygraphs and failed all of them, but she hasn't been identified as a suspect. Leigh's mother believes a local man who knew Leigh was responsible for her disappearance. This individual, who is currently incarcerated, has been linked to two other disappearances in the Tupelo area.
Leigh resided alone with her mother at the time of her disappearance. She was about to begin the eighth grade at Tupelo Middle School. Her father, who divorced from her mother in 1981, was in the United States Army and was stationed out of state. Her mother is also a veteran of the armed forces.
Leigh's father got emergency leave from the military after her disappearance and moved to Tupelo with his family so he could assist in the search for his daughter. He stated although he wasn't able to see Leigh often due to his military obligations, they had a close relationship. Both Leigh's father and her stepfather were ruled out as suspects in her case.
Foul play is strongly suspected in Leigh's disappearance, which remains unsolved.
- Tupelo Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 14, 2011; age-progression updated.