Details of Disappearance Linda was last seen in Anchorage, Alaska on January 1, 2016. Her husband, Thomas Skeek Jr., said that night he drove her to three bars and a strip club and would wait in the parking lot with their children until she was ready to go to the next location. They arrived home at 1:00 a.m. and Linda resumed drinking alcohol.
Thomas said Linda wanted to drive back downtown to visit another bar, but he took the car keys away from her and they got into a verbal argument about it. Linda screamed at him angrily and then left home on foot at 2:30 a.m., presumably to go to the bar. She has never been heard from again.
Linda was carrying only her Alaska identification card and possibly $40 in cash at the time of her disappearance; she didn't have any credit or debit cards with her, and Thomas had the only cellular phone in the family. Her husband reported her missing on January 4, at the urging of Linda's foster mother, Rena Sims.
Linda would frequently leave her home on weekend drinking binges, but would always return by Sunday night so she would be able to go to work on Monday. Her family stated no matter what was going on in her life she always called her loved ones at holidays and anniversaries. She and Thomas had moved from Juneau, Alaska to Anchorage a few months before she went missing, and Linda still has relatives and contacts in Juneau.
The Skeeks' marriage was troubled. In November 2015, according to court documents, Linda pointed a loaded handgun at her husband in front of their seven-year-old daughter. That same month, she filed for a protective order against Thomas for herself and their two young children. In her petition, she said Thomas had assaulted her by grabbing her by the arm and pushing her, and had left bruises on her chest. She withdrew her petition ten days later, and she and Thomas reconciled.
Linda was having an extramarital affair, however, with a man she'd met while she and Thomas were separated in November 2015. He never heard from her again after New Years' Eve 2015. Linda's boyfriend had an alibi for the night of her disappearance and isn't considered a suspect in her case. He knew Linda was married, and said he thought she may have been seeing other men at the same time she was seeing him.
On January 20, three weeks after Linda's disappearance, the police searched her home and a vehicle. After the search was completed, Thomas was charged with murder and evidence tampering in her case. He has a prior criminal history for assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and attempted sexual abuse of a minor; the victim in the sexual abuse case was a fifteen-year-old girl.
Sims stated she had been suspicious of Thomas when, after Linda's disappearance, he wouldn't allow their children to speak to her. She repeatedly asked him if he had killed Linda, and he kept saying no, but finally said instead, "I don't think so." Sims notified the police immediately, and Thomas was charged shortly thereafter. When he was arrested, police noted a possible human bite mark on his right arm as well as some bruising on his neck, collarbone, back and hip.
Investigators found blood evidence in the Skeek residence and believe Thomas murdered Linda there and tried to clean up the crime scene. There were bloodstains in the bathroom, in the basement crawl space, on the kitchen wall, and in the passenger compartment of the couple's vehicle, and there was also a clump of long, dark hair in the crawl space.
In the dryer was some clothing, which looked like it had been washed with too much bleach, and there was a notation on the calendar for January 1 that said: "2:30 AM Linda walked off". Authorities learned Thomas purchased bleach, ammonia and Lysol after Linda's disappearance. One of the couple's children told their great-uncle that she'd seen Linda's feet in the downstairs bathroom "with blood all around it" on the night of her disappearance.
The woman who lived in the unit above the Skeeks reported hearing a loud fight in the early morning hours of January 1, and said Thomas was angry and swearing at Linda and Linda asked for a divorce. Then the neighbor heard the sound of glass breaking and things being thrown, and there was a large bang and a jolt that knocked a photo off the neighbor's own wall. She never heard anything from Linda after that.
When Thomas told Linda's mother she was missing, he added, "They'll never find her." He was having an extramarital affair at the time she went missing, and his girlfriend moved in shortly afterwards.
At Thomas's murder trial in March 2019, his defense argued that there was not enough evidence to prove that Linda was deceased, and that if she was, there was insufficient evidence to prove her husband was responsible. Thomas's attorney suggested she had been the victim of a random attacker, was struck and killed by a drunk driver, or deliberately walked out of her life.
After three hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Thomas of all charges.
Linda worked for the NANA Regional Corporation, an Alaska Native social economic group, at the time of her disappearance. She has three children, two by Thomas and one from a prior relationship. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
- Anchorage Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 3, 2019; details of disappearance updated.