Marie Elizabeth Spannhake

Spannhake, circa 1976; Colleen Stan shortly before her abduction; Stan after her release; Cameron Hooker; Janice Hooker

  • Missing Since 01/31/1976
  • Missing From Chico, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 06/20/1956 (63)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Spannhake's nickname is Marliz.

Details of Disappearance

Spannhake was last seen in Chico, California at 4:00 p.m. on January 31, 1976. She has never been heard from again. Authorities believe she was abducted and murdered by Cameron Hooker and his wife, Janice. Photographs of them are posted with this case summary.

Years later, Janice told police she and Cameron were out driving in their two-door Dodge Colt when they saw a young woman walking along Mangrove Avenue. She later found out, by looking at the woman's identification, that she was Spannhake.

Janice stated they offered Spannhake a ride and she got in their car willingly. They drove her to her destination on Rio Linda Avenue and stopped to let her out, but as she was getting out of the car, Cameron grabbed her wrist and pulled her back him.

The Hookers took her home and kept her for about a day. Cameron hanged Spannhake from the rafters in his basement, shot her in the abdomen with a pellet gun and then strangled her. He and Janet buried her body near Lassen Park.

Cameron and Janice kidnapped twenty-year-old Colleen Stan in May 1977. Photographs of Stan are posted with this case summary. The Hookers held her captive in their home for seven years, torturing and sexually abusing her. They released her in 1984 and she went to the police.

After they were arrested, Janice received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her husband. He was convicted of rape and kidnapping, in spite of his assertions that Stan had consented to his treatment of her, and sentenced to 104 years in prison. He was denied parole in 2015 and won't have another parole hearing for fifteen years.

Spannhake moved to California from Cleveland, Ohio in late 1975. She was living with her fiance in the 100 block of Parmac Road and had a part-time job as a model at a camera shop. No charges have been filed in her case, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Chico Police Department 530-897-4911

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 16, 2015; details of disappearance updated.