Details of Disappearance Champagne's parents last spoke to her on March 9, 1993. She had just returned to the United States from a trip home to Belgium with her live-in boyfriend, and was in Washingto,n D.C. at the time of the conversation. She told her parents she was going to stay in town for a few days to see the sights before returning to her home in Spokane, Washington. This was the last verified contact with her.
Champagne had moved to the United States in 1990 with her American husband, whom she met while he was stationed with the military in Belgium. They lived in Germany for three years before moving to Spokane.
Champagne and her husband divorced in late 1992. He described her as an independent, strong-willed woman. She often supported herself working as a cook or a waitress. She had played soccer at a national level in Belgium, but gave up the sport after moving to the U.S.
According to her ex-husband, Champagne had her father wire her a large sum of money from Belgium shortly before her disappearance. He thought this was odd, as she'd been granted $60,000 in their divorce settlement. She reportedly needed the money to pay off a debt, but he didn't know the details.
Champagne's boyfriend, Darryl Matlen, reported her missing on September 8, 1993. He told the police they'd broken up on March 17 and he was filing the report at the request of her parents. Matlen reported seeing her in June 1993, three months after anyone else last saw her. She was riding a motorcycle in the Spokane, Washington area at the time.
In the months between the time anyone heard from Champagne and the time he filed the missing persons report, Matlen used her credit cards, sold all the furniture she had in storage and sold their jointly owned car. When the police checked on his movements in March, they discovered he'd returned to Spokane on March 12 and checked into a hotel, apparently alone.
In 2011, police have renewed the investigation into Champagne's disappearance and collected DNA samples from her parents and brother in Belgium to compare with unidentified remains. They hope to locate and re-interview witnesses in her case. Her disappearance remains unsolved. Spokane police are investigating.
- Spokane Police Department
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 20, 2013; details of disappearance updated.