Details of Disappearance
Patricia was last seen at her place of employment, the Professional Care Home in Hartford, Kentucky, on March 3, 1993. She worked as a nursing assistant. Her former brother-in-law, Vernon Eugene Calloway, paid her a visit and told her that her ex-husband, his brother Larry Ray Calloway, had filed for a license to marry his girlfriend. Patricia and Larry had been divorced a year, but still lived together.
Patricia went to her boss, very upset, and said she had to leave work early due to a family emergency. She left the nursing home at 10:30 a.m., three hours before the scheduled end of her shift, and has never been heard from again. At 5:00 p.m. the same day, Patricia's car was found in the side lot of the Hartford Community Center. She was reported missing on March 13.
Authorities initially believed Patricia had left of her own accord, but later said she was missing under suspicious circumstances and probably dead. Investigators think she was blackmailing Larry at the time of her disappearance by threatening to go to the police and implicate him in a 1991 arson case. Patricia was seen with Vernon in his 1978 Chevrolet Blazer on the day she disappeared. He had allegedly threatened to cut her throat. Larry and Vernon were later charged with the arson of Larry's home. Larry pleaded guilty in 1995 and said he'd paid Vernon $1,000 to burn down the residence, but Vernon was acquitted at trial.
Patricia left behind three adult children and several grandchildren and step-grandchildren. She didn't take any clothes or very much money when she disappeared, and she never picked up her last paycheck or accessed her bank account. Her family held a memorial service for her in March 2000, seven years after she vanished, and she was declared legally dead in December 2001.
In October 2012, nearly a decade after Patricia's disappearance, Vernon and his wife, Debra Angeline Calloway, were charged with murder in her case. Photos of the suspects are posted below this case summary. Both of them maintained that they were not involved in Patricia's disappearance and they believed she had simply walked out of her life after she found out her ex-husband was planning to marry another woman.
Vernon died of natural causes in July 2013, before he could be tried. His sister later testified that he confessed to the murder shortly before his death. Debra was tried for murder, retaliation, evidence tampering and kidnapping in 2014, but the kidnapping charge was dismissed during the trial. Larry testified that Patricia had been present when Vernon and Larry plotted to burn down Larry's house for the insurance money, and she was also there when Larry paid Vernon for his role in the crime.
James, another of Larry's brothers, testified also and said he saw Debra and Vernon cleaning out Vernon's truck. In the back was something covered in the trash bags; James pulled the bags away and saw Patricia's body. Her throat, he said, had been cut. He didn't come forward with his statement until 2008. A jury found Debra guilty of facilitation to commit murder, facilitation to retaliate against a witness in a legal proceeding, and evidence tampering; she was sentenced to ten years in prison.
Foul play is suspected in Patricia's case due to the circumstances involved. Her body has never been found.
Left: Vernon Calloway in 2012;
Right: Debra Calloway in 2012