Details of Disappearance Abrams and her father waved to each other as they passed each other on Goodenow Road during the early evening of October 4, 1990 in her hometown of Beecher, Illinois. That's the last time he or anyone else saw her; she has never been heard from again.
Abrams's vehicle, a red 1989 Dodge Daytona hatchback, turned up eleven hours later in Harvey, Illinois with the doors locked and keys still in the ignition. Her camera was in the car, but authorities located no trace of Abrams at the scene. A witness said two men in a tow truck dropped the car off at 10:00 p.m.
At 3:00 a.m., a neighbor called the police to report someone breaking into the car. Investigators then linked the car to Abrams. Three days after Abrams vanished, her purse was found in a residential area three blocks away from the car's original location. Whoever took it left her wallet, but took the credit cards from inside it.
Abrams dated a married police officer, Anthony Marquez, beginning in 1987. Her family wasn't aware of his marital status. They met while she was working at a McDonald's restaurant and he convinced her to join the sheriff's department; they hired her as a deputy in January 1988.
In October of that year, Marquez allegedly smashed a car while Abrams was behind the wheel and her mother was in the passenger seat. She ended her relationship with him and in November she filed a complaint against him, saying he'd harassed her and slashed her vehicle's tires on four occasions. Marquez was charged with criminal damage to property, but the charge was dismissed for lack of evidence in April 1989.
The sheriff's department terminated Abrams in December 1988, two weeks before the scheduled end of her probationary period. A short time later, Marquez filed a criminal complaint against her, alleging harassment. The complaint was dismissed, but Marquez filed additional harassment complaints against Abrams in the summer of 1989. She was arrested several times that year, including in May for disorderly conduct and in August for reckless driving; Marquez claimed she'd tried to run him off the road.
No charges were brought in the disorderly conduct case and, in October 1989, a jury found Abrams not guilty of reckless driving. In November 1989, Abrams got an order of protection against Marquez. She accused him of stalking her and falsely claiming she'd smashed her vehicle into his. The order was extended until November 27, 1990.
In December 1989, Abrams filed a federal lawsuit against Marquez and seven other members of the sheriff's department, alleging wrongful termination, sexual harassment and violation of her civil rights. She was scheduled to give a deposition in the case on October 22, 1990, but vanished eighteen days before that.
It's unclear whether Abrams's problems with the sheriff's department contributed to her disappearance. The Will County Sheriff's Department initially investigated her case, but the state police took over the investigation shortly after it began, citing a possible conflict of interest.
The police department fired Marquez in December 1990. He still lives in the area. Abrams's lawsuit was dismissed in January 1991 because the plaintiff could not be located.
One theory is that Abrams disappeared deliberately to spite Marquez, but most investigators think she met with foul play and is now deceased. Her family believes Marquez was involved in her disappearance and stated Abrams told them if she ever went missing, he probably had something to do with it. She graduated from Sandburg High School, Moraine Valley Community College and Governors State University, and planned to eventually go to law school. Her case remains unsolved.
- Illinois State Police
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 20, 2016; picture added.