Teresa Joanna Gossage

Teresa, circa 1976

  • Missing Since 10/09/1976
  • Missing From Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Age 17 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 105 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A brown and white shirt, a brown jacket, white jeans and sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Teresa's nickname is TC.

Details of Disappearance

Teresa was last seen with Alfred Hoffman Marshal on October 9, 1976. They were students at Waynesville High School, and both were the children of officers at the Fort Leonard Wood Army base. They left on a date in Alfred's car at 7:30 p.m. They never returned and have never been heard from again.

The following day, their car was found locked and abandoned on a side road in an isolated area of Fort Leonard Wood. In spite of the freezing weather, Alfred's jacket was found in the backseat of the vehicle. His hairbrush, which he never went anywhere without, was in the console. There was no evidence of foul play.

Although investigators initially thought the pair had run away, Alfred and Teresa's loved ones didn't believe this. Teresa was a good student and a member of the school's band; the band had won a district contest qualifying it to compete in a state competition, and Teresa was excited about it.

In January 1977, three teenagers were murdered at Fort Leonard Wood while out on a double date. Johnny Lee Thornton, a military police officer, pulled them over as they crossed into the fort, shot the boys to death, sexually assaulted the girls, shot them also, and dumped the four bodies. One girl from the group survived by playing dead. She walked for six miles to the nearest house to call for help.

Thornton pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming he had multiple personalities, but was convicted and sentenced to three life terms plus twenty years in prison. He is considered a suspect in the disappearances of Alfred and Teresa well. Alfred's car was found abandoned not far from where the murder victims' bodies were dumped.

In spite of the circumstances, however, no evidence has been found to tie Thornton to Alfred and Teresa's disappearances. He remains in federal prison and the cases are still unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 14, 2018; casefile added.