Terri Lea Schlatter

Terri, circa 1985

  • Missing Since 02/01/1985
  • Missing From Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 11/02/1963 (54)
  • Age 21 years old
  • Height and Weight Unknown
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair. Terri's maiden name is Yingst and she may use the last name Yingst and/or Yingst-Schlatter.

Details of Disappearance

Terri was last seen in Tulsa, Oklahoma sometime in February 1985. She and her husband, Darrell Schlatter, lived there. Darrell was also from Indiana and at the time Terri met him, he was using a dead man's name and Social Security number.

Their marriage was troubled and they had both been charged with federal bank fraud. Terri came to the attention of the authorities after she fell behind in payments she was making on a boat. She told investigators her husband had dyed his hair gray and posed as her father to co-sign for the loan.

Terri fled after the indictment and was located in Colorado, where she had been working as an exotic dancer. She was arrested for prostitution and extradited to Oklahoma when Colorado police found out about the outstanding warrant. Terri agreed to cooperate with the authorities and testify against Darrell.

In January 1985, Terri sent her son, Nathan, to stay with her mother and stepfather in Springville, Indiana while she got her life together. The following month she came to get Nathan, against his grandparents' wishes, and took him back to Tulsa.

The day after she picked up Nathan, Terri called her mother to ask about some medication the child was taking. This was the last time Terri's family had contact with her.

That same month, Terri dropped Nathan off at a babysitter's for the day. Darrell came to pick him up and told the babysitter her services weren't needed anymore. This is the last time anyone saw either Nathan or his mother; neither of them were ever heard from again.

She had left Darrell before and he always tried to find her, but after her February 1985 disappearance, he seemed uninterested in locating her. Because of the outstanding fraud charges against her, for years after their disappearances, authorities considered Terri to be a fugitive from the law rather than a missing person.

In April 1993, Darrell was charged with killing a girlfriend, Erica Hartwick, who died in September 1992. Darrell claimed Hartwick had snagged her heel in a horse's stirrup and been dragged to death, but investigation showed she'd been murdered.

Investigators re-opened the investigation into Darrell's wife and son's disappearances after his arrest, and drained a local pond. The search turned up nothing, however. Darrell committed suicide by hanging himself in jail in June 1993.

Terri and Nathan's Social Security numbers haven't been used since they vanished in 1985. Foul play is suspected in their cases, which remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Oklahoma State Police

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 28, 2013; casefile added.