Details of Disappearance Virginia was last seen at her home on 48th Avenue in Sweet Home, Oregon on October 21, 1973. Her husband, David Erickson, stated he and Virginia planned to go hunting while the children were in church. Their six children, aged between six and thirteen years old, attended church without their parents.
She never returned home and has never been heard from again. She was a regular churchgoer in 1973, a devout fundamentalist Christian, and played the piano for the church. She was also very close to her parents. She'd grown up in Washington, the youngest of seven children in her family, and married David at the age of seventeen. She would normally visit her parents at least every six weeks.
Two days before Virginia disappeared, she made an appointment for her twelve-year-old daughter to see the doctor the following week, an appointment she never kept. The child was pregnant with David's child; he sexually abused all of his daughters for years.
David never reported his wife missing. The twelve-year-old's baby was stillborn in February 1974. After this, the family moved to California, then returned to Oregon, and the children stayed with various relatives.
The oldest three girls told their family about the dead baby and the sexual abuse, and the police were notified. By this time, the police had realized Virginia was missing; they received an anonymous postcard in April 1974 that suggested they look into her disappearance.
David was charged with rape in September 1974 and convicted the following January. He was sentenced to ten years in prison, but paroled after less than six years. The day he got out of prison, authorities questioned him about Virginia on the first of several occasions.
David had different accounts as to what happened the day his wife disappeared. At one point, he claimed Virginia had changed her mind about going hunting because she had a headache, he went hunting without her, and she was gone when he returned. Another time, he claimed they had left the house together, but they had only gone for one block when Virginia asked to go inside a store to buy candy. While in the store she used the phone to call her boyfriend, then walked back to the house to meet this man.
David claimed Virginia had simply left him to be with a truck driver from Madras, Oregon. He said he'd seen her a few months after her disappearance and she was fine. This alleged sighting has not been confirmed.
Virginia's children believe their father probably murdered their mother, and police also suspected he was involved in her case, but there was never enough evidence to charge him. Virginia is considered missing under suspicious circumstances and her case remains unsolved.
- Linn County Sheriff's Office
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 17, 2019; middle name and age-progression added, details of disappearance updated.