Details of Disappearance Welch was last seen in Roanoke, Virginia on July 12, 1982. Shortly before her disappearance, she had moved to the southeast Roanoke area to live with a male roommate. She enlisted in the United States Army, but served for only a few months before being discharged for medical reasons.
Welch's boyfriend was involved with the Pagans, a motorcycle gang, and Welch disappeared shortly after some of the gang members were arrested in a drug raid. She may have been a federal informant.
She did have a history of engaging in drug activities to support herself, and she told her mother she was "in too deep." She kept a padlocked wooden box at home and told her mother it contained a letter which would explain everything if anything happened to her.
A week or two after Welch was last seen, her mother became concerned because she had not heard from her in three weeks and asked Welch's roommate where she was. The roommate said Welch had walked away from their residence, carrying a plastic bag, and had not returned.
Several weeks later, the police began investigating Welch's disappearance. Her mother went to open the locked wooden box, and discovered it had been broken open and the letter was missing.
Police stated Welch's roommate has been ruled out as a suspect in her disappearance, but her sister said his story was inconsistent and she thought he might have been involved. Her case remains unsolved.
- Roanoke Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 10, 2015; details of disappearance updated.