Vivian Lee Barrett

Barrett, circa 1989

  • Missing Since 01/04/1989
  • Missing From Sebring, Florida
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 03/31/1925 (94)
  • Age 63 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Possibly a black t-shirt, a maroon sweater and black stretch pants.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Barrett wears an upper denture plate. Her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

In 1988, Barrett purchased a 1986 Honda motor scooter in Glendale, California and set out to see the rest of the country, sometimes staying with friends and sometimes camping in a green two-person dome tent. She carried her supplies in a plastic milk crate on the back of her scooter. She lived off her Social Security benefits.

By November, she was staying in Sarasota County, Florida. When she had the money she camped at Myakka River State Park and Oscar Scherer State Park. When she was low on money, she camped in her tent in the woods just off the road. On January 3, 1989, Barrett withdrew $260 from an ATM in Sarasota, Florida. The next day, she wrote to her sister in Los Angeles, saying she was going to North Florida. This is the last time anyone in her family heard from her.

On January 9, Barrett's scooter was found leaning against a tree about a hundred feet north of State Road 66 near Sebring, Florida, 107 miles east of her last known location. It appeared as if the scooter had crashed, and its tag and the milk crate she kept her supplies in had been ripped off. Barrett's tent and the flags she normally used to decorate her campsites were missing. There was no sign of her at the scene and she has never been heard from again.

According to her family, Barrett had a very confrontational nature and would not have backed down from a fight. She had also stated that if she ever got sick she planned to go into the woods and die. Authorities believe she may have been robbed and killed. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Highlands County Sheriff's Office 863-385-0347

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 1, 2019; details of disappearance updated.