Details of Disappearance Downing was last seen in Gallup, New Mexico on December 14, 1956. She drove a cream or tan 1952 or 1954 Ford at the time of her disappearance; it has never been recovered. It's possible she contacted her children by phone in around 1959, but this hasn't been confirmed. She has never been heard from again.
Downing was born in Arkansas and had lived in Arizona, Texas and California as well as New Mexico. Her family stated she was going through a difficult time at the time of her disappearance, including a broken relationship. She may have been having an affair with a police officer.
When she left, she told her fourteen-year-old daughter not to look for her. Nevertheless, her five children don't believe she would have abandoned them permanently.
One theory is that she was murdered in the area of Grants, New Mexico or somewhere in the lava fields, known as the malpais. Her case remains unsolved.
- Gallup Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 9, 2017; casefile added.