Walcie Rae Downing

Downing, circa 1956

  • Missing Since 12/14/1956
  • Missing From Gallup, New Mexico
  • Classification Missing
  • Age 32 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A white blouse, blue jeans and an engagement ring.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Native American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Downing may go by her middle name, Rae. Her maiden name is Alston and her previous married name is Pearce (sometimes spelled "Pierce"). Downing has moles on her back, and her ears are pierced.

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.

Investigating Agency

  • Gallup Police Department 505-863-9365

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 9, 2017; casefile added.