Details of Disappearance Aughe was last seen leaving La Paloma Restaurant in Bellingham, Washington during the early morning hours of April 25, 1987. She was driving her 1972 Ford Torino, which was painted red with a black vinyl top. She was accompanied by the restaurant's bartender, a drifter who called himself Mike Johnson. Johnson's real name is Darren Dee O'Neall. A photograph of O'Neall is posted with this case summary. Aughe has never been heard from again. Her car was found abandoned in Eugene, Oregon on May 2. O'Neall's fingerprints were inside.
When authorities searched Aughe's apartment after her disappearance, they found signs of a struggle, including pools of blood, semen stains and bloodsoaked bedsheets and linen. An all-points bulletin was issued for O'Neall. He had worked for the La Paloma Restaurant for only two days before he disappeared after emptying the cash register and stealing liquor. The United States Customs authorities reported photographing him driving across the border into Canada in Aughe's car. He was apparently alone in the vehicle at the time.
O'Neill was charged with the murder of another young woman, Robin Smith, who disappeared four weeks before Aughe did. Her body was found in May 1987. O'Neill was not arrested until September 1987. He pleaded guilty to Smith's murder in 1989 and was sentenced to life in prison. He was also convicted of second-degree auto theft for for stealing Aughe's car and for an unrelated kidnapping and rape. He is still incarcerated.
Aughe was a beauty school student and the mother of two young children in 1987. It's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. She has never been located and O'Neill hasn't been charged in her disappearance because of a lack of evidence, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
- Bellingham Police Department
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 1, 2008; details of disappearance updated.