Diane Faye Chorba

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Above Images: Chorba, circa 1979

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 24, 1979 from Luther, Michigan
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 39 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Chorba's ears are pierced.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A reddish-brown leather trench coat with a belt around the waist, jeans, slip-on sneakers and a pacifier.
  • Medical Conditions: Chorba was six months pregnant at the time of her disappearance.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Chorba's relatives reported her missing on July 20, 1979. They hadn't heard from her in approximately two months. She had moved to the Luther, Michigan area and was seeing a married man, Clarence Oliver Bean Jr., known as Ollie. A photo of Ollie is posted below this case summary. She already had a young son by him and was pregnant with another. She also had a teenage daughter. Authorities determined Chorba was last seen on May 24.

    When police interviewed Ollie, he stated Chorba was going to go to California with an unidentified woman. They took Flight 191 out of Chicago, Illinois on May 25, 1979. The plane crashed while leaving O'Hare Airport in Chicago, killing all 271 passengers and crew, as well as two people on the ground. It was one of the worst air disasters in U.S. history. Chorba's family hired an attorney to help find her body among the victims, but the coroner investigating the crash said she wasn't on the plane.

    In May 1980, before authorities could give Ollie a polygraph test to prove his story, he moved to Oregon with his family, including his and Chorba's son. He was subsequently interviewed there, but provided no more information as to Chorba's whereabouts. He and his wife, Judy, eventually divorced after a 32-year marriage. Judy stated Ollie was abusive and had openly flaunted his relationship with Chorba. In spite of this the two women were friendly with each other, and it was Judy who took care of Chorba's children in the immediate aftermath of her disappearance.

    In 1999, Judy told investigators her husband had shot Chorba to death. On May 24, 1979, Ollie had driven her to show to her Chorba's grave at the end of a remote road in the woods near Bristol, Michigan. He had cut down a large tree to conceal the burial site, and buried her face-down after removing her jewelry. Ollie was charged with murder, and Judy testified against him at the trial. A forensic pathologist also testified, stating all the victims of of the Flight 191 crash had been identified and Chorba was not among them. Ollie maintained Chorba had still gone to California, if not on Flight 191, and when he last saw her she was safe and well. Ollie was convicted of second-degree murder in August 2001.

    Chorba's son was killed in a car accident in 2004, but her daughter is still alive and has three children of her own. Her daughter said never believed her mother had abandoned her, and was certain of Ollie's guilt. Chorba's body has never been found, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

    Bean
    Above: Clarence "Ollie" Bean

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Michigan State Police
    269-465-6525

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    Source Information
    NamUs
    The Doe Network
    Michigan State Police
    The Grand Rapids Press
    The Ludington Daily News
    Find a Grave

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 12, 2013; picture added.

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