Melinda Marie McCollom

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Above: McCollom, circa 1989

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 12, 1989 from Seal Beach, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: June 25, 1963
  • Age: 25 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes. McCollom has a two-inch scar on her left wrist. Her nickname is Mindi.
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    Details of Disappearance

    McCollom was last seen near her Old Town neighborhood in Seal Beach, California on February 12, 1989. She lived with her boyfriend, Harvey Anthony Caron, in the 100 block of 13th Street. Prior to her disappearance, she had gotten $20,000 in a real estate deal. She has never been heard from again and the money disappeared with her and was never recovered. McCollom's mother believes McCollom's signature was forged on real estate checks made out to her.

    Caron is considered a suspect in McCollom's case. In 1993, he pleaded no contest to the murder of another woman, 45-year-old Estella Dian Vaughan, whose body was found in Roseburg, Oregon more than two years after she disappeared. When questioned about McCollom's disappearance, he told authorities she had died of an accidental drug overdose and he disposed of her body in a trash bin near Ximeno Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach. Caron's story has not been verified and authorities stated they believed McCollom had been murdered.

    Caron is also a suspect in the disappearance of Dennis Kaye Woods. He had lived in an apartment in the 4100 block of east Eighth Street in Long Beach for nine years by the time he disappeared sometime in early 1988. In September 1987, McCollom had moved into the same apartment complex; two months later, Caron moved in with her and he met Woods at this time. Caron and McCollom moved away in March 1988, and Woods was reported missing in April, after mail his mother sent him was returned to her home stamped "addressee unknown." Witnesses saw Caron removing Woods's belongings from his apartment after his disappearance, and when Woods's family members went to Caron's new apartment to speak to him, they saw Woods's red 1984 Camaro parked out front. Caron told Woods's family that Woods had gone on vacation and asked Caron to keep an eye on his things, and he never came back. He said he'd bought Woods's car from him in January, but he was unable to produce the pink slip, and it was proven that Woods renewed his car insurance in February of that year. In April 1990, Caron was convicted of stealing the car, but he was never charged in Woods's disappearance.

    Woods's date of birth is September 30, 1942; he was 45 years old at the time of his disappearance. He's described as Caucasian, 5'10 to 5'11 tall and 170 pounds, with short brown hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo of his initials "DKW" on his left arm and he was last seen wearing several gold rings on both hands. Photographs of him are unavailable. Both Woods and McCollom's cases are unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Seal Beach Police Department
    562-594-7232

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    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    The Long Beach Press-Telegram
    The Salem Statesman Journal
    NamUs

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    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 27, 2017; details of disappearance updated.

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