Kay Frances Read

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Above Images: Read, circa 2008


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 14, 2008 from Tucson, Arizona
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: August 26, 1945
  • Age: 62 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'2, 125 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Graying blonde hair, hazel eyes. Read wears eyeglasses for distant vision, but she doesn't have them with her. Some of her back teeth are missing and she has caps on a front tooth and a back tooth. She has a bump on the bridge of her nose from a previous car accident. She has previously broken her left ankle and left kneecap, and may have previously fractured a left rib.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly small slippers.
  • Medical Conditions: Read is handicapped as a result of contracting polio as a young child. Her right leg is approximately four sizes smaller than her left leg. She requires a leg brace or crutches to walk, and she has neither of those with her. She also has scoliosis and her back is hunched noticeably as a result.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Read was last heard from at approximately 9:42 p.m. on February 14, 2008, at her residence in the 7300 block of Marigold Circle in Tucson, Arizona. She had dinner with her elderly mother, watched television with her, then returned to her home and called her mother to say she'd arrived safely. Her mother called her at 6:30 a.m. the next day to make sure she got up for work, but Read didn't answer. Her mother asked a relative to go check on her, and the relative went to Read's residence and found it deserted. Her front door was shut but unlocked. Her crutches were lying on the floor next to her cordless telephone. Her leg brace had been left behind, but her van was gone. There was no indication of forced entry.

    At 9:30 a.m. that same day, Read's turquoise 1996 Dodge Caravan with the Arizona license plate number MTR492, was found at the intersection of Golf Links and Kolb Road, about two miles from her home. The interior had been burned, and Read's burned wheelchair was found inside the van. A photo of a similar vehicle is posted below this case summary.

    Surveillance footage of a Conoco gas station nearby show a man with Read's vehicle. He also tried unsuccessfully to use Read's credit card to get money from an ATM. He has never been identified. The man is described as Caucasian or Hispanic, 5'6 to 5'9 tall and about 160 to 180 pounds. He was in his twenties or thirties, with short dark hair and a receding hairline. His face was pockmarked and his teeth were in poor condition, dark-colored and decaying. He was wearing a tan coat, a white shirt and dark-colored, possibly cargo type pants.

    Luis Vargas was identified as a possible suspect in Read's case shortly after she disappeared. He has a criminal record for burglary and driving under the influence, and was imprisoned for an unrelated burglary later in 2008. A photo of Vargas is posted below this case summary. In November 2014, days before he was supposed to be released from prison, Vargas was charged with murder, burglary and kidnapping in Read's case. He is awaiting trial.

    Read was employed as a medical records clerk at Palo Verde Mental Health Hospital in 2008. She also taught Sunday school at St. Paul's United Methodist Church and volunteered at a summer camp for mentally disabled children. Her family stated she would never have opened the door to a stranger, particularly a man. It is uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Read's mother died in January 2010, but her sister is still looking for her. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

    Van Vargas
    Left: Dodge Caravan;
    Right: Luis Vargas


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Tucson Police Department


    Source Information
    Find Kay Read
    The Arizona Daily Star
    The Tucson Citizen
    KOLD News 13
    Tucson Police Department


    Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 14, 2015; picture and clothing/jewelry description added, details of disappearance updated.

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