Barbara Smith Vanwinckle

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Above: Vanwinckle, circa 1994

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 21, 1994 from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: December 25, 1932
  • Age: 61 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'5, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Gray hair, blue eyes. Vanwinckle has a scar on her right buttock, a scar on her lower back and a hysterectomy scar on her abdomen. Some agencies spell her last name "Vanwinkle." She may use the name Barbara V. Hensley.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Vanwinckle was last seen in the 500 block of Ocean Breeze Drive in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on May 21, 1994. She has never been heard from again. On May 9, her green 1993 Ford Crown Victoria with the Delaware license plate number 83783 was found unlocked and abandoned in the parking lot of Rose's Department Store at the Mid-Sussex Shopping Center on Route 113 in Millsboro, Delaware. Vanwinckle's keys were lying on the driver's side floor and her purse was on the passenger seat, covered by a sweater. Nothing was missing from the purse.

    Vanwinckle's live-in boyfriend did not report her missing; the report was filed by another close friend. Investigators found this suspicious and searched Vanwinckle's residence after her disappearance was reported. Two bedrooms inside the residence had bloodstains, leading authorities to declare Vanwinckle's case a homicide.

    The prime suspect in Vanwinckle's disappearance committed suicide two months after her disappearance, but investigators still hope to resolve her case and recover her remains.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Delaware State Police
    302-739-5939

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    Source Information
    The Cape Gazette
    NamUs

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 6, 2010; date and place of disappearance corrected, middle name, date of birth, height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.

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