Details of Disappearance Wilde was a student at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay at the time of her disappearance; she had transferred there three weeks before, having completed an associate's degree at a community college.
She last spoke to her family September 23, 1998, after she got into a minor car accident. She was not seriously injured, but she did hit her head on the windshield and had a headache afterwards. The other person involved in the crash called Wilde's apartment in the 2000 block of August Street that evening to work out damages.
Wilde had class at 1:00 p.m. the next day. Her father, who lived in Mayville, Wisconsin, called his daughter to wake her up for her class but received no answer. She also missed a scheduled eye doctor's appointment and other obligations, which is uncharacteristic of her. Her father drove to Green Bay and found Wilde's apartment locked. He then reported her missing.
More than a week after Wilde's disappearance, her car, a dark gray four-door 1988 Subaru GL with the license plate number X5725T, was discovered unlocked and abandoned in the parking lot of a sports bar in Green Bay, near Lambeau Field on the south side of Lombardi Access Road, near Ridge Road.
There was no sign of Wilde at the scene, but her purse and cellular phone were locked inside the trunk of the Subaru, which is where where she usually kept them, and the car keys were in the ignition. The driver's seat was pushed all the way back, indicating someone taller than Wilde was the last person to drive the vehicle.
Some authorities do not believe the car had been at that location for the whole week Wilde had been missing. It had been driven about 900 miles that could not be accounted for. Photos of it are posted with this case summary.
Wilde is a native of Campbellsport, Wisconsin and a graduate of Campbellsport High School, and her mother still lives in that area. She took some University of Wisconsin classes before she graduated high school in 1997, and with her accelerated schedule she was able to accumulate two years' worth of credits in one year at the community college. She had a full scholarship at school, was studying pre medicine and planned to become a pediatrician.
Wilde's family says it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning, and they also do not believe she would have committed suicide. She wasn't involved with drugs and alcohol and she had seemed optimistic about her future. Her aunt had offered to take care of her child once it was born, so Wilde could finish school.
Police suspect foul play in Wilde's disappearance and have done several unsuccessful searches for her body. In 2016, authorities named Matthew John Schneider, the father of her unborn child, as a suspect in her case. A photo of Schneider is posted with this case summary.
Wilde had told her aunt and godmother that Schneider, whom she met at a party in May 1998, had denied paternity. He was engaged to marry another woman at the time Wilde's baby was conceived and he didn't want his fiancee to find out about her pregnancy.
About a month before her disappearance, Wilde told Schneider's fiancee and his mother that she was pregnant with his child. According to entries in Wilde's diary, Schneider was furious after he found out she spoken to his fiancee, and he had pressured her to have an abortion, but she refused.
He later told police he barely knew her and that they had never had sex, but his phone records showed they had had about sixty phone conversations back and forth, and Wilde's family said they saw each other for approximately four months. Police stated Schneider showed no apparent concern for Wilde's welfare after her disappearance.
No one has been charged in Wilde's disappearance, but her case is being investigated as a homicide. One theory is that Schneider, a highway worker, buried her remains under Highway 29, which was under construction in 1998.
- Green Bay Police Department
Updated 10 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 22, 2018; picture added, details of disappearance updated.