Details of Disappearance
Zirkle was last seen walking away from her home in the 300 block of east Roosevelt Avenue on the east side of Columbus, Ohio on February 1, 1997. She has never been heard from again.
She lived with her two toddler sons, their father, Derrin D. Williams, and his cousin, Troy Austin, at the time. Williams was visiting friends in Warren, Ohio that day; he, Zirkle and the children had lived there before moving to Columbus. The two cities are about 170 miles apart.
According Austin, Zirkle said she was tired of everything and wanted to get away. She gave him money to buy Greyhound bus tickets so he could send the children to Warren to be with their father. Austin escorted the children to Warren and they arrived there safely. Zirkle has never been heard from again. A neighbor reported her missing on February 6.
Zirkle grew up in Ashtabula County, Ohio. Her father died when she was young, and she was in foster care for an extended time period before she was adopted by a family in Saybrook Township, Ohio. She came to Warren and moved in with Williams after she graduated high school. Her loved ones don't believe she would have abandoned her children, and she left behind her clothing, identification and an uncashed check for $388.
Foul play is suspected in her case; authorities believe she was murdered and that her remains may be in Windsor Township, Ohio. Police searched a nine-acre wooded area in the 4500 block of on Old Plank Road in 2011, but the search turned up no evidence. Zirkle's case remains unsolved.