Details of Disappearance
Webb-Vaul drove her husband to the Eastgate Shopping Center on 70th Street in Shreveport, Louisiana shortly before 6:00 p.m. on March 15, 1979. One of her car tires had been punctured, but the tire was not completely flat when she dropped her husband off at the store. She then drove approximately 200 yards across the Jimmie Davis Bridge into Bossier Parish.
Witnesses observed her vehicle pull over to the shoulder just beyond the bridge. An unidentified Caucasian man driving a white truck parked behind Webb-Vaul. She has never been heard from again.
Webb-Vaul's husband found the vehicle abandoned on the shoulder at 10:15 p.m.; her personal belongings were inside it, and there was no sign of her at the scene. A photo of the car where it was found is posted with this case summary.
Authorities initially believed Webb-Vaul had left of her own accord. She was apparently severely distressed at the time of her disappearance. Just a few days before she was last seen, she wrote a letter to her mother asking to be removed from her mother's will, and saying that if anything happened to her, her car should be given to her mother rather than her husband. Webb-Vaul's mother had herself disappeared at least once and was gone for seven years before resurfacing.
Webb-Vaul's disappearance may be connected to the murder of 18-year-old Ladoisha Ann "Dodie" Gay, a high school student who disappeared from the Eastgate Shopping Center only a month after Webb-Vaul did. Her car was later found abandoned with a punctured, flat tire, just like Webb-Vaul's was. Gay's skeletal remains were found under a bridge in rural DeSoto Parish, Louisiana six weeks later.
Her homicide and Webb-Vaul's disappearance remain unsolved, but police do have a suspect: James Edward Wood, a former truck driver and suspected serial killer who was convicted of the 1993 murder of an 11-year-old Idaho girl. He lived in the Shreveport, Louisiana area between the 1960s and the early 1990s.
After his arrest in the Idaho case, Wood confessed to the 1976 murder of a Shreveport, Louisiana woman, but he was never charged in her death. Authorities believe he may have committed as many as 185 robberies, 85 rapes and dozens of murders over thirty years. He died of natural causes in prison in 2004.
Webb-Vaul grew up in Friendswood, Texas, and graduated high school there in 1974. She married in 1976 and moved to Louisiana after her husband, an airman, was assigned to the Barksdale Air Force Base.
Foul play is suspected in Webb-Vaul's disappearance. She was an only child, and her husband and parents are now deceased.