Barbara Lee Elms

Elms, circa 1993

  • Missing Since 08/25/1993
  • Missing From Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/02/1943 (81)
  • Age 50 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'3, 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description White shorts, black hose, a multicolored blouse and high-top sneakers.
  • Medical Conditions Elms had a history of mental illness and alcohol and prescription drug abuse. She is classified as disabled.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Elms often dances when she walks.

Details of Disappearance

Elms resided in the 500 block of southeast 16th Street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was last seen inside her home during the evening hours of August 25, 1993. Elms has never been heard from again.

She became estranged from her husband several years before her disappearance and they lived apart. Elms's husband stated she refused to apply for public assistance of any kind and lived in great poverty. He paid her rent and some of her other expenses, and she also scavenged for subsistence.

Elms's husband filed for divorce shortly before her disappearance; the divorce was finalized in November 1993. He promised her he would continue to support her financially. He stated she frequently went out at night alone, and was assaulted and robbed in a Cedar Rapids park the month before she disappeared.

Elms has a history of leaving without warning, but she was never gone for more than a few days, and she always took her possessions with her. At the time of her August 1993 disappearance, she took no belongings, not even her purse or identification. Soup she had planned to eat later that day was left out to rot, which is uncharacteristic of her.

Elms's loved ones believe she may be deceased or may be living homeless in another part of the country. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Cedar Rapids Police Department 319-398-5242

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 3, 2006; clothing/jewelry description added, medical conditions, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.