Barbara Smith Vanwinckle

Vanwinckle, circa 1994

  • Missing Since 05/21/1994
  • Missing From Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 12/25/1932 (91)
  • Age 61 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4 - 5'5, 135 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Green 1993 Ford Crown Victoria with the Delaware license plate number 83783 (accounted for)
  • 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.

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 their residence after her disappearance was reported. Two bedrooms inside the home had bloodstains, leading authorities to declare Vanwinckle's case a homicide.

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

Investigating Agency

  • Delaware State Police 302-739-5939

Source Information

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.