Details of Disappearance Brenda was involved in a bitter divorce from her husband, Scott Irvine Snouffer, in 1995. She was preparing to testify as a witness against him and his brother, Stuart B. Snouffer, in an automobile theft trial scheduled to begin later in the year. Brenda had informed authorities that Scott and Stuart were running a "chop shop," which dismantles stolen cars so their parts can be sold.
Brenda and Scott were also embroiled in a custody battle over their six-year-old daughter, Mariel. Brenda stated she was afraid of Scott and that he had threatened her. On the very day she disappeared, someone mailed threatening letters to her home and also to the home of a friend in Ohio.
Brenda dropped Mariel off at Highland Lakes Elementary School in Palm Harbor, Florida at approximately 9:15 a.m. on April 2, 1995. She was driving her turquoise 1993 Mazda Protege with Florida license plates numbered LEA14U.
Brenda never returned to pick up her daughter after school. Mariel's teachers waited three hours after classes dismissed before reporting Brenda's absence to authorities. She has never been heard from again and her vehicle has not been recovered.
Officials immediately questioned Scott regarding his estranged wife's disappearance. He maintained his innocence in her case and retained an attorney. Scott has refused to cooperate with the continuing investigation and has not been eliminated as a possible suspect.
Brenda planned to travel to the Orlando, Florida area with Mariel the day after her disappearance. They were scheduled to visit Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. Brenda's loved ones said that it is uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. Authorities believe that foul play was involved in her case.
Scott's automobile theft was delayed because Brenda was absent. Some of the charges against him were dropped because she was not available to testify. However, Scott was eventually convicted of grand theft auto, title fraud, Vehicle Identification Number tampering, possession of an unlawful driver's license, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and seven years of probation.
All of the charges against Stuart were dropped in 1995 because authorities did not have enough evidence to proceed without Brenda's testimony
Brenda and Scott's divorce was finalized in late May 1995. A judge awarded Brenda with sole custody of their daughter after her disappearance. Her mother was initially appointed as Mariel's guardian in Brenda's absence, but Scott was eventually awarded full custody of the child.
There have not been any arrests in connection with Brenda's case, which remains unsolved. Some investigators believe she left of her own accord due to stress about the divorce and the upcoming trial, but others think she met with foul play. She was employed as a registered nurse (RN) in Palm Harbor in 1995.
- Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 22, 2019; three pictures added.