Carol Leigh Woolsoncroft
Woolsoncroft, circa 1984; Eugene LaFaye, circa 1985
- Missing Since 08/04/1984
- Missing From Fort Myers, Florida
- Classification Endangered Missing
- Sex Female
- Race White
- Date of Birth 07/12/1964 (58)
- Age 20 years old
- Height and Weight 5'0, 115 pounds
- Associated Vehicle(s) Rust-colored 1981 Manza GLC Chevrolet hatchback with the Florida license plate number QYP-129 (accounted for)
- Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue/hazel eyes.
Details of Disappearance
Woolsoncroft was last seen in Fort Myers, Florida on August 4, 1984. She was employed as a waitress at Raffles Bar & Grill in the Edison Mall at the time of her disappearance. She was supposed to show up for work at 4:45 p.m. that day, but never did, and has never been heard from again.
Eugene "Gene" LaFaye Jr., who was Woolsoncroft's live-in boyfriend in 1984, is considered a possible suspect in her case. A photo of LaFaye is posted with this case summary. He and Woolsoncroft had met at Raffles, where he was a cook, but he was fired about two weeks before Woolsoncroft disappeared.
The couple was having relationship problems and they argued at the restaurant the night before Woolsoncroft disappeared. She was unaware that LaFaye had served a three-year prison term for raping a fifteen-year-old girl, and her mother said she would never have dated him if she had known. Woolsoncroft planned to end the relationship and move out of the house, but disappeared before she could do so.
LaFaye stated the last time he saw her, Woolsoncroft was getting ready to take a shower at their rental home in the 1400 block of Davis Drive. He left the house at approximately 12:00 p.m. to go visit some relatives, and when he came back she was gone and her clothes and car were also missing.
LaFaye said he later found her car, a rust-colored 1981 Manza GLC Chevrolet hatchback with the Florida license plate number QYP-129, parked at her parents' home in Cape Coral, Florida, with the keys in the ignition. He left a note there for her parents saying Woolsoncroft was missing and asking them to get in touch with him.
Woolsoncroft's parents were on vacation in Colorado when she disappeared and they reported her missing on August 7, after they returned home.
LaFaye did not cooperate with police in the investigation into Woolsoncroft's case, and police stated the information he gave them about what he was doing at the time of her disappearance turned out to be false. LaFaye had use of Woolsoncroft's car, which was a compact model. Shortly after she disappeared, he borrowed a larger car, a Buick Regal, and transported a large item in the trunk.
A witness stated she had seen Woolsoncroft at 4:15 p.m. on the day of her disappearance. Woolsoncroft was fighting with a man in the front seat of her vehicle. The witness saw them while stopped at a traffic light under the Caloosahatchee River Bridge. She said Woolsoncroft's face appeared "very white" and she wasn't wearing makeup, although she normally wore makeup whenever she left the house. She was begging the man to take her to work.
LaFaye dropped out of sight about seven months after Woolsoncroft's disappearance and then resurfaced in New York, where he was jailed for robbery. In 2008 he was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison for the murder of a woman in New York City; he'd beaten and stabbed her to death in December 2005.
That same month LaFaye was also sentenced to 16 years to life in prison for burglary; in October 2006, he was caught trying to pawn a radio that belonged to a woman he lived with. The woman and her nine-year-old daughter were found beaten to death in their Manhattan apartment and there was no sign of forced entry. LaFaye never faced charged in their deaths. He died in prison in 2016.
Woolsoncroft graduated from Cape Coral High School in 1982. She's described as a responsible, reliable person who was close to her parents, and it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning.
Although "about eighty percent" of her clothes disappeared with her, along with her makeup and perfume, she didn't take her makeup mirror, she never picked up her last paycheck, and she left money in her bank account and clothes at the dry cleaner's.
Foul play is suspected in Woolsoncroft's case. Investigators believe her body is somewhere in or near Lee County, Florida.
- Lee County Sheriff's Office 239-477-1000
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 25, 2017; details of disappearance updated.