Details of Disappearance
Scherer was last seen working her shift at Rhoades Rhodes Pump-Ur-Own Station self-service gasoline station in Scott City, Missouri on April 17, 1979. She disappeared from the station sometime between 11:40 and 11:50 a.m.
Two hours before her shift ended, she called her mother. Her mother later said the conversation was normal and Scherer was in a good mood. Twenty minutes later, her cousin drove past the station and thought he saw someone inside, but couldn't tell whether it was Scherer. Five minutes later, another station employee found the station unattended.
Scherer's purse and checkbook were at her workplace, and her car was parked in the parking lot with the car keys inside. Approximately $480 was missing from the station's cash register. Authorities believe that Scherer was abducted by person(s) unknown after a robbery. There were no witnesses to her apparent kidnapping.
Serial killers Otis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas, who traveled together and separately across the United States in the 1970s and 1980s randomly killing people, told police that they kidnapped and killed a girl in the area around the time Scherer disappeared.
Lucas was shown a photograph of Scherer and says she was not the girl he abducted, but police suspect she was because she was the only girl reported missing in the area at that time. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. He is also considered a possible suspect in the disappearances of Eva DeBruhl
and Elizabeth "Terri" Bishop
, and he confessed to involvement in the unsolved disappearances of Janet Callies
and a married couple, John
and Faye Whatley
There was never enough evidence to charge Lucas and Toole in connection with Scherer's case, though it was established that they were indeed in Scott City when she disappeared, along with Toole's niece and nephew. Both men have since died in prison. It should be noted that they each had a history of making confessions to crimes they did not commit.
Scherer was considered an excellent employee; she had been working at the station for about fifteen months prior to her abduction and always arrived on time. She resided in Illmo, Missouri and was working to put herself through college. She paid her automobile insurance before her disappearance and it is not believed that she staged the robbery in any way. Her case remains unsolved.