Details of Disappearance Daphne disappeared from Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 6, 2019. She was abducted by her non-custodial father, John Oliver Westbrook, who lived in the 4700 block of Saint Elmo. Daphne's mother, Rhona Curtsinger, has custody of her, and John was only permitted to see her every other weekend. On the day of her disappearance, Daphne told her mother she was going to take her dog for a walk at the park with a friend, then would come home. She never came home. John, who was supposed to be moving to Colorado for work, dropped out of sight shortly after his daughter did.
On October 15, Curtsinger got a brief call from her daughter. She stated Daphne sounded strange and she believes her daughter was on speakerphone. The call was traced to a cellular phone tower in Dalton, Georgia. That evening, Daphne's car was found near the Glenn Falls Trailhead on Lookout Mountain, near her father's house. On October 17, Curtsinger got a pre-recorded video message; it was mostly black, but there was a moment showing what she believes was Daphne.
John was traced to New Mexico after Daphne's disappearance; records showed he dropped off a U-Haul in Albuquerque and shopped regularly in Santa Fe for awhile. He has has contacts in California, Colorado and Washington as well as New Mexico.
Daphne was seen in the Denver, Colorado area in November 2020, and in February 2021, John spent several weeks in the Pueblo, Colorado area. That same month, Daphne's Bible was found in a trash can outside a Trader Joe's store on west Cordova Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They may be traveling in a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle with no license plate or windshield. They may have Daphne's two dogs, a brown and white one named named Fern and a Collie named Strawberry, with them; photos of the car and dogs are posted with this case summary. Daphne enjoys horseback riding and her father might have let her ride after her abduction.
John is an information technology expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin, and may be earning money doing freelance computer security work. His computer expertise has made it difficult for authorities to trace his and Daphne's whereabouts. He has used fifteen to twenty different email addresses and about ten different alias names, and is known to have purchased hair dye and false teeth, which suggests he and Daphne may have altered their appearances.
Prior to Daphne's abduction, her father would often give her alcohol and drugs including marijuana, mushrooms and LSD. Authorities have received information that Daphne has been kept "constantly" under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol since her abduction, and that she has expressed suicidal feelings. She is reportedly being held against her will and is unable to communicate with the outside world. Her cellular phone has been kept wrapped in aluminum foil and her computer shut off most of the time, though John has occasionally let her use the devices under his supervision.
In June 2020, a warrant was issued for John's arrest for custodial interference in connection with Daphne's disappearance. In February 2021, he was indicted for aggravated kidnapping in Daphne's case. Photos of John are posted with this case summary. His date of birth is February 22, 1979, making him 40 years old at the time of Daphne's abduction. He's described as a Caucasian male, 6'4 and 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
John and Daphne are believed to be somewhere in the western United States. Daphne's case remains unsolved. Investigators have become increasingly concerned for her safety.
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 22, 2021; picture and clothing/jewelry description added.