Details of Disappearance
Deborah lived in Red Lodge, Montana at the time of her disappearance. She and her family were visiting relatives in Rawlins, Wyoming on the day she went missing.
She was last seen departing from a family member's residence near Seventh and Spruce Streets on August 4, 1974. She planned to walk to a local movie theater, but never arrived there. She never returned home and has not been heard from again.
Three other females besides Deborah disappeared in July and August 1974 in the Rawlins area. Carlene Brown
and her 19-year-old friend, Christine Ann "Christy" Gross, disappeared together from the Rawlins fairgrounds on July 4, and 10-year-old Jayleen Dawn Banker disappeared from the fairgrounds on August 23.
Jayleen's partially clothed body was found in a field on April 24, 1975, eight months after her disappearance; she had died from a blow to the head and her death was ruled a homicide. Christy's body was found south of Sinclair, Wyoming in October 1983, nine years after her disappearance; she had also been murdered, killed by two heavy blows to the skull. Carlene and Deborah have never been located.
Royal Russell Long is considered a possible suspect in Deborah and Carlene's disappearances and Christy and Jayleen's murders. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping Sharon Baldeagle
and was also charged with the murders of Cinda Pallett
and Charlotte Kinsey
, but the latter charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Long lived in the Rawlins area in 1974 and worked at local fairs and carnivals. He died in prison in 1993 and was never convicted in connection with any missing people besides Sharon. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Deborah's case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. Her family stated she was a well-behaved teenager and they never believed she had run away.