Details of Disappearance Debra was last seen at her residence in Greer's Ferry, Arkansas on July 24, 1993. She and her husband, Gerald W. Vaughan, had a history of domestic violence and they got into a physical argument the day before.
Debra went to spend the night with her mother, Dixie Bowling. She said she planned to leave Gerald, but she had to go back to their trailer home to get her belongings. She left Bowling's home at 6:00 a.m. and never returned.
Gerald told Bowling that Debra called him a few days after her disappearance and he believed she planned to embark on a transient life. She had a history of leaving home for several days at a time, and Gerald claimed she had traveled as far as Montana, Wyoming and Canada during her previous absences.
Bowling stated her daughter always kept in touch whenever she left home. She also said Gerald would typically become go looking for Debra if was gone for more than a few hours, but he did not behave this way after her July 24 disappearance.
The police were notified of Debra's disappearance within a few days or weeks, but there was no evidence of foul play and they did not begin a formal investigation until January 1994. By that time, Bowling had become convinced that Debra was deceased.
Some of Debra's belongings, including clothing, jewelry, makeup, a sewing machine and items her grandfather had owned turned up in a junk pile in Pine Snag in the southern part of Cleburne County, Arkansas a couple of months after the police began investigating her disappearance. An extensive search of the area turned up no other sign of her.
Debra left more valuable items behind in a safe deposit box. Her blue two-door 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo disappeared with her and has never been located. It has the Arkansas license plate number WWC696 and the vehicle identification number (VIN) 1Z37KAR452303.
Gerald is the last person known to have seen Debra and he is considered a person of interest in her disappearance. He has not been charged, however.
Bowling believes Debra and her car may be in Greers Ferry Lake. Her case remains unsolved.
- Cleburne County Sheriff's Department
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 26, 2011; middle name and picture added, distinguishing characteristics updated.