Details of Disappearance
Dorothy was married to Jule Caylor, an entomologist and aerial photography specialist, in 1985. Jule was often out of town for work-related reasons and Dorothy was alone at their Concord, California residence much of the time.
Her sister told authorities that Jule was allegedly abusive towards Dorothy. She cited a report of domestic violence at Thanksgiving 1981, an incident that was investigated by law enforcement. Jule had hit Dorothy in the face with a typing stand while they were arguing and she drove herself to the hospital for stitches. No charges were filed against anyone in the matter, as Jule claimed Dorothy threatened him with a pair of scissors and he hit her in self-defense.
Dorothy's sister stated that there were numerous problems in the Caylors' marriage, an allegation that Jule denies. He said that the only difficulties in the relationship revolved around his wife's mental health issues. Dorothy's friends say Jule was repeatedly unfaithful to her. He had proposed marriage to a coworker six months before Dorothy's disappearance, and they purchased wedding rings.
Dorothy joined a support group for battered women in early 1985. She was attempting to regain her self-confidence and reportedly planned to divorce Jule. Dorothy opened her own bank account, applied for credit cards in her own name, and rented a post office box. She also asked a friend to keep a locked file cabinet with her important documents. Included in the cabinet was a $5,000 cashier's check, which Dorothy had inherited and kept secret from Jule. The check was due to expire in a few months.
Jule announced that he accepted a new position in Utah with the United States Department of Forestry in June 1985. Dorothy's family members said that she planned to stay in Concord. She told Jule she wanted a divorce, and they agreed that she would pay him for his half of the house and when he went to Utah, she would own the house in Concord. She packed up Jule's possessions and put them in storage. Dorothy told family members at the time that Jule threatened her, but he denies this.
Jule told authorities that his wife packed an overnight bag and told him she was visiting a friend in California on June 12, 1985. Jule said that he drove Dorothy to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Pleasant Hill later that day and watched her walk inside the building. She has never been heard from again. Jule said she was carrying her bag and a turquoise leather purse when she disappeared; the purse contained several items including Dorothy's medical card and a bee-sting kit.
Jule worked in San Francisco on June 13. He said that he found Dorothy's blue 1963 Volkswagen Beetle parked next to his vehicle at the BART station upon his return to Pleasant Hill later in the day.
Her purse was inside her car, along with her driver's license, a current Diablo Valley College student identification card, $30 in cash, library card, and monogrammed off-white leather billfold, but there was no sign of her at the scene. The bee-sting kit was missing. Dorothy's loved ones say it would be uncharacteristic of her to leave her purse behind if she went anywhere.
Jule claimed that he left a note for his wife on her vehicle, hid her purse under the seat, locked the doors, and moved the car so she would not receive a parking ticket. He told investigators that the Beetle remained in its spot on June 14 and he moved the car again.
Authorities stated that the note Jule wrote began in an affectionate manner, saying he was worried about her, then accused Dorothy of messing up Jule's life by refusing to sign loan papers. There was a postscript wherein Jule maintained that it was Dorothy's idea, not his, for him to seek out other women.
Jule reported Dorothy as a missing person to authorities on June 17, five days after her disappearance, after a neighbor urged him to do so, although he said Dorothy was not supposed to return home until June 24. He relocated to Utah less than two weeks later.
Jule packed the majority of Dorothy's belongings inside their California residence prior to his move, repainted the inside of the house, and put it up for rent. He signed the rent contract on June 7, five days before he last saw Dorothy, although he told her loved ones that he was forced to put the house up for rent because her signature was required to sell it.
Dorothy's loved ones became concerned for her safety when she failed to contact anyone. She never claimed any of the money she saved in her bank account. Jule never had Dorothy declared legally deceased, but when he retired, he filed for divorce from her on grounds of desertion.
A judge granted the divorce and awarded all the marital property to Jule, but Dorothy's sister, Diane Rusnak, filed a lawsuit and the divorce was set aside. The Utah judge subsequently ruled that Dorothy was dead at the time Jule sought the divorce, so there was no marriage to dissolve.
After Dorothy's disappearance, Jule wrote a letter to his new fiancee, saying he had made a "Herculean effort" to be with her which she might not understand, and that he would do anything for her, even commit murder.
In 1988, the police received a letter postmarked Gary, Indiana which accused Jule of murdering Dorothy. The letter stated Jule had beaten Dorothy to death with a tire iron and buried her body under a birch tree in a remote area of Concord where new homes were being built. A map to the supposed burial location was included with the letter.
Authorities determined that the DNA from saliva on the stamp and envelope flap has male characteristics, but they have been unable to match it anyone. A document examiner believes the letter's handwriting is similar to Jule's, but no definitive match has been made in that area either. The author of the letter has never been identified.
Joan Morris, a reporter for The Contra Costa Times, interviewed Jule during the summer of 2001, 16 years after Dorothy vanished. Jule told Morris that he forgot about his wife's disappearance, saying that he assumed Dorothy was deceased. He now lives in Utah. He attempted to run for the state legislature, but withdrew his candidacy after party members learned the police were investigating Dorothy's disappearance.
Jule changed his version of his wife's 1985 disappearance when she spoke to Morris. He now claims that he never drove Dorothy to the BART station in Pleasant Hill and said he thought she drove herself.
Dorothy was born in Chardon, Ohio. She is described as a very religious Catholic who loved to read and write. She attended secretarial school after graduating high school and got a job as a legal secretary. She met Jule in 1970. He was married at the time and had a child, but Dorothy did not know this until after she had dated him for several months. Jule divorced his wife to marry Dorothy in 1975.
Concord authorities reopened Dorothy's case in August 2001 and are hoping to uncover new leads in her disappearance. In December 2005, they requested a warrant to search Dorothy and Jule's former home. Court documents indicate that authorities believe Jule murdered his wife, but there is insufficient evidence to charge him as of yet. The search turned up no physical evidence.
Rusnak has filed a lawsuit against Jule; She requested that Dorothy be declared legally dead and Rusnak be appointed executor of her estate. A judge found evidence that Dorothy was deceased, but the lawsuit has been stalled pending the outcome of the police investigation into her disappearance.
No charges have been filed against anyone in Dorothy's case.