Ellen Beth Sloan

Sloan, circa 2005; William Gholson in 2019

  • Missing Since 04/16/2005
  • Missing From Polson, Montana
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/13/1952 (71)
  • Age 52 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 110 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A diamond and garnet ring on her left ring finger, a gold necklace with a yellow gold heart-shaped pendant with the word "Mom" in the center surrounded by multicolored gold flowers, and possibly gold stud earrings.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Silver 2002 Toyota Tundra extended cab truck (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Graying light brown hair, blue eyes. Sloan has eyeglasses with small wire frames; she wears them only for driving and reading. She may use the alias middle initial G. She has small scars on her forearms and hands and a mole on the front center of her neck, and her ears are pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Sloan was last seen at her residence in the vicinity of the 3000 block of south Shore Route in Polson, Montana on April 16, 2005. She has never been heard from again. She was reported missing on April 23.

Her silver 2002 Toyota Tundra extended cab truck was located on April 28 at a shopping center in the vicinity of the 2600 block of north Reserve Street in Missoula, Montana, a few minutes from the Missoula International Airport. The vehicle was packed with Sloan's possessions, as if she had been traveling.

Sloan was facing federal tax evasion charges at the time of her disappearance. She had been released on her own recognizance after her arrest. Her attorney stated Sloan had been cooperating with authorities and was not facing enough fines or prison time to make her want to run away.

Her family states it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning and they are concerned for her welfare. They reported her missing after she didn't show up for her son's college graduation in Colorado. She left behind her passport as well as a significant amount of money in the bank; she hasn't not accessed her bank accounts since her disappearance.

Sloan posted bond for her boyfriend, William Earl Gholson, shortly before her disappearance. Gholson had been jailed for incest, and was still on parole for the offense at the time of her disappearance. He moved into Sloan's house after his release from jail. While living with her, he ordered a computer using a line of credit in Sloan's name, and applied for credit cards in her name and her adult son's name.

Ten days after her disappearance, Sloan's son ordered Gholson out of her house. He subsequently dropped out of sight, but then resurfaced.

In 2019, he violated his parole by being arrested for possession of methamphetamine. He completed chemical dependency treatment and his parole was not revoked at the time, but several months later he was charged with assault for punching a Missoula, Montana woman in the face. His parole was revoked for this offense and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison for the violation. A photo of Gholson is posted with this case summary.

Authorities believe Gholson may know more about Sloan's disappearance than he has disclosed, but he has never been charged in her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Lake County Sheriff's Office 406-883-7282

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 27, 2020; details of disappearance updated.