Eloise Way

Way, circa 1962

  • Missing Since 08/15/1962
  • Missing From Charleston, South Carolina
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 48 years old
  • Height and Weight Unknown
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A yellow dress with white stripes, tan shoes and sunglasses. Carrying a large white purse.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair. Way wears bifocal eyeglasses, but these were left behind.

Details of Disappearance

Way was last seen in Charleston, South Carolina on August 15, 1962. At 10:00 a.m., she left the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company office on Wentworth Street where she worked as a bookkeeper. She was going to walk four blocks to the First National Bank and the C&S bank and make deposits in each. She had $1,458 in bills, $8.83 in coins and $729.47 in checks, a total of $2,196.30.

These deposits were less than the usual amounts she handled, and her coworkers thought she'd be back soon, but she never returned. Her coworkers called the bank to check on her, and discovered she'd never arrived there. Four hours later, they filed a missing persons report with the police.

When Way's daughter checked Way's apartment on Thomas Street half a mile from her workplace, everything appeared to be in order. Way's suitcases and all her clothes were there, except for the outfit she'd worn to work that day. She left her bifocals in a desk drawer in her office at work.

Way had worked for the insurance company for ten years and was known as a reliable and trustworthy employee with no apparent problems at work or in her personal life. She had two adult children and their father, her first husband, was dead. By the time of her disappearance, she was engaged to a Brunswick, Georgia man. She didn't have a driver's license and didn't like to go out after dark.

A witness reported seeing a woman talking to someone in a car about 25 yards from the insurance company around the time of Way's disappearance. According to the witness, the woman walked away from the car, but it pulled in front of her again, and after a short conversation she got in and rode off with the driver. The driver was described as a man in his forties, and the car may have had out-of-state license plates. It's not clear whether this sighting was of Way, however.

She has never been heard from again and an extensive search turned up no indication of her whereabouts. Her fiance said he feared she had been murdered.

In 1975, after his retirement, the Charleston police detective who investigated the case gave an interview with the local newspaper and said he thought Way was still alive. He said he had a suspect in the case whom he believed could tell what happened, if he were to be located and questioned. The detective died a year later.

Way's son told a reporter he believed his mother was abducted by a man who was suspected of robbing a dairy in 1957. Her son thought his mother had unwittingly befriended the suspect after meeting him at a party, and that this man may have been the driver of the car seen by the witness outside the insurance office on the day of Way's disappearance. Her son's theory was never confirmed and he is now deceased.

Due to the passage of time, police hold little hope that Way's case can be solved. It remains a mystery.

Investigating Agency

  • Charleston Police Department

Source Information

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 29, 2021; casefile added.