Details of Disappearance
Brewster was last seen sometime in October 1999 in Sunriver, Oregon. She was living with her adult son, John Shipman, at the time of her disappearance; she had moved in with him after leaving a retirement center in Bend, Oregon. After she vanished, Shipman said his mother was traveling with Walter Cierley
, who disappeared in July 1998. Cierley had been married to Brewster's late sister, making him Brewster's brother-in-law.
In May 2000, one of Brewster's other sons reported her missing. Her relatives had become worried because they had not heard from her for such a long time. Subsequent investigation revealed Cierley's disappearance as well.
Police discovered that Shipman was cashing both Brewster and Cierley's Social Security benefit checks after they disappeared. When they tried to arrest him on some unrelated domestic violence charges in September 2001, he killed himself with a shotgun. Federal indictments related to the check-cashing were pending against him when he died.
Although Shipman never admitted to involvement in his mother and uncle's disappearances, authorities believe he murdered them both and buried their bodies somewhere in central Oregon.
Brewster and Cierley have never been located. Foul play is suspected in their cases due to the circumstances involved.