Details of Disappearance Gail was last seen in Ottawa Lake, Michigan on January 9, 1987. She and her son had been staying with her parents in Erie, Michigan due to marital difficulties; she had filed for divorce in December. They were married for only a little over a year and had an infant son together, and Gail had a daughter from a prior relationship.
On the day of her disappearance, Gail left her baby with her parents and returned to her home on Samaria Road west of U.S. 23 in Ottawa Lake to pick up some clothes and food. She has never been heard from again. On January 20, her car was found abandoned at an apartment complex in Oregon, Ohio. This is about twenty miles from her home.
According to Gail's family, her husband, Gary Michael Northington, was possessive, controlling and abusive towards her. In court Gary stated problems began just weeks after they married in November 1985, and he admitted he'd burned Gail's clothes and flattened the tires in her car. When police examined Gary's van after his disappearance, they discovered it had been washed and bleached, and when they searched the couple's home they found a bloodstained hacksaw blade.
Gail's parents sued for custody of her and Gary's son after her disappearance. Less than a month after she was last seen, Gary was arrested for perjury; he lied in court during the custody battle. He was subsequently charged with trying to arrange her murder the day before she went missing. He was convicted of of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in October and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Gary's conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again at his second trial and is still in prison.
Gail's parents got custody of her son and raised him as their own. Her father is now deceased, but her mother and siblings are still alive. Gail has never been found. Foul play is suspected in her case.
- Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 5, 2021; details of disappearance updated.