Gail Deann Skelton

Skelton, circa 1980; Sketch of last person known to have seen Skelton

  • Missing Since 09/26/1980
  • Missing From San Joaquin County, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 01/28/1954 (70)
  • Age 26 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'1, 115 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A blue plaid flannel shirt and blue jeans.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Blue two-door 1978 Toyota
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Skelton may use the last name Brewer.

Details of Disappearance

Skelton was last seen in San Joaquin County, California on September 26, 1980. She attended a party at Herman and Helen's Marina, a now-defunct bar on Empire Tract at the western end of Eight Mile Road, fourteen miles southwest of Lodi, and never returned home. She has never been heard from again and her car, a blue two-door 1978 Toyota, has never been found.

The last person known to have seen Skelton was another patron at the bar that night, described as a 25- to 30-year-old Caucasian man over six feet tall, with dark hair and a thin build.

This person was harassing Skelton at the bar and kept wanting to go places with her, and she refused. It isn't clear whether this individual was ever identified or if he is a suspect in her case. A composite sketch of the person is posted with this case summary.

Skelton's fiance, Pat Malone, disappeared on June 9, 1980, three and a half months before she did, from a boat on the Mokelumne River. Eight days later, his body was recovered in the water 200 yards away. Authorities believe his drowning death was an accident and the timing of his and Skelton's disappearances is coincidental.

The couple had lived together on a houseboat and planned to marry in March 1981. Skelton was still grieving over Malone's death at the time of her disappearance, but her family doesn't believe she left of her own accord. They stated whatever problems she had in her life were normal ones and she wasn't having financial difficulties.

The circumstances of Skelton's disappearance are unclear. Authorities believe she may have accidentally driven her car into the water on the night of her disappearance, but there is no evidence to support any theory.

Investigating Agency

  • San Joaquin Sheriff's Department 209-468-4412

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 6, 2018; casefile added.