Gayla Christine Schaper

Schaper, circa 1979

  • Missing Since 06/29/1979
  • Missing From Latah County, Idaho
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 05/01/1951 (73)
  • Age 28 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 135 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A blue sweater over a gold v-neck shirt, blue Levi's jeans and sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Schaper was last seen when her husband dropped her off at a pasture near the family's dairy farm on Lenville Road southeast of Moscow, Idaho at 7:00 p.m. on June 29, 1979. She was preparing to feed their her two horses. He husband was going into town to run some errands and would be back to pick her up.

When he returned 45 minutes later, Schaper wasn't there. Her husband initially assumed she'd gone to see her parents who lived nearby, but this turned out not to be the case. After searching their farm for several hours, at midnight he reported her missing.

Some clothing was found in a nearby meadow, but Schaper herself has never been located. She wasn't carrying any identification at the time of her disappearance.

During the several months prior to Schaper's disappearance, she and her husband had gotten "strange" telephone calls, often in the middle of the night. On Good Friday of 1979, the couple got an anonymous note that said only, "You have sold out to Satan" written in cut-out letters from magazines and newspapers. The person(s) behind the letter and phone calls has never been identified and it's unclear if the communications were related to Schaper's later disappearance.

About two months after Schaper was last seen, her mother got two strange phone calls. In both of them, a female voice asked for help as soon as her mother picked up the phone, but then hung up without giving time for a response. Schaper's mother thought the calls could be from her daughter. The police put a recording device on her phone in case the person called back, but they never did.

Schaper's husband was initially considered a suspect in her disappearance, but he passed a polygraph in 1993 and was cleared of involvement. He remarried after Schaper went missing and still lives in the local area.

Larry Hagedorn lived close to the pasture Schaper disappeared from. In February 1994, his son, William, was convicted in the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend. William is presently serving a life term in prison. There were some accounts that William killed his girlfriend because she found out he and Larry had killed Schaper. When the police asked William about this, he refused to confirm or deny it, saying, "I don’t want to hurt my dad."

Larry was considered a person of interest in Schaper's case; he owned a backhoe and was excavating his property and burying trash at the time she disappeared. A search of the Hagedorn property turned up no evidence, however, and Larry passed a polygraph in connection with the disappearance. He died in 2005.

Schaper's case remains unsolved. She was involved with her church and had a stable home life at the time of her disappearance, and isn't thought to have walked out of her life. Authorities believe she was taken against her will.

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 2, 2021; clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.