Details of Disappearance Furch was last seen early on the morning of September 28, 2007, leaving her job at the General Motors assembly plant in Arlington, Texas to return to her home in Fort Worth, Texas. She has never been heard from again.
On October 1, after her loved ones were unable to get in touch with her, her daughter went to her apartment on the second floor of Hidden Valley Estates near the Woodhaven Country Club. Furch wasn't there. Her daughter called the police, who went to the apartment themselves.
Furch's vehicle, a gold/champagne four-door 1998 Mazda Millenia with the Texas license plate number L69 SJL, was missing. A comforter and pillows were missing from her bed, and a trash can, a vacuum cleaner and a sewing machine had also disappeared.
Although they described the apartment as "chillingly" clean with no fingerprints anywhere, authorities did find blood evidence in the apartment and bloodstained towels, paper, a bath rug, cleaning supplies, duct tape and some of Furch's clothing in a nearby dumpster.
Investigators said it appeared as if there had been a violent altercation inside the residence and someone tried to clean up afterwards; there were marks on the carpet from recent vacuuming, and a bleach stain on the floor.
Several days after Furch's disappearance, her car was found abandoned at an abandoned car wash off Hatcher Road in Dallas, Texas. The vehicle was severely burned and its license plate had been removed.
In November 2007, Rodney Eugene Owens, a former neighbor of Furch's, was arrested on unrelated charges and then linked to Furch's case. Investigators stated they had evidence, including fingerprints and DNA, to prove Owens was involved in Furch's disappearance. He was subsequently charged with her murder.
A photograph of Owens is posted with this case summary. He has prior criminal convictions for misdemeanor offenses and is also a suspect in several felonies, including carjacking, burglary, aggravated assault and auto theft. Police believe he attacked Furch as she entered or was about to enter her apartment.
He was convicted of Furch's murder in October 2008, after a two-day trial. His defense attorney called no witnesses.
The jury sentenced Owens to life in prison. In 2010, he was sentenced to an additional 99 years in prison for unrelated assault charge. He must serve his two sentences consecutively, and will have to remain in prison at least 60 years before he becomes eligible for parole.
Furch had been living in her apartment since 1987, and had worked for General Motors for seventeen years. Her daughters stated she kept in daily contact with her family, had no enemies and was not dating anyone at the time of her disappearance.
Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
- Fort Worth Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 31, 2015; details of disappearance updated.