Details of Disappearance
Hannah was last seen leaving her boyfriend's apartment in McCloud, California at approximately 10:00 p.m. on June 4, 1997. She was walking to her family's residence on Minnesota Avenue near Shasta Avenue, which is one or two blocks from her boyfriend's home. Hannah never arrived and has not been seen again.
Hannah was initially believed to have run away. Her parents recently divorced at the time she vanished and she had just broken up with her boyfriend; she was upset because he and his family were moving away. Authorities suspected that other factors were involved in her case as the investigation progressed.
Hannah had not argued with her family and she had left the majority of her personal belongings at her residence, including her clothing, purse, money, hairbrush, overnight bag, and bass guitar. She was a cheerleader and an aspiring model at the time she vanished. Her family maintains that she would never leave her home voluntarily, as such actions were uncharacteristic of her.
Authorities learned that Edward Ray "Ed" Henline Sr. and his wife may have been the last people to see Hannah before she vanished. The Henlines owned a home on east Minnesota Avenue in McCloud, which was near Hannah's last known location.
Another young woman, Karen Knechtel Mero, also vanished from that locale in February 1997, four months prior to Hannah's disappearance. Mero once lived in the Henlines' residence and they were reportedly the last people to see her as well. The Henlines were questioned in both cases and their home was searched by law enforcement.
In December 2012, both Ed Sr. and his son, Ed Henline Jr., were charged with Hannah's murder. Photos of both Henlines are posted with this case summary. Ed Sr. was arrested first, and his son two days later. The charges against both suspects were dropped for lack of evidence, however, in May 2013. Authorities stated the murder case against the Henlines could be reinstated if more evidence resurfaces.
Hannah's mother stated the police were prejudiced against her and initially did not investigate her daughter's disappearance as thoroughly as they should have. Foul play is suspected in Hannah's case due to the circumstances involved.