Heather Dawn Mullins Zimmerman

Zimmerman, circa 1997; Drawing of Zimmerman's tattoo

  • Missing Since 05/26/1997
  • Missing From Gifford, Illinois
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 10/17/1977 (45)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 115 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A size medium Sears navy blue and white striped chambray shirt, size 9 stonewashed Zana Di bellbottom jeans, size 9 or 9 1/2 black St. Michael shoes, a Mickey Mouse watch, a gold ring with six diamonds, diamond-studded earrings and gold ball earrings.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, green eyes. Zimmerman is right-handed. She has a tattoo of three roses with black stems on the outside of her left ankle; a picture of the tattoo is posted with this case summary. Zimmerman's left ear is pierced eight times and her right ear is pierced six times. She has scars on her left arm, left wrist and left index finger, and a mole on her neck. Her left ring finger doesn't function properly.

Details of Disappearance

Zimmerman was last seen on May 26, 1997. Her parents said that she took a soda from the refrigerator and departed their Gifford, Illinois home at approximately 8:30 p.m. She is believed to have attended a party in rural Rantoul, Illinois that night.

Authorities received information that she was dropped off near her family's residence at 3:00 a.m. on May 27, but it was not confirmed. Zimmerman has never been heard from again.

Zimmerman left all of her personal belongings at home. Her purse had been stolen prior to her disappearance and she was not carrying any credit cards, cash or identification as a result. She never collected her last paycheck from her place of employment, Casey's General Store, where she worked part time as a clerk.

Zimmerman's husband was serving with the United States Marines in Japan in 1997. She resided with her parents in Gifford while he was stationed abroad. Their marriage was troubled at the time, with some reports stating they were divorced or separated.

In spite of her marital difficulties, it is uncharacteristic of Zimmerman to leave without warning. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of her.

Another young woman, Jamie Harper, disappeared from the Rantoul area in 2007. Authorities stated there were similarities between the two cases. They have the same person of interest in both cases; he has not been publicly identified. The disappearances have not been conclusively connected, however.

Authorities stated foul play has not been ruled out in Zimmerman's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Champaign County Sheriff's Office 217-384-1213

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 27, 2019; picture added.