Jan Scharf

Jan, circa 2002; Jan's van; Glyn Scharf

  • Missing Since 05/16/2002
  • Missing From Cameron Park, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/15/1956 (67)
  • Age 45 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5, 140 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Tan Ford Explorer (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Jan's ears are pierced. Her nickname is Jani. Jan may use the names Jani Jo Thompson, Jani Jo Bautista and/or Jan Sharpe. She may be called Jane Scharf or Jani Jo Thompson by some agencies.

Details of Disappearance

Jan was last seen in May 2002 in Cameron Park, California. Her friends and family last saw her on May 14, 2002, but her estranged husband, Glyn Wolfgang Scharf, claimed he saw her at their home on May 16 at 8:00 p.m. A photograph of Glyn is posted with this case summary.

The couple was legally separated and in the a process of a divorce, but still lived together to save money. Glyn spent the night in a different room than his wife and left at 6:40 a.m. the following morning. He said that when he left the house, he noticed that Jan's bedroom door was closed and her car was gone.

Jan usually went to work at 5:30 a.m., but May 16 was her day off. Neighbors reported hearing a scream in the area at approximately 8:00 p.m. that day.

She was reported missing on May 18 after failing to show up at work. She was employed as an emergency room nurse at the University of California, Davis Medical Center and had been since 1985.

Her car, a tan Ford Explorer, disappeared at the same time she did; it was found abandoned on May 19 in front of 24-Hour Fitness in Folsom, California. A photograph of the automobile is posted with this case summary. Jan did not check into the fitness facility that day and no one saw her there.

The same month Jan disappeared, she went to the police with complaints that she was being poisoned by Glyn. She tested positive for digoxin, a heart medication that had not been prescribed for her. Glyn, who worked as a paramedic, would have had access to the drug. Jan also reported that a gun had disappeared from her house. No charges were brought against anyone in either incident, however.

Jan has not used her cellular phone or ATM card since her disappearance. She disappeared a day after she applied for a promotion at her job. She had been planning to go water-skiing with a friend on Memorial Day weekend, and go to Las Vegas over the summer with another friend.

At the time Jan disappeared, she had also been making preparations for her daughter's wedding. She is described as a responsible, reliable person and her loved ones say it is extremely uncharacteristic of her to leave voluntarily.

On May 16, 2003, a year almost to the day after Jan was last seen, police conducted an all-day search on her husband's home. They then arrested him for her murder. Prosecutors characterized Glyn as a jealous and violent husband who lay in wait in Jan's home and ambushed and killed her after she arrived home, but Glyn maintained that Jan had probably run away with another man.

Glyn was convicted of first-degree murder in October 2004 on mostly circumstantial evidence. Some pieces of Jan's jewelry were found buried in the front yard of his girlfriend whom Jan had never met, neighbors reported hearing a scream at Jan's house around the time Glyn would have come home the night she vanished, and the jury was allowed to hear about the possible poisoning attempt on Jan.

Glyn attempted suicide twice after the verdict was given. A third attempt succeeded in May 2007, two and a half years after his conviction; Glyn died at Pleasant Valley State Prison after overdosing on his antidepressant medication.

Jan's remains have never been located.

Investigating Agency

  • El Dorado County Sheriff's Department 530-621-5703

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 18, 2007; details of disappearance updated.