Details of Disappearance
Johnna and her mother, Sherry
, were last seen in Richmond, Missouri at approximately midnight on June 6, 1986. Sherry played cards with some female friends that evening. Johnna had a date and was last seen when she was dropped off at home before curfew.
Ronald D. Wrisinger, Sherry's husband, said his wife had left him for a veterinarian and taken Johnna, the youngest of their three children, with them. (The couple's other two daughters were out of town at the time.) They have never been heard from again. Ronald's brother reported them missing on September 16, 1986.
Sherry and Johnna left all their clothes behind, as well as uncashed paychecks from their respective jobs. Ronald filed for divorce later in 1986 and it was granted in December. He was ordered to pay child support for Johnna, but Sherry never collected the money. Ronald made the last payment in October 1987.
In January and February 1986, months before Sherry and Johnna's disappearances, members of the family began getting anonymous threatening letters. Other relatives and close friends of the Wrisingers reported car vandalism: windows shot out, slashed tires and loosened lug nuts.
The FBI opened an investigation into possible extortion, but never identified any suspects, and as soon as the FBI got involved all the incidents stopped. Authorities believe the letters and vandalism may be related to the women's later disappearances.
At first authorities believed Sherry and Johnna might have left of their own accord like Ronald said, but as time passed without anyone hearing from them, police began to suspect foul play.
There were rumors that the two women had been murdered and buried under a concrete slab at the Wrisinger home in the 400 block of Ottman Street, but investigators determined the concrete had been poured before they went missing.
Ronald moved to Arkansas sometime after his wife and daughter vanished. In May 2009, he was charged with first-degree murder of both of them. A photo of Ronald at the time of his arrest is posted with this case summary. In April 2010, however, the charges against him were dropped. The prosecution stated that due to the death of one of their key witnesses, they were unable to proceed with the case.
Ronald could be arrested again if more evidence resurfaces, however. He has always maintained his innocence. Sherry and Johnna's bodies have never been found. Foul play is suspected in their cases due to the circumstances involved.