Details of Disappearance
MacDuckston was seen by her adult daughter at home in the 2000 Block of Belle Monti in Belmont, California, on August 11, 2003, approximately 8:30 a.m. She left her home, telling friends and family that she would be shopping in Davenport, California for the day.
MacDuckston was seen shopping at the New Davenport Cash Store and Restaurant at about 10:00 a.m., and at the Davenport Post Office sometime between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Later, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., MacDuckston was sighted at the New Davenport Cash Store and Restaurant again, eating a vegetarian dinner with an unidentified man and appearing very happy. The man is described as being Asian or Polynesian with salt-and-pepper hair, aged between his late thirties to early fifties, and about 5'6 and 160 pounds.
A sketch of the man is posted with this case summary. He is not considered a suspect in MacDuckston's disappearance but police would like to identify and question him. He and MacDuckston appeared to have a romantic attachment to each other.
MacDuckston was also seen at the Whale City Bakery sometime on August 11. She has never been heard from again. Her husband reported her missing the next day at 9:00 a.m.
On that same afternoon, MacDuckston's minivan, a tan 2001 Mazda MPV with the California license plate number 4POG552, was found abandoned near some cliffs and a beach on Highway 1 near Davenport in northern Santa Cruz County, California, five miles north of the New Davenport Cash Store and Restaurant. This is one of MacDuckston's favorite places.
There were gifts locked inside the van. A photograph of it is posted with this case summary. There was no sign of MacDuckston near the scene, but some of her belongings were located in the area. Investigators found a folding chair, a blanket, a book about travel in Australia, sunglasses and a bright pink sun hat near Greyhound Rock about a hundred yards from the van; it appears that MacDuckston may have been reading on the beach.
MacDuckston is said to have made some long-term arrangements with her workplace before she disappeared. Police do not suspect foul play in her disappearance and there are indications that she may have left of her own accord, but she was not having problems at home or work and her husband says it would be unlike her to leave behind her young granddaughter.
The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are unclear. Drawing on the subject of the book that was found near the van, investigators have looked for MacDuckston in Australia, but with fruitless results.
Suicide was also considered as a possibility, as the cliffs near where her van was parked are known for suicides. A sheriff's dog tracked MacDuckston's scent to the cliff's edge. However, she had no history of depression or other mental problems.
MacDuckston is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and was the director of Carlmont Parent Nursery School in Belmont at the time of her disappearance, and her life is said to have revolved around her work.
She is described as an organized, dedicated person and a nature lover who enjoys exploring back roads and isolated areas. She and her husband moved to Belmont in 1979, and have a grown daughter and son. Her case remains unsolved.