Phylicia Albina Thomas
Thomas, circa 2004
- Missing Since 02/11/2004
- Missing From Lake Township, Pennsylvania
- Classification Endangered Missing
- Sex Female
- Race White
- Date of Birth 01/05/1982 (41)
- Age 22 years old
- Height and Weight 5'6, 110 pounds
- Clothing/Jewelry Description A rust-colored wool fringed sweater, a blue collared polo shirt with "Pump and Pantry" written on it, white pants, gray Nike sneakers, a blue Pump-N-Pantry hat and a homemade beaded hemp necklace.
- Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue eyes. Both of Thomas's arms are laced with scars from dog bites. She has freckles on her face. She is a cigarette smoker.
Details of Disappearance
Thomas finished her shift at the Pump-N-Pantry at approximately 11:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on February 11, 2004. Her co-workers say she was in good spirits when she left work. Afterwards, she went to her home in the vicinity of the 100 block of Route 118 in Lake Township, Pennsylvania.
Her boyfriend, Ed Rudaski, says he was sleeping on the couch and woke up when she came in. They had a brief conversation and she asked him for a beer. He told her the beer was outside in his ATV, then he went back to sleep on the couch.
When Rudaski woke up again an hour later and went to their bedroom, Thomas was not there. He drove his ATV to a friend's house, thinking she might be there, but she was not, so he went back to their home to wait for her return. She has never been heard from again.
Rudaski believes Thomas left their residence of her own accord. There was no sign of forced entry to the house, and he heard no suspicious noises. She was carrying her cigarettes with her at the time she went missing.
Investigators believe Thomas's disappearance is suspicious. Rudaski has cooperated with the investigation and is not being called a suspect. The man who gave Thomas a ride home from work the evening of her disappearance has also been interviewed and cleared of suspicion.
Searchers found some mysterious notes while looking for Thomas. The notes alluded to a body which was supposedly behind the Mountain Fresh Supermarket in Pike's Creek, Pennsylvania. Police looked in that location but found nothing. The supermarket is only about a tenth of a mile from the Pump-N-Pantry where Thomas worked.
Investigators searched the home of Steven Allan Martin, a friend of Rudaski's, for evidence relating to Thomas's disappearance. They would not say what, if anything, that they found.
Martin claimed he called the Rudaski/Thomas residence shortly after 11:30 p.m. on February 11 and spoke to Thomas. He stated he asked to speak to Rudaski and she told him he was sleeping. This would corroborate Rudaski's version of events.
Curiously, Martin is connected to the case of another missing young woman from Lake Township. He is the last person known to have seen Jennifer Barziloski, his girlfriend's eighteen-year-old sister, before she disappeared from Edwardsville, Pennsylvania in 2001. In April 2010, her skull was found in a forest in northeast Pennsylvania.
Some media accounts suggested that Thomas and Barziloski's cases were connected, but authorities have found nothing to support this hypothesis beyond the fact that the two women were friends and Martin was the last person known to have contact with them. He is, however, considered a person of interest in both cases.
Martin was involved in a police chase in December 2004 which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. He was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison as a result. In August 2005, a month after arriving at the prison, he hanged himself in his cell. Prison staff cut him down and he was taken to the hospital, where he died. He maintained his innocence in Thomas and Barziloski's cases until the end.
Thomas's case is still under investigation. Police suspect foul play was involved in her disappearance.
- Pennsylvania State Police 570-697-2000
Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 15, 2022; picture added.