Sandra June Horwath

Horwath, circa 1973; Gary Taylor

  • Missing Since 10/01/1973
  • Missing From Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 33 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 135 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A house dress or blue tank top and pullover shirt, a white blazer, blue stretch pants, and clog-type sandals with a beige strap and wooden soles. Carrying a purse.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Horwath's nickname is Sandy. Her ears are pierced. At the time of her disappearance, her hair was below her shoulders.

Details of Disappearance

Horwath was last seen in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 1, 1973. She put her three young daughters to bed at 10:00 p.m. When the children woke up the next day between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., Horwath was gone, and she did not show up for work at the University of Michigan hospital that day.

The flowerbeds outside the residence had been trampled. Horwath's vehicle and watch were left behind at home, but her purse and checkbook were missing and has never been found. A neighbor reported hearing a noise outside at about 10:50 p.m. the day of her disappearance, but the noise stopped and the neighbor didn't go out to see what it was.

Howarth's ex-husband in Rochester, Michigan retrieved their children after Horwath's disappearance and took them to live with him. He cooperated with the investigation and is not considered a suspect or person of interest in the case, as he had an alibi for the night she disappeared.

Horwath was an acquaintance of Gary Addison Taylor. He had a history of violent attacks on women going back to his teenage years in the 1940s and 1950s, and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years due to his behavior. A photo of Taylor is posted with this case summary.

Around the same time Horwath disappeared, Taylor stopped going to to his outpatient appointments at Ypsilanti State Hospital Center for Forensic Psychiatry and left Michigan. He was apprehended in Texas in 1975 and confessed to the murders of four women in three different states: Michigan, Texas and Washington. He said he had buried four bodies behind his former home in Onsted, Michigan, three female victims and one male. After a search, the bodies of two women missing from Ohio were found at the burial site. No other remains were located.

Taylor is currently serving a life sentence in Washington for the murder of a young woman there. He admitted to police that he knew Howarth, but denied having killed her. Authorities investigated his possible involvement in Horwath's disappearance and other cases, but were never able to conclusively link him to any other murders.

Taylor is one of several persons of interest in Horwath's case, and police contacted him for an interview about it as recently as 2022, but he refused to speak to them. Authorities believe she was taken against her will.

Investigating Agency

  • Ann Arbor Police Department 734-794-6920

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 18, 2022; casefile added.