Details of Disappearance Saunders is from Norfolk, Virginia and was traveling to visit relatives in the Monroeville, Alabama area at the time of her disappearance a few minutes after 1:00 a.m. on August 5, 2018; this was her fourth trip to the area.
She was last seen getting gas at the Shell-Marathon gas station at Exit 93 on Interstate 65 in Evergreen, Alabama. She would normally call her family at that exit so they could meet her at the Minute Stop gas station at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and State Highway 21 at Ollie, but she never placed the call. She never arrived at her destination and has never been heard from again.
Surveillance footage of the gas station showed Saunders pulling into the parking lot just after 1:00 and going inside the station at 1:08. She prepaid the clerk $20 for gas, pumped the gas, and pulled out of the parking lot at 1:11, turning left and heading west on U.S. Highway 84 in the direction of Monroeville.
Her phone pinged off cellular towers in Repton and Ollie on west U.S. Highway 84. About an hour later, at 3:36 a.m., the phone pinged again behind the Yellow Hammer Travel Center at Exit 69 on Interstate 65, west of Brewton, which was not on Saunders's route. It's possible she became lost. She was reported missing on August 6.
A week after her disappearance, her car, a red Toyota Corolla with the Virginia license plate number WSL2565, was found stuck in the mud on a road three miles off the Range Road in a remote wooded area of southwestern Conecuh County, Alabama. The front passenger side window was broken and Saunders's personal belongings, including two suitcases, a tablet, a phone, a GPS device, a twelve-pack of Corona beer, and some snacks and candy, were all missing. There was no blood or other evidence of foul play, and no prints in the ground besides the car's own tire tracks.
Saunders's family doesn't believe she would have left of her own accord, and she was close to the sister she was on her way to visit. She has four daughters and is a devout Jehovah's Witness, and her family stated she doesn't have any health problems and wasn't taking any medication at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved. Both Virginia and Alabama police are investigating.
- Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
- Norfolk Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 5, 2019; casefile added.