Sharon Zelinski McCully

McCully, circa 1984

  • Missing Since 12/11/1984
  • Missing From Austin, Texas
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/01/1959 (64)
  • Age 25 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A purple shirt with sleeves that reached the elbows, dark blue slacks or jeans with a small check pattern and white stripes, and red high-top sneakers with a white logo (possibly Adidas) on the side.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Off-white 1965 Volkswagen Beetle with a faded orange hood and a missing front bumper (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. McCully has a tattoo of a yellow and red butterfly on her abdomen. She wears contact lenses. Her nickname is Sarah.

Details of Disappearance

McCully was last seen at 1:40 p.m. on December 11, 1984 in Austin, Texas. She was driving east on Howard Lane towards Interstate 35 at the time of her disappearance. She was doing Christmas shopping that day and was last seen after she left a lunch date with her husband of two and a half years. She dropped him off at his job and drove away.

Several witnesses thought they saw McCully's vehicle, an off-white 1965 Volkswagen Beetle with a faded orange hood and a missing front bumper, parked alongside Bee Cave Road near a shopping mall the afternoon she disappeared. These sightings have not been confirmed.

When her husband got home from work at 6:30 p.m., McCully wasn't home. He spent the night waiting for her and calling her friends and family to see if anyone had heard from her. The next day he called the police to report her missing.

The Volkswagen was discovered unlocked and abandoned at an apartment complex in the 8600 block of Research Boulevard, five a half miles from McCully's last known location, two days after she went missing. It was unlocked. The white rope that had previously been used to hold the hood down after its latch broke was no longer on the car when it was found.

McCully's loved ones don't think she knew anyone at the complex and can't think of a reason why she would have gone there, and it's unlikely she would have had car trouble because her husband, a mechanic, had just tuned the engine and because the police were able to start the car and drive it with no problem. McCully's purse, which had contained about $170 in cash, was missing from the vehicle when it was located, as were the keys.

There were no indications of foul play. A few partial fingerprints were found on and in the car, but there was no evidence to implicate anyone in her disappearance. A witness stated McCully was seen getting out of her car with a man, but this has not been confirmed.

McCully lived in an apartment in the 4300 block of Avenue G at the time of her disappearance. A former licensed vocational nurse, she was employed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and dreamed of getting a degree in biology and going to medical school. Her husband passed a polygraph about her disappearance; they reportedly had a happy marriage with no problems, and had recently purchased land to build their own home on.

Authorities believe McCully was taken against her will. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Austin Police Department 512-974-5281

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 14, 2021; details of disappearance updated.