Tessie E. Pozar

Tessie, circa 1984; Frank Pozar Jr., circa 1986

  • Missing Since 10/26/1984
  • Missing From Spokane, Washington
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 11/10/1927 (96)
  • Age 56 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7, 138 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Gray hair, green eyes. Tessie wears eyeglasses for reading, but they were left behind.

Details of Disappearance

Tessie and her husband, Frank, were last seen in Spokane, Washington on October 26, 1984. They owned and operated the Spokane Street Motel in Spokane, and every year they closed it and spent the fall and winter in Hawaii. They'd acquired 24 acres of land in Hawaii and planned to move there permanently when they retired.

During the autumn of 1984, the Pozars made arrangements for their trip and bought plane tickets to fly on October 30. They never made their flight; their tickets were never used.

The Pozars owned two dogs, an Akita and a mixed breed, and normally boarded them at a kennel while they were in Hawaii. They made arrangements to drop the dogs off at the kennel on October 29, but never showed up. Their dogs have never been found.

Tessie and Frank had a camper and kept it in storage in a Spokane warehouse. The last time anyone saw them was when they took their camper to the warehouse. An unidentified individual came and took it before 7:00 p.m. on October 29. The camper was parked in the long-term lot at the Spokane International Airport before 1:00 a.m. on October 30.

Tessie and Frank didn't have a telephone at their Hawaii residence and didn't keep in regular touch with their Spokane friends and relatives while they were there, so no one realized they were missing for weeks.

When Christmas came and went without any holiday communications from Frank and Tessie, their children checked up on them and found out they'd never arrived in Hawaii. They contacted Hawaii authorities, who referred the case to the Spokane police department on January 7, 1985.

The Pozars do not have criminal records and, other than their property investments, didn't have any substantial debts in 1984. Neither of them habitually carried large amounts of cash.

They owned a laundromat and several motels in the Spokane area and left behind an estate of about $500,000. Investigators believe they probably met with foul play.

Frank Pozar Jr. is the prime suspect in his parents' disappearances. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. In December 1986, he was found guilty of theft and forgery charges; he'd cashed in his parents' savings bonds, used their credit cards without authorization, and signed his mother's name to a $550 check after they disappeared. He was sentenced to twenty months in prison.

Frank Jr. admitted to taking his parents' money, but said he only did it to maintain the Spokane Street Motel in their absence. He moved into the motel within days of his parents' disappearances, claiming they had given their permission for him to live there.

Frank Jr. told his sister, Rose, as well as others, that their parents were sailing, but not in Hawaii. He said he didn't know what cruise line they were with.

Prior to Frank Sr. and Tessie's disappearances, Frank Jr. was only occasionally employed and lived mainly off the rental income from some houses his mother had purchased and given to him. In 1984, Frank Jr. sold the rental homes for less than their market value in order to get capital to start a computer magazine, which failed.

Tessie was angry with him about it and Frank Jr. became estranged from his parents; he refused to speak to them at all after July 1984 and would run away if he saw them on the street. Tessie and Frank Sr. refused to provide him with any further financial support.

Frank agreed to take a lie detector test, but not with the police. Two local newspapers paid for it. In the middle of the exam, Frank stopped and refused to cooperate any further. Based on the partial results, the polygraph examiner believed he either did something to his parents himself, or knew who had. Authorities believe Frank Jr. probably murdered his parents.

After their disappearances, items the Pozars would have taken to Hawaii were found in their son's possession, and their packed suitcases were located in the motel basement. Frank Jr. maintains his innocence and he has never been charged in connection with his parents' disappearances.

He was in and out of jail in the years after 1984 and lost touch with Rose, and the police don't know his current whereabouts. His last known location was Washington, D.C.

Tessie only had a sixth-grade education, and Frank's education ended after his sophomore year at high school. Rose continues to operate their motel, having turned it into apartments. The Pozars' cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Spokane Police Department 509-625-4041

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 31, 2009; details of disappearance updated.