Details of Disappearance
Theresa resided with her husband, Richard Murphy, and her teenage daughter in Rainier, Oregon in 1999. Both of Theresa's children were from her first marriage; her son lived with his father in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a six-hour drive away. A photo of Richard is posted with this case summary.
The family lived in the 72000 block of Hutchison Road. They relocated from Puyallup, Washington in July 1999 to be closer to Richard's relatives. Theresa reportedly regretted the move, as she missed her old job and her family and friends back in Puyallup.
Theresa dropped her daughter off at a friend's home for a three-day sleepover on October 7, 1999. Later that same day, Richard departed on a camping trip to Browns Creek in the Olympic National Forest in Mason County, Washington.
Theresa's daughter called her on October 9 and spoke to her mother, and later thought her mother "didn't sound like herself." Her mother was supposed to pick her up on October 10, but she never arrived. Her daughter called the house several times, trying to reach her, but no one ever answered, so she stayed with her friend.
Eventually, after a few more days, Richard answered the phone; he had returned home from his camping trip. He told his stepdaughter he had no idea where Theresa was. Richard came and picked up his stepdaughter, took her home. Shortly thereafter, Richard called Theresa's ex-husband and asked him to pick up the girl. She moved in with her father and brother in Oregon.
All of Theresa's personal belongings were inside the house. Her pickup truck was parked near the residence with the keys in the ignition. Theresa has never been heard from again. Her sister-in-law reported her as a missing person on October 23, 16 days after she vanished. The reasons for the delay of the report are unknown.
Richard also reported that the family's 1991 Colt 1911 A-1 .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun with serial number 2757178 was missing from their home after his wife disappeared. The weapon has never been located. In August 2001, nearly two years after her disappearance, authorities announced that they believed Theresa is deceased. Her case remains unsolved.