Wednesday, October 27

The most media cases of missing women in the United States

(CNN Español) — The case of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old girl, has received the attention of the media and digital detectives in the United States and the world. At the moment, authorities are working to find her fiancé, Brian Laundrie who is believed to be the last person to see her alive.

Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest after his parents reported him missing in early September. The young woman was on a trip around the country exploring the national parks of the United States with Laundrie, who returned to her parents’ home on September 1 without his fiancée.

LOOK: What is the “syndrome of the missing white woman”?

Before his disappearance, Laundrie refused to speak to police about Petito’s whereabouts, but he has not been charged or is suspected of any crime, authorities said.

Although the Petito case has become an obsession for many, this is not the first time that the disappearance of a woman in the North American country has shocked. These are some of the most high-profile cases of American women who have disappeared in recent years.

Kristin Smart

Kristin Smart was a 19-year-old freshman when she disappeared on May 25, 1996. She was last seen near her dorm at Cal Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, after walking home from a party outside of the campus.

Smart never made it to her room, and her friends and family never heard from her again.

Paul Flores, 44, has been the main suspect in the case. Authorities have said Flores, who was a 19-year-old freshman at the time, walked Smart home and was the last person to see her that day.

Paul Flores faces a first-degree murder charge for allegedly killing Smart in his bedroom at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Prosecutors say Flores raped or attempted to rape Smart. His father, Rubén Flores, 80, is accused of being an accessory to the murder and prosecutors say he helped hide Smart’s body.

In documents filed in the case, a Sheriff’s Office detective stated that investigators are “in possession of biological evidence that leads them to believe that the victim was buried under the defendant’s porch at one point.”

The two men were arrested in April 2021 after a 25-year search, and in September a judge determined that sufficient evidence was presented for the two to be judged.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Kristin Smart was never found and was pronounced dead in 2002.

Chandra Levy

Chandra Levy, a 24-year-old Washington intern whose body was found in a Washington park in 2002.

Levy, a native of Californias, was in Washington working as an intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she was last seen on May 1, 2001. Her skull was found more than a year later, on May 22, 2002, in Rock Creek Park.

Levy’s disappearance gained national attention after her parents discovered a connection between her and Gary Condit, who was then a congressman from the Levy district in California. Condit was never a suspect in the case, but he and Levy were romantically linked and Condit was intensively questioned about Levy’s whereabouts.

In 2010 Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing and robbing Levy. However, in 2016, a judge dismissed the murder charges against Guandique. The Ombudsman’s Office said that Guandique – who always maintained his innocence – passed a lie detector test and was the victim of “the most unreliable evidence: an informant from jail.” Guandique was deported to El Salvador in 2017.

Chandra Levy’s murder remains unsolved.

Laci Peterson

A boy stops to look at a monument and a banner offering a half million dollar reward for Laci Peterson’s safe return at East La Loma Park in Modesto, California on January 4, 2003.

Laci Peterson was reported missing by her husband, Scott Peterson, on December 14, 2002. Laci, who was seven months pregnant, disappeared from her home in Modesto, California shortly before Christmas 2002.

In the early days of the search for Laci, a woman who had been having an affair with Peterson came forward. In April 2003, Laci’s body and that of her son were found in San Francisco Bay. Scott Peterson was arrested shortly after.

In November 2004, Scott Peterson was found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn son Conner. Prosecutors alleged that Peterson’s motive for the murders was to escape married life and upcoming parenthood.

Peterson was sentenced to death in 2005, but in 2020 the California Supreme Court revoked the death sentence. The higher court determined that the trial itself was fair and that the murder convictions remain in force.

Natalee Holloway

Natalee Holloway, a young woman from Alabama was last seen alive on May 30, 2005 in Aruba.

Holloway was in Aruba on a graduation trip from his high school when he disappeared. The 18-year-old was last seen in the early morning of May 30, 2005, as she was leaving a nightclub on the Caribbean island of Aruba with Joran van der Sloot, who was then 17, and two other men.

Van der Sloot – who was arrested twice in connection with Holloway’s disappearance, but never charged – confessed in 2012 in a Lima court to having murdered Stephany Flores, a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, five years after Holloway’s disappearance. . Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence and is expected to be extradited to the United States after his release.

In the United States, van der Slootha was indicted on federal charges of racketeering and wire fraud. The US authorities accuse him of extorting Holloway’s mother by offering false information about her daughter’s disappearance.

Natalee’s father, Dave Holloway, filed a petition to declare his daughter dead in June 2012, six years after her daughter went to the Caribbean island with 100 classmates to celebrate her graduation from Mountain Brook High School in the Birmingham suburbs.

No one was charged in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and her body was never found.

Lauren Spierer

Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old sophomore, was last seen on June 3, 2011 after leaving a Bloomington, Indiana sports bar with a student.

Surveillance camera footage of an alley placed between the two students’ apartment buildings showed them walking toward the male student’s building around 3:00 a.m.

One of the student’s neighbors reported seeing Spierer leave around 4:30 a.m., but police said no sign of her was found after the 3:00 a.m. sighting.

Chandra Levy’s disappearance remains unsolved.

Sherri Papini

Sherri Papini disappeared on November 2, 2016 while jogging near his home in Shasta County in Northern California.

Her husband, Keith Papini, reported her missing after Sherri failed to pick up her children from daycare.

Three weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, Sherri was found abandoned on Interstate 5 in Yolo County, about 140 miles from the Mountain Gate jogging trail, where she was last seen.

Sherri told authorities that her two abductors had covered their faces and marked her during her captivity. Authorities said she told them that her captors spoke Spanish most of the time in captivity.

Sherri Papini’s case remains unsolved.

CNN tracks Gabby Petito’s last steps 4:37

Con información de Chris Boyette, Aya Elamroussi, Alexandra Meeks, Cheri Mossburg, Ralph Ellis, Stella Chan, Paul Vercammen, Theresa Waldrop, Lorenzo Ferrigno, Joshua Berlinger, Faith Karimi, Jay Croft de CNN.

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