The Girl Who Disappeared
A Day In The Life...
Aside from some of the horror stories that come from simply working in the multi-family industry, one of the “spookier” sections of my book, I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It! is Chapter 5—The Bizarre and Unexplained. The following is a disturbing tale of intrigue and mystery.
It was nearly thirty years ago and like a lot of folks in the industry, I started my career in property management as a leasing agent. One of the very first apartments I leased was to a young woman about my own age. We hit it off right away. This was to be her first apartment after graduating from college and she was really excited about living on her own.
I figured since she didn’t really know anyone in the area, she would pop into the leasing office periodically to say hello; but as it turned out, I rarely saw her after she signed her lease. The girl was always very friendly when she came to pay her rent and shared with me that she’d been working long hours at her new job and it was keeping her very busy.
About three months into her lease she became delinquent on her rent. We called and left messages on her answering machine and left a notice on her door letting her know she needed to contact the office immediately. After a couple of days, we noticed her car was missing and attempts to reach her at her employer’s phone number were unsuccessful. We also tried calling the emergency contact she’d given us on her rental application, but got no response. After all of these efforts to reach her, my manager and I went to take a look in the girl’s apartment.
Her Apartment Was Just As She’d Left It
The notice we’d tacked to her front door was still in place. We used the master key to enter, calling her name out loudly as we entered.
I can remember walking through the unit as if it were yesterday. It appeared that she had left in the morning and planned on returning home as usual. There was cold coffee still sitting in the coffee maker and a lipstick-stained mug in the kitchen sink. We walked through the dining and living rooms taking note of how everything was tidy and nothing appeared out of place. The bedroom closet was full of clothes and shoes. The bathroom also held nothing unusual—a towel hung neatly on the rack, the countertop was clear of debris and shining—not even a glob of toothpaste was on the sink.
As we walked through the bedroom again, I noticed something that has always remained in my mind. There was a pair of pink house slippers lying next to the bed. It was if they were waiting for this girl to come home and slip them back on after a long day at work.
Filing A Missing Person’s Report
When we returned to the leasing office, my manager called the girl’s emergency contact again and left another message. She also called the girl’s employer again and was able to get a supervisor on the phone who verified that our resident had not shown up for work in several days, which was very unlike her.
After this conversation, the property manager contacted the police department and was able to file a missing person’s report based on the information we had about this young woman.
In the days that followed, we finally heard from her parents (who’d been her emergency contacts). They’d been out of town and as soon as they’d returned home and listened to our messages on their answering machine, they called us in a panic. The parents hadn’t heard from their daughter in the past couple of weeks, either. The worried couple traveled right away to meet with the police and detectives who were now handling the investigation.
The newspapers ran photos of the missing girl. Local television stations ran missing-person stories. After several weeks, her family moved everything out of the girl’s apartment and returned her keys. It was incredibly sad for all of us.
I think about this young woman from time to time and wonder what happened to her. To my knowledge, neither she nor her car were found and no one was ever arrested in the case. It was if she vanished into thin air.
From the book I Have a Complex, But I'm Managing It!, stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.
Monica E. Simmons, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JDC Enterprises, LLC, has worked in the multi-family industry in several different capacities since 1987. She is a published author whose books include; I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!, It Happened in The Hill Country and 30-Love.
Contact her at: Monica@TheVendorGuide.com