Flashback Friday: Joanne Coughlin

This week’s Flashback Friday case is from my home state of Ohio — albeit quite far away from where I grew up. Joanne Coughlin, an attractive 21-year-old aspiring actress, disappeared in December 1974, more than a decade before I was born. She was last seen en route to a spa in Youngstown. Whether or not she made it there isn’t clear; no one saw her, and while someone put her name on the sign-in sheet, her niece said the writing wasn’t Joanne’s. She was missed after she didn’t show up at her boyfriend’s house that night like they’d arranged.

Joanne certainly wasn’t acting like someone who was planning to walk out of her life: she paid her life insurance premium on the day she disappeared. Who does that just before they run away? The police have a very specific theory as to her fate, but they haven’t charged anyone in her case or named any suspects. After almost forty years, it’s possible whoever caused Joanne’s disappearance isn’t even alive anymore.

Nothing to do but keep looking, and hoping.