Yeah, I can’t find any Select It Sunday suggestions today, so…

So here’s one of my own.

I want to bend the rules a bit and talk about a case I just added to Charley last night: Samantha Jean Hopper, courtesy of the new Arkansas MP database. NamUs also had Samantha but without a picture, so I wasn’t able to add her to Charley before.

Per NamUs, Samantha was eight months pregnant and disappeared with her one-year-old daughter, no details provided for the child. The Arkansas MP database had a one-year-old girl named Courtney Holt who disappeared from the same city (Russellville) on the same day (September 11, 1998) so I took a leap of faith and decided this must be Samantha’s daughter. No picture for baby Courtney, though, so she doesn’t have her own profile. I also don’t know her DOB. I wish I did. There’s a huge difference, developmentally speaking, between a one-year-old who just turned one, and a one-year-old who’s almost two.

I can’t find anything about Samantha or Courtney in the news archives or anything.

In spite of the paucity of details this case strikes me as ominous. Why would a heavily pregnant young woman and her baby/toddler vanish into thin air like that? Who was that “friend” they were going with? Did the friend come back? What kind of concert were they attending?

I tried Googling the phrase “little rock” concert and the dates “september 11, 1998” and “september 12, 1998” to see if what bands were playing in the city at that time, but I could find nothing. Hardly surprising, 18 years after the fact, but frustrating nonetheless.

I’ve never cared for a baby or been pregnant, but it seems to me that if I were dealing with both situations at the same time, a concert doesn’t sound like it would be a lot of fun. I suppose it would depend on the concert, how the pregnancy was going and how manageable the child was/whether there was child care available. Certainly something like a mosh pit would be out of the question.

I’d love to know what’s going on with this case. Most importantly, I want to know why there has been no news or anything for nearly two decades.

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12 thoughts on “Yeah, I can’t find any Select It Sunday suggestions today, so…

  1. becky July 10, 2016 / 11:39 am

    Yeah, exactly! AND after she’d spent a long day at work!? Where is the baby’s/babies’ daddy? I suspect she told her mom she was going to a concert with a “friend” as a ruse because the mom wouldn’t have wanted her hanging around with the person who lured her away that night.

  2. Holly July 10, 2016 / 11:43 am

    There’s a little bit posted about Samantha and Courtney on Facebook. The posting is by THV11 dated February 9,2015. It’s in the comments. There’s a few pictures of them as well. Not much more info.

  3. Brooke July 10, 2016 / 11:48 am

    After some research on family names, it seems Samantha also had another daughter names Dezarae who would have been 4 years old at the time of her disappearance. If you search her first name and Samantha’s last name you will find a wedding/honeymoon page that lists Samantha as her mother. On the daughter’s FB someone mentions she looks like her mother and she asks if there has been any news and the poster responds no. So that would make a four-year old, a one-year old and eight months pregnant with the third.

    • Meaghan July 10, 2016 / 11:55 am

      Wow.

      I have a “no cold-contacting family members” rule but I hope Dezarae or someone else in the family contacts me. I’d love to know more about this. The case stinks. I am afraid both Samantha and Courtney are dead.

  4. Sara July 10, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    I found a post on genealogy.com that gave Samantha’s birthdate as 10-22-78 and confirmed that Courtney is her daughter. She was 15 when her older daughter was born. Looks like a friend of the family looking for them. The post also said Samantha has a small son, so maybe they knew her baby was a boy.

    Looking at her older daughter’s marriage license Samantha’s maiden name is Mahan. I found the divorce between her father (Adam Hopper) and Samantha- he filed in 1996 and the divorce was granted in June 1997. The case was reopened in October 1998 after Samantha disappeared, it looks like to deal with the custody of their daughter. It looks like Samantha’s ex husband got married again a few days after the divorce was granted. They lived in/around Little Rock because their divorce was filed in that county.

    Would be interesting to know who this friend was Samantha went with. If she was that far along in her pregnancy I wonder if it was a situation where someone was looking to steal her baby. So sad. I hope someone in Samantha and Courtney’s family will give us more information.

  5. Lauren July 11, 2016 / 12:50 am

    Concert at 8 months pregnant with a 1 year old? Hard to imagine unless it was “Sesame Street Live” or an outdoor concert in the park or something like that. Personally, if it’s a rock or hip hop concert in an arena we are talking about, then I wouldn’t want to expose my toddler to the noise and pot smoke or the risk that some inebriated headbanger would bump into my stomach.

    • Meaghan July 11, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Yeah I wish I knew what kind of concert it was. But I posted a general message to mothers on Facebook, and consulted my own mother, to ask whether they would ever take a one-year-old to a concert while they themselves were eight months pregnant. There were a few “maybe, depends on the concert” but almost everyone (my mom included) answered no. Some of them said they might go if they were pregnant, depending on the concert and how they were feeling, but would never bring a one-year-old with them. As one respondent put it, “Neither of you will have fun.”

      • Lauren July 11, 2016 / 5:11 pm

        “Neither of you will have fun”….HAHA yeah, that’s a good way to put it! 🙂

  6. diamondlil16 July 11, 2016 / 2:28 am

    And no other person reported missing from the general area during that time period? Was thinking perhaps a car accident where it left the road and maybe ended up in water.

    Edit note – Meaghan, correct the Arkansas spelling in the Details paragraph.

    • Meaghan July 11, 2016 / 9:28 am

      Thanks for telling me about the typo. I’ll fix it.

      I hadn’t considered the possibility of a car wreck but you’re right, this should be considered. I’m assuming she would have taken the interstate from Russellville to Little Rock. They’re a little over an hour away via I-40.

  7. Brooke July 11, 2016 / 11:48 am

    Lots of interesting info/suppositions on “Operation Find Love Ones” FB page entry dated June 1, 2015. In the comments section.

    • Meaghan July 11, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Thanks for that info. I shared both the Operation Find Love Ones group and the Samantha Hopper post I found on Charley’s Facebook page.

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