This week’s featured missing person is Pamela Pendley Biggers, a 52-year-old woman who disappeared from Panama City Beach, Florida on January 27, 2008. She actually lived in Hueytown, Alabama, a five-hour drive away, but was in Florida on business.
Pamela was under a lot of stress when she disappeared because her son was about to be deployed to Afghanistan. She was actually experiencing some serious signs of mental illness, including auditory hallucinations, and her doctor thought she might have developed schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but Pamela refused to see a psychiatrist.
If she had in fact only just gotten bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, her case was highly unusual; those illnesses usually develop in the late adolescent or early adult years, and Pamela was middle-aged. That said, it’s not completely unheard of for a person to start manifesting symptoms later in life. It’s also possible that, if Pamela did have one of those illnesses, she had been dealing with symptoms for a lot longer than is supposed. I was diagnosed with severe depression at 23; two years later, my doctor changed his mind and decided I was actually bipolar. In fact, I’d been dealing with symptoms since I was a child and just did a good job of hiding it.
In any case, Pamela must obviously be considered an at-risk missing person. There were some leads placing her in Ohio after she disappeared, but I haven’t found a whole lot of news about this. The most recent article I could find is two years old.