Back in January of this year, I came across a news article of a missing Missouri mother. Since MO borders my home state of Oklahoma, I read it. This is a snippet of the article below:
Authorities seek missing woman
“According to New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens, Teresa Lynn Butler, 35, was found to be missing from her home near Risco around 10 a.m. Wednesday, when her husband, Dale Butler, returned from work at a steel mill in Blytheville, Ark.
Stevens said Butler arrived home to find his two young children, ages 2 and 4, alone in the family home on County Road 241, also known as Eight Ditch Road, just off Highway 62 on the outskirts of Risco. The youngest child was awake and in his bed, while the older child was still sleeping, Stevens continued.
“There were no signs of forced entry and the only items found to be missing were a video game console and the stereo from his [Butler’s] vehicle,” said Stevens. She is described as five feet, seven inches in height, weighing approximately 109 pounds, with brown eyes and hair”…………
Butler’s case was in the news at the end of last January ’06. Her story caught my eye because here is a loving mother of 2 boys, ages 2 and 4, who disappeared during the night, leaving her children home alone in thier rural home. Butler has no previous documented ‘behavior’ or ‘instability’ issues. She is also employed at Wal-Mart in Dexter, MO in the photo department. It appears Butler lives in Risco, MO population around 392 but commutes to Dexter for work. Something got my hinkey meter up-up enough to post her story and this news article at a websleuthing forum on 1/28/06 immediately after her missing persons case hit the media. Some facts into her disappearence are kind of unsettling. Here is an outline of information that I have gathered from the news, from other missing persons sites, and from a little internet sleuthing on my part.
- Someone close to the investigation has said police were called to the Butler home by Teresa’s sister-in-law on the morning of Jan. 25. Officers found no forced entry into the home, no blood and a number of items missing. Butler’s purse that contained her digital camera is missing, as well as a video camera and her cell phone.
A big Mag-Lite flashlight that was kept on top of the hutch is gone. The stereo from the Jeep a gone, as well as previous gaming electronics already mentioned.
- Police took some things with them when they investigated: Butler’s wedding rings, which Dale Butler said his wife removed every night before bed, and a few furniture covers. Police also obtained a lock from the couple’s home. The tip of a key was broken off in the lock.
- A former co-worker of Butler’s has stated that Butler sometimes complained about telephone calls she received at work from Gary Dale Butler’s former spouse. Gary Dale Butler’s ex-wife, who also was employed by Wal-Mart, but worked at the Kennet, MO store, called Teresa Butler several of times, and that Teresa was upset by their conversations. Obviously, thier conversations were not ‘Wal-Mart’ related.
- I also learned the ex-wife has been remarried but her husband filed for divorce on January 20th, just 5 days prior to Butler’s disapperance. Connection? Maybe…Maybe not.
- Risco is located in Southeast Missouri and Maverick Tube where the husband works is in Blytheville, Arkansas and is about 100mile or more drive.
Butler’s home is near the intersection of two paved roads, with the No. 8 drainage ditch just across the single-lane street. Here is what the Sheriff said about the ditch:
“We didn’t actually drag the ditch,” the sheriff said. “We floated it.
“The 8 ditch is pretty well maintained with a low level of water in it,” he added. “We feel pretty confident that if she was there, we would have found her. We floated several area ditches there around the Risco-Malden area, and east of Risco, also. We ran four-wheelers up and down the ditch dumps, and through all the fields and field rows. Flew an airplane. Flew a helicopter. Some private people ran some horses, but they were not under my guidance. We brought cadaver dogs in. Nothing.”
Law Enforcement does feel foul play may be involved at this point.
Sheriff reports state Butler’s sister-in-law gave police a statement about her last conversation with Teresa. The investigating officers cannot divulge the contents of her report.
Also let it be noted that Butler’s father, Don Buchanan, a retired farmer, said his daughter was married to a Gideon man at an early age, and that Gary Dale was married to a Bootheel woman before marrying Teresa. Teresa allegedly told a family member she had met Gary Dale Butler while working at a Dexter factory, that he was separated from his wife, and the couple had a young son.
Teresa’s father has said many times he has his own suspicions about who might have been involved in his daughter’s disappearance. The ex-wife? The ex-wife working in cahoots with someone? Either scenario is a huge probability. I feel like this is NOT a random act of crime, or a predator who stalked Butler, or a deranged Wal-Mart customer, chances of these scenarios are slim. After all, we are more likely to be hurt or murdered by someone we know instead of a complete stranger. But, I do buy into the ex-wife’s involvement.
This is a very puzzling case. I hope Butler is found, unharmed and can return home to her 2 little children. These kids need thier mother. From all accounts in the message boards, forums, and even the news, Butler is the kind of person one likes to ‘just be around’, upbeat and usually smiling. Here is a great site for Teresa Butler made for her by her loved ones who really miss her and need her back home. Please check it out!
“The time is always right to do what is right” – Martin Luther King, Jr.