|Disappeared||April 15, 1978|
|Missing for||43 years|
Ann Ellinwood was a girl who went missing in 1978. Foul play is suspected in her case.
Ann Marie Ellinwood was last seen in Corvallis, Oregon on April, 15, 1978. She was participating in a March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon that day. The route was on a bike path along the Marys River. At around 1:00 p.m. Ellinwood told her friend that her feet hurt and they should continue walking without her. Ellinwood said she would go to a checkpoint at the Gill Coliseum. She was last seen near the Pioneer Park ball field, across Highway 34 from the coliseum. A red pickup truck was reportedly seen in the area at around this time. She has not been seen or heard from since.
Ellinwood did not show up for her paper delivery job that afternoon, which was uncharacteristic of her, and was reported missing by her parents at 5:15 p.m. An extensive search of the area she was last seen in failed to find Ellinwood or any evidence as to what might have happened to her.
Police quickly linked Ellinwood’s disappearance to that of 11 year old Stephanie Ann Newsom who vanished from West Salem, Oregon on April, 19, 1978. The girls where similar in age and appearance and both were last seen walking alone during daylight hours. At this point, police where looking for a suspect with a stocky build, reddish-brown or sandy hair, a gruff voice and possibly a mustache in Ellinwood’s case. In Newsom’s case they were looking for a similar suspect with light brown hair and a stocky build.
Newson’s partially clothed body was eventually found on April, 25, 1978 in a field next to Ankeny Wildlife Refuge. She had died several days prior to her discovery and had been raped and strangled.
In May, 1978 police identified Earl “Woody” F. Chambers as a suspect in both Newsom’s murder and Ellinwood’s disappearance. He had prior convictions for rape and assault and owned a red pickup truck similar to the one seen in the area Ellinwood vanished in. He was questioned by police and ordered to appear before a grand jury on June, 6, 1978 however, he was found dead in a rural area of Linn County Oregon that day, having committed suicide.
After Chamber’s death Ellinwood’s case went cold although there have been periodic efforts by law enforcement to solve it.