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Abduction in a Small Town: Angela Hammond

A young woman was taken by force while she spoke to her fiance on a payphone.

By The Writing CasperPublished 4 years ago 4 min read

20-year-old Angela Hammond grew up in the heart of Clinton, Missouri. She was an extrovert, happy-go-lucky, and looked forward to spending the rest of her life with her fiance, Rob Shafer. Both were also awaiting the arrival of their unborn child.

Life appeared to be moving upward…

Until April 4, 1991.

Angela was on her way home from a friend’s house. While en-route, she stopped at a phone-booth, in the parking lot of a grocery store, to call Rob to inform him that she opted to go home rather than hang-out. During the conversation, she noticed a man in a light green pickup truck circling the parking lot. Soon, the man parked only a few feet away from the phone-booth and exited the truck. Angela became alarmed and described the man as “dirty, bearded, and wearing overalls”. She also described the pickup truck as a “green late 1960s FORD model with a decal of a fish jumping out of water on the back window”.

The man began searching the interior of the truck with a flashlight and Angela told Rob that he was “looking for something”. Initially, he appeared to be placing a call in the second phone-booth, but he changed his mind and returned to the truck. Angela noted such and Rob told her to ask the man if he needed to use the phone. She complied and the man simply answered, “No”.

Suddenly, Angela vocalized a scream which was so horrific that Rob rushed to his car and drove to the location. During his travel, the same pickup truck, which Angela described, sped past him in the opposite direction. He heard her scream his name and he made an abrupt U-turn to pursue the truck. Unfortunately, his transmission stopped working after a sharp turn. He had no choice but to watch the man drive into the night.

Angela Hammond/Photo Source: Unsolved Mysteries


As a result of Angela’s abduction, police focused on three cases which occurred within an 80-mile radius and also three months prior:

Mack’s Creek, Missouri: On February 19th, at around 10 p.m, 42-year-old Trudy Darby, a former secretary of Mack’s Creek Public School in Missouri, was working her shift at the K&D Country Corner Store in Camden County when she noticed a man lingering outside. She phoned her son, Waylon Darby, and described the man’s suspicious behavior. Although she didn’t indicate to him that she was frightened, nor in danger, he traveled to the store only to discover she had vanished.

Trudy Darby/Photo Source: Unsolved Mysteries

Puzzled, Waylon called the Camden County Sheriff’s Department. When Trooper Jimmy Mays of the Missouri Highway State Patrol arrived on the scene, he observed that a car, coat, and purse had been left behind. Also, cash, which totaled over $200, was stolen from the register.

Two days later, near the Little Niangua River, a concerned resident conducted his own investigation based on a neighbor’s claim of having heard gunshots in the area. He discovered evidence of blond hair and blood on the road near the river. As a result, he contacted Deputy Crocker of the Camden County Sheriff’s Department. Both Crocker and Mays observed the hair, blood, and a .38 caliber casing. A helicopter search was requested and Trudy’s nude body was discovered submerged in the river. On February 22nd, Medical Examiner Dr. Jay Dix confirmed she had been beaten, raped, and shot twice in the head at point-blank range with a shotgun.


In 1993, Jessie Rush revealed to his former neighbor, Carl Blakely, that he was involved in the murder and abduction of Trudy. Carl informed Trooper Mays about the revelation. Jessie’s former girlfriend, Gretchen Chastain, also informed Trooper Mays that he (Jessie) revealed his involvement in the abduction and murder.

During an interview, which was conducted by Trooper Mays, Jessie initially denied he was present but then retracted his statement.

Jessie’s half-brother, Marvin Chaney, was implicated as the second suspect.

Both men were convicted of first-degree murder and received life without the possibility of parole. However, they were never connected to the abduction of Angela.

Marvin Chaney and Jessie Rush/Photo Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections


Nevada, Missouri: On the night of February 27th, Cheryl Ann Kinney, a 30-year-old wife and mother, closed the JL Quality Convenience Store which was located on Business Highway-71. She hasn’t been seen nor heard from since. Her car, which was discovered in the parking lot, was cool to the touch — an indication she hadn’t driven after her shift.

Cheryl Ann Kinney/Photo Source: Unsolved Mysteries


Gallens, Kansas: 18-year-old Karol Sullens left a bar where she was employed as an exotic dancer. She was last seen sitting with two men in a pickup truck which was parked in front of the bar. The possessions found were $300 and a pile of street clothing which were identified as having belonged to Karol.

Karol Sullens/Photo Source: Kansas Missing and Unsolved


Although a possible link of the three cases to Angela's case was suspected, no evidence to prove such has been revealed.

Despite Rob’s account, he was still considered a suspect because of his relationship with Angela. Also, investigators were unable to verify his alibi. After one week, he was cleared.

In 1991, an unconfirmed sighting had surfaced in Canada. Russell Smith of Manitoba claimed he spotted a woman, who resembled Angela, leaving a drugstore. He was adamant about the woman’s identity. So much that he noted he recognized her from a missing persons poster, which he saw while visiting family members, in Urich, Missouri.

To this day, Angela is still missing and the man who abducted her hasn’t been identified. No clues, no sightings, and no composite sketches.


About the Creator

The Writing Casper

I am an avid writer.

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