Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Julie Weflen

Real Name: Julie Ann Weflen
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: September 16, 1987


Occupation: Power Equipment Technician
Date of Birth: May 3, 1959
Height: 5'2"
Weight: 110 pounds
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.


Details: Twenty-eight-year-old Julie Weflen was one of the few female operators for the Bonneville Power Administration in Spokane, Washington. On September 16, 1987, there was a report that the nitrogen was low in one of the transformers at the Spring Hill substation near Riverside State Park. At around 2pm, she went there to check it out. She signed in there at 2:30pm and is believed to have completed her work an hour later. She was never seen or heard from again.
At around 9pm, a neighbor noticed Julie's truck abandoned in the gravel lot next to the substation and called the police. Several of her belongings, including her hard hat, toolbox, sunglasses, and water bottle, were found next to her truck. Its driver-side door and back hatch were open and her purse was inside. There were apparent drag marks at the scene, suggesting that she had dug her feet into the ground while being taken away. A fresh tire pattern, not belonging to her truck, was also found there. Police believe that she was abducted by two men and was later murdered, although she has never been found.
Suspects: Evidence at the scene indicated that at least two people may have been involved in Julie's abduction. Her abductor(s) have never been identified. However, they are believed to be local.
Julie's husband, Mike, was initially considered a suspect until it was confirmed that he was painting a house fifty miles away at the time of her abduction. He has been actively involved in the search for her. Her ex-husband was also investigated and ruled out.
One person of interest in this case is a man who lived close to the substation where Julie vanished. Police received several tips about him in the months following her disappearance. He allegedly refused to cooperate in the investigation. Interestingly, he also knew Deborah Jean Swanson, a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho teacher who vanished in 1986. It is believed that he sent Mike a threatening letter a few months after Julie's disappearance. However, investigators reportedly later cleared him as a suspect in this case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired as a part of a missing persons special alert on the October 25, 1989 episode. It was also featured on West 57th and Good Morning America.
In 2004, true crime author Ann Rule included a chapter about Julie's abduction in the book, "Kiss Me, Kill Me,"
Some sources call the substation "Springhill".
Results: Unsolved. Police now consider this case a homicide; however, she has never been found and there are still no suspects. Police have ruled out serial killers Robert Lee Yates and Gary Ridgway, also known as "Green River Killer". Amateur investigator and Julie's former co-worker John Polos has suggested that her abduction may be related to other unsolved disappearances and murders of young women in the area around the same time, including Deborah Swanson and Sally Stone.
Sadly, Julie's mother Bette passed away in 2006 without ever seeing her case solved. Mike later remarried but still hopes that the case will be solved. Her family and friends, including several former coworkers, are still searching for answers. As of March 15, 2012, the BPA is offering an additional $25,000 reward for information.
In 2020, Polos stated that he believed the former person of interest was responsible in Julie and Deborah's cases. The man died in January 2020. An eyewitness recently came forward, claiming to have seen Julie's abduction; at the time, he believed that it was a domestic dispute, because she and her abductor called each other by name. Investigators have not yet commented on this information.