Real Name: Loretta Myers
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Niagara Falls, New York
Date: October 1993/January 23, 1995
Occupation: Retired Nurse
Date of Birth: December 6, 1921
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Caucasian female with gray hair
Details: Loretta Myers was a sixty-nine-year-old retired nurse and widow. She had lived in Niagara Falls, New York for most of her life. In spring 1991, she began having trouble remembering dates. During one conversation, she had trouble remembering the arrival time of her daughter, Katherine, and son-in-law, Jeff Bolender. Once they arrived in Niagara Falls, they began to realize that her forgetfulness was not temporary. Jeff was talking about their daughter Ashley's schoolwork when she said, "I graduated from the University of Buffalo last week." In reality, she did so almost fifty years earlier.
Katherine and Jeff hoped that Loretta would benefit from a change of scenery. They took her to the family vacation home in Canada, but her condition did not improve. At around 2am on the night they arrived, they found her wandering around outside crying. She said that someone had stolen her car. However, they explained to her that it was at her house. She refused to believe them and was very upset.
The next morning, things went from bad to worse. Katherine found Loretta writing something down on a notepad. She claimed that she was copying down doctor's orders for her late husband, Joe. Even though Katherine insisted that he was dead, Loretta was adamant that he was alive and in the hospital. Over the next few days, she deteriorated to the point of paranoia. She began walking around the vacation home and closing all of the doors and windows. Jeff found her using a chair to barricade the bathroom door. She told him that there was an intruder in the garage.
To Loretta's family, it was quite clear that she was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This alone would have been difficult enough for her family. However, things worsened in the coming months. Her son, Joe, learned that she was keeping company with a younger man that no one knew. Joe lived just a few miles from her; he visited her every day. In October 1993, he finally met her "new friend", Jerome Johnson. She told Joe that they had met at a coffee shop and that he was taking care of her. Joe was somewhat suspicious of the situation, especially when Jerome said that he had moved out of the YMCA and into her house. When he asked Jerome what his intentions were, he said that he was going to be "her savior".
Over the next few days, Joe stopped by Loretta's house several times. However, no one answered the door. When he finally saw her and Jerome again, Jerome accused him of breaking one of the windows on the back door. She then informed him that she and Jerome had gotten married. She claimed that he was going to take care of her and that Joe did not have to worry about her anymore. However, he wanted to take her to the doctor. When he returned the following day, he discovered that no one was there.
The next day, Joe went to Loretta's house with a police officer and one of her doctors. Because the doors were locked, they had to break in through a side one. Inside, they found no trace of her or Jerome. There were a few strange clues. A salad was still sitting on the kitchen table. Her car was missing from the garage. Several thousand dollars worth of her jewelry and silver were missing. Finally, she had taken out a $5,000 cash advance on her only credit card.
Three days later, Loretta and Jerome was pulled over for speeding by a state trooper in Texas, 1400 miles away. When he ran the license plate number, he learned that the car was connected to a missing person. Jerome claimed that the missing persons report was a misunderstanding. He then produced ten copies of their marriage license to the trooper. He thought this was strange and brought them to the police station. Loretta called Joe and told him that she was okay. However, she was obviously confused; she believed that she was still at home. Unfortunately, since the marriage license was legal, the trooper had to let them go. Before leaving, Jerome told Joe that he would never see Loretta again.
A few weeks later, in November 1993, Loretta called Katherine and told her that she and Jerome were at a motel in Costa Mesa, California. She talked to Jerome, who said that he would contact them if he or Loretta needed anything. He then said that he had "problems with trusting" them. Katherine became angry, stating that he had no reason not to do so since he barely even knew them. When he talked to Jeff, he claimed that he would continue to contact them and let them know that Loretta was okay. However, neither of them ever did so again.
Ten months later, on September 27, 1994, a Montana deputy sheriff found an abandoned car in a Jefferson County forest - which was identified as Loretta's. It had been covered with several tree branches. On closer inspection, it appeared that someone had been living in it. The sheriff called Joe to tell him about the discovery. He then called for backup to impound it. During this time, Loretta and Jerome, who were apparently hiding in the woods, got back into it and sped off. The sheriff gave chase, but lost sight of it and they disappeared again.
The last sighting of Loretta and Jerome was on January 23, 1995, in Chandler, Arizona. At the time, they were in her car, a green 1985 Oldsmobile with New York license plates.
Suspects: Jerome Johnson
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 10, 1995 episode.
Results: Solved. After this case was reaired in July 1995, a viewer in Bellingham, Washington called the telecenter, claiming that Loretta and Jerome were sitting in a car outside of the viewer's home. Three days later, Bellingham police found them at a local shopping mall. Jerome was detained for a day and later released.
Loretta was then returned to Buffalo, New York, where she was joyfully reunited with Kathy and Ashley. She was later reunited with Joe and other relatives. Her marriage to Jerome was later annulled. However, he was never charged in this case, presumably due to the fact that they were married. Sadly, she passed away in 2001 at the age of seventy-nine.