Authorities are looking for clues in Tonopah five years after Karlie Gusé went missing from along U.S. Highway 6 in eastern California.
Karlie, who was 16 years old at the time, was last seen in Chalfant Valley, California, 30 miles south of the Nevada state line, on October 13, 2018.
In a recent episode of “People Magazine Investigates,” Jason Pelichowski, an investigator with the Mono County, California, sheriff’s office, said that in March 2021, someone called his office saying they saw Karlie at a party in Tonopah.
Karlie’s home in Chalfant Valley is about 100 miles from Tonopah, which is the county seat of Nye County and an old mining town.
Pelichowski didn’t say the name of the witness or the time when Karlie was supposedly seen.
But he did say that police found a car that might have been used to pick up Karlie from the side of Highway 6 and take her to Tonopah.
Last month, Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun said that the Tonopah lead is one of the areas that her office and the FBI are “actively investigating.”
‘She was frantic’
Karlie called her stepmother Melissa Gusé, who was 34 years old at the time, on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, to tell her she was going to a football game at her high school in Bishop, California.
Karlie instead went to a house party with her boyfriend Donald Arrowood III and another teen named Jaymes Dulin to smoke pot.
In 2018, Arrowood told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Karlie became scared after she smoked pot.
He said, “She was scared of the music.” “I scared her.”
She called her stepmother on her iPhone.
In 2018, Melissa Gusé told the Review-Journal, “She was crazy.” “She asked that I pick her up.”
Back at home in Chalfant Valley, the woman spent all night calming Karlie down while the troubled teen went back and forth between being awake and being paranoid.
Melissa Gusé recorded eight minutes of their conversation so that she could use the situation as a teaching tool.
At one point, Karlie says, “I really messed up today.”
“We all do things in life that we regret,” her stepmother says. Drugs in particular.”
As the woman tells Karlie to rest, the upset girl screams, “You’re going to kill me.” She tries to talk her out of it with her stepmother. “Why do you think I would kill you? “That’s crazy talk.”
Karlie sobs, “I’m just thinking all this evil stuff.” “I have to.”
‘I know her. I saw her.’
Karlie wasn’t there when Melissa Gusé woke up on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The teen’s cell phone was in the kitchen, sitting on a counter.
Melissa Gusé and her 42-year-old husband Zachary searched the neighborhood quickly before calling 911.
In the afternoon of that day, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office started a search in which other agencies and hundreds of volunteers would join over the next few days.
At the same time, three people who saw someone who looked like Karlie on Oct. 13 told the Sheriff’s Office that person had been seen that morning.
Richard Eddy, a witness who lived close to the Gusé home, told the Review-Journal in 2018 that early in the morning on October 13, he saw a tall, thin woman with long hair walk by holding a piece of paper.
He said, “She was looking up and around at the sky.”
Ken Dutton, a schoolteacher who lived a few doors down, was a second witness. He told the Review-Journal in 2019 that he was in his driveway when Karlie walked by holding a piece of paper and heading toward Highway 6.
“I know her,” he reported. “I noticed her.”
The Sheriff’s Office said a third person, who has not been named publicly, saw a girl who looked like Karlie standing in the sagebrush near Highway 6.
This is the spot where the dogs that were looking for Karlie lost her scent.
“The worst nightmare of every parent”
Not long after Karlie went missing, Melissa Gusé started asking people to help with the search in Facebook Live videos. A lot of people on social media, though, said that she seemed sketchy.
Karlie’s mother, Lindsay Fairley of Yerington, went on the “Dr. Phil” show in 2019 and asked if Karlie got out of the Gusé house alive.
But the Sheriff’s Office found that Melissa and Zachary Gusé’s, Arrowood’s, and Dulin’s cellphone records supported what they said.
A search of the Gusé home and a forensic examination of Karlie’s phone and computer also did not turn up any evidence that could be used against her.
Gina Swankie, an FBI public affairs officer, said that the case is still being looked into with help from the public.
As Swankie put it, “this case is every parent’s worst nightmare.” “Any good lead that can help us find Karlie should be followed.”
You can call 1-800-CALL-FBI or go to tips.fbi.gov to get in touch with the FBI.