Eva Mae Hale was a 79-year-old widow from Terre Haute, Indiana. She was in good health and had worked at the Indiana State University bookstore until she was nearly 70.
Her brother, Clifford Hauck, died after suffering burns from a brush fire at his farm six years before. The two had been close, and she often visited his gravesite. He was buried next to their parents and two siblings, who died as children.
On the morning of October 15, 1996, Eva visited her brother at Marco Cemetery in Greene County. Clifford’s birthday was in two days, and she wanted to leave a pumpkin on his grave.
The cemetery is located along a remote rural road. Eva parked her white 1983 Chrysler New Yorker under a tree, about 40 steps from her brother’s resting spot.
At the end of the day, a resident from one of the few houses in the area realized Eva’s car was still parked at the cemetery. They called her son, Guy Hale, and the police.
There was no sign of the elderly woman. Her purse and money were inside her locked car, and a spare set of car keys was on the ground. Guy commented,
“I was scared to d*eath, because the neighbor said her car had been sitting there all day. I immediately got my wife and my kids, and we headed down there and talked to the police. They brought in helicopters that night to search. We didn’t know what could have happened to her.”
Authorities conducted a thorough search of the area where Eva went missing. They employed dogs and a helicopter with a heat-sensing device, but there were still no signs of the 79-year-old.
Eva’s disappearance is classified as a homicide. Three other women are usually brought up alongside Eva’s case.
In 1994, 33-year-old Rita Buffington, who was developmentally disabled, was found in a Greene-Sullivan State Forest lake with gunshot wounds. 88-year-old Audra Page was found drowned in a Sullivan County creek in 1996.
Furthermore, 44-year-old Pamela Foddrill was abducted, se*xually ass*aulted, and mur*dered after going missing while on a shopping trip to Greene County in 1995. She had the mental capacity of a 7-year-old.
Pamela’s case was eventually solved. Three men were given life sentences and two women shorter sentences in a plea deal to testify against the men. Nevertheless, there are theories that all these women’s mur*ders are linked.
In 2021, investigators revealed they still received tips about Eva’s disappearance 27 years ago. They believe someone in the community has vital information.
Eva’s family hopes she will be laid to rest next to her husband one day.
Guy regularly called case investigators for updates but died in 2022 without answers. He spoke of his mother in 2014,
“We never really found out anything. I think about it, and about her, every day. She was a wonderful lady. We were good friends.”