Regina Bos did one of her favorite things on Monday, October 16, 2000, at Duggan’s Pub in Lincoln, Nebraska: she played guitar and sang at an open mic night. The 40-year-old woman went to the pub often; she had worked there on and off for four years and was friendly with many of the regulars. Even though Gina’s set ended around 10:30 pm, she stayed at the pub for a few hours to hang out with friends and have fun.
Around 1:00 am, Gina put her guitar away, and several people who were in the bar said they saw her leave and go to her car. They would never see her again. It’s not clear how Gina disappeared from just a few steps away from Duggan’s Pub.
The night before, Michael Johnson, Gina’s boyfriend of three months, had planned to go to Duggan’s Pub with her. At the last minute, he changed his mind and chose to rest at home. She told him she would pick him up when she got home from the bar so they could spend the night at her house.
Michael fell asleep while he was there for Gina. He woke up briefly around midnight, but went back to sleep because he thought she would wake him up when she knocked on the door. He found that Gina hadn’t come when he woke up again a couple of hours later. A few times, he paged her out of worry, but she didn’t call him back.
That night, Gina forgot to bring her pager home, and when Michael called her, it woke up her three kids. She never stayed out all night, even though her kids, who were 11, 13, and 15, were old enough that she felt safe leaving them home alone for a few hours at a time. The kids were worried as soon as they saw that their mother wasn’t home. They called their father, Tony Williams, and their grandparents on their mom’s side.
Michael called Gina’s close friend Dani Krause when he found out she wasn’t home. He knew something was wrong. By 6:30 a.m., they were driving around Lincoln looking for Gina or her green Saturn. They quickly found Gina’s car parked across the street from Duggan’s Pub. Michael and Dani saw that the trunk wasn’t fully closed as they got closer to the car.
Michael carefully opened the trunk and peered inside, scared of what might be inside. After seeing Gina’s guitar and sheet music, he and Dani were glad she wasn’t inside. But what they saw broke their hearts. Dani told me, “Her music and guitar are like her fourth child—they’re like an extension of her.” Gina would never, ever leave her guitar lying around. Ever.” Dani knew right then that something was very wrong.
At 6:38 a.m., Michael called the Lincoln Police Department to say that Gina was missing. The area around Duggan’s Pub was searched right away by police and search dogs, but they didn’t find any clues as to what had happened to Gina. Police Detective Greg Sorenson from Lincoln had been given the case by that afternoon. He went straight to Duggan’s Pub and asked around to see if anyone had seen Gina the night before.
The first time Gina went to Duggan’s Pub was for a friend’s baby shower in the afternoon. The second time was for the open mic night. The pub was a typical place for people to hang out in the neighborhood. It had concrete floors and pictures of rock bands on the wall next to the stage. On stage, Gina was at her best, and she often took part in open mic nights. “I called her a stage junkie,” Dani said. She loved to sing and shine.
Dave Bos, Gina’s ex-husband, was one of the people who came to see her sing that night. Gina and Dave got divorced a few years ago, but they were happy with their split and were still friendly. He talked to her for a short time that night and remembered, “She was really happy.” She loved singing in public. Dave left soon after Gina finished her set, which was around 10:30 pm. At the time, Gina was still having a good time chatting with friends.
A number of people in the bar remembered seeing Gina leave around 1:00 am. Someone who worked at the bar, a 61-year-old man, told police that when he left around 1:00 am, he saw Gina walking toward her car with her guitar case on her back. He went the other way, so he didn’t see if she made it to her car. He also didn’t hear any yelling or other sounds that would have told him she was in trouble.
It looked like Gina had made it to her car safely. She unlocked the trunk and carefully put her valuable guitar inside. The police thought that someone then approached her, which would explain why she never closed her car’s trunk. No one heard any sounds of a fight, so it wasn’t likely that Gina was taken against her will. Detectives thought Gina knew the person who asked her to go with them, and she agreed. It was impossible to figure out what happened after that.
Gina had four sisters and two brothers, making a total of seven siblings. None of her siblings thought she had left on her own. They got together right away in Lincoln to look for Gina when they heard she was missing. They made and handed out thousands of missing person flyers and asked the local news outlets to help get the word out that their sister was missing.
The case had not moved forward by Friday, and Gina’s family was getting more and more desperate to find her. Jannel Rap, her sister, told a reporter, “We’re pulling out all the stops.” We are not giving up. She was sure that someone had done something bad to Gina. “My sister would never leave her kids because she loves them so much.” This wouldn’t make her worry about her family.
Seventy-eight thousand people at a University of Nebraska game on Saturday learned about Gina because her picture and story were shown on the HuskerVision screens at Memorial Stadium. People were told to keep an eye out for the woman who was reported missing and to call the police right away if they saw her or knew anything about her.
Even though detectives had talked to a lot of people and were following up on every tip, they still didn’t know what had happened to Gina. Reporters asked Lincoln Police Captain Gary Engel what a few people had to say about her. Engel said, “We are running down to see what they have to say.” They are not suspects. To make this clearer, Detective Sorenson said, “Right now, anyone could be a suspect because we have no idea what happened.”
When Gina went missing, both the police and her family and friends agreed on one thing: it was very strange what happened. “Every day that goes by worries us because the idea of foul play becomes more plausible,” Captain Engel said. The family thought the worst would happen. It was honest of Jannel how likely it was that they would find Gina alive. “She might be asleep somewhere, or she might have lost her memory. Both are possibilities.” A very small chance.”
Gina’s family made T-shirts with her picture and information on them and sold them around Lincoln to try to get money for a reward. They held a fundraiser at the 1st Avenue Social Hall on November 3, 2000, with live music from several local bands. They thought that a reward of money would get someone with information to come forward, but none of the tips they got led them to Gina.
Gina is in the middle of the front row of this family picture from the 1960s. (The picture comes from newspapers.com)
Gina’s family did everything they could over the next few weeks to keep her name in the news. It was hard not to give up when there were no good leads. Kevin Rap, Gina’s brother, said, “We really don’t know which way to go now.”
Lamar Outdoor Advertising gave twelve billboards to the search in November, and Gina’s face could be seen all over Lincoln. Family and friends kept handing out missing person flyers, both in Lincoln and across the country with the help of a group of long-haul truckers.
The 4th of November 2000 should have been Gina’s 41st birthday. Like every year, her friends and family sent her birthday cards and hoped she would be home to read them. It’s too bad that there was no news about Gina that day.
As the holidays got closer, Gina’s family felt even more pain from missing her. Her three kids were spending the holiday with their dad Tony and his family. They made sure the kids didn’t hear about the news. Tony told the reporters that the kids were doing about as well as they could for what they were going through, but they missed their mom. “They know someone cares about them and can talk about it whenever they want.”
Carlos and Dee Rap, Gina’s parents, were scared to think about Christmas without their daughter. “You feel like part of you is missing because part of you is missing,” Carlos said. I don’t know what to say…finding Gina would be the best Christmas present.” The same thing was said by his wife. “That spot is empty.”
Gina’s family put up a billboard across the street from Duggan’s Pub to honor her and keep the case in the public eye. It was put up just a few steps from where Gina’s car had been parked the night she disappeared. It said, “We Miss You, Gina.” “Happy Christmas.”
The picture of the tree near where Gina was last seen comes from facebook.com.
It had been months, and no one knew what happened to Gina. The uncertainty was terrible for Jannel. It’s the worst when you think about all the different things that could happen. Just getting her sister back home and putting things behind her was all she wanted.
After talking to everyone who knew Gina, the police didn’t think she left on her own, even though they still didn’t have direct evidence of foul play. Gina had been very happy with her life in the days before she went missing. Things were going well in her relationship with Michael. She was also about to move into a new home provided by Habitat for Humanity and had just started a new job that she loved. “She was ecstatic…she was the best I had ever seen her,” Dani said. She would not have stopped living her life for any reason.
Investigators kept looking into every tip they got, but they couldn’t find any solid leads that would help them find Gina. To remember Gina, her family and friends held a candlelight vigil across the street from Duggan’s Pub on October 16, 2001. A poster was stuck to a tree next to Gina’s parked car to let people know that they were still looking for the woman who went missing.
Reporters were told by Captain Engel that detectives did not think Gina’s case was “cold,” even though not many tips were coming in. “We haven’t forgotten about this case at all…We would really appreciate it if anyone who thinks they might know anything about her or her disappearance could call us. She told reporters at the vigil, “We want people to know she’s still out there somewhere.” Gina’s mother also spoke to the press. And we want people to look some more.”
After another year, Gina was still not there. More than 500 tips had been followed up on by detectives in Nebraska and several nearby states, but the disappearance was still a mystery. The family of Gina had a hard time on the second anniversary, just like on the first. “If it wasn’t for our faith, we just wouldn’t make it,” Dee told the press.
Gina hadn’t been seen in five years by 2005, and her case wasn’t in the news much anymore. It was the sad anniversary of her disappearance, and her family held a vigil across the street from Duggan’s Pub once more. Dee brought a sign with her daughter’s picture and the words “Bring me home.” It’s been five years.
Detective Sorenson said he didn’t think Gina was still alive, even though she was still listed as missing. He was still investigating the case as if it were a murder. He told reporters that he thought he knew who killed Gina and that he had talked to that person, but he wouldn’t say anything else.
There were five more years. Gina hadn’t been seen in ten years, and her case had stopped moving forward years ago, even though it was still open. Detective Sorenson said that catching the person who killed Gina and putting them in jail was his most important job.
In the summer of 2015, Carlos and Dee Rap celebrated 60 years of marriage. Gina wasn’t there to celebrate with them, which took away from what should have been a happy event. That year, Jannel noticed that Carlos seemed to be very emotional. “These days my dad’s been kind of teary. “We need to help Gina,” he said. The things that Jannel and her siblings read made them think that it was time to hold a memorial service for Gina.
On September 12, 2015, Gina’s Celebration of Life took place in Lincoln with family and friends. Even though no one thought they would find Gina alive, they were still determined to bring her home. Jannel told the press, “Just because we’re having a memorial service doesn’t mean we’ll stop looking for her or trying to figure out what happened.”
When Detective Sorenson left the Lincoln Police Department in 2016, he went to work for the county attorneys office. He kept following up on leads in Gina’s case. He had been working on it since she was reported missing, and he wanted Gina to get justice more than anything else. “There are people of interest who are thought to be suspects, but there isn’t enough proof or reason to arrest them.” His family and friends are still hoping that someone will come forward with the information they need to finally bring Gina home.
Regina Bos was forty years old when she wasn’t seen in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2000. She was a great singer and guitarist, a loved daughter and sister, and a wonderful mother to three kids. The last time we saw Gina, she was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 105 pounds. She has brown eyes and auburn hair. She wore black pants, a black shirt, and black boots the last time she was seen. A yellow rose is tattooed on her back, and her ears are pierced more than once. Please call the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-7706 if you know anything about Gina’s case.