28-year-old Sarah Burton was last seen in Joplin, Missouri on July 17, 2018. She disappeared while walking home after being dropped off by her friend shortly after midnight.


Sarah Elizabeth Burton was born on February 22, 1990, to parents Stephanie and Ronald Burton. She is the mother of two young sons, aged 3 years old and 8 months-old.

Sarah attended Joplin High School where she was a cheerleader. She was a good student and was placed in a program for the gifted.

However, Burton later struggled with substance abuse after graduation and served time in prison in 2010. After release, she spent some time at Lafayette House, an addiction treatment center in Joplin, Missouri.

At the time of her disappearance, Burton was living with her parents in a residence on Irwin Street in Joplin, Missouri. She had a steady job and was waiting to be placed in a local residential treatment program.


On July 11, 2018, Sarah Burton got into a car accident in Pittsburg, Kansas, in the used SUV that her father had recently bought for her.

On July 16, 2018, Burton was dropped off by a friend just after midnight at a service alley near 10th Street and Rex Avenue in Joplin, Missouri, where she planned to walk the rest of the way to her parents’ home.

Sarah Burton never returned home and hasn’t been heard from since.

On July 20, 2018, her parents filed a missing person’s report with the Joplin Police Department when Sarah did not show up.


Sarah Burton left behind her purse and one shoe in her friend’s car.

In September 2018, authorities announced that Burton was actually last seen at a residence on North Pearl Avenue on the western side of Joplin, later the same morning after being dropped off by her friend.

On December 18, 2018, authorities subsequently searched the residence, along with the basement and two vacant lots.

On December 20, 2018, authorities conducted a search in a second property in Pittsburg, Kansas, which consisted of a home, two outbuildings, and the surrounding property.

On April 2, 2019, authorities with the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team conducted a search on a property in Newton County after a tip was received that the property might be tied to Sarah’s disappearance.

Officials did not release any information about their search.

At the time of her disappearance, Burton was free on bail for pending charges of drug possession, trafficking in stolen identities, and stealing a motor vehicle.

Her parents don’t believe Burton ran away because of her legal problems. She made all her court appearances and was told by her attorney that she might be able to get two of her charges dismissed and a suspended sentence on the third.


Foul play is suspected in Sarah Burton’s disappearance.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for her disappearance.

The circumstances of Sarah Burton’s disappearance remain unclear and her case is currently classified as missing.


Physical Description:
White female born on February 22, 1990. Sarah has brown hair, blue eyes, stands 5′ 7 tall, and weighs 160 -170 pounds.

Distinctive Physical Features:
Sarah has a scar on her forehead. Her ears are pierced.

Clothing and accessories:
Sarah was last seen wearing a purple and white blouse, blue jeans and black flats.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Sarah Elizabeth Burton please contact the Joplin Police Department at (417) 623-3131.

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