On April 9, 1988, Cassandra Hailey had a reason to be happy. One of the 18-year-old’s friends at Christopher Newport College, Richard Keith Call, was taking him out that night. The 20-year-old Richard, who liked to use his middle name, had planned to pick up Cassandra at her home in Grafton, Virginia. He showed up right on time. After breaking up with his girlfriend of four years, he was excited for the night out. It would be his first date since the breakup.
Casey ran outside and jumped into Keith’s red Toyota Celica as soon as she saw him pull up. First, they went to the movies. After seeing the movie, the couple went to a party at the apartments in University Square. At the party, which was only a few blocks from their college, there were dozens of other Christopher Newport students. They were at the party for a few hours before leaving around 1:30 am. Kennedy was going to drop Cassandra off at home at 2:00 am and then go to another party.
There were several people who saw the couple leave the party, but no one knew where they went next. Nobody saw them get into Keith’s car, and it’s not clear how far away from the flat Keith had to park. The only thing that is known for sure is that Keith and Cassandra were never seen again.
Friday night, Keith’s dad was driving on Colonial Parkway near Yorktown, Virginia, around 7:00 am on Sunday. He saw what he thought was his son’s red Celica parked at one of the Parkway’s scenic overlooks. At the time, he didn’t think much of it because Keith had told his parents that he was going to stay with a friend and wouldn’t be home until later that afternoon.
Around 7:30 a.m., a park ranger on routine patrol in Colonial National Park saw the Celica. In the morning at 9:00, he went back through the area again and saw that it was still there. He got out to check on things. There was no one inside the car, but when the ranger looked around, he saw that the key was in the ignition and clothes were all over the place.
Later, when police found out who owned the car, they quickly learned that Keith and his date had not been seen since leaving a party the night before. They thought this meant there might have been more than two people who had gone swimming and drowned. Couples have been warned not to go on the Colonial Parkway in recent years.
Back in 1986, two college students who had parked at a lookout point were found dead in their car with their throats cut. Another couple was ki*lled on the Parkway in 1987. Their bodies were dumped in the nearby James River, and their truck was found abandoned in a wildlife refuge with the key in the ignition and clothes all over the place, which is a lot like how Keith’s car was found. When Keith and Cassandra went missing, neither of these double murd*ers had been solved.
The older sister of Cassandra, Teri, worked as a police officer in Newport News. She knew her sister wouldn’t have gone swimming or disappeared on her own as soon as she found out what had happened. She quickly drove to the park where Keith’s car was found and told the rangers that she was sure they were dealing with a crime.
The police found three shoes, most of Keith’s clothes, and some of Cassandra’s clothes in the abandoned Toyota. It was strange that one of Cassandra’s shoes was missing; it was never found. It was also found that Keith’s wallet and Cassandra’s purse were in the car. Inside the car, there was no blood or other signs of a fight.
Even though there were no signs of foul play at the scene, that was the most likely reason why the person went missing. Overnight, it had been in the low to mid-40s, which is way too cold for anyone to even think about going swimming, and detectives didn’t think the couple would have left their clothes in the car on their own.
The day Keith’s car was found, a big search began. Tracking dogs seemed to pick up the couple’s scent going down a 25-foot slope to a small beach below. Police searched the shoreline for more than three miles in both directions. Divers looked for hours under the water. There was no sign that Keith or Cassandra had been on the beach, they found.
State police used helicopters to fly over the area around the Parkway, but they didn’t find anything important. Divers and boats continued to search the river, and searchers were sent to a few small islands in the water to look along the shores. Even though a lot of people looked for the couple, no clues about their whereabouts or fate were found.
Two people went missing, and their families didn’t think they would have stopped on Colonial Parkway for any reason. Cassandra had to be in bed by 2:00 am every night, and she always did. They were sure she was going to go straight home after leaving the party at 1:30 am; she would call if she was going to be a few minutes late. His family noticed that Keith rarely drove on Colonial Parkway. Many people in the area were afraid to go there after the recent mur*ders because of its bad reputation.
Since Keith’s car was discovered on federal land, the FBI was in charge of the main investigation. The police didn’t think the couple had drowned; they said the sudden disappearance was probably due to being abducted, and they would be looking into it as such. They said they hadn’t found any evidence that the couple had been k*illed, but they didn’t say that they thought there might be a serial ki*ller operating along the Parkway.
Investigators were not sure if the couple was still in the car when it was left at the Parkway overlook. It’s possible that they died while Keith was driving Cassandra home; Keith’s wallet was still in his car when it was found. They thought that Keith had been pulled over by someone pretending to be a police officer, maybe on Route 17 on the way to Cassandra’s house in Grafton. It was possible that the person who did it left the car and belongings at the overlook to throw off police.
People in both the Hailey and Call families tried to stay positive and thought that the couple would be found alive. They made missing person flyers and put them up all over the area, asking anyone who knew anything to call them. Soon, the reward fund had grown to $11,000. This led to a few tips, but none of them helped them find Keith and Cassandra.
Detectives asked people for information more than once. They wanted to talk to anyone who saw Keith and Cassandra after they left the party early Sunday morning. They were still trying to find people who saw the couple as they walked to Keith’s car or on the road, and they didn’t know if they were in the car when it was parked at the overlook. Even though there was a reward of money on the line, no one came forward with any new information.
The investigation didn’t make much progress for months. The families had less and less faith that Keith and Cassandra would be found alive, but they wouldn’t give up looking. Family of Cassandra spent many weekends looking for Keith’s body in a forest area across the highway from where the car had been found. There was no way they could have found Cassandra if she were still alive. They were looking for her body.
In September 1989, another young couple went missing in the Parkway area. Their car was left at a rest stop, and a month later, their bodies were found in a nearby wooded area. Police think that all of the k*illings were connected, even though their car was left on Interstate 64 instead of Colonial Parkway like the other victims’ cars. They almost certainly had to deal with a serial k*iller. Eight people had already died; Keith and Cassandra were the only ones who were still missing, but they were thought to be dead.
Detectives were desperate to find the person who ki*lled the people on Parkway, but they couldn’t find any clues. They looked into every tip that was sent in, but none of them led to any big changes in the case.
By 1992, there had been no more Parkway mu*rders for more than two years, so police thought the ki*llings were over. Detectives had never been able to figure out who the ki*ller was, but they thought he might have died or been jailed for something unrelated. It was also possible that two people worked together to kil*l the people. One of them may have died or been jailed, leaving the other free but unwilling to do such bad things by themselves. There has been no progress on the case in years, but it is still open and the investigation is still going on.
Keith and Cassandra are still missing. A lot of people think that their ki*ller dumped their bodies in the York River and had them taken to the Chesapeake Bay, where they will never be found. The fact that their bodies were never found made it harder for their families to believe they were dead. It’s okay for them to have lost them, but they still hope that one day they can bring them home and bury them properly. They also think that there are people in the Virginia area who know what they need to know to solve the case and give the families of the victims some peace of mind.
People in Cassandra’s family are upset about how the case was handled. They said in 2018 that they felt abandoned by the FBI, the Virginia State Police, and the National Park Service. They also said that the three groups seemed to disagree on who had authority and wouldn’t share evidence. They thought this was a big part of the reason why there had been no progress in years. Even though the system has let them down, they still hope that one day they can get justice for Cassandra.
Keith’s father passed away in 1996 and his mother in 2001. Both of them were pretty young. They were both only 60 years old, but it seems that losing a child makes people age faster. His siblings still hope that his k*iller will be caught and punished, but they also say that seeing how the tragedy affected their parents was the hardest thing for them. Keith’s sister is still emotionally affected by something her brother said about a classmate who died in an accident. He told his sister that he hoped that would never happen to him again. It was the last thing the siblings talked about before Keith disappeared.
Cassandra Hailey is 18 years old and hasn’t been seen since 1988. The last time we saw her, she was 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds. She has brown eyes and hair. Richard Keith Call was last seen in 1988. He is 20 years old and has blue eyes and light brown hair. The last time we saw him, he was 6 feet tall and weighed 150 pounds. Please call the Virginia State Police at 757–424–6850 or the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, at 804–455–0100 if you know anything about Cassandra or Keith.