The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway premieres Saturday, August 19 at 7/6c and 9/8c.
Unsettling clues were left behind or given to the families in the following seven missing persons cases. From voicemails to Poloraids -- these traces are just eerie.
1. MAURA MURRAY
On February 9, 2004, the 21-year-old University of Massachusetts student emailed her professors and her employer to tell them she needed some time off because of a death in her family. The death turned out to be made up. That night, she crashed her car into a tree in New Hampshire. A few witnesses called the police. A bus driver also saw the aftermath of the crash and stopped to ask Maura if he should call police. He noticed she was shivering. Maura declined the offer, but the driver called anyway when he got to a phone. When the police showed up, Maura was gone, Boston Magazine reports. There were no footprints or any sign of a struggle at the scene of the accident. Maura’s fiancée in Oklahoma received a voicemail the next day. It was of a person sobbing. When her dorm room was searched, campus police found most of her belongings packed in boxes and posters removed from the walls. On top of one of the boxes was a printed email to Murray's boyfriend. It hinted at trouble in their relationship. Maura was never found.
[Photo: New Hampshire Department of Justice]
2. AMY LYNN BRADLEY
Amy Lynn disappeared while on a cruise ship around Aruba on March 24, 1998. The 23-year-old was vacationing with her parents and brother, according to the FBI. She left her cabin early in the morning, barefoot with her cigarettes and lighter. She brought none of her other belongings with her. Before her disappearance, her parents claimed the cruise crew was giving her “special attention.” That led them to believe she was kidnapped and led into sex slavery. A photograph that appears to be Amy Lynn in her underwear was sent to the Bradley family via email in 2005. The image was spotted and sent to the family by a member of an organization that tracks down potential sex trafficking victims on adult websites. Other sightings of Amy Lynn were reported, but she was never found.
3. BRANDON SWANSON
The 19-year old was driving home from a party on May 14, 2008. He was on a rural, gravel road in Minnesota, not far from where he lived, when his car crashed into a ditch. Brandon called his parents on his cell, asking them to come pick him up. Brandon told his father he would try heading toward a nearby town and they could pick him up there. Brandon and his father talked for 47 minutes, and then Brandon said, ‘Oh, s—!’ and the phone went dead, Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports. His father called him back repeatedly, but Brandon never answered. Police found Brandon’s car, but they never found him or his cell phone.
4. JEAN SPANGLER
She was a dancer, model and small-part actress in Hollywood films. On October 7, 1949, Spangler met with her former husband to discuss a late child support payment. She told her sister-in-law that after that she would be working on a late-night movie shoot. A store clerk near her Los Angeles home was the last person to see her. They said she seemed to be waiting for someone. Two days later, Jean’s purse was found near the entrance of Griffith Park. The purse straps were torn loose on one side. Inside the purse, an incomplete note was found addressed to "Kirk” that read, “Can't wait any longer, Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work best this way while mother is away.” Jean had recently played a small part in the film "Young Man" starring Kirk Douglas, according to the Charley Project. He said he did not know Jean personally and wasn't the recipient of the note. She was never found and was reportedly three months pregnant at the time of her vanishing.
[Photo: NBC Los Angeles]
4. ASHLEY FREEMAN & LAURIA BIBLE
Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible had a sleepover to celebrate Ashley's 16th birthday at the Freemans' mobile home on December 30, 1999. Sometime that night, the Oklahoma home went up in flames. The next day, the burnt bodies of Ashley’s parents were found. Both had been shot in the head before the fire, according to KFOR. The girls were never found.
5. TARA CALICO
Nineteen-year-old Tara went missing on a bike ride near her home in New Mexico on September 20, 1988. Nearly a year later, a woman found a Polaroid in the parking lot outside a convenience store in Florida. A white van was parked in the spot where the picture was found. The photo was of a young woman and young boy, bound and gagged in the back of a van. It was speculated that the woman in the photograph was Tara. Two more photos featuring a woman that looked like Tara were found over the next few months, according to the Charley Project. But, besides the photos, the case went cold.
6. RAY GRICAR
The former prosecutor and district attorney for Centre County, Pennsylvania went missing on April 15, 2005. He took a day off work and never resurfaced, according to CNN. The 59-year-old’s car was found near a bridge by a river in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Months later, his laptop and hard drive were found in different locations on another riverbank. Not long before he disappeared, he had searched “how to fry a hard drive” on Google. In 1998, Ray decided not to press charges against Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for allegations of sexual abuse. Over a decade later, Sandusky was charged for the crimes. In 2004, Ray announced he would be retiring from both his jobs in December 2005. His disappearance remains unsolved.
[Photo: NBC Philadelphia]