Monday afternoon was the 36th anniversary of the date that Warrenton High School student, 17-year-old Joan Leigh Hall, mysteriously vanished.
Local law enforcement interviewed family, friends and Joanie's fellow students to find out who had seen her that day. One young man, Mike, said he'd dropped Joanie off at the Mini-Mart around 2 p.m., and she was going to walk to the grade school, where she was supposed to tutor.
Yet a girl at the Mini-Mart said she saw Joanie get into a car with a young man and leave. The girl later changed her story, and said it wasn't Joanie, after all.
Three of Mike's friends claimed they saw Joanie with him and his car around 4 p.m. the afternoon she vanished. All three of them later changed their stories, too, saying it was not Joanie they'd seen with him.
Foul play is almost certain, but no one was ever arrested and, despite extensive searching, Joanie, or her remains, have never been found. Some police reports and other links are at bit.ly/JoanHall
"Somebody knows where Joanie Hall is," missing persons advocate Dena Mattox Rush insists (fb.me/JoanieHallMissing). "Find your courage." Former District Attorney Josh Marquis agreed in a 2013 letter to the editor, "Someone knows." But no one has ever come forward.
"I often wonder if she would have married and had children," her sister, Becky Hall, wrote in 2011. "I will never know —because someone took that away from her.
"She never got to meet my two children or four nephews and one niece … (and) they never got to meet their Aunt Joanie — because someone took her away from us."
Charlotte Hall Packard's biggest dream was to find Joanie, Dena recalled. “Charlotte’s son, Dan McGrath, purchased a double plot when Charlotte passed away in 2010, so that someday, when Joanie is found, she can be laid to rest next to her beloved older sister.”
If you have any information about what happened to Joan Leigh Hall, or know where her remains are, please contact the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office at 503-325-8635, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dena's words are worth repeating: "Find your courage."