A young girl who has premonitions that she will not live to see her 16th birthday is abducted and murdered.
On the evening of July 23, 1987, 16 year-old Kathy Hobbs was reading a romance novel in her bedroom of her home in a Las Vegas suburb. At 11 P.M., she told her mother, Vivian Hobbs, that she was going to the local supermarket:
Kathy often walked the block and half to the store late at night. Usually her friends hung out at the apartment swimming pool, so Kathy’s mother wasn’t worried. Assuming that Kathy would be with her friends, Vivian went to sleep. Then, at 3 A.M., she says a strange dream woke her up:
The next morning, Vivian discovered that Kathy’s bedroom was empty. Las Vegas Metro Police Homicide Lieutenant Kyle L Edwards investigated the case:
Kathy’s family had been terribly worried about her. As a child, she had frightening premonitions, several of them that she would die at an early age. When she was eight, she became even more specific, telling her friends that she would not live past the age of 16. Vivian did what she could to help her daughter:
After the move, Kathy blossomed and made new friends. But, according to her mother, as Kathy’s 16th birthday approached, her fear of dying returned:
Kathy spent all her time in her room and would not leave the house. Then, on the morning of her 16th birthday, she was surprised and relieved to find she was still alive. She now seemed to have a new enthusiasm for life. Kathy’s sister, Theresa Hobbs, remembered how she began to go out again, and started making plans for her future:
After Kathy vanished, police assumed she had been abducted and issued photos to the media. Eventually, one crucial clue surfaced. A clerk remembered seeing Kathy in the supermarket the night she vanished. Store receipts confirmed that someone did purchase a paperback novel at 11:17 that night. Apparently, Kathy had made it to the store, but not home. Nine days after Kathy vanished, hiker Rick Pacult was searching for rock crystals out in the desert near Lake Mead:
Lieutenant Kyle Edwards was first on the scene:
Tire prints at the scene showed where a vehicle had pulled in, turned around and left. Investigators also found two rocks spattered with Kathy’s blood. The coroner concluded that she died from repeated blows to the head. Vivian recalled her daughter’s premonitions:
After Kathy’s death, several letters were found in her room addressed to each member of the family. They were dated one month before her 16th birthday. The one to Vivian read: “Dear Mother: In the event of my death, you shall get this letter. I hope you live happily and I don’t want you or anyone else to dwell on my death. I love you all very dearly. You were good to me and nobody else could have been a better mother. Keep me alive in your heart and don’t ever forget me. Love always, Kathy.”
Exactly three months after Kathy vanished, a call came in to the Las Vegas police department. Their answering machine recorded this message from a man who may have witnessed her abduction: “He grabbed this girl in front of the store on Desert Inn and Maryland. This was a few months ago. I’ve been out of town for a few months and I wrote this down because she was screaming. I pulled over in the car. She was very young girl, wearing a white jacket and pink pants. And the guy’s name he hollered to him, pushed her in the car, his name was Robbie.”
The caller reported the license number of the car, but did not leave his name or phone number. The police checked the license number and discovered it did not exist.
Today the murder of Kathy Hobbs remains unsolved. Her mother and the Las Vegas police hope that the witness will call back and give more details, or that someone watching may recognize the voice of the mysterious caller.
While the witness never contacted authorities and was never located, this case has been closed. An alleged serial killer named Michael Lee Lockhart was a key suspect in Kathy’s murder. After his arrest for another murder, he was put on trial, convicted and has since been executed.