A possible amnesia victim has been sighted more than 100 times.

A middle aged woman, Patricia Meehan, with shoulder length brown hair and bangs.

Patricia Meehan

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 11/1/51
Height: 5’3”
Weight: 117 lbs.
Eyes: Green/gray
Hair: Strawberry blonde
Defining Characteristics: Freckles, fair complexion
Remarks: Last seen 4/20/89

CASE DETAILS

A dark road with two cars parked facing each other.

She caused a car accident

On April 20, 1989, on a dark country road near Circle, Montana, a woman driving on the wrong side of the road almost hit a car head-on. Another driver, Carol Heitz, witnessed the near miss, and then was hit by the same car. Carol emerged from the wreckage dazed, but not seriously injured. Then a woman appeared out of the darkness. Carol realized it was the woman who hit her:

“She just stared. She never said anything, she just stared at me. I will never forget her.”

The driver of the first car, Peggy Bueller, returned to help and saw the silent woman:

“As I looked out across the accident, I noticed someone on the other side of the fence, standing there like a spectator, not like it had happened to her.”

The silent woman walked away from the accident scene and vanished into the night. Police traced the car to its owner, 38-year-old Patricia Meehan, and began to search for her. Over the next five days, they looked on land and from the air, but found no trace of Patricia.

A woman with a bag over her shoulder walking down a remote road.

She may have amnesia and may be lost

There were two theories as to how Patricia left the area. She may have stowed away on a hay truck that was seen about half a mile from the accident. Or, she simply hitched a ride.

At least one hundred people have reported seeing Patricia Meehan since she vanished. Patricia has made no attempt to contact her family or friends. Authorities believe she may be suffering from amnesia.

Just before the accident, those who knew her well, including her mother, Dolly Meehan, noticed that Patricia seemed depressed and withdrawn:

“She was, I guess, taking in her own life, what had she accomplished. I think she missed having children because I think she realized she really loved them.”

After Patricia disappeared, her family found a roll of undeveloped film still in her camera. It contained a haunting self-portrait. Psychologist Don La Plante speculated on Patricia’s mental health:

“It appears that Patricia was experiencing a very difficult time in her life and was involved in a rather dramatic accident, which may have involved a head injury. The combination of these factors may have caused amnesia. She does not know who she is, has lost memories of the past, and is out searching for herself throughout the country.”

A woman in a purple plaid shirt walking past the front of a semitruck.

Patricia has been spotted at several truck stops

Patricia was spotted dozens of times between Montana and Seattle, mainly at truck stops. But in every case, she had hitchhiked out of the area by the time authorities arrived.

Waitress Barb Ruff confirmed one sighting of Patricia in Bozeman, Montana, in May of 1989, just a few miles from her home:

“Patty came in the door and wanted to be sat quickly and served quickly. She told me, ‘I’m in a hurry.’ And I said, ‘Well, we do breakfast in 10 minutes. You’ll be out very quickly.’ And then I said to her, ‘You must have to be back to work at nine?’ It was about 8:30. She said, ‘No, I’m just going shopping.’ I couldn’t understand why it was so important for her to be there right at 9 o’clock to go shopping. She was in such a huge hurry.”

Another waitress, Brenda Clements, also noticed that Patricia was acting strangely:

“What stood out in my mind was that she seemed really disorientated, and really spacey. I heard her talking to herself. She sat at that table for an hour and a half more just looking out the window, watching people walk by. That’s when I walked up to her and asked her, ‘You okay?’ I was wondering if there was anything I could do, because she seemed so lost. I felt like she didn’t know where she was or who she was.”

Although years have passed with no word from Patricia, her father and the rest of her family still hold out hope that she may one day find her way home:

“More than anything else in the world, I want her back with us. And we would then know that she was safe. Not knowing who she is taking a ride from, that’s my biggest worry. I just pray day in and day out that she’s with some good people.”


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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46 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Faith

    You need to put up an aged progressed photo of Patricia Meehan on your website that people can print out. People would probably recognize her since she’s 31 years older than the picture shown.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Bill Blaski

    Sadly she would be 68 yrs old. I can’t help but to think she left the accident wondered off and took her life. The only problem I had is why could a k9 or blood hound not track her scent or a cadaver dog brought in? I say do a solid check around the area she wrecked. Is it rural terrain? Or suburban area?

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    SM

    I don’t understand – if Patricia had been seen so many times, why would she have remained missing like that?

    It’s an eerie case. I wonder how she lived on the run like that. Where did she stay? How did she take care of herself? No one will ever truly know.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    Heitz

    Carol Heitz is actually my great aunt.

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Nicole

    She looks really familiar, like I have seen her somewhere but im not entirely sure. I watched her case numerous times.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sarie

      I get that same feeling every time I re-read about Patricia or when I try to find out if there are any updates. My husband and I were just watching Forensic Files and a women that looks eerily similar to Patricia was being interviewed. My husband said [In re: the women on TV; also not saying the lady was Patricia, just looks so similar], “She looks really familiar, as if I’ve talked to her before.” I looked up and saw the lady he was referring to and said that she looks just like Patricia Meehan so I pulled her case up on here to show him. Then I saw your comment. Patricia seems to have that kind of face that is so familiar, even if you’d never seen or spoken to her before.

      I think what happened is she was concussed and ran off into the wilderness. From there, she likely succumbed to the elements but I always am hoping she made her way somewhere, is still alive but totally confused. Sadly, I believe retrograde amnesia is temporary, therefore, after all this time, if she were alive, she’d likely have gained some memory back, even without medical treatment.

      I do remember a few years back that someone had possibly found her on facebook and the person did really look similar but I don’t know. I know she had the “strange behavior” before her disappearance but I didn’t really think any of it was strange or indicated that she should be running ti start anew. I explained to my husband if I ever go missing, they will not even bother to look for me. I have severe PTSD from deployment followed by a decade of heroin use (over five years clean now!) and if I want to go shopping at nine, I’d like to eat breakfast quick, too. So I hate to think they’d basically say I ran off or killed myself or relapsed and wouldn’t even bother looking for me. I’ve always told him if I ever felt the need to go missing, he would know.

      I hope Patricia is found. Sorry for this long comment.

      Reply

  6. Avatar

    Curtis Rowe

    I too, saw her in Butte many many years ago. It was at Pork Chop John’s on Harrison Ave.

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I was in a Butte, MT bar one evening. Ive forgotten which one but its likely the bar was on the hill since its where I hung out at the time. I met or was approached by a woman matching her description. She spoke of Sidney, MT. I remembered a woman was missing from that area. I attempted to get more info including her name but her speech was disorganized and soft. She did not appear to be intoxicated. It was during this encounter I kept a cigarette lighter she gave me. I wanted to get some fingerprints from her so I handled the lighter with care. I called Butte police from a payphone located in the bar and informed them of my situation but was told by whoever answered the phone that there was nothing they could do. I still remember this and I was almost positive this was her.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sarie

      Do you still have the lighter? You could contact NAMUS to see if they can help. Here is her NAMUS page but it says fingerprints aren’t on file but its not always accurate and they may be able to get your local police to actually care. This is good looking out on your part.

      Reply

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I recognise Patricia Meehan, from tonight’s airing of Unsolved mysteries I went from Yakima Wa. over to Ogden Utah, to meet my brother in law for the first time who was a Christian when my wife Tamar and I arrived in Ogden my meeting Tim Tamars brother must have made quite an impression 4 days later my wife left me and my Ford Lightining blew up after Tamars Uncle Buck who was employed through the City of Ogden as a mechanic had borrowed my Ford. Tim didnt let me stay there So having no place to go didnt know a soul. Thanks to & Robin OBrien who worked at Hill Airforce Base lazar sighting Xray missiles had taken me in after being at the Truck stop for so long I had been working at Labor Ready thanks to the kindness of Angela Silkwood and while I was staying in a Truck Stop for over 40 plus days met Patricia through a Truck driver named the Tin man She hung out with me daily I would buy her lunch and dinners at the stop I about fell out after seeing her tonight on Unsolved could never forget her she was a reay beautiful girl I worried about her the That Stop had alot of Riffrat driver’s frequenting through there! I got the impression she didnt want me to be worried but it came easily for me and get honestly from both parents!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      RISSSS

      No one needs to know any of that other useless rambling you wrote before you say you saw this woman. You need to contact the proper authorities. Hopefully they can understand you. Leave all that other nonsense out. No one needs to hear YOUR sob story. This poor woman is lost and no one cares about your wife and your brother-in-law.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jeff Geoff

      Dude, what are you talking about??? You’ve made no sense! Care to revise you epic (in duration) statement?

      Reply

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Yes, she has living relatives in the Pittsburgh area. I looked up December Davis on Facebook and that girl looks too young to be her. She would be in her 60’s now

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I found the same things, with so much time passed, someone needs to come forward!!!

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    a guy

    She may be a homeless person in El Centro CA.

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    robert lee

    do you have any more pictures of her and is there a reward

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Jessica Beck

    I think an above commenter is on to something. They stated a Facebook page by the name of “Pat Meehan” looks just like her, just older and with short gray hair now. Naturally curious, I looked it up on Facebook and the woman looks similar, but also posted a picture saying she took it on the way to Pennsylvania. Patty’s family lives in PA.

    Reply

  14. Avatar

    sarah

    This is so simple…. But there is a lady living in south philadelphia by the same name who looks just like the picture of the real Patricia, but older.

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    MICHEL KERSHNER

    Any updates/sightings ? I grew up with the Meehans, lived directly across my back street on Tybee in Pittsburgh, great family. (Party babysat me a couple times). I’ve been a cop for 22yrs and am constantly poking around within our ranks but come up empty. You (public) have better opportunity to see her out & about & report your sighting…. Please do so, I’d love to see her family reunited with her.

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    bob haller

    I grew up as pattys neighbor. her parents were nice people. sadly they have both died now. I am friends with her family. her brothers and sisters are still alive. her sister runs a hair salon very close to her family home. pattys youngest brother owns the family home. tom meehan pattys dad was a awesome person.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Brian

      My mother was best friends with her growing up. I remember patty coming to visit our family in Colorado. She was so nice. Please let me know if you hear anything. I know my mother has always kept patty in her thoughts.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Christine Paulis hisington

      My mother and Dolly Meehan were first cousins. I knew Patty when I was little, she loved horses. I remember her old house off West Carson Street in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where we both were born.

      Reply

  17. Avatar

    BroGuy

    Maybe the woman who was driving her car killed her and stole her car, and was on drugs and she ran into the woods to not get caught.

    Reply

  18. Avatar

    Moe

    I think some people come on here playing games. This is serious people not a joke.

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    Stacey shannon

    Pat meehan on facebook. Looks similar. Short grey hair, and her eyes! Something about her eyes.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Patricia Widener

      There is a young lady who was found near our home in the late 80.s deceased the local sheriff office had tried many time to identify her she had long strawberry braid hair was 5″3″ and had freckles. dna says she was from seattle Montana area was wearing a tan leather jacketPLEASE CONTACT MIAMI CO. SHERIFF OFFICE TROY,OH IF YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE HER

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Bryan

      There are a lot of Pat Meehans

      Reply

  20. Avatar

    December Davis

    Hi all. IT appears i am the subject of a missing person theory. I agree we have similar features but i am not patricia meehan. i was born in 1965 to kathleen and walt dorough.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Fox Mulder

      You looked too young to be her anyways. Interesting theory. I think what threw people off was you have Meehans in your friends list. (Which is your business not ours. Not trying to be creepy or anything lol) You do have very similar features.

      Reply

  21. Avatar

    just curios

    This lady favors her SO MUCH! yes it states different eye color (but they could change stranger things have happened) and both are said to have suffered from amnesia!
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/officials-search-amnesiac-womans-family-tumor-left-memory/story?id=32127872

    Reply

  22. Avatar

    UM

    We really shouldn’t trust people who aren’t really public officials and post mismatching suspicious messages

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Funknut From Reddit /r/UnresolvedMysteries

      Are you referring to Janet Franson? Although she’s no longer a cop, she *really is* a public official who works in public healthcare at UNT Center for Human Identification. She’s a retired homicide investigator of 21 years and continues to work in a public function at the only academic center with access to the FBI’s next-generation CODIS 6.0 DNA matching system. Presumably she’s only interested in identifying possible matches.

      Reply

  23. Avatar

    Anon

  24. Avatar

    janet franson - Univ. N. Texas

    I have worked Patricia’s case. She is in NamUs= Nat. missing/unidentified person system. Anyone who would contact with information is asked to email [email protected]

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Beth

      I was just checking to make sure the email you posted was typed correctly. Says your name is Janet, but the email says Jane. Just didn’t want someone trying to contact you and it not going through due to a typo 🙂

      Reply

    • Avatar

      nmg

      Have you looked into the lady in California going by the name “sam” both said to have suffered from amnesia.

      Reply

  25. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I think I know her did you call the police

    Reply

  26. Avatar

    yb

    Does anyone know if she has living relatives? It’s been such a long time.

    Reply

  27. Avatar

    drae

    Please please contact police in bozeman montana. I live in missoula, mt, and still remember this case. Her family deserves to know if she is safe.

    Reply

  28. Avatar

    Nicole2580

    And I found a December Davis in Phoenix in Facebook.

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    doesnt matter

    I think I know her.
    As far as I know she goes by december davis and lives off of 7thst and union hills drive.
    The reason I say so is cause she acts the same way and looks exactly the way this story is described.

    Reply

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