Moberly mom searches for answers after mom disappeared 25 years ago

The disappearance of Hazel Hess

Disappearance of Hazel Hess

MOBERLY, Mo. - A Moberly woman is pleading for answers and more leads after her mom went missing 25 years ago.

"I just need to know where my mother is," Angela Hess Sutphin told ABC 17 News.

It's been more than two decades since Angela last saw her mom, Hazel Hess.

“A missing person for 25 years, that’s a long time, that’s a lifetime for some people," Angela said.

Angela said she and her mom worked opposite shifts at a local restaurant in Moberly, that way someone was always around to take care of Angela's two kids.

On June 30, 1994, Hazel met Angela at 10:30 p.m. to pick up her kids when she got off work.

Angela said her mom rented a movie and was headed back home to her apartment on West Reed Street to relax. 

Before the mom and daughter parted ways on June 30, 1994, Hazel and Angela made plans to meet up for breakfast the next morning.

The next morning, on July 1, 1994, Angela arrived at her mom's house to go to breakfast.

 "We’re just talking about a time from 10:30 at night until 7:30 the next morning, so we’re just talking about a time span that we weren't in touch with each other," Angela said.

But, she couldn't find her mom.

"I believe the screen door was closed, but the actual big door was open, it was ajar part of the way, which struck me as strange," Angela said. "Where could she be, how did I miss her, what happened? Of course, I never believed that I would never see her again, for 25 years."

The home Hazel lived in was separated into several apartments

Since then, it has been turned into a single family home.

“It was the bottom floor apartment, and there was a door right off the driveway there," Commander Tracey Whearty told ABC 17 News in front of the home on West Reed Street.

Where Hazel's door to her apartment was, there is now a window.

The Moberly Police Department got to the scene, her bedding was missing, and they found blood, which the department said indicated foul play was involved.

Commander Whearty said the department investigated more than 100 leads after Hazel disappeared. 

“Someone knows, someone knows something, anything, just give me a direction, give me a place to look,” Angela said through her tears.

Angela isn't the only one searching for answers.

About 65 people are missing in Mid-Missouri.

Of those 65, seven have been missing since 1994 or longer, Hazel being one of them. 

The tips haven't led to any arrests and investigators have not been able to find Hazel's body.

But Angela, hasn't stopped searching.

“I’ve walked this alley, I’ve walked this street, looking for something.. I pray every day there's another where else could I look…. What else could there be?” Angela said.

Numbers from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System show about 18 percent of people missing nationwide are over the age of 50. 

“I’ll never give up, I’ll never lose hope, I want to know where my mom is, I want to be able to lay her to rest," Angela said.

A simple wish, that most people get to do. 

“She was quite a woman, and we miss her, and we miss her, I miss her," she said.

The Moberly Police Department last investigated a lead in 2018, but it didn't go anywhere.

The department is asking anyone with information on Hess' disappearance to call the department at 660-263-0346.

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