ASTORIA, Ore. (KOIN) - Joanie Hall vanished 30 years ago. Her family keeps looking for answers.
On Sept. 30, 1983, the Warrenton High School senior left a mini-mart in Astoria shortly after 2 p.m. An employee at the mini-mart told police she left the store on foot. She was on her way to Warrenton Grade School to help her aunt tutor some kids.
She was never seen again.
"I know damn well she would not jump into a stranger's car and take a ride from a stranger or somebody she didn't know," her brother, Chuck Hall, told KOIN 6 News.
Josh Marquis, who's been the Clatsop County District Attorney for 20 of the 30 years she's been gone, questions the police work at the time of her disappearance.
The police questioned several teens at that time.
"One person was the son of the then-sheriff, another person was related to a person who served as a chair of the county commission," Marquis said. "So I think there is a belief among some people that, well, maybe, you know, the police did not go full bore on this because of who might be involved."
"This town is so small, some people did know her and they're still hiding it," said Joanie's cousin, Valerie Alexander. "I'd like to think it's something like bad police work. So many people have changed their stories over the years, they really have, right down to the girls who worked at the mini-mart."
The case file is as thick as a dictionary.
The sheriff at that time, Al Eastman, told the media shortly after Joanie disappeared, "We've had assistance from the state police. They've sent 25 troopers down. ... At this time we haven't got any solid leads to where her disappearance is or how."
DA Marquis told KOIN 6 News he believes "there are people living in Clatsop County that have first-hand knowledge. ... It may take courage of the guts to come forward, but I hope that they would do it."
He added, "There is no statute of limitations on murder."
Detectives still follow tips that come in, and periodic media attention to the story always provides new leads to check.
Her brother Chuck's goal "is to bring her to rest in a decent place, give her a decent burial."
Joanie's parents died within a month of each other in 1984. Others in the Hall family gathered on October 1 to mark the anniversary of her disappearance. They want answers.
"When Joanie disappeared, I said I'd never give up," Valerie Alexander said. She's confident she will learn exactly what happened to Joanie that day.
"Was she taken and it was a sexual assault gone wrong?" she asked. "I believe somebody knows something and it's been 30 years of keeping a secret."
The case remains under investigation by the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office.
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