Cold Case: The disappearance of Katie Eggleston

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been 22 years since Katie Eggleston disappeared. Decades later, mystery still surrounds the unsolved case.

Eggleston reported to work as usual on August 2, 1993. She began her job at Allnet Communications just 2 months after graduating from Oregon State University.

After a morning sales meeting, Eggleston went to lunch at a Burger King near the Lloyd Center. Employees remember seeing her there. She then stopped at a sales appointment at the old Port of Portland building just 3 blocks away.

She was dressed in business attire that day.

Later, a customer noticed Eggleston getting off the elevator. She was with a young man in a blue blazer who may have been the last person to see her.

At 2:15 p.m. Eggleston vanished. When she didn’t return home from work that night her friends and family began to worry.

Katie Eggleston's car in the parking lot of an industrial building on Airport Way. (KOIN)

Then, they made a frightening discovery: At midnight, a security guard found Eggleston’s car in the parking lot of an industrial building on Airport Way. The keys were in the ignition, her purse and all of its contents laying in the front seat. The windows were rolled down.

Worry about Eggleston then turned to panic.

“We were digging through blackberry bushes and weeds just looking for anything,” Treasure Lewis, one of Eggleston’s best friends, said.

The search ended when clues and leads became dead ends after a few days. Days turned into weeks, months turned into years. It’s now been more than 2 decades, and the case of Katie Eggleston remains unsolved.

“I think in the first couple of weeks there was optimisim that something would be found,” Lewis said. “[I] didn’t think this would go on for 22 years.”

Search crews searched for Katie Eggleston in the days following her disappearance. (KOIN)

Eggleston’s parents Paul and Heather spent years keeping their daughter’s case and memory alive. They created a hotline number, hired a private detective and ran down every lead they could. But eventually, hope faded. They felt Eggleston was kidnapped and murdered, most likely by someone she knew.

Heather passed away in 2011. She never learned what happened to her daughter. Paul hasn’t spoken publicly about her for several years.

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson tells KOIN 6 News he is personally haunted by Eggleston’s disappearance.

“We went to college together at Oregon State,” Simpson said. “Knew her a little bit, lived nextdoor and a month before I got hired as a police officer she went missing.”

Simpson says cold case investigators periodically receive tips on Eggleston’s case, but so far, none of them have panned out.

Eggleston’s friends say they’re still convinced they know what happened.

“I really and truly believe that it was somebody she knew,” Jason Epple said. “Had it been a stranger, there would have been a big fight. There’s no way that somebody would have just grabbed Katie, hauled her off and killed her without a major fight.”

While Eggleston’s loved ones have grown older, her image remains the same. Lewis and Epple say they still have dreams of their friend wearing her favorite color, purple.

“Every once in a while I’ll have a dream that she’s in… we are trying to ask her questions: Where are you? Where you have been? What happened?” Lewis said. “But she never says anything, there’s never any closure.”

—–Anyone with information about this case should contact Detective Jim Lawrence at 503-823-0867 or james.lawrence@portlandoregon.gov

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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