"The lady said she answered the phone and said 'Hello' a couple times," Stevens explained. "There was nothing on the other end that she could ever hear, so she hung up."
-from the Daily Dunklin Democrat (July 23, 2006)
|Teresa Butler [Image Source]|
RISCO, MO - 35-year old wife and mother of two, Teresa Butler disappeared from her home on the night of January 25, 2006. She was discovered missing when her husband Gary returned home from work at 10 a.m. to find their sons, two and four years old, respectively, alone in the house and apparently undisturbed. A video camera, playstation (with games), large Mag-lite flashlight, Nintendo Game Cube and digital camera were missing as well as Teresa’s purse and cell phone, but her jacket and wedding ring were left behind and her Jeep was left sitting in the driveway with its stereo missing. There were no signs of a struggle but part of a key was broken off in a lock in a door. She was last heard from the night before the disappearance when her sister-in-law came to visit. She hasn’t been seen since, but she may have been heard from.
Two calls were made from her cell phone the night she disappeared. The first was at 3:16 a.m. to a man in Gideon, MO. who did not answer. When police investigated they discovered that the man had no connection to Teresa or anyone in her family.
The second call was made after her disappearance to a home in Clarkton, MO where two elderly women lived together. When they answered the phone, they couldn’t hear anything, not even breathing. Like the first call, this second one seemed to be random as the two women had no connection to Teresa, either.
|The Butler family residence [Image Source].|
Police did discover that Gary’s ex-wife had made threatening phone calls to Teresa while at work. No connection has ever been established to Gary’s ex-wife but then Sheriff Terry Stevens said he was “positive foul play was involved”. Teresa’s mom also supported the theory, saying "I felt fear gripping the home down there. I knew someone was watching the house, I could feel it."
Teresa Butler was one of several missing persons honored in a ceremony at the Missouri state capitol in 2011. By that time, 5 years had passed since her disappearance but tips were still flooding in to the New Madrid County Sheriff's office on a better than weekly basis. They come from all across the country. The tips range from the location of where her body may be buried, to where she may be living. The Sheriff's office takes every one of those calls seriously and investigates every lead but so far to no avail. About half of the tipsters believe Teresa to still be alive. No trace of her has ever turned up, not the missing items, not even a piece of clothing. Teresa's fate remains a mystery.