Cold Case

Photo of Evelyn McDowell taken in April of 1983

Photo of Evelyne McDowell taken in April 1983

Investigators Ask for Public’s Help in Missing Person Cold Case

The Winters Police Department is reaching out to the public to see if any new information can be developed to help identify Evelyn Joyce McDowell's whereabouts.

On December 12, 1983, Evelyn’s friend reported the 22-year-old missing to the Winters Police Department. Evelyn was last heard from on November 14, 1983, when she called her friend and said she was at a bar in the Napa area, and someone was “trying to get her.” Soon after, the phone went dead. Several days later, Evelyn’s mother received her daughter’s address book in the mail along with a note saying: “Joyce, you don’t know me, but I found this on the beach in Lucerne and thought you might want it. – Dave”

After receiving the address book, Evelyn’s family began asking her friends and acquaintances for information about Evelyn’s whereabouts. The family was told Evelyn had last been seen with friends in the Napa area, and she had exited the car they were in after an argument. Officers were able to determine the phone number Evelyn had called from was from the Chatter Box Bar in Clear Lake, California, near Lucerne, California, in Lake County, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and initiated a concurrent investigation.

Investigators tracked down the person who had mailed Evelyn’s address book and eliminated him as a person of interest in her disappearance. Investigators also searched the area where Evelyn’s address book was found and recovered a lady’s sock tied at both ends which had been filled with sand and rocks. Winters Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office continued their investigations all through 1984 and sent investigation requests to surrounding jurisdictions.

Investigators continued to follow up with leads and possible sightings from 1985 through 1988. Winters Police Department continued to investigate Evelyn’s case and examined unidentified person reports to see if there was a match, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office identified Tony Aguilar of Lake County as a person of interest and questioned him extensively. However, Aguilar died in 2002.

With advances in DNA, Investigators contacted Evelyn’s brother, who had been stationed in Germany at the time of Evelyn’s disappearance, and obtained a DNA sample to add to her profile in the nationwide Department of Justice’s Missing or Unidentified Persons System. Unfortunately, none of the information gathered to date has led to Evelyn’s whereabouts, and the case remains open.

At the time of her disappearance, Evelyn was described as follows:

Name: McDowell, Evelyn Joyce Age: 22 years Gender: Female Race/Ethnicity: White Height: 5’5” Weight: 115 lbs. Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown Clothing: Blue denim jeans, blue jacket, dark oxford shoes Scars/Marks: Tattoo of a blue heart on her left shoulder, scar on left knee, scar on left forearm