Name: Lori Ann Murchison-Dunbar
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: September 02, 1995
Location Last Seen: Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas
Date of Birth: December 6, 1970
Age: 24 years old
Weight: 105-110 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown hair, dyed blonde
Eye Color: Brown
Nickname/Alias: Lori Murchison
Distinguishing Marks/Features: She has a mole on her chin, a caesarian-section scar, a scar on left her buttock, and pierced ears. She has the following tattoos; a "Unicorn" on her left shoulder blade, a heart with an arrow through it on her left breast, and a rose on her ankle.
Dentals: Not Available; upper dentures and has about 5 teeth in her lower jaw.
Clothing: White shirt and cut-off blue jean shorts.
Jewelry: Gold-colored ring, and black ribbon necklace with a "cross" pendant.
Additional Personal Items: Black sandals.
On Sept. 1, 1995, 24-year-old Murchison and her boyfriend, Jerry Cogan, were arrested during a traffic stop. Cogan was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and Murchison was arrested on
suspicion of public intoxication, according to a September 2005 Times Record report. The next morning, Murchison was released from jail. She was supposed to pick up her paycheck and return to the jail to bail out Cogan.
Murchison went to the office at the Continental Motel in Fort Smith to get a key to her room sometime between 2-4 p.m., according to an April 2005 Times Record report. She never got her paycheck from the Oaks Lodge Nursing Home
where she worked, nor did she bail out Cogan. Murchison was reported missing Sept. 5, 1995. Her mother, Nancy Murchison, said she last spoke to her daughter on the phone on Sept. 2, saying that she and Cogan were moving out of
her mother's home and had found a room at the motel, and that she would come pick up her 4-year-old daughter, Brittney, the next day. She never came to pick up her daughter.
It wasn't until 2000 when then-detective Ron Lockhart, now the Sequoyah County sheriff, took on the case. About 2003, details started to indicate that Lori Murchison had overdosed, and that someone with her had disposed of her body. Lockhart and investigators felt that they had a pretty credible suspect: a man who was incarcerated at the time in Oklahoma state prison on an unrelated offense. "Back then, there was enough evidence to file [charges for] disposing of a corpse, but the statute of limitations had run over," Lockhart said. "But we did have a strong suspect that we felt like knew what happened with her." Investigators interviewed the suspect at the prison, but could not pinpoint a location to search for Murchison's body. She may have been placed in the Arkansas River, Lockhart said.
Around 2005, allegations surfaced that former Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney, Ron Fields had a hand in Murchison's death. A Washington grand jury heard testimony on the allegations, but nothing came of the hearings.
Nancy Murchison still believes her daughter was murdered. About three weeks before her daughter went missing, Lori came home panicked one night, saying, "They're going to off me." The family never knew what Lori was talking about. Despite statements from witnesses to detectives, Nancy Murchison never noticed a change in her daughter or anything that indicated she was on drugs.
Agency Name: Fort Smith Police Department
Agency Contact Person: Sgt. Poncho Davis
Agency Phone Number: 479-709-5120
Agency Contact Person: Detective Tammy Demier
Agency Phone Number: 479-709-5000
Agency E-Mail: [email protected]
Agency Case Number: 95-47154
NCIC Case Number: M-862953101
NamUs Case Number: 1149
Southwest Times Record (Fort Smith, AR)
Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 11/6/2016
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.