The Doe Network:
Case File 1863DFCA

1 2 3 Age-Progressed
Left & Center: Mitchell, circa 1997;  Right : Progressed to age 30 years (circa 2011) 

Karen Marie Mitchell
Missing since November 25, 1997 from Eureka, Humboldt County, California
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Mitchell was last seen at approximately 14.45, walking from the Bayshore Mall toward West Sonoma Street in Eureka, California on November 25, 1997.

She was living with her aunt and uncle when she disappeared. Her mother sent her to Eureka because she thought it was a safer place for a teenager than Whittier, where Mitchell lived with her mother and brother until junior high school. Mitchell came home for holidays and summer vacation, and hoped to graduate early from high school and attend Humboldt State College. The morning Mitchell disappeared, she and her mother had been filling out the college application over the phone.

Karen had left her aunt's store in Bayshore Mall to walk to her job at Humbolt Child Care Council approximately 3/4 of a mile but never arrived.
Cadaver sniffing dogs and search and rescue personnel combed an area at the foot of Hilfiker Lane.

 A witness believes that Karen was possibly getting into a vehicle which was being driven by a white male. The vehicle is described as being a light blue 1976-1978 "Ford Granada" or "Mercury Monarch". It had California plates with the word "Eureka" on the rear license plate frame.


suspect car
Suspect & Car

Vital Statistics

  • Approximate Age: 60-70 years old
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Light gray/sandy/blond and balding hair; green or gray eyes. He was short with a small build; he had a large nose that had likely been broken in the past, and he wore "prescription-type" eyeglasses.
  • Clothing: He was wearing a light blue, long sleeved, button-up, collared shirt.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Eureka Police Department
Humboldt County District Attorney's Office
Investigator Mike Hislop

Agency Case Number: C979949

NCMEC #: NCMC840753

NCIC Number: M-078723261
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
California Department of Justice
Polly Klaas Foundation
Child Quest International
Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)  
Los Angeles Times

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