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Name: Katherine Sybil Worsky
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: July 12, 1982
Location Last Seen: Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia
Date of Birth: April 9, 1970
Age: 12 years old
Weight: 90 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde/Strawberry
Eye Color: Hazel
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Diabetic
Dentals: Not Available
Fingerprints: Not Available
Clothing: Pink t-shirt
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
On July 11, 1982, Katie's father, Alan, drove Katie to 2745 McElroy Drive, a brick rancher at the end of a wooded cul-de-sac just off Old Lynchburg Road near Fry's Spring Beach Club. Katie was to spend the night with a former neighbor, Carrie Gates, whose 13-year-old daughter, Tammy Thomas, was one of Katie's close friends. On July 12, 1982, Katie disappeared from her friend's house but her insulin was found with her shoes and other belongings at her friend's house.
Convenience store clerk Glenn Barker was charged with Katie's murder, and convicted of second-degree murder in 1983. It was only the second time in Virginia's history a man had been tried and convicted of murder without the presence of a body. Barker served 9 years of an 18 year sentence before he was released on parole. After being released in 1992, Barker moved to Richmond, VA, where he was suspect in a double slaying.
Barker had dated Gates, but by this time any romantic relationship was over. Barker admitted in police interviews that he was present the night of Katie's disappearance. He came to visit Gates later in the evening of July 11. But when Gates turned him away, he didn't leave. Barker approached the two girls and Tammy's younger brother, and gained access to their recreation room through an outside door. Barker later admitted in police interviews that he brought beer with him, and gave some to the two young girls. He admitted he brought a six pack of beer over and had given Katie and Tammy at least one each, though Tammy said she and Katie had actually had more alcohol than that, and got sick afterwards. Tammy said when she went to bed, she'd last seen Barker reading her younger brother a bedtime story. When Tammy awoke from a bad dream at approximately 5:30 a.m., she realized Katie was missing. Barker said he left the house around 12:30 a.m., after tucking Tammy's brother into bed and checking on Katie and Tammy, who he said were sleeping peacefully on the ground floor. He also said he never saw Katie become ill from the alcohol, but agrees with trial testimony that Tammy did throw up.
Rumors flew that Katie's body was under the new Hardee's at Pantops which was under construction at the time of her disappearance. The Charlottesville police chief wanted to dig through tons of refuse at the Ivy Landfill, although concerns about biohazards and lack of a solid lead to the site derailed that suggestion. Police agreed to consult with a psychic who predicted Katie's body was near a shed on a hillside somewhere in Albemarle County.
Bloodstains were found in the home where Katie was last seen on the rug and around the room's coffee table. Hours after Katie's disappearance, with Barker's permission, investigators searched his apartment in the Hessian Hills Apartments on Georgetown Road. They discovered bloodstained men's clothing and towels between the matress and box spring of Barker's bed and in a cooler. The clothes were wet, inside a plastic bag, and the stains matched Barker's Type A blood and were later found to match Katie's blood type. Barker, who was present for the search, appeared shocked at the discovery.
Convinced that they might have missed something, investigators got a warrant to search Barker's apartment a second time the following week, this time without giving him notice. When they checked Barker's dresser drawers, they found a balled-up pair of girls' panties inside a pair of rolled-up socks. On the back of the panties was what appeared to be a tiny blood stain that matched the location where Katie injected her insulin. Furthermore, forensic experts testified in court that a hair found in Barker's car was consistent with Katie's hair, and sniffer dogs identified her scent in his car.
Barker has always maintained that he had nothing to do with Katie's disappearance and that he left the house sometime after midnight, with all three children safe. Barker also claims that he has been set up. Katie's mother visited Barker twice in jail, pleading fruitlessly with him to tell her where to find Katie's body. Katie's mother died on March 25, 2014 without ever getting an answer. Barker died on July 20, 2014. Worsky's body has not been found.
Agency Name: Charlottesville Police Department
Agency Contact Person: Sergeant Shawn Bayles
Agency Phone Number: (434)-970-3265
Agency E-Mail: [email protected]
Agency Case Number: 1982-00730
Agency Name: Albemarle County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: Sheriff Chip Harding
Agency Phone Number: (434)- 972-4001
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 1189
Justice for Murdered Children
C-Ville - 4/8/2014 , 1/28/2015
Added: 8/4/2007; Last Updated: 9/5/2017
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.