Nan Cecile Dixon
Missing since September 21, 1978 from Grass Valley, Nevada County, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Dixon was last seen in Grass Valley, California on September 21, 1978. She was leaving for a nearly three-hour trip to visit her brother, Harry Leighton, and his family in Seven Troughs, Nevada, near Lovelock, in an unincorporated part of Pershing County, Nevada.
Dixon was last seen driving a 1976 Datsun B210 4-door, lime green - yellow in color. Dixon never arrived at her destination and her family reported her missing a short time later. The sheriff of Pershing County at the time, said that his office didn't have any evidence that Dixon had ever reached his county. Nearly three months later, Dixon's husband, received a charge card bill for $4.18 from a Texaco gas station in Lovelock. The new revelation prompted a subsequent round of searches, but there were no results
Dixon's family hired psychics and private investigators and sent them to Nevada. In November 1982, the car Dixon was driving was found by coyote hunters in a ravine below the main road of the Seven Troughs turnoff. It had been discovered in an area that had been previously searched from the air and by ground. The car appeared to have been deliberately driven over a rocky road and into the ravine. Tire tracks could be seen where it left the road and traversed down into the gulch. The tires were badly scuffed from having been driven over the rocky road, but otherwise held air and were considered to be in reasonably good condition. The car also contained a half tank of gasoline.
A possible suicide note had been planted inside the car. Family members do not believe that Dixon would kill herself because she was "strong and lively." Also, the note had not been signed.
Disturbing evidence found inside the car included four empty cigarette cartons. Although Dixon had been a light smoker who only took part in the habit occasionally, it seemed highly unlikely that she had consumed four cartons of cigarettes within the confines of her vehicle. Besides, the cartons were not of the same brand that Dixon had smoked. Portions of black electrical tape were found inside the car as well, and one roll that was intact contained a single hair and what appeared to be tissue attached to it. What appeared to be bloodstains were found on a mat inside the trunk, as well as on a tire and a rim, suggestive of the possibility that a body had been transported in the car's trunk. Nonetheless, the Pershing County Sheriff's Department closed the case as a "suicide," and in the years since Dixon's disappearance all of the evidence in the case has also disappeared.
Investigators Ellen G. I. Clark, M.D
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Washoe County Medical Examiner - Coroner's Office
Ellen G. I. Clark, M.D
Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index