Far right: sophomore yearbook picture from Southern Arkansas University, 1973
Name: Mary Jimmie Shinn
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: July 20, 1978
Location Last Seen: Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas
Date of Birth: January 11, 1953
Age: 25 years old
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair Color: Dark Brown/Black
Eye Color: Brown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Scar on left cheek; discoloration on forehead
Fingerprints: Not Available
Jewelry: was wearing several pieces of jewelry, including a one-of-a-kind, custom-designed, gold necklace with three diamond pendants
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
Ms. Shinn, an art instructor with a studio space on Magnolia Street, had recently renovated a house on East McNeil Street and was looking to sell it. On July 19, 1978, she received a call about the house: an unknown man expressed interest in seeing the property. Law enforcement investigators believe she met him at approximately 4:00PM that day for a showing of the home. The unknown man told her that he wanted to trade a parcel of land he owned on the Taylor Highway for the house she had for sale. Investigators believe that his claim of owning a parcel of land was false.
The same man called Ms. Shinn again the next day (July 20) around 11AM, asking to see the home again, but the problem was that his car was being worked on at Jordan Brothers Pontiac (then located on East Main Street). She told him to meet her at the EZ Mart across from Jordan Brothers Pontiac. The man was described by a witness at the EZ Mart as being a white male in his mid-twenties, 5'8" tall, 185-200 lbs. with a heavy build and slightly overweight. He had dark, curly hair and had what was described as a lazy gait. Ms. Shinn picked him up at the EZ Mart around 12 noon and that was the last time anyone saw her. The only substantial clue that was located was Ms. Shinn's blue 1976 Buick Special, which was found abandoned in Smitty's Grocery Store's parking lot on the day she disappeared. The car was found unlocked, with the keys in the ignition, and Ms. Shinn's purse inside. Witnesses put the car in the parking lot around 1PM that day. The only thing that was missing from her purse was her address book. Her tennis shoes were found inside the car, up under the accelerator and brake, as if she removed her shoes while driving. Other clues point to the car being driven across a hay meadow because the car doors had been opened, and when the doors were closed, some of the grass snapped off and seeds were also found inside the car. All trace evidence (fingerprints, hairs) found in the vehicle belonged to Ms. Shinn.
Despite investigators' best efforts - including the family hiring multiple private investigators - Ms. Shinn has not been found, nor have any viable suspects been uncovered. Foul play is suspected.
Agency Name: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: Sheriff Mike Loe
Agency Phone Number: (870)234-5331
Agency E-Mail: [email protected]
Agency Case Number: C3488678
Agency Name: Arkansas State Police
Agency Contact Person: Special Agent Scott Clark
Agency Phone Number: N/A
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: C34-886-78
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 10738
Arkansas Life (March 2016)
Davis, Jamie (2011) Vanished: The Disappearance of Mary Jimmie 'Bobo' Shinn
(Magnolia, AR) Banner News
Added: 5/3/11; Last Updated: 11/1/17
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.