The Doe Network:
Case File 767DFIA

Elms, circa 1993

Barbara Lee Elms
Missing since August 25, 1993 from Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa.
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Elms disappeared from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on August 25, 1993. She was last seen heading toward First Avenue East. She has had prior episodes in which she has vanished from her family and friends, but those lasted only a few days and she always took with her all her jewelry, makeup and clothes. Elms' husband filed a missing person report with police on August 29th.

Elms was separated from her husband seven years prior, with increasing mental illness. He took steps to finalize a divorce in summer of 1993, but promised he would continue to support his wife.There is no indication at Elms' residence that she took belongings for a trip. She did not take her purse, identification, or clothes. Soup that she apparently planned to eat on the day she disappeared was left out.

Elms had endured episodes of mental illness and consumption of prescription medication and alcohol. She had no fixed income, but refused to apply for help. Instead she worked the garbage containers behind First Avenue East with friends. The ex-husband helped with rent, food and a little spending money. She dressed oddly and often mixed a dance step or a twirl into her paces along the strip on First Avenue East between Coe College and the Hy-Vee store. The fear of change in her life may have sent her on the run. The ex-husband and daughter thinks she may be a bag lady in some other city. Just a month before Barbara Elms disappeared, she was sprayed with a chemical, hit over the head, and robbed of cigarettes in a southeast Cedar Rapids park.

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

Cedar Rapids Police Department
Iowa Missing Persons Clearinghouse

NCIC Number: M-669943429
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
Iowa Missing Persons Clearinghouse
The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City)

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