Doe Network

918DFAL - Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey

Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey

Name: Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: August 17, 1974
Location Last Seen: Opelika, Lee County, Alabama

Physical Description

Date of Birth: July 21, 1905
Age: 69 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 105 lbs.
Hair Color: Light brown
Eye Color: Gray
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown


Dentals: Not available
Fingerprints: Not available
DNA: Not available

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: A flowered blouse and a long brown skirt or pants.
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Disappearance

Ruth Purcell Murphree Dorsey was last seen in Opelika. She visited the Spring Villa Grocery between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. and got gasoline for her car, a 1972 Ford Galaxy. Dorsey told the gas station attendant that a relative had called her and she was going to pick the person up.

One of Dorsey's neighbors reported seeing her turn into her driveway at 6:00 p.m. She has not been seen since. She was reported missing after she failed to arrive at church the next day.

When authorities went to Dorsey's home on Route 1 in Opelika, they found the front door open and a side door unlocked. Laundry was hanging on the outside clothesline, her Bible and Sunday school teaching materials were laid out on the table, and her bed did not appear to have been slept in. Her three dogs were found in the bathroom.

Dorsey's car was found in downtown Opelika near the First Baptist Church after her disappearance. The keys were in the ignition and her eyeglasses and purse were on the front seat. Nothing appeared to be missing from the purse and it contained $11 in cash. There have been no withdrawals from Dorsey's account since she disappeared.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Lee County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 800-239-7072

Agency Case Number: Unknown

Agency Name: Opelika Police Department
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 334-705-5220

Agency Case Number: Unknown

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 4796

Information Source(s)

Lee County Sheriff's Office

Admin Notes

Added: 6/15/06; Last Updated: 10/15/15

Submit an update to this case file.

Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team

** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

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