TN ERIN FOSTER: Missing from Sparta, TN - 3 April 2000 - Age 18

Akoya

Well-known member
Vvnz2zg.jpg



Erin Foster was last seen on April 3, 2000 leaving a friend's home in Sparta, Tennessee. Eighteen year-old Erin was with a male friend, 17 year old Jeremy Bechtel, in her black 1988 Pontiac Grand Am with Tennessee license plates 473EJR.

Click the Report button on a case if you'd like it to be moved to the general discussion area to be opened for commenting.


edited by staff to add media link
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Akoya

Well-known member

NamUs MP # 6076

Case Information
StatusMissing
First nameErin
Middle nameLeigh
Last nameFoster
Nickname/Alias
NCMEC number1135880
Date last seenApril 03, 2000 00:00
Date entered04/15/2010
Age last seen18 to 18 years old
Age now33 years old
RaceWhite
Ethnicity
SexFemale
Height (inches)68.0
Weight (pounds)115.0
Circumstances
CitySparta
StateTennessee
Zip code
CountyWhite
Circumstances
Erin was last seen on April 3, 2000 leaving a friend's residence in Sparta, Tennessee. She was last known to be traveling with a male companion in a black 1988 Pontiac Grand Am with Tennessee license plates 473EJR. Erin has pierced ears.
Physical
Hair colorBlond/Strawberry
Head hair
Body hair
Facial hair
Left eye colorBlue
Right eye colorBlue
Eye description
No known distinctive body features
Distinctive features as described below
Amputations
Deformities
Scars and marks
Birthmark on left buttock
Tattoos
Piercings
Ears pierced three times in one ear, twice in the other
Artificial body parts
and aids
Finger and toe nails
Other distinctive
physical characteristics
Flat feet
Medical
Foreign objects
Skeletal information
Clothing and Accessories
Clothing and accessories are unknown
Clothing and accessories are described below
Clothing
Long pants
Footwear
Brown sandals
Jewelry
Three earrings in one ear, two in the other, always wore gold watch, ring
Eyewear
Accessories
Transportation Methods
Vehicle makePontiac
Vehicle modelGrand Am
Year1988
StyleSedan
Vehicle colorBlack
Tag type
Tag number473EJR
Tag stateTennessee
Expiration year
Vehicle comments
2-door, tinted windows
Airline
Bus
Dental
Status:Dental information / charting is available and entered
DNA
Status:Sample is currently not available
Fingerprint Information
Status:Fingerprint information is available elsewhere
Investigating Agency
TitleDetective
First nameChris
Last nameIsom
Phone(931) 836-2700
Website
Case number0004304
Date reported


JurisdictionLocal
AgencyWhite County Sheriff's Office
Address 1111 Depot Street, Suite 4
Address 2
CitySparta
StateTennessee
Zip code38583
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local/a-ba ... 67081.html

'A Baffling Case:' 2 Sparta teens disappeared 12 years ago

Erin Foster
By Jim Balloch

Jan. 15, 2012


One person disappearing without a trace is mystery enough. When two vanish together, the case can be more than twice as difficult.

On April 3, 2000, Jeremy Bechtel, 17, and Erin Foster, 18, both of Sparta, attended a party. Later that night, around 10 p.m., they were seen together in her car, a sporty black Pontiac Grand Am.

Since then, there has been no trace of Bechtel, some unproven sightings of Foster, and no sign of her car.

"This is a case with two victims and many possibilities, but no crime scene and no forensic evidence," said White County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Isom.

In 2005 and again in 2006, investigators actively searched for Foster in Pensacola, Fla., following reports that she was living and working there.

Closer to home, authorities have periodically dug up wells in White County. Those searches were sparked by a tip that came in several ears ago, reporting the pair had been murdered and their bodies dumped in a well or abandoned well site somewhere in White County.

"Just a few months back, we dug up another well," Isom said. "We've explored all the well avenues that we know of, unless some more information is developed. But we are not giving up on this case."

Numerous theories and speculations have arisen among law enforcement and the community as to what happened to Foster and Bechtel.

To name a few: robbery gone wrong; their car plunged into a body of water; drug deal gone wrong; someone killed them out of jealousy; they stumbled onto something criminal and were silenced; killed by local "chop shop" thugs for Foster's sporty car; one was the target, the other killed just for being present; they simply ran off together.

Through a family member, Foster's parents declined to be interviewed for this story.

They also did not follow a recommendation by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to provide DNA samples that could help identify their daughter, Isom confirmed.

Bob Lowery, executive director for NCMEC's missing children's division, said some parents "are reluctant to give DNA because they do not want to face the reality that their children could be dead. We do run into this from time to time."

Bechtel's mother, Rhonda Ledbetter, did give DNA. And she fears that if it is ever used, it will be to identify her son's body. She does not believe either her son or Foster ran away.

"You need money to go on the run," she said. "Both of them worked, and neither picked up their last paychecks. And none of their personal belongings are missing," except what they had with them, Ledbetter said.

"I don't believe they got out of White County that night," she said.

Isom said that even if Foster and Bechtel meant to leave, something has since happened to them.

"For kids like that to stay gone this long and not contact any of their family or friends, that's enough to make you think something is wrong," he said. "You can point to literally any scenario as to what happened that last night, and I cannot prove that any are right or wrong. Every lead we get, it seems like it becomes smoke that you can't hold in your hand."

"It is a very baffling case," said Knoxville lawyer Tom Snapp, who helped Ledbetter review information and some records in an effort to look for leads to pursue. "Rhonda (Ledbetter) does not feel like she has received the full level of cooperation from the authorities that she should have."

Isom said there is a lot of conflicting information about several matters ? including whether or not Bechtel and Foster were a romantic couple, casually dating, or just close friends as they had been for several years.

"It all depends on who you talk to," Isom said.

When asked by the News Sentinel, Isom confirmed that Foster's ex-boyfriend, Gareth Bradley, remains "a person of interest." The investigator said there are other persons of interest. He would not say who, how many or how they are connected to the case.

However, of Bradley, Isom added: "I would not call him a suspect. He has cooperated with us every time and in every way. When we asked him to take a polygraph, he did not hesitate, and he passed it."

Isom said there is one witness who said she is certain she saw Foster without Bechtel late on the night they disappeared. And he said he is inclined to believe the sighting of Foster in Florida was accurate.

"We had several people ID her photo, and one of them was a retired police officer," Isom said.

Ledbetter believes the girl in Florida was someone else who resembled Foster. "How many young blond girls do you think there are in Florida?" she asked.

Ledbetter said that while she no longer believes her son is alive she thinks about him and the case every day.

"I hope that someday we can find them both and bring them home to rest," she said. "I need that closure."

Isom said a routine review of the case with the 13th District Attorney General's office is scheduled for this month, but that there are no suspects and no solution in sight.



Anyone with information on the case can contact Isom at 931-836-2700; or by email at chris_isom@hotmail.com. (CQ)
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.wsmv.com/story/23521378/moth ... l-be-found

Mother hopes son missing for 13 years will be found


Jeremy Bechtel
SPARTA, TN (WSMV) -
Jeremy Bechtel, 17, left his house in Sparta on April 2, 2000. That was the last time Rhonda Ledbetter saw her son.

"He said that he was going to his cousin's house. He never came back," said Ledbetter.

Bechtel met his girlfriend Erin Foster at his cousin's house, and she also disappeared. The two haven't been seen since.

The White County sheriff's department never closed the case. Investigator Chris Isom told Channel 4 News his office receives a lead or two every few months.

"It could be a rumor, or a lead. We follow every one of them. We are waiting for that one lead that will lead us to both Jeremy and Erin, but so far we have yet to receive it," said Isom.

Ledbetter believes her son and his girlfriend did not run away. Bechtel worked at the Sparta Burger King while he attended high school. Erin also worked at a nearby restaurant. They never picked up their checks.

"If they were going to run, they would need money, for food and shelter," said Ledbetter.

Adding another layer of mystery to the disappearance, both Bechtel and Foster were last seen in the car belonging to Foster's father. The car was never found.

Throughout the years, Ledbetter has never given up hope that her son will be found.

"Somebody knows what happened. I don't care what happened, I just want my son and Erin back home," said Ledbetter.

If you have any information on the disappearance of Bechtel and Foster, call the White County sheriff's department at 931-836-2700.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Erin Foster was last seen on April 3, 2000 leaving a friend's home in Sparta, Tennessee. Eighteen year-old Erin was with a male friend, 17 year old Jeremy Bechtel, in her black 1988 Pontiac Grand Am with Tennessee license plates 473EJR. Erin and Jeremy had attended a party at the home of Jeremy’s cousin. They were last seen around 10 PM.

There are numerous theories about what happened to Erin and Jeremy. There have been reported sightings in Pensacola, Florida. Wells have been searched in White County. Other speculations include the car going into a body of water, a bad drug deal, jealousy, and “chop shop thugs” interested in Erin’s car. Erin and Jeremy both worked in the Sparta area and neither of them ever claimed their last paychecks. None of their personal belongings are missing.


FRAamCO.gif



Jeremy Bechtel

qPxrs7C.jpg



WlvoPGh.jpg
 

Akoya

Well-known member
https://whereaboutsstillunknown.wordpre ... in-foster/

7tImeQA.jpg


Erin Foster


Erin Leigh Foster, age 18, and Jeremy Lee Bechtel, age 17, went missing from Sparta, TN on April 4, 2000.

Jeremy was spending the night at his cousin’s home, and asked to be dropped off at a party. He apparently left the party with Erin in her 1998 Pontiac Grand Am. Jeremy and Erin were childhood friends, by most accounts, although some state they were a couple.

Erin and Jeremy were reportedly last seen in her car, outside of Sparta, at around 10:00pm. Neither of them have been heard from again, and her car has never been found.

Although there have been persistent rumors of Erin’s ex-boyfriend being involved in her disappearance, and he has been named a person of interest by law enforcement, he has been cooperative and passed a lie detector test. He was reportedly one of the last people to see Erin and Jeremy. Although I don’t know anyone involved personally, my opinion is that her ex-boyfriend was not responsible. I base this on years of reading about missing persons cases – jealousy-induced violence is generally a ‘heat of the moment’ type of thing. Since it’s been reported that Erin and Jeremy’s last confirmed sighting was at this party, and her ex-boyfriend was one of the last to see them, I would have to speculate that he was at the party. Would a jealous ex-boyfriend lure Erin and her friend away from the party, but take a separate vehicle (since Erin’s never surfaced and the ex would have had to get back somehow), meet them somewhere secluded, harm them, dispose of both of them and their car, and drive back to the party, or home, or wherever and have nobody notice anything? It just doesn’t seem likely to me. I could see a jealous ex-boyfriend possibly luring her away with him in his own car, but not another guy.

There have also been rumors that Erin was seen alive and well in Florida – several tips have corroborated this, including one sighting by a retired police officer. Tennessee law enforcement do not believe the person sighted is Erin, but someone who resembles her. The person who claimed to have seen Erin and Jeremy in the car (and apparently knew them) supports the theory that they may be in Florida, although neither of their social security numbers have been used since 2000.

I was very skeptical of this Florida theory, even with the repeated sightings, until I read that Erin’s family has declined to submit DNA. There could be many reasons for this; possibly, as the article suggested, they just don’t want to grapple with the worst case scenario, but it could also be that they have some valid reason to believe that she is alive and well. I really hope that is the case.

Yet more rumors have surfaced that the two were buried in a well in White County, which resulted in several area wells being searched by Law Enforcement.

Not much has been said about the party they attended – if either of them had any confrontations with anyone there, or if Erin’s ex-boyfriend was actually there. Were they drinking or using drugs which might have impaired her driving? Would she have driven along any waterways or on any unsafe roads on her way home? Was the location where they were seen at 10:00pm indicative of where they might have been headed? Were they headed in the direction of their homes, or away, into the vast open space that surrounds Sparta? Were they near any businesses or traffic lights that may have had surveillance?

According to news articles, the rumors keep coming… around the same time every year. I hope that buried somewhere among the rumors, is the truth about what happened to these two teenagers.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local/a-ba ... 67081.html


C0eqs7E.jpg


'A Baffling Case:' 2 Sparta teens disappeared 12 years ago


By Jim Balloch

Jan. 15, 2012

One person disappearing without a trace is mystery enough. When two vanish together, the case can be more than twice as difficult.

On April 3, 2000, Jeremy Bechtel, 17, and Erin Foster, 18, both of Sparta, attended a party. Later that night, around 10 p.m., they were seen together in her car, a sporty black Pontiac Grand Am.

Since then, there has been no trace of Bechtel, some unproven sightings of Foster, and no sign of her car.

"This is a case with two victims and many possibilities, but no crime scene and no forensic evidence," said White County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Isom.

In 2005 and again in 2006, investigators actively searched for Foster in Pensacola, Fla., following reports that she was living and working there.

Closer to home, authorities have periodically dug up wells in White County. Those searches were sparked by a tip that came in several ears ago, reporting the pair had been murdered and their bodies dumped in a well or abandoned well site somewhere in White County.

"Just a few months back, we dug up another well," Isom said. "We've explored all the well avenues that we know of, unless some more information is developed. But we are not giving up on this case."

Numerous theories and speculations have arisen among law enforcement and the community as to what happened to Foster and Bechtel.

To name a few: robbery gone wrong; their car plunged into a body of water; drug deal gone wrong; someone killed them out of jealousy; they stumbled onto something criminal and were silenced; killed by local "chop shop" thugs for Foster's sporty car; one was the target, the other killed just for being present; they simply ran off together.

Through a family member, Foster's parents declined to be interviewed for this story.

They also did not follow a recommendation by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to provide DNA samples that could help identify their daughter, Isom confirmed.

Bob Lowery, executive director for NCMEC's missing children's division, said some parents "are reluctant to give DNA because they do not want to face the reality that their children could be dead. We do run into this from time to time."

Bechtel's mother, Rhonda Ledbetter, did give DNA. And she fears that if it is ever used, it will be to identify her son's body. She does not believe either her son or Foster ran away.

"You need money to go on the run," she said. "Both of them worked, and neither picked up their last paychecks. And none of their personal belongings are missing," except what they had with them, Ledbetter said.

"I don't believe they got out of White County that night," she said.

Isom said that even if Foster and Bechtel meant to leave, something has since happened to them.

"For kids like that to stay gone this long and not contact any of their family or friends, that's enough to make you think something is wrong," he said. "You can point to literally any scenario as to what happened that last night, and I cannot prove that any are right or wrong. Every lead we get, it seems like it becomes smoke that you can't hold in your hand."

"It is a very baffling case," said Knoxville lawyer Tom Snapp, who helped Ledbetter review information and some records in an effort to look for leads to pursue. "Rhonda (Ledbetter) does not feel like she has received the full level of cooperation from the authorities that she should have."

Isom said there is a lot of conflicting information about several matters ? including whether or not Bechtel and Foster were a romantic couple, casually dating, or just close friends as they had been for several years.

"It all depends on who you talk to," Isom said.

When asked by the News Sentinel, Isom confirmed that Foster's ex-boyfriend, Gareth Bradley, remains "a person of interest." The investigator said there are other persons of interest. He would not say who, how many or how they are connected to the case.

However, of Bradley, Isom added: "I would not call him a suspect. He has cooperated with us every time and in every way. When we asked him to take a polygraph, he did not hesitate, and he passed it."

Isom said there is one witness who said she is certain she saw Foster without Bechtel late on the night they disappeared. And he said he is inclined to believe the sighting of Foster in Florida was accurate.

"We had several people ID her photo, and one of them was a retired police officer," Isom said.

Ledbetter believes the girl in Florida was someone else who resembled Foster. "How many young blond girls do you think there are in Florida?" she asked.

Ledbetter said that while she no longer believes her son is alive she thinks about him and the case every day.

"I hope that someday we can find them both and bring them home to rest," she said. "I need that closure."

Isom said a routine review of the case with the 13th District Attorney General's office is scheduled for this month, but that there are no suspects and no solution in sight.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Isom at 931-836-2700; or by email at chris_isom@hotmail.com. (CQ)
 

Akoya

Well-known member
https://www.wkrn.com/special-reports/af ... 1389200157

SPARTA, Tenn. (WKRN) - After nearly 20 years, the search presses on for two White County teens who seemingly vanished into thin air.

Eighteen-year-old Erin Foster and 17-year-old Jeremy Bechtel were last seen on the night of April 3, 2000.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the teens were spotted around 10 p.m. as witnesses reported seeing them in Erin's black Pontiac Grand-Am.

erin-foster_1534976517380_52762541_ver1.0_640_360.jpg

Erin Foster (Photo: The Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

There have been several reported sightings of Erin and the car, but so far, no leads have panned out.
Roughly six years after the pair's disappearance, investigators searched for Erin in Pensacola, Florida, after receiving tips she was living and working there.
Meanwhile back in Tennessee, police followed leads suggesting the pair had been murdered and their bodies dumped in an abandoned well somewhere in White County
Now, 18 years later, no specific tip has led to Erin or Jeremy.
Since the disappearances, authorities said there has been no activity on either of their social security numbers. Erin also reportedly never renewed her driver's license.
Erin has blonde hair, blue eyes and pierced ears. Jeremy has dark hair and light eyes. If you have any information, call the White County Sheriff's Office at 931-836-2700 or the the Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
https://www.murfreesborovoice.com/artic ... rom-sparta


White County teenagers Erin Foster and Jeremy Bechtel should have come home the night of April 3, 2000, but they disappeared, along with Erin's prized two-door 1998 Pontiac Grand Am. And the families of both teenagers are left grappling with more questions than answers. ''I hope that someday we can find them both and bring them home to rest," Jeremy's mother Rhonda Ledbetter said in a 2012 interview with the Knox News-Sentinel. "I need that closure." She didn't get her closure, having died in July 2018, and it doesn't seem like either family will get their much need closure any time soon, White County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Isom said there are no suspects and no solution in sight.


Wasn't Chris Isom the detective that contacted you and thanked you for your information? I don't understand why he is saying there is no solution in sight.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
https://fox17.com/news/local/white-...s ... ed-in-2000

White County, Tenn. officers resume search for teens who vanished almost 20 years ago

WHITE COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — White County authorities were out on the water on Wednesday, resuming the search for two teenagers who vanished nearly 20 years ago.

Jeremy Bechtel, 17, and Erin Foster, 18, both of Sparta were last seen on April 3, 2000. They were believed to be traveling in a black 1988 Pontiac Grand Am with Tennessee license plates 473EJR. White County Sheriff's search and rescue boats are out on the water after receiving a tip that there was a submerged car inside a body of water.

Deputies tell FOX 17 News dive team members went into the water, but the car was not the same make and model the teens were last seen in.

ddcfacce-5b92-4560-818c-a6e8def9c8f2-large16x9_WhiteCounty.jpg
 

Forum statistics

Threads
2,018
Messages
77,218
Members
404
Latest member
Gypsygina
Top