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Missing Ruth Lucille Loader
Loader, circa 1994; Lewis Gilbert; Eric Elliott
Missing Since 08/29/1994
Port Washington, Ohio
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 03/31/1915 (105)
Age 79 years old
Height and Weight 5'2, 82 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A brown sweater.
Medical Conditions Loader was undergoing treatment for colon cancer at the time of her disappearance; she had surgery for it four months prior to her disappearance. She also has a heart condition. She needs medication for both conditions and would not survive very long without her medicine.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Gray hair, blue eyes. Loader wears eyeglasses, but they were left behind.
Details of Disappearance Loader was last seen at her daughter's residence in Port Washington, Ohio on the evening of August 29, 1994. She had been staying with her daughter while she underwent treatment for cancer, but finally felt well enough to spend the night at her own home two miles away, so she took her belongings that evening and left. She was supposed to have breakfast with her sister the next morning, but when her sister came over at 8:00 a.m., she didn't answer the door.
When Loader missed her breakfast appointment, her daughter and son-in-law went to her home and realized she had been abducted. The back door frame was splintered, a red telephone cord was missing, and Loader's glasses were left behind on her pillow. She has never been heard from again.
Two days later, Loader's car was found abandoned in Fulton County, Missouri. Only 150 yards away, an elderly couple, Flossie and William Brewer, had been murdered in their basement and their vehicle had been stolen. Authorities linked their deaths to Loader's disappearance and started an interstate manhunt for Gilbert and Elliott.
On September 4, the body of a fourth victim, Roxy Lynn Ruddell, was found in the woods near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Brewers' car had been abandoned near the crime scene and Ruddell's truck had been stolen. On September 6, a week after their crime spree began, Gilbert and Elliott were apprehended in New Mexico.
According to Gilbert, as they were driving along back country roads with Loader, she told them, "You might as well kill me because I have cancer." They did, and dumped her body off on the side of the road. Gilbert drew a map to where he and Elliott had dumped Gilbert's body, but a search turned up nothing.
Gilbert was executed in Oklahoma in 2003. Elliott is serving a life term in prison. Loader's body has never been found and no charges were filed in her presumed death, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
Investigating Agency / Department