Real Name: Amy Joy Wroe Bechtel
Nicknames: Some resources hyphenate her name: "Wroe-Bechtel"
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Date: July 24, 1997 (last reported sighting on July 25, 1997)
Date of Birth: August 4, 1972
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 115 lbs.
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes, scars on shins and knees, checker-shaped scar on lower back, scar on left cheek
Details: Twenty-four-year-old Amy Wroe and Steve Bechtel married in 1996. Both were avid fitness enthusiasts; Amy loved running while Steve loved climbing. They move to Lander, Wyoming, because its rugged terrain made it a perfect training ground for them. They had recently bought a home of their own and planned to move in sometime during late July of 1997. At 9:30AM on July 24, he left to go rock climbing with a friend while she left to teach a fitness class.
Amy had a long list of errands that day: call the phone company, get the gas turned on, and buy home insurance. After those tasks were completed, she planned to go for a jog on Loop Road in the Shoshone National Forest. Sometime during the day, she vanished. When Steve returned from his all-day climbing trip, she was not home. At 8:15PM, he visited his neighbors, Todd and Amy Skinner, who were making dinner. His wife was still not home at that time, but he was not too concerned. However, at around 11PM, when the Skinners returned from a movie, Steve came to them and told them that Amy still had not returned.
The Skinners drove along several roads where they believed Amy would have went running. Steve stayed behind, hoping that his wife would call. At around 1AM, after driving on Loop Road for about an hour, the Skinners found her white Toyota station wagon. They searched the area, but found no trace of her. By morning, the search for Amy expanded dramatically. Eventually, more than 500 people covered a twenty-mile radius. Only one clue was found: a footprint similar to her sneaker was found on Loop Road, but it was lost before police could retrieve it. After eight days, the massive search was called off.
Investigators found that her sunglasses, to-do list, and car keys were on the seat of her car; only her wallet was missing. It was believed that foul play was involved in her disappearance. Soon, Steve was investigated as a suspect in the case. He was questioned extensively, but he denied any involvement. The Bechtel home was searched; several suspicious journals were found, belonging to Steve. The journals included song lyrics and writings about power, death, and killing.
A female camper claimed she had seen a blue pickup truck racing through the forest with a strange blonde woman in the passenger seat. She claimed that she saw the same truck the next day during the search. She identified his truck as the one that she had seen on the day of Amy's disappearance. However, the camper sighting was later disproved through phone records; Steve made a phone call from his home at 4:43PM, the same time as the sighting. Her family now wants Steve to take a polygraph in order to prove his innocence or guilt.
Suspects: Steve has been named a suspect in her disappearance. He refused to take a polygraph test and refused to cooperate with police during their initial investigation. Several journals and poems were found in the Bechtel home, suggesting that Steve was fascinated with death and wanted power and control. Amy's brother also remembered that she had a suspicious bruise on her arm a few weeks before her disappearance. She said that Steve would get a little "rough" sometimes. She did not act as if it was serious. However, her brother believed that he was abusive. Also, a woman believed that she saw Steve's truck near Loop Road on the day she vanished. Finally, investigators noted that there were gaps in Steve's activities that day. During these times, he could have harmed Amy.
However, Steve claimed that he was innocent and felt that he did what was necessary to protect himself from being unjustly prosecuted. His attorney noted that lie detector tests are often inaccurate and would not help in the investigation. Also, phone records disputed the camper witness's testimony. The Bechtel's friends, Todd and Amy Skinner, believe that he is innocent. Todd believes that Steve's writings were taken out of context.
Steve believes that a stranger may have abducted his wife. Another theory is that a motorist accidentally struck Amy, panicked, and hid her body.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 16, 1999 episode. Amy's disappearance was also featured on Disappeared.
Results: Unsolved. In June of 2003, a watch believed to be Amy's was found in the middle fork of the Popo Agle River. Some bones were found near the watch, but were later found to be from an animal. Police have not been able to determine if the watch was indeed hers. Amy was declared legally dead in 2004. However, she has never been located.
More recently, Dale Wayne Eaton, the murderer of Lisa Kimmell, has also been named a suspect in her disappearance and the "Great Basin Murders" which occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to Eaton's brother, he was in the Lander area on the day Amy vanished. However, neither he nor Steve Bechtel been charged in her disappearance.
- Amy's case on Unsolved.com
- Amy's case on Wikipedia
- Amy's case on the Charley Project
- Amy's case on Crime Stoppers
- Amy's case on the Doe Network
- Possible Clue Found To Woman Missing 6 Years
- Sheriff believes Amy Wroe Bechtel was victim of killer
- New lead in the disappearance of Amy Wroe Bechtel
- Amy Wroe Bechtel disappearance takes new turn; Prime suspect on Wyoming’s Death Row