Real Name: Diane Brodbeck
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Wellsville, Pennsylvania
Date: April 5, 1986
Date of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Married
Details: Forty-three-year-old Diane Brodbeck was happily married to her husband of twenty-five-years, Chester, and they along with their two daughters lived in Wellsville, Pennsylvania. Diane had been actively involved in her church for over twenty years. She also had previously worked as a bank manager, was interested in psychology, and was involved in various activities in her community. One of the activities she was involved with was writing letters to prisoners with no family or friends. In 1982, she began writing to convicted murderer Jon Yount, after a friend of hers was unable to keep writing to him.
Yount was a popular math teacher who taught at a high school in DuBois, Pennsylvania. On April 28, 1966, Yount offered a ride to one of his students, eighteen-year-old Pamela Sue Rimer. Later that afternoon, Pamela's school books were found along a country road. A few hours later, searchers found her body in the nearby woods. Pamela had been raped, beaten with a wrench, and had her throat slit. The next day, Yount confessed to Pamela's murder. He was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. After twenty years behind bars, Yount had become a model prisoner. He played organ for the choir, learned computer programming, and taught in the prison school.
After writing to Yount for several months, Diane began visiting him at the local jail. Yount was later transferred to Rockview Prison, but Diane still visited him, even though the prison was over two hours away. The corrections officer at the prison, Walter Regel, reported that Diane visited Yount once a week. Regel believed that Diane was Yount's girlfriend. In fact, the two were seen hugging and kissing each other during the visits. Diane had fallen in love with Yount, but none of her family or friends knew that they were romantically involved.
Yount tried repeatedly to appeal his conviction; finally, the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request for a new trial. In February 1985, Yount wrote to Diane, confessing his love to her and stating that he may try to escape from prison to see her. Due to Yount's good behavior, he was allowed to work unsupervised outside of prison grounds. On the morning of April 5, 1986, Yount was supposed to go out and cut some hay. He took other prisoners to different areas and then he vanished.
On the same day, officer Regel was driving to a bowling alley when he saw Diane driving towards the prison. This was the last time Diane was seen. That day, Diane and Jon Yount both vanished. The authorities questioned Chester about Diane and Yount. Diane had told Chester that she was going to Williamsburg, Virginia for the weekend. However, when she did not return, he realized that she escaped with Yount.
Authorities discovered that Diane had opened a secret bank account and withdrew $7,500 in the weeks prior to her disappearance. She also placed a car in a used storage facility two weeks before her disappearance. Authorities discovered that the two had spoken to each other on the phone for fourteen minutes on the night of April 4. Based on the evidence, authorities decided to file charges against Diane for assisting Yount.
Diane's family and friends did not believe that she would help Yount, a convicted murderer, escape from prison. One month after the escape, Diane's car was found abandoned at a motel just twenty miles from her home. A bag was found in the trunk which contained several of her personal items, including her jewelry, cosmetics, and underwear.
Some have theorized that Yount used Diane to escape from prison. Since he knew that he was not going to be released from prison anytime soon, he may have used Diane to help him escape. After the escape, it was theorized that he would kill her and be free to do whatever he wanted. This theory, however, was not confirmed.
The other theory in the case is that Diane and Jon truly loved each other and that the two are living together under aliases. Chester and the rest of the family does not believe this theory, but they hope that Diane is still alive. They suspect that Diane is being held hostage by Yount.
Suspects: Jon Yount is believed to be with Diane, although authorities do not know if she is still with him willingly.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of Special #7 on May 18, 1988.
Results: Solved. Diane Brodbeck and Jon Yount were found living in Boise, Idaho, under assumed names, after two viewers recognized Diane. Diane had been using the name "Cathy Kermin" and had been working as a bank manager, while Yount was working in computer programming. After a month-long investigation, the fugitive couple was arrested at their home. Diane served two years in prison for helping Yount escape and has since been released. Sadly, her husband, Chester Brodbeck, passed away in 1995. Jon Yount later committed suicide in state prison in April 2012.
- Murderer's escape revives 20-year-old nightmare for victim's mother
- Friendly Idahoan caught as fugitive
- Hubby forgives wife who ran off with killer
- Brodbeck pleads guilty to conspiracy in Yount case
- Accomplice to escaped convict sorry she ever helped inmate
- Accomplice wishes she never met Yount
- Jon Yount dies in prison
- Chester Brodbeck on Find a Grave