Real Name: Paul William Ferrell
Location: Gormania, West Virginia
Date: February 17, 1988
Details: In 1988, nineteen year old Gormania, Maryland resident Cathy Ford began having an affair with local police officer Paul Ferrell. On February 17, 1988, Cathy mysteriously vanished after receiving a phone call from Paul. The next day, Ferrell located Cathy's burnt out car two hundred yards away from her trailer. However, he did not tell anyone about it, and then sent a letter to the police claiming to be Cathy. When Cathy's car was re-discovered three weeks later, Paul became the prime suspect. Police found traces of blood in Paul's bedroom that was not inconsistent with Cathy's parents.
This, along with other evidence, led Paul to being arrested, and charged with murder, arson, and kidnapping, although police never found Cathy's body. Prosecutors used the blood evidence, along with body language from Paul, and a witness that heard screams from Paul's trailer in the trial. Ferrell was convicted of murder, kidnapping, and arson, and sentenced to a minimum of fifteen years in prison.
However, new evidence began to surface that suggested that Ferrell may have been innocent. Martin Yant, a journalist, was able to locate two witnesses who claimed to have seen Cathy over a year after she vanished. This, along with the fact that Cathy's body was never found, makes some invovled in the case believe that Paul was innocent and that Cathy may even still be alive.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the September 25, 1992 episode of Final Appeal: From the Files of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unresolved. In 2001, the West Virginia governer commuted Ferrell's sentence, which made him eligible for parole, which was granted in May of 2004. since then, no trace of Cathy Ford has never been found.