Michelle West

Michele Donahoe West

Real Name: Unrevealed
Case: Lost Saviors/Friends
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: 1980


Details: In 1980, fifteen-year-old Michele Donahoe West ran away from her home in Washington, D.C. to go back to her hometown in Texas. She was upset because she was away from her friends and she had a curfew. She boarded a bus and soon noticed that men were watching her to see if she was alone. She felt scared because she would be unable to protect herself. Also, none of her family or friends knew where she was.
While at a stop in North Carolina, three African-American men boarded the bus; at first, she was scared of them, especially because one had several scars. However, as the trip continued, she realized that the men, nicknamed "Doc", "Tiny Feet", and "Sunshine", were nice people and made Michele feel more comfortable. She learned from the men that they were all truckers, and that their nicknames were also their C.B. handles. She learned that "Doc" was a deacon in North Carolina. "Tiny Feet" talked to Michele about his family. When they asked Michele about herself, she lied, claiming that her name was Lisa and that she was eighteen. Overall, however, Michele felt much safer with the three men.
She felt even better when they were in Atlanta, and they helped another runaway who was being harassed by two men. She realized that the three were Good Samaritans who were willing to help others along with herself. At this point, Michele finally told them the truth about being a runaway. They told her that her parents were probably very worried about her and that she should call them as soon as possible.
When the bus got to Mississippi, the three men got off and they again told her that she should contact her parents. Before leaving, Doc gave her his business card and asked her to promise him that she would call her family. She agreed and said goodbye to the three men. Michele was too afraid to call her parents directly, so she decided to call her friend whom she asked to call her parents. When she got back on the bus, she began talking to another girl who was a runaway; Michele gave her some food. Michele realized that the three men had affected her in a positive way because she wanted to help other people. She also realized, after listening to the stories of other runaways, that her home life was not as bad as she thought. Michele then decided to go back home to her family.
Now, fourteen years later, Michele wants to find Doc, Tiny Feet, and Sunshine to thank them for changing her life.
Extra Notes: This case was first aired on the December 2, 1994 episode.
Results: Solved. "Doc", whose real name is Jesse Garrett, was watching Unsolved Mysteries on Lifetime and contacted "Sunshine", whose real name is Bill Polite; the two soon contacted Michele. Sadly, they lost contact with Rufus "Tiny Feet" Wheeler, but Michele was still happy to talk to them again and be able to thank them. They were happy to learn that they had such a positive effect on her life.
Links: None

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