Real Name: Stefanie Kelly Stroh
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Wells, Nevada
Date: October 15, 1987
Date of Birth: September 26, 1966
Weight: 130 pounds
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: Caucasian female, Brown hair, brown eyes,
Details: Stefanie Stroh, a student at Reed College in Portland, was hitchhiking throughout the United States after spending time in Asia. She and friend had started in New York and were on their way back to California when they decided to split up in Salt Lake City. She was last seen by a desk clerk at a motel in Winnemucca, Nevada, on October 15, 1987. She tried to get a room, but the place was full. Later that day, she called her parents from a truck stop in Wells, Nevada. At the time, her parents lived in San Francisco. She told them that she was coming home the next day, but never arrived. She has not been seen since.
Suspects: None known
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of a missing persons special alert in the October 25, 1989 episode.
Results: Unresolved. In 1998, police stated that there was a possible break in Stefanie's case. However, it is unknown what the "break" was or if anything actually came from it.
Tommy Lynn Sells, a confessed serial killer who was arrested for a 1999 murder, later confessed to Stefanie's murder. In 1987, he was working for a roofing company in Winnemucca, near where she was last seen. He claimed that he picked Stefanie up while she was hitchhiking and told her that he would take her to Reno, Nevada. He also claimed that they took LSD together, where upon he strangled her, put her body in concrete, and dumped it in a hot spring described a being 30 feet wide. Despite extensive searches for the hot spring, it was never found.
He has also confessed to the murders of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman, two missing girls who vanished in 1999 after Ashley's parents were murdered, but police have never charged Sells in either of those cases and believe that the confessions were untrue. Sells was serving time for two unrelated murders and was eventually executed by lethal injection in April of 2014. Stefanie, however, remains missing.
Interestingly, in 2010, investigators noted that they were looking into the possibility that Dale Wayne Eaton was responsible for Stefanie's disappearance. Eaton is a suspected serial killer, convicted of murdering Lisa Marie Kimmell and suspected in several other disappearances and murders.
- Stefanie Stroh on The Charley Project
- Stefanie Stroh on The Doe Network
- (1988 Reno Gazette Article) Unsolved cases
- Possible Break in '87 Case Of Missing S.F. Woman
- Cold case: Where is Stefanie Stroh?
- Websleuths Discussion of Stefanie Stroh