19-year-old Katelin Akens was last seen after reportedly being dropped off at a Virginia shopping mall by her stepfather on December 5, 2015. It has now been over a month since Katelin has been seen or heard from, and her family, as well as a community, is desperate to find her.
Katelin was in town from Arizona, where she currently lives with her fiancee, visiting her family. On the day she was due to catch a flight home, she seemingly vanished.
From ABC News:
“Lisa Sullivan, Katelin’s mother, says she dropped her daughter off at her stepdad’s home in Spotsylvania County on Saturday so he could take her to the airport to catch a flight to Arizona. Sullivan said the teen’s stepdad told her that Akens decided she wanted to go to Springfield Town Center first. She then planned to take the Franconia-Springfield metro to Reagan National Airport.”
Police say they’ve been able to confirm that Katelin’s stepfather’s car was in the area of the mall that day, but they were unable to find either Katelin or her stepfather on surveillance video.
Two days after Katelin went missing, police found her luggage abandoned in a drainage ditch on River Road. Along with the luggage, Katelin’s phone charger, wallet with ID, credit cards, cash, her old glasses and her old plane ticket were found.
Katelin’s loved ones have started a Help Find Katelin Akens Facebook Page, where they posted a detailed timeline of events, which I copied and pasted below:
Katelin moves from Virginia to Arizona
Dec 1 2015
Katelin travels from Arizona to visit family in Virginia
Early Saturday Dec 5 2015
Katelin’s mother (Lisa Sullivan) drops her off at her stepfather’s home in Spotsylvania County, so he can take Katelin to Reagan National Airport: she is supposed to catch a 5:40 p.m. flight to Las Vegas, where her fiancé (Amber Rios) would pick her up and drive them back to their home in Lake Havasu City.
- (Katelin’s mother and stepdad are divorced, but are still on friendly terms)
- According to Katelin’s mother, she was excited to go back to Arizona to start cosmetology school.
- Katelin’s stepfather later tells her mother that, while on the way to the airport, Katelin asked to be dropped off by the Springfield mall, from where she planned to travel to the airport from the nearby Franconia-Springfield Metro station: Katelin has never taken the metro on her own before.
- Investigating LE has said there is NO surveillance video of Katelin from the mall, or the metro.
- Katelin may have (according to Amber) been wearing a dark gray fleece pullover sweater with a Bass Pro Shop emblem on it, as well as pink and grey Vans brand shoes.
Afternoon Saturday Dec 5 2015
Katelin’s mother receives a text message from Katelin’s phone at around 2:00 p.m., saying she had arrived safely at the airport.
(Time of text verified by family)
- At around the same time, Katelin’s fiancé receives a text saying “something came up and I’m not coming back today. I’ll let you know when I get a new flight”
Monday Dec 7
Katelin’s luggage is found by road workers, in a drainage ditch in the 6600 block of River Road near Fredericksburg – not far from the Fall Hill intersection, and nearly 50 miles from the airport.
- ID, wallet, phone charger, her old glasses, her ticket from AZ to VA, and her fiancé’s credit card is found, but a few articles of clothing and her cellphone are missing.
(ID: “It was just an identification card. She didn’t have a drivers license. And I believe it was her Arizona one. If one was missing I think it was her Virginia one” — per family)
(Credit card: It has been stated her fiancé’s credit card was Katelin’s only means of support. Per family, “Katelin had a bank account at the same bank as her mother. And her mother has access to it. She put money in Katelin’s account from time to time. And no there isn’t much in her account )
(Ticket: per family it was her old ticket, from AZ to VA, that was found.)
- Cash and credit cards were still intact in her wallet.
- According to Katelin’s sister, no articles of clothing were found, and also, the luggage was not “scattered”
- Detectives call the find suspicious, and also says Katelin would not normally travel through this area of the county.
Wednesday Dec 9
Police say there is so far no surveillance video of Katelin, or her stepdad, at either the mall or the Metro, but they have been able to corroborate that Akens’ stepdad’s car was in the area of the mall on Dec 5.
Saturday Dec 12
“Help Save The Next Girl”, family members, and volunteers, hands out more than 3000 flyers Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg to raise awareness about missing Katelin.
- Police cannot confirm whether Katelin was at the mall or if she even left Spotsylvania.
- Katelin’s stepfather has been interviewed by police. He has not been called a suspect or a person of interest in the case.
- Katelin’s disappearance has been called suspicious by the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.
- Police have said organized searches for Katelin are allowed.
Anyone with information regarding Katelin’s disappearance is asked to called the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 540-582-7115.
They can also call Spotyslvania Crime Solvers at 1-800-928-5822 or 1-540-582-5822 or text a tip by sending SEE911 to CRIMES (274637).