Michelle Frances Loran (Jul. 31, 1971 – Oct, 1990)

The Daily News/Michelle Frances LoranMichelle Frances Loran (19), a young mother, went missing in the early morning hours of October 28, 1990. Around 2am, she was last seen at the Interstate 5 underpass a few blocks from her home in Kelso, Kalama, Cowlitz County, Washington.

Michelle was returning home from a party. A man called Marty Ogden (31) gave her a ride home. He is the last person to see Michelle alive. Ogden was one of several “persons of interest” but was not arrested.

From the few newspaper articles about Michelle’s case I learned the following:

  1. Michelle is described as “a physically challenged person.” It is not specified what that means.
  2. Ogden said that he and Michelle had dated occasionally but he thought of her like a sister. Michelle’s mother on the other hand said that her daughter was afraid of Ogden and would never travel with him.
  3. The papers said that Michelle asked to be dropped off a few blocks from home to avoid that Howard Teel, her boyfriend and father of her baby, would get jealous.

Michelle Frances Loran/Grid AdSMichelle’s skull was found in April 1996 in the woods east of I-5, Kalama, Washington. Another news article states her “bones” were found but also that “the rest of her body and lower mandible are still missing.”

What is clear is that we have incomplete remains. She was identified by dental records. Michelle had a non-cemetery burial service. Her available remains were not returned to her family. Police is quoted saying “Loran died by means of foul play.”

Michelle’s disappearance isn’t the only unsolved case from that area. In chronological order:

  • Kelly Diane Sims (27) from Kelso was last seen on Oct 16, 1990. She was 5 feet, 4 inches, 130 pounds; brown eyes; brown hair parted in middle; shoulder-length, and mother of three.
  • Michelle Frances Loran (19) from Kalama was last seen on Oct 28, 1990.  She was 5 feet, 8 inches, about 112 pounds; shoulder-length or longer brown hair; left eye blue, right eye is brown, and mother of one.
  • Phylis Ellen Lewellen (36) from Kelso was last seen on Dec 27, 1996.  She was 5 feet, 6 inches, blue-green eyes, long strawberry blond hair, and mother of two.
  • Vicki Garcia (26) from Kelso was last seen on Oct 3, 1999. She was 5 feet tall, 150 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes, and mother of four.

All women were of petite to medium height. Three had shoulder-length or longer hair. All four were mothers. Not surprisingly, police looked at the Green River Killer a.k.a. Gary Ridgway. However, they didn’t find a connection to him nor do they have solid evidence that these disappearances are related.

Local authorities “worked with the Green River Task Force years ago on the timeline” said Chief Criminal Deputy Dave Bodine of the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.  Local missing women cases were entered into the Homicide Identification and Tracking System (HITS) through the state Attorney General’s office, he said.

If you have any information about Michelle Frances Loran or the other three women, please call the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) at 577-3092; the Kelso Police Department at 423-1270; the Kalama Police at 673-2165; or Crime Stoppers at 577-1206.

Michelle’s case number with CCSO is #90-11862

Resources:

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Department, Washington

The Daily News 

Find-a-Grave