Katelin Akens vanished without a trace after her former stepfather dropped her off at a Virginia mall.
Katelin Akens, 19, was visiting her home state of Virginia between December 1 and December 5, 2015, after her sister had a baby.
On December 5, she had a 5:40 p.m. flight out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Arizona, where she resided with her fiancée, Amber Rios.
Katelin and her former stepfather were on their way to the airport when Katelin asked him to drop her off at the Springfield Town Center in Springfield, Virginia, according to a text he sent at 1:52 p.m. to Lisa Sullivan, Katelin’s mother. Katelin then planned to take the metro train from the Franconia-Springfield stop near the mall to the airport to catch her flight. She had never taken the train on her own before.
Only eight minutes after Lisa received the text from her ex-husband, she received a text from Katelin: “I’m at the airport. Battery dying so won’t be able to text for a bit.” However, Katelin was not on the flight to Arizona and has not been seen since.
Amber also received a text in Arizona from Katelin at 11:56 a.m., saying, “Something came up, and I’m not coming back today. I’ll let you know when I get a new flight.”
At 7:15 p.m., Lisa received a final text from Katelin: “I’m staying with a friend. I need some time alone.”
The night before she disappeared, Katelin had attended a party with a longtime friend and the friend’s boyfriend. After a night of heavy drinking, the three had sex together. Katelin sent one of her close friends a text about it, and it sounded like the couple forced it on her. She was wracked with guilt, feeling like she cheated on Amber.
So, is it possible she ran away or was suicidal? Maybe.
Two days later, Katelin’s luggage was found in a drainage ditch on River Road near the Fredericksburg city limit. Inside the bags was an identification card, Katelin’s wallet, phone charger, Katelin’s old glasses, and her plane ticket from Arizona to Virginia. Amber’s credit card was also there, but Katelin’s clothing and her cellphone were missing.
The mall or metro surveillance cameras did not capture Katelin and her stepfather, only the stepfather’s car.
Police looked at cell phone records of Katelin and her stepfather, and they told a different story than what the stepfather told Lisa. When Lisa received the text from Katelin’s phone at 2:00 p.m. saying she was at the airport, Katelin’s cellphone pinged off a tower more than 30 miles from the Springfield Metro stop.
When Lisa’s ex-husband messaged Lisa at 1:52 p.m., saying he dropped Katelin off, police discovered his phone pinged close to his home in Partlow, nowhere near the airport or the mall. The same moment when Katelin sent Lisa a text saying she wanted to be alone, her cellphone pinged off a tower in Stafford, less than 15 miles from where her luggage was found.
The stepfather has refused to cooperate with the police. He will not take a polygraph test or give the password code to his phone so that they can search it. He also refuses to be interviewed by reporters.
There has been no evidence to suggest Katelin ever left Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Her family does not believe she embarked on her own. Katelin enrolled in cosmetology school before her trip to Virginia and was excited about starting her career. Besides, she was very close to her sister and in constant communication with her.
Katelin has blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs about 120 pounds and is 5’4″ tall. Investigators are urging anyone with information about her whereabouts to call police at 1-800-928-5822 or 540-582-5822.
Sources: Crime Watch Daily; NBC Washington; The Huffington Post; Facebook
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I think this case is a no-brainer. Who was the last person to see her? Who refuses to cooperate with the police? Who refuses to talk with reporters? The stepfather. If you have nothing to hide, you will cooperate and, at the very least, take a polygraph.
I also read where he told Lisa that he had to leave early on the day he had to take Katelin to the airport because he had to be at work at 3:00 p.m. Lisa checked with his employer, and he never made it to work that day.
The fact Katelin’s cellphone pinged off towers nowhere near the Springfield Metro stop tells me she never made it anywhere close to there. Someone on Websleuths (I got this from Katelin’s Facebook page) created a map of locations in this case, even the town where the stepfather lives. He lives in Partlow which is only a few miles from where the luggage was found.
I think her stepfather probably killed her. From what I understand, Katelin told friends he was a bit abusive, and she was not comfortable around him. Maybe he was a creepy perv, made a move on Katelin, she refused, and he raped and killed her out of anger at being rejected. OR they got into an argument, and he accidentally killed her.
What he did with her body is anybody’s guess, but if I were a betting woman, I’d bet her body lies buried in the woods within miles of his home.
I realize there is a slight chance she ran away out of guilt from the party the night before. But I think she would have contacted her family or Amber by now, and she has not. Some think the stepfather knew about her running away but not that she was going to dump the luggage. However, I think by now, he would have cooperated with the police if no crime had been committed. Therefore, I do not think she ran away.
What do you think happened to Katelin Akens?