The Bizarre Case Of Tammy Lynn Leppert's Disappearance

Tammy Lynn Leppert was an 18-year-old model and actress from Rockledge, Florida, who went missing on July 6, 1983. She was exposed to the limelight at a young age and participated in a beauty pageant at just 4 years old. From the beginning, it was apparent that Leppert was destined to be a star. Her mother — Linda Curtis — was a talent agent who supported her child's interests. According to Medium, Leppert had participated in almost 300 beauty pageants, and of those, she won 280.

As she grew up, Leppert realized that she wanted to be more than a pageant queen. She aspired to be an actress and was successful in securing small roles in the movies "Little Darlings," "Spring Break," and the Al Pacino movie "Scarface." Her dream of making it big in Hollywood was slowly materializing, but it was cut short when she disappeared in 1983, and she has never been seen since.

Circumstances surrounding her disappearance

On July 6, 1983, Tammy Lynn Leppert left her home at Rockledge before noon and bid farewell to her mother, Linda Curtis. She told her that she would be spending the day at Cocoa Beach with her friend, Keith Roberts. Leppert was expected to return home that same day, but she didn't, and that was the last time Curtis saw her daughter (via Charley Project). According to reports, Roberts and Leppert never made it to Cocoa Beach.

On the way to the beach, the two had an argument, and Roberts ended up dropping off Leppert at the parking lot of a known landmark in Cocoa Beach called the Glass Bank. That was her last known location, but according to Morbidology, the teen made phone calls to her aunt Ginger Kolsch's workplace from a public phone near the bank. However, Kolsch wasn't present at work during that time and only received messages from her niece that were described as urgent. Leppert also phoned a friend named Ron Abeles, but he, too, wasn't able to take the call. It isn't known what happened to Leppert afterward.

Information uncovered about Tammy Lynn Leppert

Tammy Lynn Leppert was reported missing on July 11. Investigators dug deep in order to find clues about her disappearance. Those close to the aspiring actress said that she had been exhibiting strange behavior ever since she came back from filming a movie. Reports say, per Medium, that Leppert attended a party after filming wrapped, and when she came back home to Florida, she started acting paranoid. Leppert told her mother that someone was trying to kill her, and she refused to eat prepared food because she feared it was poisoned. Linda Curtis tried to get more information out of her daughter, but Leppert didn't say anything else, as she was in fear of her life.

Worried about her daughter's wellbeing, Curtis admitted Leppert to a 72-hour psychiatric hold at a mental health facility to try and find out what was going on with her. According to the Charley Project, psychiatrists weren't able to find anything wrong with Leppert, and alcohol and drug tests also came back negative. Keith Roberts told the authorities that Leppert allegedly confided in him about leaving home and wanted him to drive her to Fort Lauderdale. However, Roberts said that he could only drive her to Cocoa Beach, and that was what sparked the fight between them. Leppert told him to let her out of his vehicle, and according to him, that was the last time he saw her (via Morbidology).

Did she run away?

There were no clues that led to Tammy Lynn Leppert's whereabouts, and investigators were at an impasse. Two years after her disappearance, detectives at Cocoa Beach received two phone calls from an unknown woman who claimed that Leppert was alive. In the first phone call, the woman said that Leppert was well and would contact authorities "when the time was right." In the second call, detectives were told that Leppert was going to school in order to pursue a career in nursing (via Crime Blogger). There was no contact from Leppert or from the unknown woman after that second call.

One of the detectives who worked on Leppert's case, David Bartman, said he believed that the aspiring actress left on her own. "Foul play is not suspected and there is no indication Leppert was taken anywhere against her will," he stated. To some, the idea that Leppert ran away to become a nurse was unlikely, as she only ever wanted to be an actress.

Theories and rumors

Keith Roberts was the last known person to see Tammy Lynn Leppert, and he was investigated by detectives. There are some who think that Roberts knows more about Leppert's disappearance than he shared, but there's no proof. Authorities asked him to take a polygraph test, but he refused, and he also refused formal interviews from the investigators, according to Medium. Investigators concluded that there was no evidence of foul play, and Roberts was never named as an official suspect.

There were two known killers who were active at the time of Leppert's disappearance, and the possibility of one of them being responsible for the teen's disappearance was also investigated. Christopher Wilder, who was convicted of at least eight murders, lured his targets by promising modeling jobs. However, there was no evidence to support that Leppert was one of his victims. Wilder died in 1984. The other man, John Brennan Crutchley, was a rapist and serial killer who was suspected of murdering as many as 30 women in Florida. He died by suicide in 2002, and per Morbidology, investigators never found evidence linking Leppert to Crutchley as well.

Another theory is that Leppert was abducted and killed by an unknown individual. This theory is based on Leppert's unusual behavior and paranoia after she attended the wrap party. Leppert's friend, Rick Adams, stated that Leppert told him that she witnessed something she shouldn't have, and that may have been what led to her disappearance.

Tammy Lynn Leppert's case remains a mystery

To this day, Tammy Lynn Leppert's case is still unsolved. Throughout the years, Linda Curtis believed that her daughter was abducted and killed due to her knowledge about drug operations and money laundering activities in Florida, though there has never been any evidence to support her claim, as reported by Charley Project. Curtis died in 1995 not knowing what happened to her daughter.

Leppert's sister, Suzanne, maintains a Facebook page dedicated to finding out what happened to her sister. Just like her mother, Suzanne believes that Leppert is no longer alive, but she wants to know what happened to her and have closure. And since her body has never been found, there is always that small chance that she could still be alive. Suzanne worked with authorities to provide age-progression photos of Leppert in hopes that someone can help identify her if she's still alive.