Diane Genice Dye, age 13, went missing from San Jose, California on July 30, 1979.
Diane disappeared after announcing to a family friend that she was going to run away. Not permanently, she said – but just for a few days, as a last ditch effort to prevent her parents from going through with their impending divorce.
While there have been several credible sightings of Diane since her disappearance, the details of these glimpses are vague and they lead to more questions, but no answers.
There were also indications that Diane may have been in danger. It is believed that she was associating with an older, troubled boy named Doug around the time of her disappearance. Diane’s family members believe she had a crush on him, but recall that she was forbidden to see him after her brother learned that he was involved in criminal activity. At the time, Doug was staying in a home on Oak Glen Road in Morgan Hill, California, with a juvenile probation officer who had taken him in. It was in a sparsely populated area in the hills between San Jose and downtown Morgan Hill. Diane had told a friend that she planned on “going to the mountains for a few days”, which supports the theory that Doug’s home may have been her destination.
Among a whole list of possible scenarios, it had long been considered that Doug may have harmed her. This theory was brought to the forefront when Doug was convicted of an unrelated murder in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison.
After comparing the known timelines for Diane and Doug, it’s unlikely that he physically harmed her, although it’s highly possible that he steered her into a world where she was in way over her head.
Shortly after Diane disappeared, she was seen by a neighbor – she was in their neighborhood, and with a blonde girl approximately her age, who lived on Felder Drive. The neighbor could not recall the name of the blonde girl, or the exact location where Diane was seen. This information was gathered recently, and the neighbor claims that this sighting was reported to police at the time.
Diane’s family member recalls hearing of a sighting at a Jack In The Box in the area. This information was given to Diane’s family by police back in 1979, and her family does not know who reported this information. It’s likely that this sighting and the one above are one and the same.
In December 1981, a male classmate of Diane’s says that he saw her at the Serramonte Mall in Daly City, California. He says that he spoke with her, and that she told him she didn’t want to go home. We do not know who this classmate was, or who Diane was with, if anyone, at the time of this sighting.
At some point after this sighting, someone claimed to have spent time with her in Weimar, California.
It is worth noting that much of the investigation into Diane’s case did not occur until several years after her disappearance. Due to her being a runaway, her case was not investigated thoroughly back in 1979. It was in 1982, when the body of an unidentified teenage girl was found in Blairstown, New Jersey, that Diane’s case saw a renewed interest. It was actually New Jersey State Police who conducted the bulk of the investigation into Diane’s disappearance. It was then that her case began to be publicized nationwide, and people started to come forward. Along with the sightings listed above, there were some less credible sightings: one claimed she was working in an Atlantic City casino, another claimed she was a prostitute working in New York.
The unidentified teenage girl was eventually ruled out as being Diane. She is still unidentified, and is nicknamed Princess Doe.
Doug’s timeline is a bit more detailed than Diane’s. As I mentioned earlier, he was staying with a juvenile probation officer in the foothills of Morgan Hill in July of 1979.
A nearby home on Oak Glen in Morgan Hill was burglarized sometime between July 9 and July 18 of that same year.
On July 20, the probation officer left town for 5 days, leaving Doug at the home alone.
On July 22, a neighbor of the probation officer reported that she gave Doug a ride to San Jose. He had with him a portable TV/radio, which was one of the items stolen from the burglarized home.
On July 25, when the probation officer returned from his trip, he found guns and a green tackle box in his crawl space. These items were also stolen from the burglarized home. The probation officer turned Doug in to police, and he was arrested shortly after. (Exact date unknown). He wasn’t released until November 13.
This tells me that he was either already incarcerated when Diane went missing on the 30th, or was arrested very shortly after. And since there are credible sightings as late as 1981, I think the possibility of her being immediately harmed by Doug are very slim.
When Doug was released in November 1979, he stayed with a good samaritan named Adrian Hodges in Sunnyvale. Hodges worked at the jail and often allowed recently released inmates to stay with him until they got on their feet.
Doug was arrested again in June 1980, on a probation violation involving stolen property and car theft.
Also in June 1980, Doug was found staying in a vacant home in San Jose. A neighbor of the vacant home offered to help him, buying him lunch and dinner, and listening to Doug tell his story of homelessness and lack of work. When this neighbor went to the movies with his family, however, he found his home had been broken into and his motorcycle stolen.
The following day, Doug was pulled over while riding the motorcycle in Mendocino County, California. He had a young male with him. He was convicted of the motorcycle burglary in September of 1980 and incarcerated again.
He was arrested on various automobile theft charges throughout 1981 and 1982.
In 1983, he murdered Adrian Hodges, the man who had let Doug stay with him back in 1979. The motive was simply that Hodges would not allow Doug to take his car. He has been in prison ever since.
Diane was not with him in any of these times and places.
Diane’s family and friends really want to know what happened to Diane. They just can’t imagine that she’d have stayed away this long voluntarily.
Diane’s mother is now deceased, but her father, brother, and several friends continue to search for her.
We’d like to identify a girl named Lisa who was friends with Diane at the time, to see if she might have any idea where Diane would have gone. She may have been part of the Santa Teresa High School Class of 1984. We’ve tried contacting all the Lisa’s we could find in the yearbook but have been unsuccessful in locating the right Lisa.
Billboard #1 song on the day Diane disappeared: