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Willie Ann Rucker, age 27, was last seen in Waterloo, Iowa on April 8, 1979.

There are slightly conflicting stories about the events leading up to her disappearance.  Iowa Cold Cases reports that Willie called her sister from a grocery store after working late, and asked her sister to pick up the children and bring them back to her apartment. (I took this to mean that the children were with Willie at the grocery store, but it could be that she was not with her children and asked her to pick them up elsewhere)

The New York Times states that Willie left her children with a babysitter and never returned.

Willie’s youngest child, a son, who was only a year old at the time of her disappearance, was always told that his mother had died in an auto accident – it wasn’t until he attended a family reunion during his college years that he learned the truth.

Willie’s children were raised by relatives following Willie’s disappearance, and her relatives believed that an ex-boyfriend (or possibly current boyfriend) was responsible for her disappearance.  She had reportedly called police just days before, stating that her boyfriend was ‘scaring her’.

This 2007 update from KCRG states:

Waterloo Police Investigator Robert Duncan says his department recently submitted evidence to the Division of Criminal Investigation from a 1979 missing person’s case, and got a male DNA profile back. Duncan says times have certainly changed since the original detective conducted interviews and collected evidence.
 
“At that time he thought that the gentlemen did commit the murder there just wasn’t enough evidence to link him to it at the time,” says Duncan.
 
Willie Ann Rucker, a mother of three, went missing in 1979, just days after calling police to say her boyfriend was scaring her. Nobody has seen or heard from her since. Waterloo police are just waiting on additional DNA evidence to come back.  It’s evidence they say could tie their suspect to the crime.
 
Duncan says it’s fairly simple. “Testimony from victims or witnesses they can maybe lie a little bit or change their story, but DNA doesn’t lie.”
This was in 2007, I truly hope they are not still waiting 6 years later – but I haven’t been able to find any recent updates.    What happened??

It also appears that no DNA sample has been submitted to NamUs for comparison with unidentifieds, and I do hope that one of her children will submit a sample.

It just so happens that there are only two female unidentified remains listed in the State of Iowa.   This could mean that Iowa is very good at identifying their remains, or it could mean that they’re very poor at getting them listed.   Of the two that are listed, neither are likely to be Willie Rucker.

I hope her family can find out what happened to her – and where she is.

Sources:

The Charley Project

New York Times

Iowa Cold Cases

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3 thoughts on “Willie Rucker

  1. This is a little off topic but I just wanted to say why I care so much about missing kids and family members. About 20 years ago I saw a show right after I had my son about a mom whos son was missing. This little boy went for a bike ride with his friends and a guy stopped in a truck and told one of the kids to get in or he would kill his friends, so he did. He was never seen again. The mom never changed her address or phone number and left her porch light on every night in case he found his way home in the dark. In the interview she said she searched everday and couldn’t stop because if she found him how could she ever look him in the face and tell him she stopped looking. I never forgot that and this is why people on this blog especially the angel that runs it and the people that care so much to comment on here are so important! So hopefully these kids and missing persons can see a porch light to bring them home!

  2. Doe network only has 1 jane doe listed from Iowa. I think your right either everbody gets identified in Iowa or they don’t list them. I checked Jane Does in all the states surrounding Iowa but none match Willie. The comment from the investigator sounds like they know she was murdered not just missing. He says the gentleman did commit the murder there was just no evidence to link him. I hope for her sons sake that this can be solved.

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