Diana Braungardt, age 18, was last seen leaving the Venture Store (which later became K-Mart) in Crystal City, Missouri on March 11, 1987. She was employed there as a cashier, and was also a senior at Festus High School. As she was leaving work, she mentioned to coworkers that she needed to get home to study for a test.
She never made it home, and her family quickly knew something was wrong, as Diana would not have gone anywhere without notifying her parents that she would be late. They drove to the Venture Store and found her car parked in the store’s parking lot, but there was no sign of Diana.
Following Diana’s disappearance, a woman came forward with a statement that she had stopped in the Venture parking lot to change her baby’s diaper, and she believed she saw Diana speaking with an adult male. A sketch was drawn up based on her description, and a store employee said that someone who resembled the sketch was the last customer to go through Diana’s checkout line.
Police have interviewed a person of interest in Diana’s disappearance. He has not been named. He is currently in prison for an unrelated crime, and according to police, has not given them a reason to clear him.
Interestingly, there was a boy who went to Diana’s school, but was a couple years younger. He recalls the morning after her disappearance, when police showed up at their home to question his mother, who was also working at the Venture Store the night Diana vanished. That schoolmate of Diana’s is now the detective assigned to her case.
Diana Braungardt was adopted, but thankfully, there is DNA available for her. They must have either located a birth family member, or had something of Diana’s from which they could extract DNA.
I hope Diana can be found soon.