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Lillian Richey, age 51, disappeared from Nampa, Idaho on February 9, 1964.

She was last seen after going out to the Ranch nightclub in Garden City, Idaho.

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She had dinner and drinks with two men from California that were visiting Idaho for a cattleman’s convention. She left the club with one of the men, who had offered to give her a ride home.

They traveled back to Lillian’s home on Sherman Avenue in Nampa in Lillian’s car, arriving around 2:00am.  He then took her car back to his hotel in Boise, Idaho and agreed to return the car the following morning. He said he would bring his friend to give him a ride back to Boise.

According to the man, Lillian invited him and his friend to stay for breakfast when they came back to return the car.

A light was seen on in Lillian’s kitchen by a neighbor that night, and her car was seen driving away, but when the man returned her car later that morning with his friend, Lillian was not home.

They parked the car in Lillian’s garage, which they found open, and knocked on the door with no response.  One of the men tried the doorknob and found it unlocked.  He called out to her, and when he heard no answer from her, he closed the door and left a note.  The two men then left.

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After trying searches for a few other possibilities such as Tosley, Tooley and Tosby, I am fairly confident that this note bears the signature of Arthur Tooby, a Humboldt County, California cattle rancher.  According to his obituary, he was a member of a Cattleman’s association, which fits with him attending the convention.

I haven’t found any indication that he was anything other than an upstanding citizen.

She was reported missing when she failed to report to work at Bullock’s Jewelry the day after she disappeared.

Police found the home undisturbed.  While the black dress she’d worn to the nightclub could not be found in the house, a wrap she’d worn over it was located in her closet.  A few other items were said to be missing from her home, including a plaid dress, a white coat, an additional purse and a book titled A Man Named Peter.  However, it’s unclear who provided this information to police, as Lillian lived alone.  It could be that she had simply discarded these items prior to that night.  Plane tickets she had purchased to visit her son were found in her home.  Police did obtain fingerprints, but they did not lead to identification of a suspect.

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The two men who had brought the car to her home were questioned extensively, and passed polygraphs.  Police do not believe they were responsible for her disappearance.

Although there has never been a credible lead in her disappearance, police have done what they could over the years.  As recently as 2018, they brought cadaver dogs and ground penetrating radar to the Nampa School District Office.  This led to indications that there could be a body present, and an excavation followed.

The building is just blocks from Lillian’s former residence, and was a construction site in 1964.  Rumors have persisted over the years that her remains were beneath the building.

Unfortunately, nothing was found.  I think it’s impressive that they are still making an effort, especially since Lillian would be 105 if still alive.

Lillian was widowed and lived alone at the time of her disappearance.   She had two adult sons, at least one of whom is still living and was present at the search last year.

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Sources:

Idaho Press

KTVB

KIVI TV

Websleuths

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One thought on “Lillian Richey

  1. This is a very weird disappearance. There’s nothing wrong with the house, no sign of a struggle, she wasn’t involved in any illegal activities and she wasn’t mentally ill (at least, we don’t have any reason to think that).
    I think that she died accidentally the very same night she disappeared and maybe someone hid the body or she fell somewhere. She spent the night in a night club, so it’s probable she drank. Maybe she fell at home and hit her head: if she was alone, she may have walked disoriented and died somewhere; if someone was with her, the other person may have panicked and hid the body…
    I really think this wasn’t the product of a crime.

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