Diane Webb was last seen in Phoenix, Arizona on May 6, 1959.
Diane was seen by her family on the day of her marriage to Bennie Milton Webb.
Prior to her ultimate disappearance, Diane had vanished before. While her parents were in the process of moving, Diane’s parents had allowed her to stay with Bennie (then her boyfriend) and to visit his parents in New Mexico. Several months passed with her family not hearing from her. She was eventually found safe and returned to her parents.
But she wasn’t there for long. About a week later, she went to Phoenix to stay with Bennie again, following an announcement that she was pregnant and was going to marry Bennie. Diane’s father was very upset, and did not attend the wedding, but Diane’s mother and a sibling did travel to Indio, California to attend the small ceremony.
Diane would frequently write letters at first, but then the letters stopped. The final letter was sent on August 22, 1959, her younger sister’s birthday. The envelope contained a card and a couple handkerchiefs, which her sister still has.
About a year later, Diane’s parents received a letter from Bennie, addressed to Diane. This set off red flags. Diane’s mother opened the letter and it appeared that Bennie thought Diane was with them. Her mother wrote back asking what happened to Diane. He indicated that he had put her on a bus because she wanted to stay with her family for awhile. He seemed surprised to learn that Diane wasn’t there.
He claimed in a letter that he had received a letter from Diane since she’d gotten on the bus. The letter apparently stated that she had lost the baby. Bennie suggested that her parents contact a friend of Diane’s in California; that this friend may know her whereabouts.
After a time, Diane’s father traveled to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where Bennie was then living. Bennie’s uncle was a sheriff in the town at the time, and he ran Diane’s father off and threatened him not to come back.
In more recent years, thanks to the persistence of Diane’s younger sister, Terri, and the help of internet sleuths, the long cold case was being looked into again. Bennie had been located in Utah, and detectives went there to talk to him. He claimed that he remembered Diane but didn’t remember marrying her. Then he stopped cooperating and refused to take a polygraph.
In August 1961, two years after she sent her last letter, someone using Diane’s name (which isn’t all that uncommon of a name so could be someone else entirely) visited a dentist in California.
There have been no other leads as to her whereabouts.
Both of Diane’s parents are now deceased. Her siblings continue to seek answers.
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