“I want her found, either way. I want her found for my family, and I want her found for her. I want her to know she matters, that she’s not just a transient person they could just take advantage of and nobody’s going to do anything. I want those people looking over their shoulders every day until we find my daughter.”
-Scott Stouffer, Kortne's father
It was the 28th of July 2012. A Saturday. Twenty one year old Kortne Stouffer had the evening off work. Kortne lived in an apartment in Main Street in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, United States with her boyfriend Brad Herr. Kortne was really enjoying her life. She loved the freedom she had and was exploring different career choices. She was working as a hairstylist and a dog groomer. The jobs combined her two great loves-beauty and animals. She also did a bit of modeling. In her spare time though, she loved to party. She was feisty and direct. And she was constantly making new friends, friends that her parents didn't know a lot about.
Kortne's parents, Scott and Wendy, divorced in 2005. Kortne was the youngest of five children and even after the divorce, they all remained close.
That day, the 28th of July, Kortne and her boyfriend had a few friends over in their second floor apartment. They were drinking and had music on. A probation officer called to the apartment. Kortne's boyfriend was on house arrest and probation for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs while underage. As there was alcohol in the house, he was arrested.
Kortne called Wendy. She was furious that he had been arrested as she was afraid that it would mean that he would receive a lengthy prison sentence. She was angry at her neighbors as she believed that one of them reported her for having the party and that was why the probation officer called to the apartment.
Kortne Stouffer's parents-Scott Stouffer and Wendy Stouffer
Kortne decided to meet up with a few friends to try to take her mind off of it and she went to a few different Harrisburg night spots with friends. But being out with friends did not calm her down. In fact it made her worse. At one of the bars they went to, Kortne argued with a man and his girlfriend and as a result she was asked to leave the bar.
Two of Kortne's friends, Milton Rodriguez Jr and Cody Pruett, gave her a lift home. Milton was dropped off first as he lived a few blocks from Kortne's apartment. It was around 2am at that point. When Cody and Kortne got back to her apartment complex, Kortne saw several of the neighbors in the first floor apartment. Kortne began shouting at them, she was annoyed as she believed that her boyfriend was incarcerated due to one of them. Two of her neighbors, Janice Riemenschneider and Rich Sheetz, who lived in the apartment below Kortne’s, claimed they saw Kortne kick and swing at Todd Saksek. Todd lived in the other half of the duplex. Cody tried to break up the altercation. But they claimed that Cody was also hostile towards them. Janice and Rich went back inside their apartment and called the police.
Police arrived after 3am and were at the complex until almost 4am. They waited until all of the neighbors went inside their own apartments. When they left, they received another call, this time from Todd, less than 30 minutes later. Todd claimed that Kortne was stomping on her apartment floor which caused a lot of noise in Todd's apartment.
Police went back to the apartment complex. It was around 4.30am. But when they got there, there was no noise. Everything was quiet. They went up to Kortne's apartment and the lights were off so they didn't knock. They went down to Todd's apartment and knocked on the door but there was no answer. They left.
A few hours later, at 7.30am, Cody woke up. Cody claimed that when he went to sleep, Kortne was in the apartment but when he woke up she was gone. He left the apartment and went to a convenience store close by and sent her a text message.
A surveillance camera recorded him buying food and a drink at the store and texting Kortne. He told Kortne that he couldn't find her when he awoke and would see her later.
But Kortne never read that text. Her cell phone was in the apartment. That day, the 29th of July, was a Sunday and Kortne had plans to go to the fair with her brother and grandfather. Her brother told their mother later that evening that Kortne did not show up. Wendy was worried.
The next morning, the Monday morning, Wendy went to Kortne's apartment. Her car was outside. Wendy walked straight into the apartment as it was unlocked and Kortne’s dog,a black Labrador named Sheba, greeted her at the door. That was when Wendy knew that something serious must have happened. Kortne took her dog everywhere with her. Wendy saw Kortne's keys. They were thrown on the floor where they normally would be and it appeared that Kortne had kicked off her shoes as she normally did when she got home as they were in the same place that they usually were. The AC and TV were on but there was nothing to indicate where Kortne was.
Kortne was reported missing and police searched her apartment. There were no signs of any foul play.
Police searched the lake but nothing was found.
To date, no trace of Kortne has ever been found. It is a perplexing case. She seemingly disappeared sometime between the hours of 4am and 7.30am. But the really strange aspect of the case is that apparently nobody saw or heard anything. The neighbors and Cody were awake just before 4am so even if they went to sleep after 4am, how did they not hear anything at all? Her apartment had no signs that a crime had taken place there but a rug was missing. Todd heard noises from the apartment and he believed they were to antagonize him, but what if the noises were caused by something more sinister? Was Kortne attacked inside her own apartment? Or did Kortne slip out of the apartment in the dead of night and come to harm? She had enemies. She fought with her neighbors and people that night at the bar and it was reported that she owed money to another man. Is her disappearance connected to drugs?
Kortne has a tattoo on her right arm that reads "One Love," a tattoo on the top of her right foot of three stars, and a tattoo on her left side of a pistol shooting flowers. Kortne's family is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. If you have any information on Kortne’s disappearance, please call Sgt. Dipalo at 717-228-4403. You can also submit a tip anonymously online at https://tips.fbi.gov/.
Kortne Stouffer's Tattoos
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"The criminal justice system will take a hard look at what happened to Matthew Eappen. It is up to the rest of us to take an even harder look at who is minding our children."
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