A weekend in Santa Barbara, California is the backdrop for a mystery that has haunted authorities for decades. It was on December 6, 1992, that 29-year-old Stanford University graduate Nancy Branch was making her way home back to Palo Alto, California with her fiancé Kevin Clarke (31) along with newlyweds Alan Stewart (29) and Amy Haxton Stewart (31). Amy, a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, had reportedly married Alan only six weeks prior. The pair had plans of honeymooning in South Africa one month later.
The foursome of friends made their way to the Santa Barbara Airport in order to make it back to Palo Alto so that one of the couples could purchase their Christmas tree. They boarded a single-engine Piper Archer airplane and according to The Charley Project, the last time there was communication from the plane was eight minutes later.
The pilot didn’t alert anyone that there were problems with the aircraft, although the weather was described as “treacherous.” The plane never arrived in Palo Alto and while there were searches conducted by professionals near and far, there was no indication that the plane had any sort of accident. “Investigators received a tip that it had crashed somewhere near the Big Basin area of California, but no evidence was discovered,” TCP writes. It’s believed that everyone on board is deceased, but they’ve remained missing persons because this mystery hasn’t uncovered remains of either the persons involved or the aircraft.
For context, the drive from Santa Barbara to Palo Alto is about five and a half hours.
At the time of her disappearance, Nancy was 5 feet 3 inches tall and 120 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Menlo Park Police Department at (650) 330-6343.
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