Home » Thwana Darrough, 16: Last Seen Waiting For School Bus In 1989
Laying in the southern region of Arkansas is the small town of El Dorado. The city boasts a population of approximately 20,000 and has seen its fair share of scandals, many of them in connection to tense race relations throughout history. In 1989, El Dorado was once again hit with controversy after 16-year-old Thwana Darrough vanished without a trace, leaving authorities speculating over what could have happened to the teenager all those years ago.
On January 11, 1989, Thwana woke up early in the morning, as teens do, and got ready for school. She attended El Dorado High School and went on about her day as she normally would, but something occurred that morning that would stump investigators for decades. According to reports, it was sometime after 7:00 a.m. when Thwana Darrough was seen by witnesses waiting for her school bus. However, Thwana never made it to school and she hasn’t been seen or heard from again.
Her mother, Edwina Austin, reported her missing that same day. A month after Thwana went missing, police received an anonymous tip from someone saying that there was evidence that could help with the case in a community in Smithville, Arkansas, about four to four and a half hours away from El Dorado. It is unclear what that may have been and why that location was tied to Thwana, but reports state that police had previously searched there prior to the tip’s arrival. Thwana’s case is reportedly being handled as a non-family abduction—or authorities believe she was kidnapped.
In 2018, Captain Kevin Holt reflected on this case, recalling that it was at an early stage in his career.
“We were told, ‘Hey, get out and canvas the neighborhood. Ask anybody moving did they see anything. Did they see which way she walked to the bus stop, which way she might have walked away from the bus stop?'” said Holt at the time. “We did that for weeks after the initial case was filed just to find out if anybody might have been coming through the area that day that we didn’t talk to previously. It was an all-out effort.”
“No one could understand how that could happen in our city, but it did. That’s the reason we would really love to bring this case to a close.” Holt also promises that no matter how much time has passed they’ll never give up on seeking answers. However, at this stage, investigators are relying on someone in the community, or beyond, to speak up on behalf of Thwana Darrough and share any information they may have about her disappearance.
At the time of her disappearance, Thwana Darrough stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 125 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. She had a scar on the bottom of her right foot. Thwana was last seen wearing a turquoise shirt, a white turtleneck sweater, and a white mini-skirt. Her nickname was “Wanda” and her middle name is “Mithsell.” Thwana would be 49-years-old at the time of this publication. Her dental records and fingerprints are not on file, but her DNA is available.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the El Dorado Police Department at (870) 881-4800 or their local authorities. The agency case number is 8901157.
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