Home » Virginia Rambus, 19: Vanished In Her Own Apartment Complex
Things didn’t seem out of the ordinary for Virginia Rambus on May 20, 1985. She was at her Seattle, Washington, apartment in the 6800 block of south 123rd Street that evening, getting ready for a party less than 10 minutes away from her home. She was last seen leaving her residence around 8:00 p.m. before making her way to her co-worker’s apartment that was in the same complex. Although she didn’t have far to go, Virginia never made it to her destination and hasn’t been seen or heard from again.
The 19-year-old reportedly didn’t give any indication that she did not intend on returning home and like many other stories of missing persons, the case of Virginia Rambus soon went cold. In the years that followed, police reported that several other women around Virginia’s age went missing from the Seattle area and authorities speculated that some of those cases were tied to a possible serial killer. Many of those missing women, however, were involved in prostitution and because Virginia was not tied to sex work, it was believed that she wasn’t a victim of the same perpetrator.
As if this tale wasn’t already shrouded in enough mystery, authorities were able to tie a man named Jesse Pratt, also known as “The Candy Man” in his neighborhood, to Virginia. He reportedly lived in her apartment complex and was well-known to the teens in the area. In 1980, five years before Virginia went missing, Pratt was arrested for an assault against his ex-girlfriend. According to reports, Pratt and an accomplice tied up the woman’s co-workers, kidnapped her, and fled to Eugene, Oregon, about five hours away. It was there that she was able to make her escape.
Pratt reportedly took a plea deal for three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. Although he was sentenced to 10 years, it is unclear exactly how much time he served before being released. Then, in 1986, one year after Virginia Rambus vanished, Pratt was arrested for the murder of Seattle resident Carrie Love. For that crime, Pratt was sentenced to death, however, that was later commuted to life in prison. You can read court documents related to that case here.
At the time of her disappearance, Virginia Rambus stood 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Virginia often went by her middle name, “Anne.” She was last seen wearing jeans, a white pullover sweater, and black cowboy boots. Her dental records and DNA are on file. Virginia would be 56-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-4155 or their local authorities. The agency case number is 85-097654
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