When a Bumpass woman mysteriously disappeared in 1995, her family was thrown into a tailspin that has yet to stop.
Where is she? Was she murdered, or did she just walk out on her family? These are just a few questions law enforcement and family members want answers to.
Donna Kay Gibson was last seen at her Rt. 601 residence in Louisa County on the night of Saturday, February 25, 1995. It has been 19 years since the children last saw their mother, and the impact of the situation has followed them into adulthood leaving them with anger and abandonment issues.
The Gibsons had lived in their home for approximately four years when Gibson, 32 at the time, disappeared without a trace.
Her son, Randy Fowler Jr., who was 12 at the time, said he got his bicycle that morning and went around the neighborhood asking people if they had seen his mother. He came up with the same answer from everyone he talked to, “No, we haven’t seen your mom.”
Gibson was reported missing later that day by her husband James. No clothing or other personal items were missing from the home and there was no evidence of a break-in or struggle.
One investigator believed at the time that Gibson may have gone outside with the intention of coming back into the house, but was unable to do so.
Eldest daughter Patricia was eight years old when Gibson vanished. She remembers sneaking into the kitchen early Sunday morning to get something to drink. It appeared that her mother, who had laryngitis, was sleeping on the couch. Patricia said she went back to bed. Hours later, she and her five-year-old sister Melissa went to wake up their mother because they wanted to watch the movie “Chucky.”
“I remember going in there and jumping on the couch to jump on her and I just sunk right through,” Patricia said.
Small things have bothered the Gibsons since that day. Their mother was a smoker, and her cigarette case was still in the house. According to Patricia, Gibson was “blind as a bat,” yet her contact lenses and glasses remained.
“Everything was left,” Patricia said. “She left in her nightgown and robe that she was wearing.”
Fowler said he did not hear anything that Saturday night. A light sleeper, he said from where his bedroom was located, he would have heard the floors creak if someone was walking around in the home. Now that he is older, Fowler said he believes there was foul play.
To read the entire story, see the June 26 edition of The Central Virginian.