Karen Louise Wilson  **  Albany, NY

Karen Louise Wilson

Missing since March 27, 1985 from Albany, Albany County, New York.
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: February 10, 1963
Age at Time of Disappearance: 22 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'3; 114 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown, shoulder length hair; brown eyes. May have been wearing glasses.
Clothing: A cream colored 3/4 length raincoat; light blue short sleeve pullover Izod shirt, faded blue Levis jeans, and white sneakers. Also a 14 karat ring with a blue Zircon stone and diamonds and a Seiko watch with a black face; plastic earrings; and a two strand yellow and white necklace. She had a grey cloth pocketbook with her which contained a blue nylon wallet with velcro closing, a white and green plastic bag from "Ups N Down", and a blue knapsack containg a yellow dress.
Dentals: Available
DNA: Available
Circumstances of Disappearance
Wilson was a full-time senior at New York State University - Albany.
She was last seen leaving The Tanning Hut at 1670 Central Avenue in Colonie, NY on March 27, 1985. She left the business at approximately 19:20. Another sighting of Wilson was reported at Fuller Road shortly thereafter.

Wilson has never been seen or heard from again. Police have been unable to track any of her personal possessions which were with her at the time of her disappearance. Extensive searches have been conducted, all sightings have been thoroughly investigated and all leads pursued. Foul play is suspected.

If you have any information on this case, please contact:
New York State Police
Troop G, Loudonville

Agency Case Number:
GADM00168; 85-445

NCIC Number:
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information: New York State Police Department

Views: 941


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Comment by Brenda on September 3, 2011 at 7:51am
Comment by Brenda on March 27, 2011 at 9:19pm
missing 26 years today..
Comment by Joanne on March 22, 2011 at 5:46am

composite sketch of person seen in area at the time of Karen's disappearance


Comment by Joanne on March 5, 2011 at 5:18pm
Karen was wearing a ring with a gold band and light blue (possibly Zircon) stone. Ring was purchased in late 1940s.
Comment by Joanne on March 5, 2011 at 5:10pm

Student's disappearance still a mystery

Albany Times Union
Carol DeMare

March 27, 2005

ALBANY - An eye-catching, poster-size photo of Karen Louise Wilson hangs high on a wall at the State Police Major Crimes Unit. It's there so investigators don't forget. 

At his Delmar home, retired University at Albany Police Chief Jim Williams keeps handy the Utah phone number of the student's parents. 
Because he will never forget.
Twenty years ago today, Karen Wilson disappeared without a trace. On March 27, 1985, the 22-year-old UAlbany senior, who was a state Assembly intern, visited a tanning salon in Colonie to prepare for spring break in Florida. 
She never made it home. 

Police theorize Wilson was snatched off the sprawling college campus as she headed to her Colonial Quad dorm. 

But investigators have had almost no clues to go on. 

Not a shred of clothing was found, nor the blue knapsack she usually had slung over her shoulder. 

"Nothing," Williams said. "She walked off the face of the Earth." 

What puzzles the 64-year-old former chief is: 

"Why no one has found her body.
Maybe they have, but for whatever reason, they have not reported it."
Still, whatever the answer, her parents, Taylor and Jennie Wilson, remember the happy times they shared with their daughter, an honor student who loved to bake chocolate chip cookies with her mother and wanted a career in the foreign service.
Their pain never lets go. 

"I never thought 20 years, when it happened, that 20 years later we still would not have a trace," Jennie Wilson said.
"I thought, at some point, her remains would be found, but that's not going to happen.
"In a lot of ways, it seems like it was yesterday," the 61-year-old mother said. 

"Nothing changes. 

The hurt is still the same, the situation is still the same, and I guess you think eventually you will die, and we still won't know anything." 

The Wilsons, both retired, have since returned to their native Utah. 

Taylor Wilson was a pilot, a lieutenant colonel stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base when their daughter enrolled at UAlbany, attracted by its political science program. 

"At some point, you have to go on. 

Sometimes you feel guilty - that you should be doing something - but after so long, you run out of ideas," said Taylor Wilson, 62. 

He retired from the military in 1989 and flew for American Eagle Airlines, retiring in late 2000. 

Karen Wilson, a cheerleader in junior high school, was 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 114 pounds and had shoulder-length, light brown hair and brown eyes. She would have turned 42 on Feb. 10. 

Her only sibling, a brother, Kim, is 18 months older and lives in California and works for a company that transports prisoners. 

The Wilsons cry at times, but they also find comfort in songs, such as "Walk Right Back to Me" by the Everly Brothers. 

It helps them think fondly of Karen. 

"If you dwell totally on what happened, it's a killer," her mother said. 

"We had to appreciate we had 22 years with this wonderful child. 

We were blessed; she was almost a perfect child, absolutely wonderful."
Even after two decades, State Police keep the case on the front burner. 

Last fall, while in Utah on another matter, Senior Investigator David Madden visited the Wilsons and got DNA swatches from them to turn over to the lab.
"Back then, DNA wasn't even a consideration," said Madden, who heads the Major Crimes Unit at Troop G in Loudonville. 

No DNA was taken from Wilson's belongings in her room.
Her disappearance deeply affected her closest friend and roommate, Margaret Carroll Cieprisz, 42.

She met Karen Wilson as a freshman.
"I am so angry that it happened," she said. "Somebody had done something to my best friend.
The anger is still very, very strong.

I don't know if that had a role in my becoming a (federal) prosecutor." 

The two had spent the previous summer working and traveling through Europe. 

At the time of Wilson's disappearance, they were getting ready for spring break.

 Airline tickets for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in hand, they planned to leave that weekend. 

Wilson's "to do" list included buying T-shirts for the trip and getting a head start on a tan.
That Wednesday, she left her internship for then-Democratic Assemblyman Samuel Colman of Spring Valley, changing from a yellow dress into jeans before boarding a bus to Colonie Center.
At the mall, she bought T-shirts, one red, one blue, according to a credit card receipt. 

Police believe she then walked to the Tanning Hut at 1670 Central Ave., now a parking lot. 

She'd taken the appointment of her roommate, who had a paper due.
"Barely a day goes by when I don't think about her," said Cieprisz, who lives in Manhattan with her husband and 9-month-old daughter, Natalie.
"It's not all sadness, but I think of the wonderful times. 

I'm very wistful of what could have been. 

I'm sure we would have been friends now."
Wilson was a Bruce Springsteen fan, played field hockey in high school and enjoyed experimenting with recipes she found in Seventeen magazine. 

She was open-minded about religion and attended a number of different churches with friends, her parents said.
Police initially thought she hopped a CDTA bus outside the salon, rode it to Fuller Road and then walked to the campus. 

But when investigators rode that Schenectady-to-downtown-Albany bus over and over, "nobody remembered Karen being on it, not the regular drivers, the regular passengers," Williams said.
Even Jennie Wilson and Cieprisz re-enacted the 30-minute tanning appointment, and it was determined Wilson would not have been able to make the bus, Williams said. 

So, she probably walked. 

"She was in good shape, and the weather was pleasant," said Williams, who retired nine years ago after 26 years on the job. 

"After the Tanning Hut, things are murky. 

We had a couple of sightings of her walking on Fuller Road." 

The best sighting came from the manager of the Rathskeller, a campus bar in a time when colleges had bars and you could drink at 19.
He knew Wilson and told police he saw a young woman in a tan raincoat with a belt and knapsack waiting for the light on the northwest corner of Washington Avenue Extension at Fuller Road, a quarter-mile from her dorm.
He couldn't see her face, but what he did see was perhaps more significant.

The person "did a little type of dance step," and it was something he had seen Wilson do in the bar, Williams noted.
If she had reached campus, it would have been close to 8 p.m., and "there was a path through some woods, and then she would have walked through the Colonial Quad parking lot" to her dorm, Williams said.
"I think somebody grabbed her in the parking lot. 

Somebody was just lucky. 

She didn't plan on walking home, so she couldn't have been stalked, we don't think." 

In the following weeks, numerous searches were conducted and thousands of fliers went out across the country. 

State Police, city police and deputies, using dogs, horses, helicopters and divers, were joined by hundreds of students, searching hundreds of acres on campus and along Fuller Road. 

Thousands of leads were run down over the years, and there were sightings of Wilson report ed in nearly all 50 states, Williams said.
In 1998, another UAlbany student disappeared on campus, Suzanne Lyall, a 19-year-old sophomore computer science major.
They don't know if Wilson's and Lyall's disappearances are related, but "if anything comes in on one, we look at it for the other," Madden said.

"She had everything going for her," Jennie Wilson said. "She could have had the world by the tail. 

She had wonderful friends, was doing well in school and had a great future ahead of her, we thought."


Comment by Brenda on February 10, 2011 at 2:00pm
Happy Birthday Karen..


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