Just three days before the disappearance of one California girl, Jayme Closs, another Golden State teen vanished without a trace.
We all know that Jayme's story had a happy ending, but for the other missing girl, there are more questions than answers.
Now, a grieving family and an entire community are marking seven months since the mysterious disappearance of one of their own.
16-year-old Karlie Guse was last seen on October 12th, 2018, after spending a distressing night fighting off the ill effects of what is believed to have been ’tainted’ marijuana.
Last week marked the seven-month mark from when Karlie is thought to have vanished. It was also the missing teen’s 17th birthday.
Karlie spent a few hours on the evening of October 12th with a small group of friends who, reportedly engaged in smoking marijuana. Her companions told authorities that Karlie reacted badly and her behavior became erratic.
Karlie’s stepmother, Melissa Guse, relates the events of the hours leading up to the teen's disappearance, starting from when she was first notified of Karlie’s condition.
“Sometime just after 8 pm, a distressed Karlie called her stepmother, Melissa Guse –with whom she lived at a rural property outside the nearest town of Bishop, along with her father, Zac, and two younger brothers – to hurriedly come and collect her.”
Melissa reports that she got into her car immediately and started driving toward where Karlie told her she was.
“But as Melissa approached the location, she found Karlie already had left, and was frantically running on a dark lane.”
When Melissa finally tracked down her stepdaughter, she was alarmed at what she discovered.
“On the drive home, Karlie allegedly repeated she was scared, changed seats multiple times and was worried the vehicle would kill her.”
Once the pair arrived at home, Karlie continued to display disturbing behavior, apparently hallucinating.
“Once home, according to testimony given by her father Zac and stepmom Melissa, Karlie – whose pupils were hugely dilated – continued to express fear and referred to the lettuce in her salad as the ‘devil’s lettuce.’”
Fearful for Karlie’s well-being, Melissa stayed up the majority of the night talking with and listening to the terrified teen.
She even made a secret recording of Karlie and her ravings, planning to have the teen listen to herself in the morning to see what she sounded like under the influence.
But, they never got that chance. Melissa dozed off at some point during the night and woke up to find Karlie was gone.
“According to Melissa, she spent most of the night with Karlie before dozing off. She checked on her at 5.48 am and when she returned to her room roughly 90 minutes later – between 7.15 and 7.30 am – Karlie was nowhere to be found.”
There was one - and only one - clue.
“A fresh footprint – possibly Karlie’s – was found in their driveway that day.”
Police have used the tape recording to determine when the last “proof off life” occurred.
A former homicide detective and private investigator, Michael Boone, who obtained permission from Karlie’s mom, Lindsay Fairley, to talk to Fox News, said that the audio clip was the last ‘proof of life’ in which her voice was heard about 10.30pm that night.”
For the next two weeks, a massive search effort was conducted, but no sign of Karlie was found. Then, on October 25th, the ground search was officially concluded.
Since then, authorities have shifted their focus to a more subtle investigation format, relying on tips from those who know the girl and others who say they have information about the case.
Police have followed all leads, but so far, nothing has been linked to Karlie. They are not giving up, though, and will continue to investigate until they find out what happened the teen - one way or the other.
“We don’t want to compromise anything,” she said. “There are no suspects. Nobody has been ruled in, but nobody has been ruled out.”