Gone But Not Forgotten-Disappearances from 1970-1979

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Learn about the mysterious abduction of Andy Lepley on Memorial Day weakened 1976

Chapter 52 (v.1) - The Abduction of Andy Lepley

Submitted: April 15, 2019

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Submitted: April 15, 2019

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Disappearance of Andy Joe Lepley. (age 18)

Missing 05-30-1976 Colorado

 

Cases such as Andy's (as well as future cases that are yet to be covered in later books of the 1980s and 1990s) often make me worry for people who work at gas stations all by themselves either in the late night or early morning hours. It's a tough job working as a gas station attendant.

Andy Joe Lepley disappeared on May 30, 1976 from Colorado City, Colorado- it was Memorial Day weekend.  Andy reported to his job at the Texaco Station on Interstate 25 and Colorado 165 on May 30, and began his shift at around 6:15 am.  Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later, the gas station was found to be unattended. When police arrived, the saw signs that something had occurred.

Mkney was missing from the cash register. Other than the money, nothing else was missing from the station, except Andy himself.  His car was still parked at the station with the keys inside. It would appear then that Andy had been abducted from the station by whoever had robbed the place. 

Although nobody saw Andy being abducted, there are accounts of the description of his possible abductor.  It was a Caucasian male, middle aged with graying hair, about 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds.  This man was apparently driving a flashy car with a homemade tarp covering a plywood trailer.  It is unclear why this man was believed to be Andy's abductor. Did someone see this man enter the gas station around 6:15 am? It is also unclear why no one claimed to have seen this man and his flashy car with the trailer. He would have stood out from the crowd, even tho the highways were busier than usual due to the Memorial Day weekend.

It is possible that the Texaco Station was robbed around the time Andy was last seen. For whatever reason, this thief then abducted Andy and forced him to get inside his car. Maybe the abductor thought that Andy had seen "too much" and decided to kill him after first driving away with him.  There is one case from the 1990s, which mirrors the Lepley case.  Katie Poirier was a 19 year old girl working at a Minnesota convenience store in 1999 when a man entered the store was forced her outside and into his truck.  The abductor here was named Donald Blom, and he was later convicted of Poirier's murder after bone fragments (including a tooth, which was used to identify him as Katie's killer) were found in a fire pit in one of Blom's properties. 

Could Andy Lepley have been murdered afterwards by his abductor? It is very likely so. What confuses me here is, if what his abductor wanted was to "silence him" then why didn't he kill him right there innthe gas station? He was going to kill him anyway, so why not do it there at the scene of the robbery. It was early in the morning and there were probably no other people there. Yet- this didn't happen. The abductor chose to take him along, risking being seen and identified by other people. Where once he could only be charged with robbery, this perpetrator could now be charged with abduction if he was caught (that is, if Andy himself was never found). Since many states seem to require a body to prove that a murder has occurred, maybe this man felt confident that he could get away with it. 

Is it possible that Andy was taken so that he could be assaulted? This isn't as far fetched as some might think.  Men can and do become victims of sexual assault if the opportunity presents itself.  He was young and alone and vulnerable inside the Texaco Station that early morning in 1976. Sometimes I wonder if whoever abducted him had already seen him there before at another time? Maybe this person knew Andy's work schedule and thus knew he would be alone that day.  

But this is just my guess. 


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