Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 21, 2012

Family still looking for answers in disappearance

Esther Westenbarger has been missing for three years this month

Three years ago, 51-year-old Esther Westenbarger moved to Kokomo from Fostoria, Ohio, to be closer to her family.

But her stay was brief. She had been in Kokomo only about a month before she went missing after leaving Miller’s Tavern, 129 W. Elm St., at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2009.

Described as being 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 135 pounds, with shoulder-length, red hair and brown eyes, she was last seen on foot, wearing a cream-colored, three-quarter length V-neck shirt, blue jeans, flip-flops and a dark-colored jacket.

Living in Riley Modern Mobile Home Park on North Washington Street, her disappearance was investigated by the Howard County Sheriff Department.

Greg Hargrove, head of investigations, said her disappearance remains an open case but no new leads have surfaced as to her whereabouts. The Kokomo Police Department is also assisting with the investigation.

Despite the lack of clues, Dustin Westenbarger, Esther’s son, who now lives in Fostoria, is not giving up hope.

Back in 2009, Dustin traveled to Kokomo to try to find out what happened to his mother. He said he located several people who knew his mother, but was not able to shed any light on her disappearance.

Esther may have been walking from Miller’s to the Hoosier Bar, where her car, a 2005 Cadillac CTS, bearing the Ohio personalized registration plate MSESTER, was last seen, Dustin said.

The car has never been recovered.

Dustin returned to Kokomo last week hoping to rejuvenate the investigation and jog someone’s memory of what happened that day.

“It’s frustrating,” he said during his recent visit.

“I will always have hope,” he said. “I believe someday the truth will come out. I’m never going to give up hope. Somebody knows something. I’m just starting my search.”

 

You can help:

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Esther Westenbarger is asked to contact Detective Scott Waymire at the Howard County Sheriff Department at

765-456-2031.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • tornadodamage34-20-04.jpg Kokomo Skating Arena: 10 years gone

    If you drive past the intersection of East Morgan and North Ohio streets these days you’ll see some trees, a parking lot and a Dollar General store. What you won’t see is the Kokomo Skating Arena, a landmark which stood on this corner for decades until a tornado caved the roof in April 20, 2004. Those who knew it well said they won’t soon forget it.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Question Time: Name a baby (or babies) today

    “Imagine you’re having a baby (or babies) today. What would you name it (or them) and why? (You can give answers for a girl, a boy or both; and any combination for twins, triplets, etc.)”

    April 20, 2014

  • 400SUnion.jpg Counties move forward with flood mitigation one year later

    One by one, properties were bulldozed from the neighborhood between Carter and Murden streets in downtown Kokomo, physically erasing evidence of residential flooding in an area long prone to it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Flooded area - E Murden 01 Jaimz family seeks closure after losing everything Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado. The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still stru

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - FEMA 03 Kokomo resident whose basement collapsed during flood repairs own home

    Walter Raderstorf can still remember sitting in his living room inside his home on West Park Avenue, realizing he had escaped a brush with death. “I was in the basement carrying stuff up and I came in here and sat down,” he said. “It wasn’t 30 second

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Late Kokomo teacher dedicates estate to foundation Longtime Kokomo School Corp. teacher Holly Kirkpatrick will continue to have a positive impact on students thanks to a $38,000 donation from her estate to the Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation. Kirkpatrick died in November 2012 after teachin

    April 20, 2014

  • flood anniversary Thomas family ready to move on after flood In the Thomas household, few things take precedent over baseball. You’d be hard-pressed to find a couple more dedicated to youth baseball in Kokomo — or anywhere else for that matter — than Michael and Lashanda Thomas, who have passed that love of th

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • EasterEgg hunt 10 'Controlled chaos' at city's Easter egg hunt With buckets and Easter baskets in hand, hundreds of kids 10 years old and younger packed Kokomo's Northwest Park Saturday to see who could grab up the most Easter eggs. Organizers split the kids up in three age groups, 0 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10, wi

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • NWS-FloodFollowDay2-15.jpg April flood brought people together to bail out community

    [Editor’s note: On April 19, 2013, a record flood hit Howard and Tipton counties. Today, we look at some of the financial aspects of the flood. In Sunday’s edition, look for stories about people who were affected, what has changed in the floodplains and how the communities are moving forward.]

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-KT041914-TwoinjuredinMiamiCocrash-CLG-pic.jpeg Two injured in Miami County crash

    PERU — Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries