Vacations are supposed to be a time where you get to let loose and relax from the stress of everyday life. You book your vacation with your partner or friends and expect to have a fun-filled time. Unfortunately, for some people, that’s not what happens on their vacation. There have been tragic stories where teenagers go on spring break and never come back. Or lovers who plan a vacation together but are never seen again. These are stories where foul play was at hand but the culprit was never captured and the people were never found.
These unfortunate people got more than they bargained for on vacation. Instead of escaping the stress of their lives, their life was taken away. These mysterious disappearances have plagued police and investigators and have left family members wondering what happened to their loved one.
Some cases were left with very little leads, while other cases were left with evidence that was either tampered by authority figures or locals. There are conspiracies behind some of these disappearances, and whether they're true or not, they are intriguing. Whatever happened to these people? Check out these 15 travel disappearances that still remain a mystery today.
15 Natalee Holloway
This is a tragic story about an 18-year-old girl who went on a high-school graduation trip to Aruba. You would think a trip that involved teacher chaperones would be a safe one, but it wasn’t for Holloway. In 2005, while on vacation, Holloway went missing after a night out with her friends at one of the local bars. It was their last night in Aruba and she was last seen with three local men. Her father immediately flew to Aruba to help in the investigation and to follow any leads, but nothing came out of it. The main suspect was one of the men at the bar that night by the name of Joran Vvn der Sloot, the son of a prominent politician. It is believed that his own father covered up the crime to protect his son and in the end, the police didn’t have enough evidence that he killed Holloway even though there were claims that he dug up her body and burned it.
14 Susan Jacques
Susan Jacques was another high-school senior that went on vacation with her friends during spring break. It was in 1986 when they traveled to Fort Lauderdale to have a little fun. Nearing the end of their trip, Jacques decided to leave the hotel one night to go for a walk on the beach alone. Police believe that she was planning on meeting other people at another motel. Jacques was found three days later floating in a canal, 35 miles away from the hotel. At that point, her body was so badly decomposed, they couldn’t even determine how she was killed. No one knows what happened to the girl or why someone would kill her. There was no evidence found and they had no suspects. The police couldn’t determine a motive and no witnesses ever came forward. They had no idea what happened to the girl because she was not sexually assaulted and she was still wearing expensive jewelry, ruling out robbery.
13 Madeleine McCann
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann made headlines in 2007, and her parents still don't know what happened to their little girl. Madeleine was only three years old when she was snatched out of her own hotel room while her family was vacationing in Portugal. She was staying there with her parents and siblings. They were staying at a family-friendly resort, the kind of resort where parents apparently felt safe enough to leave their children in their room while they had dinner alone. That was the biggest mistake that Kate and Gerry McCann made that night. The parents were out until 10 pm that night, and when they returned to their room, Madeleine was gone. It’s been over ten years and the case still remains open and unsolved. Many people ripped the parents apart for leaving the children alone and even accused them of being involved in her disappearance. Many people thought she was stolen for human trafficking, but no one can explain why she was the only child taken.
12 Kim Vaccaro And Lisa Eisman
In 1985, Kim Vaccaro and Lisa Eisman decided to hitchhike to Fort Lauderdale for spring break to meet up with their friends. Unfortunately, they never made it. The two college students didn’t tell their parents they were planning on hitchhiking there and only brought kitchen knives with them as protection. They were picked up by a truck driver who was never identified and made it as far as Maryland where Lisa sent her boyfriend a postcard. Their bodies were discovered four days later and they were only wearing t-shirts. Their bodies were in an undeveloped area near the Tampa river. They had been beaten severely and were practically unrecognizable when found. Their possessions and cash were also taken. Over thirty years later, the case is still unsolved.
11 Sister Eileen Christie
Sister Eileen Christie was 72 and a Catholic nun when she decided to go on her dream vacation to Austria. She left New York in 2016 and for the most part, kept in contact with her nephew via email during her travels. Her nephew told authorities that the last time he heard from his aunt was when she checked into a hostel in Hallstatt, Austria. She was reported missing, but authorities never found her or a body. The only thing missing from her room was a swimsuit, so they considered the fact that she drowned while swimming. They dismissed the idea, however, as Sister Eileen Christie was an avid swimmer. She also had a lot of familiarity and experience with the village she was staying in, so police determined that she had to have been kidnapped. No one could understand why a nun at her age would be taken and no suspects were ever found.
10 Brittanee Drexel
We feel that a 17-year-old is way too young to be going on vacation by herself, but that’s exactly what Brittanee Drexel did. She went to Myrtle Beach even though her parents forbade her to go. She went anyways, wanting to party during spring break. Being so young, she would have made an easy target. She disappeared and for a long time, no one knew what happened to her because the police had no leads. It took almost seven years before the FBI got a lead in the case. A prison inmate, Taquan Brown started talking about a young girl matching Brittanee’s description who was kidnapped, abused, murdered, and then left in a swamp. Brown stated that he witnessed it all. The man responsible for the murder was alleged to be Timothy Da’Shaun Taylor. They were never able to prove it, however, and Taylor was eventually released.
9 Reny Jose
Florida seems to be a bad place to go on spring break because here is another missing person case, this time in Panama City. Reny Jose was an engineering student that wanted to go on vacation with his friends. They rented a house on the beach and one night, near the end of the trip, Reny left the house. When he went missing, the police found his cell phone, wallet, and clothes in the trash behind the house. They figured he got high on drugs and drowned in the ocean. His friends mentioned that he had talked about hurting himself on the trip, his family, however, refused to believe he would kill himself considering he was a student with a 4.0 GPA. The weird part is, his friends left the house a day after he went missing and didn’t help at all in the search efforts for their friend. A body was never found, either. Is it possible that the friends had something to do with his disappearance?
8 John Halford
John Halford decided to go on a trip to Egypt on a cruise on his own before arthritis made it impossible for him to do so. He left before his 25-year anniversary in 2011. He owned a popular gift and bookstore in England. He had a blast while he was on the trip and often sent his wife texts about his adventures. On the night before the ship docked, he sent his wife one final text to let her know what his flight plans were. His wife was planning to meet him at the airport when his flight arrived, but the next day, she received a call saying that her husband had vanished from the ship. His body was never found, but police suspect that he fell off the boat ship and that no one noticed. He had been drinking late into the night, so it’s possible he got too close to the edge.
7 DeOrr Kunz Jr.
DeOrr Kunz Jr. went missing in the woods while he was vacationing with his parents and grandparents at an Idaho campsite. He was only two years old in 2015 when his parents went for a walk while leaving him with the grandparents. The grandparents apparently thought the boy was with his parents, so when they returned from their walk, they realized that he was gone. A search of the area was conducted and the boy was never found. Both the parents and grandparents were all considered suspects, though were never charged. The parents suggested that maybe a bear dragged the child away, but experts thought the parents' behavior was erratic and there were rumors that the mother hated being a mom. The parents are still under suspicion, but there is no proof they did anything to their child.
6 Hue Pham And Hue Tran
In 2005, Hue Pham and Hue Tran went on a cruise and never came back. No one knows what happened to them. It’s as if they literally vanished into thin air. Many assume the couple committed suicide together, though there is no evidence of that. The only thing left behind were their flip flops on deck. Family members refuse to believe they committed suicide and think the cruise ship staff are covering up an accident that happened onboard. The family claim that the couple was happy, in good health, and would never have committed suicide. Their son went before Congress to discuss more stringent shipboard regulations as they all fault the cruise line. The family suggested the coverup because it took the cruise ship four hours to report the disappearances to their parents.
5 Amanda Waller
Amanda Waller was only 22 years old when she went missing while on her dream vacation. She, her husband, and a group of people went to the West Indies Island of Curacao. The couple wanted to go on one of the snorkeling excursion. After 30 minutes, Amanda decided she had had enough and swam back to shore. When her husband and friends returned, they couldn’t find her. A search was conducted on the island, but she was never found. They don’t know if she drowned on the way to shore, though, a body was never found in the water. Amanda is still missing, but her husband assumes that she is dead.
4 Robyn Gardner
Six years after Natalee Holloway went missing, another girl went missing in Aruba. In 2011, Robyn Gardner went on vacation to Aruba and told her boyfriend that she was going on a family vacation. Instead, what she was really doing was having a vacation with a secret lover, Gary Giordano. Gardner wasn’t even interested in Giordano for the longest time, but finally agreed to go on vacation with him. Two days into their vacation, Giordano reported that Gardner was missing. Supposedly, she went on a snorkeling excursion and never returned. Giordano was considered a suspect and even served four months in an Aruban prison, but was eventually released. Giordano suggested that human traffickers probably grabbed her, but he’s always been a suspect for a few reasons. Not only did her boyfriend say she would never go into water above her waist because she hated messing her hair, but Giordano also took out an accidental death insurance policy.
3 Charles Kj Horvath-Allan
In 1989, Charles Kj Horvath-Allan decided to go on vacation in the wilderness of British Columbia, Canada. He planned to be vacationing for a couple of months and would hitchhike from place to place. He also had plans on meeting his mother in Hong Kong. She didn’t hear from him for months, which she thought was weird. His mother finally declared him missing and an investigation started. They searched the last known area that he was in, but he was never found. His mother went to Canada to help with the search. After flyers were put out, a woman named Joanne Zebroff called and said that her family allowed Charles to stay with them and that he eventually left to go to Tiny Tent Town. There were rumors at the campsite that he got into a fight with someone, was knocked out, and then thrown over a bridge. His body was never found and no one was brought to justice.
2 Norman Lee
Norman Lee was known to the world as the Marvel comic artist that worked on the X-Men and Avengers comics. When he was vacationing in the Caribbean with his wife, they decided to go snorkeling. They went with a bunch of people and oddly enough, Lee was separated from the group and his wife and disappeared. A search was conducted that lasted two days, but Norman Lee was never heard from again. The police said that the currents were too strong to be able to find the body if it was out there. The police believe Lee was probably sucked under by a current. The FBI, however, did get involved which suggests that there is more to the story. An award was put out for $10,00 for any information, but no leads ever came through.
1 Leta Lynn Cordes
Although Frank and Leta Lynn Cordes’ marriage was rocky, they still built their dream vacation home in St. Marten. In 2007, they invited friends to visit them at their home for Christmas. They were trying to fix their marriage, but there was a lot of tension there since both of them had affairs. One night in January, the two were returning home from a get together, but Leta didn’t want the party to end. She wanted to go to the casino, but Frank wouldn’t let her have the car. The casino was only 15 minutes from their home, so Leta decided to walk. During that short walk, Leta went missing. Frank immediately became the prime suspect because of their rocky relationship. They may have been trying to fix the marriage, but friends told a story of constant fighting, airing grievances in public, and apparently Frank heard Leta calling a man named Bobby. All of it made him look guilty, especially since he was the last person to see her alive. There wasn’t enough evidence, however, to charge him and no other suspects were available.