A blog that tries to inform others about at least a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of missing children and adults in America. If you have a loved one missing, and would like me to add their story here, please contact me a.s.a.p.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tammy Lynn Akers; Angela Rader: Missing since Feb 7, 1977 in Roanoke, Virginia

Missing Since: February 7, 1977 from Roanoke, Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics Tammy Lynn Akers

Date Of Birth: June 28, 1962
Age at Time of Disappearance: 14 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4, 82 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Red hair, blue eyes.
Marks and Scars Akers has a protruding navel and a black-colored mark on her cheek. Her earlobes are scarred.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A green short-sleeved sweater, jeans, suede shoes and a suede jacket.

 Angela Mae Rader
Missing Since: February 7, 1977 from Roanoke, Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: July 30, 1962
Age: 14 years old
Height and Weight: 5′2, 100 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes.

Circumstances of Disappearance

Akers and her friend, Angela Rader, were dropped off at William Ruffner Junior High School by one of the girls' relatives on February 7, 1977 in Roanoke, Virginia. The girls did not attend classes that day and were last seen hitchhiking in the city. Neither girl has been heard from again.

Akers is described by her family as a spoiled child. She began to get into trouble at age twelve and had run away with Rader several times before their disappearances in 1977. The police originally did not take their disappearances seriously as a result. Several months after their disappearances, one of the girls's mothers got a phone call from someone saying she was her daughter and was all right. Akers and Rader were also allegedly seen in a grocery store in the months after they vanished but that sighting was never confirmed.

The girls' mothers told authorities that Akers and Rader worked for a friend of their families, Earl Conrad Bramblett, in 1977. A photo of Bramblett is posted below this case summary. Akers's mother stated that her daughter was friends with Bramblett and his wife at the time, frequently spending time at their home. He did not seem to have any adult friends, just children. Investigators believe that Bramblett may have been involved in Akers and Rader's disappearances. He reportedly told friends at a party in 1980 that he wished he did not "hurt Tammy" back in 1977.

Bramblett was charged with molesting a ten-year-old girl in 1984 but acquitted. Akers's older sister says he molested her when she was twelve years old and she believes he molested Akers as well. Bramblett convicted of murdering a Virginia family of four, Blaine and Teresa Hodges and their two children, in 1994 and sentenced to death. He was living with the Hodgeses at the time of their homicides. A jailhouse informant told police that Bramblett had told him that he killed the Hodges family after being caught molesting one of the children. The informant later recanted his statements but Bramblett was executed in April 2003, still maintaining his innocence. It is worth noting that Bramblett has many supporters (particularly on-line) who believe he was wrongly accused. The same people maintain that both Akers and Rader ran away from Roanoke voluntarily in 1977.

Eight months after Bramblett was sent to death row, authorities dug up the yard of the house he had been living in when Akers and Rader disappeared. They found nothing and the residence's current owners did not give them permission to search inside the house, so they never had the opportunity to look in the basement where they believe Akers and Rader may be buried.

Bramblett always maintained his innocence in the missing girls' cases. He said he was drunk when he made the statement about "hurting Tammy" in 1980 and his comment was misinterpreted. He said he believes Akers died in a bonfire in central Florida in 1980 and the police know about it and have tried to cover it up. There is no evidence to support Bramblett's theory, however.

Authorities never charged Bramblett in connection with the girls' disappearances. They have taken blood samples from the girls' mothers so if their bodies are found and their family members are all dead, the bodies can still be identified from DNA. Rader's mother has since died; she believed her daughter was still alive. Akers's family believes she is deceased and Bramblett was connected to her disappearance.
 Rader was last seen in Roanoke County, Virginia on February 7, 1977. Angela Rader was with her friend Tammy Lynn Akers (http://doenetwork.us/cases/36dfva.html). Rader nor Akers showed up for school the next day at William Ruffner Junior High School. They were never heard from again.
Rader had run away with Akers a time or two before, something her family thinks kept the police from taking her disappearance seriously for several years. Rader and Akers both worked for a friend of their familes, Earl Bramblett, at the time they disappeared. Aker's older sister has said that Bramblett started molesting her at age 12, when he forced her to have sex with him. She believes Bramblett started molesting Akers about age 9. Bramblett has since been convicted for the 1994 murder of a family of four and was executed in April 2003.
Investigators believe that Bramblett may have played a part in Akers and Rader's disappearances. Bramblett reportedly told friends that he wished he hadn't "hurt Tammy" three years after she went missing. He was never charged in either Akers or Rader's disappearances.
Eight months after Bramblett landed on death row, investigators dug around his former Bedford County home looking for clues in the girls' disappearance. They were not given permission by current owners to dig inside the house, so the dirt basement where the girls may be buried has never been searched. Police found nothing outside.
Bramblett has always maintained that he had nothing to do with what happened to Tammy Akers and Angela Rader. In a letter to The Roanoke Times in 1998, Bramblett wrote: "And I will again express my opinion that Tammy Akers died in a bonfire in central Florida around 1980 and the police are aware of this and have withheld it from the public." Bramblett never explained his theory and police have never mentioned any Florida connection.

nteresting piece

angie rader:character in a play,"Death of the Smiley Face"
produced or written by some outfit in sarasota florida.
In the play a poem is quoted with the expression ". . .Mat maids and bonfire keggers on Saturday nights. . ."
No mention made of her death by bonfire as far as I noticed but I admit I only skimmed through it.

Edited to add:
Note:Although the play was not put under production until 1999, a year after the man quoted about a bonfire death, I don't know what year the play was actually written. The only copyright date I have seen is 1999. I posted this info only because it seems a coincidence. I actually think he was just blowing smoke.

Akers's and Rader's cases remain open and unsolved.

Angela on left, Tammy on right.


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Disclaimer: Sources

In many cases, these blogs are obtained from other sources on the web. Source information will be added whenever possible. My apologies for those already up that may not be sourced, or credit given. This will be fixed.