Name: April Beth Pitzer
Age: 30 years old
Last seen: June 28, 2004
Location: Newberry Springs, California
April Beth Pitzer is a caucasian female with brown hair and hazel eyes, she is 5’9 tall and weighs between 130 lbs.
April has a scar on her left chest, a scar on her elbow as well as her lip, and a scar on the side side of her stomach. She has several missing upper teeth and has dental implants to replace them.
April was last seen wearing gold hoop earrings, a simple silver chain necklace, a watch with leopard print, and sneakers or sandals (size 8 or 8 1/2).
April Pitzer was born on February 18th, 1974, in Arkansas to her mother Gloria Denton. April stayed with her relatives for most of her childhood as Gloria Denton was 19 years old when she gave birth to April.
At 22 years old April Pitzer was arrested for driving while intoxicated. In the vehicle were her two friends who had methamphetamine on them. In exchange for dropping the charges, April became a drug informant for police and infiltrate a drug ring.
When April’s identity became compromised, she left town and moved to Fort Worth, Texas. She married Chase Pitzer and had two daughters in this marriage.
When April was pregnant with her first child, she was summoned back to Arkansas by the Drug Enforcement Agency to testify as a federal witness against the methamphetamine drug ring.
Her testimony led to the arrest of 32 people, however, April began to suffer from paranoia and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
April’s marriage later fell apart and she lost custody of both daughters.
In 2003, April moved to California and ended up in a small rural desert community of Newberry Springs and soon later was homeless living on the streets and homeless shelters. No one knew about her life in California and April told her mother she was working as a waitress.
Beginning of June 2004, April ran into the wife of a man she had testified against. This put April in fear, worried the woman recognized her she began making plans to leave California.
On June 22nd, 2004, April called her mother telling her she wanted to move back to Arkansas to live with her. During this time April was living with a friend Chuck Hollister in Newberry Springs.
April was a caregiver to an elderly woman in Newberry Springs. On June 27th, 2004, April visited the elderly woman to say her farewells.
The following day June 28th, April packed her belongings and planned to get on a bus to go to Arkansas. Chuck Hollister dropped her off at the station in the 30000 block of Caspian Way, in Newberry Springs.
However, April never made it to her mother’s house. She has not been heard from or seen since.
Her mother filed a missing persons report on July 16th, 2004 with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
On September 7th, 2004, an employee from a Love’s Truck Stop in Roseburg, Oregon found a message written on a bathroom tile that read “want to find a missing woman from Arkansas? I-15, 3 miles east of Barstow.
Searches were conducted in this area but nothing was found. authorities were unable to determine the identity of the individual who wrote the message.
On September 9th, 2004, police received a phone call from a Barstow city bus driver who overheard a comment from another bus rider. The rider has heard rumors at a party about April Pitzer being killed, and her body being hidden in an abandoned mineshaft in the desert.
In December 2005, police searched the Red Dog Mine, in Ludlow, California which was owned by Chuck Hollister’s close friend Dan Dansbury.
Several pieces of clothing, as well as a white suitcase, were found scattered around, in a three-mile radius between the Red Dog and Indian Queen mines.
The search also recovered a mattress and sheet with human blood stains and bodily fluids. Unfortunately, no forensic evidence was able to be recovered due to the heat.
Chuck Hollister denied any involvement in April Pitzer’s disappearance. After dropping her off at the bus station, he was out of the state helping a friend move to Oregon. He died in September 2006 of cancer.
Dan Dansubry also died in November 2009. On his deathbed, he denied any involvement in April Pitzer’s disappearance. However, he told April’s mother they were looking in the right place but had not gone far enough. Searches were conducted again in the same location, but nothing was found.
In 2008, a memorial butterfly garden was dedicated to April, at the Desert Discovery Center in Barstow, California.
On August 27, 2012, April Beth Pitzer was declared legally dead.
If you have information regarding the disappearance of April Beth Pitzer please contact the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department at 760-256-4838 or at 909-387-3690, case number 080401661.
Resources and Further Information
Investigation Discovery: Disappeared Season 2 Episode 8 “Mojave Mystery”