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Barbara Jean Dreher

Missing Person Case September 2021

Dreher, approximately 1984

Date reported missing : 08/12/1984

Missing location (approx) :
Washington D.C., Washington D.C.
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Ethnicity :
Age at the time of disappearance: 39 years old
Height / Weight : 5'2, 130 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A green shirt and white slacks.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Dreher's ears are pierced.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Dreher was last seen in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 1984. She dropped off her two young sons at her adult daughter's home at 5:00 p.m. She said she was going to pick up some money and would return shortly. She was driving a burgundy 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme at the time. She never returned to her daughter's home and has never been heard from again.
Prior to her disappearance, Dreher had occasionally spent extended periods of time with her estranged husband in Hillcrest Heights. She was not reported as a missing person for nine days as a result.
A few days after Dreher went missing, one of her relatives saw another man driving her car. The relative followed the driver to an apartment building in the southwest section of the city, where he parked Dreher's car and got out. Her relative called the police and identified a man as the driver when investigators arrived at the scene.
The man denied having driven Dreher's car and said he did not know her. Since her vehicle had not been listed as stolen, the man was not taken into custody. Dreher's car was impounded, however. A ski mask, gloves and rope were found inside it, as well as some items belonging to Dreher.
The person had a violent criminal record. When he was eighteen, he had pleaded guilty to killing two people, a 23-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl. The victims were repeatedly stabbed by a group of four men, and the girl was gang-raped by three of the men before she was killed. The man didn't get a lengthy sentence for his role in the deaths. A year after Dreher went missing, he was charged with abducting and raping a woman, but the charges were later dismissed.
In the years since Dreher's disappearance, the police lost a lot of evidence in her case, including the original missing persons report, and the ski mask and rope found in her recovered vehicle. Her missing persons file had to be restarted and a second report missing, using the original 1984 case number.
Dreher had been employed as a secretary for the Washington public school system for fifteen years prior to her disappearance. She has five children, and one of her sons described her as a devoted but strict mother. He doesn't think she would have abandoned her family. Foul play is suspected in Dreher's case, which remains unsolved.

Other information and links : ncy

Violent Crime Case Review Project
Violent Criminal Apprehension Program

September 2021 updates and sources

The Doe Network
The Washington Post
The Washington Examiner

October 12, 2004. June 27, 2018; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.

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