Gail Deann Skelton
Skelton, approximately 1980; Sketch of last person known to have seen Skelton
Date reported missing : 09/26/1980
Missing location (approx) :
San Joaquin County, California
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 01/28/1954 (67)
Age at the time of disappearance: 26 years old
Height / Weight : 5'1, 115 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A blue plaid flannel shirt and blue jeans.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Skelton may use the last name Brewer.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Skelton was last seen in San Joaquin County, California on September 26, 1980. She attended a party at Herman and Helen's Marina, a now-defunct bar on Empire Tract at the western end of Eight Mile Road, fourteen miles southwest of Lodi, and never returned home. She has never been heard from again and her car, a blue two-door 1978 Toyota, has never been found.
The last person known to have seen Skelton was another patron at the bar that night, described as a 25- to 30-year-old Caucasian man over six feet tall, with dark hair and a thin build. This person was harassing Skelton at the bar and kept wanting to go places with her, and she refused. It isn't clear whether this individual was ever identified or if he is a suspect in her case. A composite sketch of the person is posted with this case summary.
Skelton's fiance, Pat Malone, disappeared on June 9, 1980, three and a half months before she did, from a boat on the Mokelumne River. Eight days later, his body was recovered in the water 200 yards away. Authorities believe his drowning death was an accident and the timing of his and Skelton's disappearance is coincidental.
The couple had lived together on a houseboat and planned to marry in March 1981. Skelton was still grieving over Malone's death at the time of her disappearance, but her family doesn't believe she left of her own accord. They stated whatever problems she had in her life were normal ones and she wasn't having financial difficulties.
The circumstances of Skelton's disappearance are unclear. Authorities believe she may have accidentally driven her car into the water on the night of her disappearance, but there is no evidence to support any theory.
Other information and links : ncy
San Joaquin Sheriff's Department
September 2021 updates and sources
California Attorney General's Office
The Lodi News Sentinel
Stories of the Forgotten
October 12, 2004. June 6, 2018; .
Interactive Missing Person Search Map