I am passionate about missing persons cases due to a personal family experience of having someone go missing in my family.
Details About Elaine Park
Elaine Park went missing on January 28, 2017. She was 5’5" tall and weighed 125 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and her hair was waist-length with blond tips when she was last seen. She is of Asian/Korean descent, and she was 20 years old at the time of her disappearance.
She has her ears and nose pierced. She also has several tattoos:
- a dagger and flowers on her right arm
- a rose on her left shoulder
- a cow skull and a moth on her left arm
She was last seen wearing a white sweatshirt and denim shorts, but she may be wearing gray sweatpants. Elaine suffers from depression and is classified as endangered missing.
Elaine was born on September 24, 1996, and she was always known to be a spunky, artistic person. Her parents divorced, and she lived with her mother, Susan, in La Crescenta, California, which is just north of Los Angeles. She went to Crescenta Valley High School and was known to make friends easily. Elaine had a large group of people she could hang out with.
After graduating high school, she attended Pierce College in Los Angeles but had recently dropped out at the time of her disappearance. She had just lost her restaurant job around this time as well.
TV and Movie Roles
She was an aspiring actress and loved poetry, art, and musical theater. Elaine had small roles in several TV shows and movies before she went missing. She had parts in Crazy Stupid Love, Role Models, ER, Mad TV, and Desperate Housewives.
Elaine had an on-again, off-again boyfriend whom she was with the night she went missing. His name is Divine (Div) Compere, and he is the son of a successful Hollywood businessman, Shakim Compere. They lived in a gated community in Calabasas, California.
The Night Before
On January 27, 2017, Elaine sent her mother a text message before leaving in an Uber with her then-boyfriend to go see a movie at around 10 pm. The two returned to his home around 1 am and went inside so she could stay the night. Security footage from the driveway confirms this timeline.
Div claims that, around 4 am, Elaine woke up experiencing a panic attack; she was shaking and singing and acting oddly. He claims that he tried to calm her down and get her to stay, but she got dressed and left about two hours later at 6:05 am. She’s seen on the security footage walking to her car, seemingly not distressed anymore, and leaving the property. After she drove away, the driveway camera stopped recording.
The gated security cameras that only record the vehicles' license plates show Elaine's car leaving the community at 7:14 am. Police later claimed that the cameras may not have been updated with the time change and that it was actually 6:14 am, but this was never confirmed or disproven.
What Happened During Those Nine Minutes?
Even if it was 6:14, this still leaves about a 9-minute time gap that is unaccounted for. The drive from her boyfriend's house to the gates at the entrance should have only taken a few minutes, and this time gap seems too long to a lot of people. Elaine has never been seen again.
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For the next two days, Elaine didn’t answer her mother's or her boyfriend's text messages or phone calls. Her mother tried to call the Glendale Police Department, as it was unusual and out of character for her daughter to not answer her. She was told to call the police back the next day; since Elaine was an adult, the police assumed that she just didn’t want to talk to anybody and probably ran off somewhere. An official police report wasn’t made until Monday, January 30.
The police questioned Div but ruled him out as a suspect simply because he was cooperative with them. Susan, Elaine’s mother, was not happy about this. She wished the police would have at least investigated his home and the surrounding area, but no searches had been done.
On February 2, five days after Elaine went missing, the police found her car. She drives a charcoal gray 2015 Honda Civic, and it was found abandoned 20 miles from her boyfriend's house on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. This was a 45-minute drive from his home. Her car was found with all of her personal belongings still inside, including her backpack, laptop, keys, cell phone, and ID. The keys had been left in the ignition, the battery was dead, and the doors were unlocked.
Once the car was found, the police began their investigation, but they noted that no sign of a struggle or blood was found in the car. They believe Elaine left the car voluntarily. They brought in four bloodhounds, cadaver dogs, drones, ATVs, and a dive team to search the cliffs, shore, and parts of the ocean, but they found no trace of Elaine. The investigators strongly believe she may have taken her own life, but her family believes otherwise.
Reward Offers and Private Investigators
In the beginning, Elaine’s mother put up a $500,000 reward for information on her daughter, but the offer expired on Elaine’s 21st birthday. This large reward offer brought in no new leads.
After the police refused to search Elaine's boyfriend's house and essentially told her mother that Elaine most likely committed suicide or ran away to start a new life, Susan hired her own private investigator. This man is named Jayden Brant, and he doesn’t believe the police's theory. He thinks that foul play was involved in Elaine’s disappearance.
The police have claimed that they won’t rule out foul play, but they say there is no evidence to prove anything. Brant brought his findings to the police; however, they dismissed his “evidence,” saying it was a bunch of theories with no real hard evidence to back up his claims.
Current Status of Elaine's Case
Elaine’s family is still looking for her and won’t stop until they find her. Her mother has set up a reward of $140,000 for information regarding her daughter. They have made a Facebook page dedicated to giving updates and information on Elaine and other missing person cases. The Facebook page is called “Help Find Elaine Park.” Her family still believes she was a victim of foul play.
Elaine's case gained broader attention in 2021 when it became the focus of the true-crime podcast "To Live and Die in LA."
Below are some common theories and speculation about what might have happened to Elaine.
Did She Commit Suicide?
Theory number one is what the police and many others believe: They think Elaine ended her own life. She was known to have bouts of depression, and she had just dropped out of college and gotten laid off from her restaurant job. It’s possible that she and her boyfriend got into an argument or that she was just in a very bad mindset when she left his house at 6 am.
Proponents of this theory believe that Elaine went to Malibu for a drive and could have just decided the time was right for her. It wasn’t uncommon for her to go to Malibu with friends or by herself to calm down and get away for a little while, so this might have been a safe place for her to end her life.
Was She Abducted?
Theory two is that she was abducted. After leaving her boyfriend's house and driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, she may have had another panic attack while driving and pulled over. Alternately, she may have simply wanted to stop and look at the ocean to calm herself down from the night's events. Some speculate that an abductor could have seen Elaine's car on the side of the road, taken her, and driven off.
One of the problems with this theory is that, despite it being very early on a Saturday morning, this is a popular highway. It’s hard to imagine that someone could take a young woman from here without anybody noticing.
Was Her Boyfriend Involved?
Theory three is that her boyfriend was involved. A lot of people still believe the cops let him go far too easily, and they believe he had something to do with her disappearance. Some believe that, after she left the driveway and the camera stopped recording, he followed her and something happened to her. Speculation says that it could have easily been Div driving her car as it left the gated community, and he could have abandoned it along the highway.
He has never said that there was an argument or a fight, but there is a lot of suspicious time that is unaccounted for. She was at his house for two hours after she woke up but before she left. Div claimed that she threw on her clothes and left the house, but what really happened in those two hours?
We Can Only Speculate
I would like to say again that these are just theories and speculation, and nobody knows exactly what happened to Elaine Park.
If you have any information on this case, you can call the tip line at 1-800-551-3080 or the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.
More Resources About Elaine
- Elaine Park | State of California: Department of Justice: Office of the Attorney General
This is Elaine's official missing persons page on the California Department of Justice website.
- Reward offered in case of missing woman—Los Angeles Times
This is a 2017 article that came out six months after Elaine disappeared: "For Susan Park, the last six months have been a tortuous brew of uncertainty and sadness after her daughter went missing in late January."
- "To Live and Die in LA" Returns to Search for Missing Woman
The second season of the podcast "To Live and Die in LA" focused on the 2017 disappearance of Elaine Park, a 20-year-old woman last seen in Calabasas, California.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jade Hassenplug