I am passionate about missing persons cases due to a personal family experience of having someone go missing in my family.
Susan Lynn Osborne is 43 years old, has brown hair, blue eyes, and has pierced ears. She stands at 5’3 and weighs 120 pounds. Her nickname is Susie. Her son Evan Chartrand is 15 years old, has brown hair and blue eyes. Evan is 5’7 and 160 pounds. He has medical issues that require frequent doctor's visits and medications. He was scheduled for oral surgery days after his disappearance and was going to be a Sophomore at Holtville High School in the fall. Both went missing on May 29th, 2017 from Holtville Alabama.
Susan has two children, a son, Evan Chartrand who was 15, and a daughter, Hanna Grace who was 10 in 2017. Susan had left a previous marriage by fleeing the home because it had become unsafe and unstable. She had no money and was in an unsafe environment. With the help of her brother Susan, Evan and Hanna got out safely. Hanna ended up in the custody of Susan’s father and Evan was in the custody of Susan. Susan’s family lived out of state but she contacted her mother Linda frequently.
Susan met a man, Jerry Marshall Osborne, and eventually married on January 25th, 2014. The couple bought a home just one year prior on January 25th, 2013, on Waterview Lane near HWY 111. This house was built in 2012 and was a nice newer home. Jerry was medically discharged from the Air Force but got a job working as a 911 dispatcher. He was able to provide for Susan and Evan and convinced her to quit her job and become a stay-at-home mom. The couple was married for 4 years and nothing seemed out of place. Jerry seemed to be a good caring husband who provided for his family and even had an elaborate security system installed in the home. Cameras on every door and window with an alarm system.
Sometime before Susan and Evan disappeared, Susan found out that Jerry had a secret life before they got married. She discovered he used to be a gay escort and she found a recent profile for him on a male dating website. She knew it was him as she identified several tattoos in his pictures. She was hurt that he was cheating on her and she talked about leaving him with her best friend through emails. Jerry had begun to look through her phone’s text messages so she had started to email her best friend.
Susan’s friend, Holly Morris, talked to the police about the goings-on before her friend disappeared. She said Susan discovered Jerry’s secret and did indeed discuss leaving him but shortly before she went missing she said they had reconciled and she decided to stay because she still loved him.
Holly and Susan were best friends for about nine years. Holly was 5 years younger than Susan but they were like sisters. They used to live in the same neighborhood and Susan would visit Holly frequently until Holly had to move. She moved to Key West Florida to be with her then-fiance who was in the Coast Guard. She moved on May 16th, 2017 but still talked to Susan every day. They even discussed Susan and Evan coming to visit them sometime and how Susan was supposed to be the Maid of Honor in Holly’s wedding. On May 29th however, Susan stopped responding to any of Holly’s texts or calls.
On May 29th, Memorial Day weekend, Susan had stopped responding to her mother and her best friend Holly via text or calls. At first, they thought she was just busy with life, got distracted, or maybe broke her phone. Nothing serious went through either of their minds until they couldn’t get a hold of Evan either and realized both of their phones had been disconnected. Holly thought maybe Susan got upset with her for moving so far away and needed some time to cool off, she couldn’t reach Susan’s mother or brother as she didn’t have their information Her mother thought she might have had some money issues and just couldn’t pay the phone bill.
Her mother Linda decided to send her a letter in the mail but when it came back as undelivered, she knew something was wrong. Too much time had passed without hearing anything from Susan. It had been two months before she and Evan were officially reported as missing on July 29th, 2017 though the last time anybody had heard from or seen Susan and Evan was on May 29th, 2017.
When police went to the home to check up on the situation, Jerry had been deep cleaning the house. He explained that on May 29th Susan and Evan left with a strange man but came back the next day to haul off some personal belongings and furniture, but she had left her daughter, 2 dogs, and her car behind. Police discovered that after Susan and Evan disappeared, Jerry had begun to do renovations on this home that was just 5 years old. Susan had just done some renovations a few months prior such as painting the walls. Jerry had repainted the walls, tore up and replaced the hardwood flooring and carpets. He had also dropped off Susan’s 2 dogs that she loved more than anything, off at a shelter on June 12th.
Police were able to get a search warrant for the house and at first, found nothing of interest due to the renovations that were done. They brought in some heavy-duty luminol and despite the renovations and the deep cleaning that had been done for 2 days, they found certain areas of the house that lit up with old bloodstains. The investigators claimed it looked like a slaughter had taken place. They found at least 20 areas of possible bloodstains in the guest bathroom and the bedrooms. They took what DNA they could gather and sent it to a lab to be tested but because of the cleaning chemicals used beforehand, the results were inconclusive.
Police interviewed neighbors around the area and they got quite a few reports of people seeing Jerry burning large pieces of furniture in a 50-gallon drum in his back yard. One piece looked to be a bed, possibly Evan’s that was broken up and burned. The neighbors said this happened on Memorial Day weekend and that thick black smoke was all over the neighborhood and it smelled heavily of burning plastic.
The investigators also brought in cadaver dogs and they lead their handlers to the 50-gallon burn drum in the backyard. Unfortunately, everything inside was too charred and burned to be identified as possible human remains. The police had one thing left to investigate, the security system. When they asked to see the video footage of the days before Susan and Evan went missing, they discovered the footage had been destroyed as on June 1st Jerry got rid of his old security system and bought an all-new one. He claimed the reasoning for him burning furniture and remodeling was that his parents had suggested it after his wife left him for another man. He claimed Susan had spray-painted vulgar words and phrases all on the walls inside and that’s why he needed to repaint the walls. He said he wanted to start over new and get rid of any memory of his wife and stepson after she left him, but police didn’t believe this excuse. Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough solid evidence to arrest him for any foul play but they do suspect foul play to be involved though they have not publicly stated Jerry Osborne as a suspect in his wife and stepsons disappearance. They only say he is a person of interest.
As of February 13, 2021, Jerry Marshall Osborne was still a free man and had not been charged with anything involving the disappearance of his wife or stepson. On December 14th, 2019 Jerry put the house up for sale, and on February 21st, 2020 he sold it to new owners.
Jerry now lives about 30 minutes from Holtville with a new woman and her minor children. On Jerry’s Facebook page it shows he got engaged to this woman on January 25th, 2020. This is a reoccurring date for Jerry and we don’t know the significance of it for him.
Susan and Evan’s family and best friend Holly believe the worst has happened. They don’t think either of them is alive but are dead somewhere and both Linda and Holly believe Jerry had something to do with it. They claim they know Susan wouldn’t just up and leave without her daughter and without telling her mother or best friend what was going on. Holly said Susan never, ever mentioned another man that was in the picture and now wonders if the email that was sent to her was from Jerry himself. The one that said they had reconciled and that she still loved him.
One aspect that illudes the police and the public is a motive. What motive would Jerry have to kill his wife and stepson? Did she really just up and leave with another man? Why hasn’t any other school called for transcripts for Evan, and what about his medical issues that require doctor visits and medication?
One thing police will not release is the information on what they found on Jerry’s computer. They released the evidence of bloodstains that were inconclusive and the burn barrel in the backyard and his admitting to burning what belongings they left behind, but they won’t release what they found on his computer. Whatever it is must be important to the case. The district attorney said they can’t move forward with the case until they can find bodies or someone who might have information on where the bodies are located.
Contact Information and Links
If you have any information on this case, or Susan or Evan, please contact the Elmore County Sheriffs Office at 334-567-5546 or Crimestoppers at 334-251-STOP.
Facebook community link here.
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.