Kym L. Pasqualini is the founder and former CEO of Nation's Missing Children Organization and National Center for Missing Adults.
It was a beautiful summer day on July 25, 1985. Two sisters, Rozlin Rochelle Abell, 18, and younger sister Fawn Marlene Abell, 15, were last seen at their home in the vicinity of 59th and Rockwell in Bethany, Oklahoma. Rozlin had told her parents she was going to look for a job that afternoon.
The girl’s brother, Otto Abell, Jr. came home that afternoon and overheard his sisters talking as they were headed out the door.
According to the Oklahoman, Otto Jr. remembers one of the girls saying, “Hurry up. They’re waiting for us down the street,” as they walked out.
That was the last time he ever heard his sister's voice. They vanished that afternoon and their disappearance has mystified their family and police for nearly 4 decades.
No Foul Play?
According to investigators, there was no evidence of foul play in 1985. However, members of the family said the girls regularly hitchhiked and they believe they were victims of foul play.
Back in 1985, hitchhiking was common, especially with young girls. It would not take long for a stranger to stop and offer a ride to the destination in another town, sometimes even across the country. Hitchhiking was also incredibly dangerous. Many disappearances of young women and men can be attributed to hitchhiking during the 1960s-80s. Many remain unresolved to this day.
Decades passed, and in March of 2010, Otto Abell, Jr., the brother of the girls, called Lt. Austin Warfield, formerly of the Bethany Police Department. He strangely asked if any bones or skulls had ever been found at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge just off Interstate 66 outside of Bethany.
When police questioned the brother, he brought up his two missing sisters. Lt. Warfield investigated and found only one police report was on file. Fawn was listed as a missing child, but her older sister Rozlin did not have a police report.
It took almost 25 years to discover that Fawn’s case was treated like a runaway and never looked into, and Rozlin, because of her age and being an adult, was never listed at all.
Lt. Warfield found that Rozlin had never been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fawn had been entered and removed in error. After further discussing the case with the girl’s brother, Lt. Warfield entered both into NCIC and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
NCMEC created age progressions of the girls in hopes they were still alive. However, there has been no activity on Rozlin or Fawn’s social security numbers since they disappeared in 1985.
In addition, Lt. Warfield collected DNA swabs from Rozlin and Fawn’s mother and brother with the help of the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNT). The UNT Missing Persons Unit is part of an accredited laboratory specializing in DNA analysis of skeletal remains and other types of evidence for missing and unidentified person’s cases.
“We sent DNA swabs down to the University of North Texas from the brother and the mother and have not received any confirmation that there are human remains sitting in a vault somewhere in a medical examiner’s office anywhere in the nation,” Lt. Warfield told the Oklahoman in a 2013 interview.
The fact is there is nothing much to go on with the Abell girl’s disappearance. Their story never made the national news, and with that, frustration grew for their family.
Sister Speaks Out
The girl’s older sister, Lorelie Nelson, spoke in an exclusive interview with Bob Carson of Missing in America.
“Two weeks before the girls went missing, Rozlin, I had talked to her on the phone,” said Lorelie. “She said don’t be surprised if you find me on your front doorstep, or ya know, on your doorstep and I told her that would be great because my apartment will be ready in two weeks and ya know ‘you guys can come down.’”
Lorelie told of how she and her older sister Heather, were kidnapped by their father in 1963 and brought to Oklahoma, providing some insight as to how the Rozlin and Fawn (born later), were raised. Rozlin and Fawn were Lorelie’s half-sisters, all having the same father. “We lived in a life of abuse and he raped me, I mean just countless numbers of times,” Lorelie told Carson. “He never did that to my sister but he was very cruel to her. It’s really very hard to talk about.”
Lorelie went on to tell Carson of how her father wanted her to get one of her friends and go hitchhike so he could pick them up but did not want Lorelie to tell her friend who he was. She believed he had intentions of raping her friend and never followed through with his plan.
The official record states that both sisters were out seeking jobs the day they disappeared, however, Lorelie believes that is just a concocted story to minimize the attention of the man she believes is responsible for their disappearance, her father, who is now deceased.
“Because of what happened to myself and Heather, I automatically suspected Otto, because he was very evil, very much a . . . I mean he loved girls and women,” said Lorelie. She explained how her dad made her invite a friend over from school that was about 13 years old, who he raped. He was never investigated for raping the young schoolgirl because she was too afraid to say anything, and the crime never reported.
Lorelie tried to tell police that her father was capable of such a heinous act and suspected him of abducting and murdering his own children, but she says they would not listen.
The girl’s father, Otto Abell Sr., was interviewed by News 9 out of Oklahoma on February 22, 2013.
“To this day we still don’t know what happened to them,” Abell said. “It’s been this long, I’m pretty sure something bad happened to them.”
Despite Otto’s violent background, according to Lorelie, he was never considered a suspect in her sister’s disappearance and never questioned by police.
A Facebook page was created that has 2,171 followers but the most recent post is from 2015.
There has been much speculation online about the sister’s disappearance. Posts on Websleuths point to Royal Russell Long, who is known to kill girls who were in pairs.
Charlotte had called her family to tell them that she and Cinda had been offered jobs assisting a Carnival worker to unload plush toys from a truck at the fair. Charlotte's mother approved of the job as long as Charlotte called home by 9:00 p.m. After work, the girls had planned to spend the night at Cinda's house.
Charlotte and Cinda had been offered a job for $5 an hour along with two other young boys by Royal Russell Long, a carnival worker, and part-time truck driver.
Long told them the four he had to pick up his truck and drove to a truck stop on Interstate 40, but when they arrived the truck wasn't there. The man gave the boys $10 and dropped them off and left the truck stop with Charlotte and Cinda in the backseat. They have never been seen again.
Long was charged with kidnapping and murder Charlotte and Cinda in August 1985. Investigators determined Long had arrived in Oklahoma City the day before the girls vanished to deliver a flat-bed trailer to a company there. He admitted he had been at the fair, but denied involvement in their disappearances. However, the boys and several other witnesses identified him as the man who offered the girls jobs as well as approaching other children with the same offer.
There is also speculation that Royal Russell Long may have also been involved in the murder of Carolyn Eaton, 17, who ran away from her home in Missouri around Christmas of 1981 and traveled to Arizona where she was found murdered on Valentine's Day 1982.
Carolyn Eaton was not unidentified until February 26, 2021, and for decades had been an unidentified person nicknamed Valentine Sally. Currently, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating her murder.
Witnesses who last saw Valentine Sally alive at a truck stop along Interstate 40, described a trucker wearing a cowboy hat with a peacock feather adorning the front, along with a description matching Long.
Long appeared to be a good lead in the disappearances of Rozlin and Fawn Abell but hopes would be dashed in 2017.
Though still popular, the theory that Rozlin and Fawn were abducted by Royal Russell Long was debunked in 2017 by Whereabouts Still Unknown. It was uncovered that Royal Russell Long was incarcerated in Wyoming when Rozlin and Fawn went missing. He was serving time for the kidnapping of a young woman named Sharon Baldeagle and her friend. Also, Long had been extradited to Oklahoma City on or about August 9, 1985, to stand trial for the murders of Cinda Pallett and Charlotte Kinsey.
As with all missing person cases, their families still await answers.
Charlotte Kinsney's mother was left with only memories of how her daughter loved poetry and roller skating when she vanished and even kept Charlotte's room as she left it for years after her disappearance.
Did Rozlin and Fawn run away? Did they hitchhike and get picked up by a person with wicked intentions? Did their father Otto Abell Sr., kill his daughters?
As for Rozlin and Fawn's sister, Lorelie, she believes she knows what happened to her sisters and she prays every day that her sisters will be found within her lifetime.
© 2021 Kym L Pasqualini