|Trevaline Evans, via Cascade News|
An utterly normal person, going about an utterly normal day in his/her utterly normal life. All is well. Not the slightest need for any apprehension. Then, seemingly within a heartbeat, something--we can only guess what--happens. And this person is never seen again, alive or dead. What could be more eerie?
It's small wonder a great many people have found themselves obsessed with the mystery of Trevaline Evans.
In 1990, Evans was a 52-year-old antiques dealer who managed a shop, "Attic Antiques," in the picturesque little town of Llangollen, Wales. She was a loving and content wife, mother, and grandmother. At 9:30 on the morning of June 16th, she opened her store as usual. Llangollen being the sort of place where "everybody knows everybody," Evans had many friends dropping by the shop, as well as the normal stream of tourists. Everyone who saw Mrs. Evans agreed that she seemed her usual placid, cheery self. She made plans to go out with friends that evening.
On that particular day, Trevaline's husband Richard was at the holiday cottage they owned in nearby Rhuddlan, doing some renovations. When he phoned home that night, there was no answer. After calling several times with equally fruitless results, he contacted friends to see if they knew where Trevaline was. When he learned that no one had seen her since mid-day, Richard began to get concerned, and asked a neighbor to visit the antique shop. The man found Trevaline's car still parked outside the store. Attic Antiques was unoccupied. The door was locked, and she had pinned a note to it: "Back in 2 minutes." (The handwriting was later confirmed to be hers.) Richard realized something was seriously wrong, and he contacted police.
Investigators found that Trevaline's purse, car keys, and coat were still in the shop, as well as fruit and flowers a friend had given her on the morning of the 16th. All of this indicated that, just as her note had said, the missing woman had intended to be out of the shop for only a brief time.
Detectives pieced together all the information they could find about her movements on the 16th. Around 12:30 p.m., a friend briefly stopped by the shop. Soon after that, Evans put the note on the door and departed. She bought an apple and banana from a nearby store on Castle Street, Llangollen's main thoroughfare. The town's streets were bustling and full, so Evans was seen by numerous people who knew her. No one noticed anything unusual about her behavior. At 2:30, a friend saw Trevaline near her home. As far as is known for certain, no one has seen her since. Shortly after 2:30, a woman matching her description was reported as walking along the busy A5 leading out of Llangollen. An hour after that, someone believed they saw her walking by the River Dee. However, both these "sightings" have been disputed. A banana peel was found in the garbage can of the antique shop, suggesting that Trevaline may have returned there after buying the fruit, but we have no way of knowing if it was from the banana she bought on the 16th.
The search for Trevaline became the biggest missing-person hunt in North Wales history. Police went door-to-door asking about her. The surrounding countryside was searched. Divers scoured all local waterways. Bloodhounds were brought in. Updates about the case were frequently featured on local TV. Richard Evans offered a reward of £5,000 for any information about his wife's whereabouts. Psychics were even consulted. Everything that could be done to find this woman was done. And the result was...next to nothing.
The most intriguing thing to emerge from the investigation was that in the days before her disappearance, Trevaline was seen several times in the company of a man who was a stranger to everyone who saw them together. On all these occasions, the two appeared to be having intense conversations. On the night before she vanished, Mrs. Evans reportedly had a "heated" talk with this man behind her shop. Unfortunately, this man has never been identified, leaving his role--if he had one--in Trevaline's disappearance a mystery. A police sketch artist made a drawing of this man which was widely circulated. However, police eventually dismissed this sketch as "inaccurate."
Mrs. Evans was declared legally dead in 1997. The investigation was briefly reopened in 2001, with the hope that modern forensic technology might help solve the case. Richard Evans was brought in for questioning--the husband is inevitably always the first suspect when a woman goes missing--but was soon released for lack of evidence.
Police believe that Trevaline Evans did not leave voluntarily. The assumption is that she was a victim of foul play, but the question of who could have murdered this seemingly harmless, innocent woman, and why, is to date still a frighteningly murky puzzle.