Ann Marie Shaw Godbey
Ann Marie, approximately 1995; Walter Godbey
Date reported missing : 12/03/1995
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Age at the time of disappearance: 28 years old
Height / Weight : Unknown
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Asian female. Black hair, brown eyes. Some Age at the time of disappearance: ncies may refer to Ann Marie as Ann Marie Shaw and/or Ann Marie Godbey. She is of Filipino descent.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Ann Marie was last seen on December 3, 1995 in Manassas, Virginia. She has two children with her former boyfriend, Walter Thomas Godbey, an independent contractor. The couple never married, although Ann Marie often used his last name.
Earlier in 1995, Ann Marie was granted custody of their children and Walter was ordered to pay child support. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Walter claimed that she dropped their children off at his former residence on Oronoco Lane in Manassas on December 3. He stated that Ann Marie then traveled to the Philippines, where some of her relatives resided, to visit her mother.
Her sister, Jewel Terry, said that she had an argument with her around the time Ann Marie was last seen, and the sisters were estranged at the time Ann Marie disappeared. She has never been heard from again.
Walter was charged with the murder of Douglas Alexander Small, an America Online marketing director, in December 2001. He confessed to the killing shortly after his arrest.
Walter shot Small to death after the men had an argument regarding Walter's renovation work for Small's Washington D.C. residence. Walter then moved Small's body to Alexandria, Virginia, where the remains were discovered a short time later. Walter was convicted and sentenced to thirty years in prison for the crime.
Terry filed a missing person's report for Ann Marie after Walter's arrest. She told authorities that she did not contact law enforcement after her sister disappeared due to their disagreement.
Terry said she suspected Walter was involved in Ann Marie's disappearance. She said his story that she had moved to the Philippines to be with her mother could not be true, because Ann Marie didn't have a passport and, in any case, her mother was dead.
Walter's wife, Carla Godbey, was questioned by police and led them to Ann Marie's birth certificate, Social Security card, driver's license, credit cards and pictures of her children in boxes under the stairs in Walter's house.
She stated Walter had confessed to Ann Marie's murder and had showed her the body while holding a gun to her head. She claimed Ann Marie's body was dismembered and the torso was buried in a wooded park in Fairfax, Virginia, but a search of the spot indicated turned up no evidence.
After their interview with Carla, investigators went to question Walter in prison. He said Carla and Ann Marie got into an argument and a gun in his possession went off and killed Ann Marie accidentally. In November 2009, Walter was indicted for murder, robbery and unlawful use of a firearm in Ann Marie's presumed death.
He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in her case in June 2010 and was sentenced to ten years in prison, on top of the thirty years he's already serving. Terry stated Walter had physically abused Ann Marie and she believes the sentence was too lenient, but investigators said they had no evidence to prove a premeditated murder.
Foul play is suspected in Ann Marie's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Prince William County Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The Washington Post
The Potomac News
The Northern Virginia News and Messenger
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
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