Darla Melissa Harper
Harper, approximately 1986
Date reported missing : 03/04/1986
Missing location (approx) :
Little Rock, Arkansas
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 07/02/1960 (61)
Age at the time of disappearance: 25 years old
Height / Weight : 5'3 - 5'5, 115 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A pullover shirt, jeans, a horseshoe-shaped diamond ring, a diamond cluster ring, and a teardrop-shaped diamond pendant.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, brown eyes. Harper has a burn scar on her left elbow approximately one and a half inches long. She also has a small scar on her right cheek.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Harper was last seen at her apartment in Grand Ridge, Arkansas near Little Rock, off Jacksonville Cato Road, on March 4, 1986. A neighbor went to visit her that day and left at approximately 9:30 p.m. The same neighbor heard noises from Harper's residence between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. that evening, but did not investigate the sounds. They were not very loud or threatening.
Harper did not arrive at work the following morning as scheduled and a co-worker checked her apartment and found her two-year-old daughter alone and blood on the apartment's front door. There was no sign of Harper and she has never been heard from again.
Her car was found abandoned in a commuter parking lot near Crystal Hill, nine miles away from her home, the day after her disappearance. There was an unidentified set of fingerprints inside the vehicle. A small amount of blood was also found inside the car.
Harper worked for the IRS at the time of her disappearance. She had finalized her divorce just four months prior to vanishing. After Harper's disappearance, her daughter made statements that "three men came in funny hats," she "saw Mommy in a bag," and "Mommy's feet were broke."
Five months after Harper disappeared, a neighbor came forward and claimed to have witnessed Harper being abducted from her home. This statement has not been verified, however.
Several persons of interest have been investigated in Harper's case over the years. In 1990, investigators searched the backyard of her ex-husband's house, where Harper had lived prior to the divorce, after his then-wife said Harper was buried there. The search uncovered bone fragments, but authorities were unable to determine whether they were human.
Police and Harper's loved ones suspect foul play in her disappearance. She is described as a devoted mother who would not have willingly abandoned her child. There is very little evidence available in her case, however; it remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
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.
The Jacksonville Patriot
The Doe Network
The Morning News
Unsolved in the News
Peter Henderson Jr.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map