Davette Kathryn Gaunt
Gaunt, approximately 1992; Christopher McDonald, approximately 2017
Date reported missing : 01/01/1992
Missing location (approx) :
San Diego County, California
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 09/25/1959 (61)
Age at the time of disappearance: 32 years old
Height / Weight : 5'2 - 5'6, 106 - 121 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Blonde or brown hair, brown eyes. Gaunt's ears are pierced and she has a scar on her left wrist. Her nickname is Dee.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Gaunt was last seen at her home in San Diego County, California sometime in early 1992. She lived on Anza Avenue just outside the Vista city limits.
At the time of her disappearance, she and her live-in boyfriend, Christopher McDonald, were in the middle of a custody battle over their two-year-old daughter. Gaunt has never been heard from again. By the summer of 1992, McDonald had a new girlfriend who moved into the residence he'd shared with Gaunt.
No one reported Gaunt missing; it wasn't until May 1993 that a witness told police she had been missing for over a year and may have been murdered. McDonald raised their daughter for only a short time before sending her to Massachusetts to be raised by his parents.
In August 2017, McDonald was arrested in Safford, Arizona, where he'd lived for years, and charged with Gaunt's murder. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
Investigators believe he murdered her at their home in San Diego County on or around January 1, 1992 and disposed of her body in northern San Diego County or Riverside County. They described the case against McDonald as circumstantial. He is awaiting trial.
Foul play is suspected in Gaunt's case due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
San Diego County Sheriff's Department
September 2021 updates and sources
California Attorney General's Office
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 San Diego Union-Tribune
The Eastern Arizona Courier
October 12, 2004. August 24, 2017; picture added, Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map