Gail Ann Northington
Gail, approximately 1987
Date reported missing : 01/09/1987
Missing location (approx) :
Ottawa Lake, Michigan
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Age at the time of disappearance: 29 years old
Height / Weight : 5'4, 110 - 130 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Gail's ears are pierced.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Gail was last seen in Ottawa Lake, Michigan on January 9, 1987. She and her son had been staying with her parents in Erie, Michigan due to marital difficulties; she had filed for divorce in December. They were married for only a little over a year and had an infant son together, and Gail had a daughter from a prior relationship.
On the day of her disappearance, Gail left her baby with her parents and returned to her home on Samaria Road west of U.S. 23 in Ottawa Lake to pick up some clothes and food. She has never been heard from again. On January 20, her car was found abandoned at an apartment complex in Oregon, Ohio. This is about twenty miles from her home.
According to Gail's family, her husband, Gary Michael Northington, was possessive, controlling and abusive towards her. In court Gary stated problems began just weeks after they married in November 1985, and he admitted he'd burned Gail's clothes and flattened the tires in her car. When police examined Gary's van after his disappearance, they discovered it had been washed and bleached, and when they searched the couple's home they found a bloodstained hacksaw blade.
Gail's parents sued for custody of her and Gary's son after her disappearance. Less than a month after she was last seen, Gary was arrested for perjury; he lied in court during the custody battle. He was subsequently charged with trying to arrange her murder the day before she went missing. He was convicted of of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in October and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Gary's conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again at his second trial and is still in prison.
Gail's parents got custody of her son and raised him as their own. Her father is now deceased, but her mother and siblings are still alive. Gail has never been found. Foul play is suspected in her case.
Other information and links : ncy
Monroe 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 Detroit Free Press
Michigan Department of Corrections
The Monroe News
October 12, 2004. May 5, 2021; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map