BROOKSVILLE — It was a Tuesday evening, like so many other fall nights in Bracken County.
Weather conditions were similar to what area residents are experiencing this week, warm with an occasional need for a light jacket after dark.
As a nation watched on television, singer Reba McIntire belted out the National Anthem before the Florida Marlins began the third game on the way to beating the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series.
And Germantown teen Erica Fraysure, who had been socializing with friends in Brooksville, was about to disappear.
After 9:30 p.m., Oct. 21, 1997, Fraysure was never seen or heard from again.
She never picked up her paycheck from working at a local restaurant and her black 1988 Pontiac Bonneville was found abandoned off Fronks Lane; the keys were missing.
Family members were frantic, friends were worried and those who didn't even know the pretty brunette were helping in the search. Police interviewed dozens of people, even conducting polygraph tests on some who allowed it.
Over the 10 years since her disappearance, there has been plenty of theory and conjecture, even national spotlight, but nothing has brought closure to the girl's family. Fraysure nor her body has ever been found.
Kentucky State Police are still treating it as an open missing person case.
"We are still open to all possibilities, but we are also, since it has been 10 years now, looking at putting some persistent rumors to rest," said KSP Detective Chris Jaskowiak, on Thursday.
Several people have been interviewed over the years and it has finally been determined that a party allegedly attended by Fraysure was actually held the day after Fraysure went missing.
"She was not there. The party was Oct. 22," said Jaskowiak.
Another was that Fraysure had run off on her own.
"If you were going to do that, we may have found your car broken down on the side of a highway, not in a field with your personal identification in it. That would be something a person would need. There is less than a 1 percent chance of that being the case here," said Jaskowiak. "She would have contacted somebody in all this time."
Because there has been no resolution and with gossip often helping reveal crimes to local police in small communities, a solitary individual is believed to have done something to Fraysure, said Jaskowiak.
According to Jaskowiak, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was asked to create a profile of what type of person would be capable of making a girl disappear the way Fraysure did.
"There is a profile by the FBI of a person of interest, a sociopath who may have had a history of animal abuse, strained family ties and they may have been in jail at one time or another. They tend to keep to themselves so much they have few friends and nobody they would confide in. They would be capable of killing someone and disposing of the body without ever feeling the need to share the information with anyone," he said. "They wouldn't brag about it."
It is also believed the person was from the community, familiar with the area and may still maintain a local address while moving around a lot. By local, police were not limiting the address to Brooksville, but including surrounding communities and cities.
In the initial investigation, the KSP detective handling the case, Bob Scott interviewed several people, including one who fit the profile as a person of interest, said Jaskowiak, who did not name the person.
According to published reports and court records, Shane Simcox, the last person seen with Fraysure, was interviewed by Scott and he denied any link to her disappearance. Simcox, who was living with his grandfather in 1997, later got into scrapes with the law which resulted in jail time in 1998. He had previously been arrested for breaking into a Brooksville store in 1995. He had declined Scott's request to take a polygraph test in 1997 and his current whereabouts are unknown.
"He moves around a lot," said Jaskowiak.
Chris Below, a suspect in other similar cases of missing young girls with long dark hair and slight builds, sent to prison in Ohio in 2004 for involuntary manslaughter in the disappearance of Kathern Fetzer, has also been "looked into thoroughly." said Jaskowiak.
"If you recall there was the serial killer tow truck driver theory too. In the time since I have been on the case there have also been four people who confessed to killing her, and all have been false confessions," said Jaskowiak.
The death of Chris Mineer, reportedly a friend of Fraysure's, and his girlfriend Carmen Moorhead in 1998 is not related to the case either.
"That was purely a domestic situation," said Jaskowiak.
A farm where Simcox worked was also investigated to no end, as were a laundry list of other locations where people claimed to believe she was buried.
"Cadaver dogs have gone over the parking lots a number of times. There are a lot of wells and places to dispose of a body in the area of Bracken, Robertson and Mason County. Remains would have been found by now if her body was just dumped. We believe it was probably buried or heavily concealed somehow," he said.
There are personal items which may help in the search. Fraysure was believed to be wearing a Winnie the Pooh watch, a purple sweater with white stripes, Keds sneakers and jeans when she went missing.
Posters with Fraysure's image, at 17, the age she was went she went missing and with age enhancement still appear in area businesses and in the Bracken County Courthouse.
Fraysure's mother, Maggie Doherty could not be reached for comment.
Anyone with information regarding the Erica Fraysure case is asked to call KSP Post 6 at 859-428-1212, Bracken County Sheriff at 606-735-3233.
For more area news, go to www.bracken-online.com
Contact Wendy Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 564-9091, ext. 276.