For 28 years, the disappearance of Shawnee teen Sandy Pathresa Rea has defined the daily life of her family, leaving them always wondering what happened to her and always searching for answers.
Rea was 17 when she went missing on Sept. 19, 1984. Different stories and theories about her disappearance have been abundant over the years, but in the past few months, family members have intently focused themselves on those stories while trying to ask questions and bring forth any new activity for the case.
Rea's cousin, Johnny Price, is among the family members working leads from conversations on a Facebook page in Sandy's name and from other tips.
For years, it was reported that Sandy went missing from Shawnee Bowl on North Harrison Street, with reports indicating she was trying to get a ride to a party and last seen making a phone call from the bowling alley. Witness statements in later years of the investigation indicated there were sightings of her at parties that same night at Shawnee Twin Lakes and a local motel.
Over the years, Shawnee police have interviewed hundreds of people in connection with the case, which remains open, but none have led to the ultimate goal of finding Sandy.
Among the stories about her disappearance have been those about where her body may be located. Price said the family needs closure for Rea's mother, who has spent years searching for her daughter.
"We need this thing solved — what can we do after 28 years to go beyond speculation," Price said about the case. "We need to at least give her a proper burial…and put an end to the mystery."
And with the case now unsolved for nearly three decades, many people who could be potential witnesses are getting older and some have even passed away, Price said, adding this is a crucial time for the case that needs to be solved.
Anyone with information can call the Shawnee Police Crimestoppers line, 405-273-0989.