The Vanished is a true crime podcast that explores the stories of those who have gone missing. The Vanished goes beyond conventional news reports to take a deep dive into the story of a different missing person each week. Host Marissa Jones brings you exclusive interviews with family members, friends, law enforcement and experts. What with The Vanished uncover next?
On December 1, 2015, Katelin Michelle Akens flew across the country from her home in Arizona to visit her family in Virginia. She had been eagerly anticipating the arrival of her nephew, and wanted to see him as soon as he was born. Four days later, on December 5, 2015, 19-year-old Katelin was supposed to fly back home to Arizona, but she never boarded her flight. A few days after she disappeared, her luggage was found on the side of a Virginia road with her wallet, identification, cash, and plane ticket, but there was no sign of Katelin. On the afternoon of her disappearance, Katelin texted a couple people but they found the texts to be strange and didn't believe the messages came from Katelin. The last person to see Katelin was her former stepfather, James Branton. He says he last saw Katelin when he dropped her off at a mall several hours before her flight, but has refused to take a polygraph and law enforcement has struggled to break the encryption on his phone.
Nearly three years have passed since Katelin’s disappearance, and her family is still searching for answers.
If you have any information about Katelin Akens, please call the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office at 540-507-7102 or the FBI’s ViCAP division at 1-800-634-4097.
You can follow Katelin’s case on Facebook at “Help Find Katelin Akens.”
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