How Did Dorothy Jane Scott Disappear in the Middle of California?


On May 28, 1980, a woman named Dorothy Jane Scott disappeared from Anaheim, California. The young single mom lived in nearby Stanton with her aunt and her four-year-old son. Scott, who was 32 at the time, had reportedly been subjected to harassment by a mysterious stalker for months leading up to her disappearance.

Her case went cold for years after the disappearance. In 1984, however, investigators made a startling discovery that confirmed their worst fears.


Dorothy Jane Scott worked as a secretary for two stores in Anaheim. Her friends described her as a quiet person who preferred staying in over going out on the town. Her family told reporters that she seemingly had no steady boyfriend but dated a few people off-and-on.

In early 1980, Dorothy began receiving bizarre phone calls while she was at work. Sometimes, the caller would proclaim that he loved her. Other times he would threaten her with violence. The calls understandably rattled Dorothy, who began taking karate lessons and considered purchasing a weapon to keep in her purse.


On May 28, 1980, Dorothy attended an employee meeting at her job. She noticed her coworker Conrad Bostron looked unwell and had a distinct red mark on his arm. Dorothy and another employee, Pam Head, rushed Conrad to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. Doctors recognized Conrad’s ailment as a black widow spider bite and rushed to give him treatment.

After Conrad received medical attention, Dorothy told Pam she would bring her car around to pick her coworkers up. Pam and Conrad walked outside to meet Dorothy a few minutes later, only to see her car speed past them. Neither of Dorothy’s coworkers could see who was behind the wheel but assumed Dorothy must have sped off to attend to a personal emergency.


After Pam and Conrad didn’t hear from Dorothy for hours, they reported her missing. Later on the morning of May 29, detectives found her car burning in an alley several miles from the hospital. The investigation quickly went cold after that, as the fire destroyed any physical evidence the police had.

Four years later, in 1984, a construction worker discovered human remains off of Santa Ana Canyon Road in Anaheim. The bones were partially charred, though investigators believe the damage was due to a wildfire that passed through the region in 1982.

Detectives were able to verify the remains through dental records. Tragically, they belonged to Dorothy Jane Scott. To this day, her disappearance and death remain unsolved. Police have never made any arrests in the case.