Ron Elliott is a Vietnam veteran who lives in Delaware and cares a great deal about his fellow veterans. That’s why for 40 years now, Ron has decided to use a special pickup truck to transport Vietnam veterans during their funerals as a final gesture of gratitude.
However, this all changed when his 2000 Ford F150, which he has owned for nearly two decades, started to encounter major problems after about the 150,000 mile mark. It was the same vehicle he had driven as a part of many Vietnam memorials and funerals.
Amazingly, the truck is just the second that he has used in all of his years of providing this special service. But when it started to break down, he didn’t know if he could get another specially altered truck right away. That’s when community members stepped up to help.
Community firefighters and veterans raised enough money to purchase a lightly used 2013 Ford truck. The truck will be modified as necessary to carry the caskets of veterans as Ron takes them to their final resting places. Just as with the previous truck, it will be repainted to carry the names of the deceased veterans that he transports.
“It’s all about Ron and what he does for veterans,” said retired Air Force veteran Mitchel Gauge, who led the fundraising project. “Transporting deceased veterans at no cost to the cemeteries [or the veteran’s families] including Arlington Cemetery, and he’s been doing that for years. We just wanted him to keep that mission going.”
As for Elliott, he has been transporting the remains of his military brothers since the 1960s and has traveled as far away as to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. to help out. He said he has made about 500 trips up and down the east coast over the years. “It’s not hard to me,” Elliott said. “I’m glad to do it for them.”
Take a look at 25 creepy cases that will undoubtedly keep you at the edge of your seat.
The Springfield Three
It was June 7th, 1992, when the Springfield Three suddenly vanished. After a late-night of graduation parties, Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall decided to call it a night and went home to Streeter’s house. Suzie’s mother, Sherrill Levitt, was waiting at home for both of them. When a friend came to visit the next day, all three women had already disappeared.
John Ruffo, a former business executive, conned U.S. banks out of $350 million. When he was caught, Ruffo faced a 150-count indictment. Because he was considered a flight risk, bail was set at $10 million, so Ruffo’s immediate family put up their homes as collateral to secure his pre-trial release. Ruffo was ultimately found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to seventeen years in prison, but he disappeared in November 1998 before turning himself over. He was last seen pulling money out of an ATM the afternoon he was to give himself over to the authorities.
Jim Sullivan, a musician, released his album U.F.O in 1969 but didn’t gain much mainstream fame from it. In March 1975, at 34 years old, Sullivan left LA in his VW Beetle. He checked into a motel in New Mexico, but reports suggest that he didn’t sleep there. His car was later found abandoned at a ranch. Reports have attributed his disappearance to being murdered, becoming disoriented and lost, or even an alien abduction — weirdly enough, U.F.O. was all about driving to a desert and leaving his family only to get abducted by aliens.
Charles Kingsford Smith
Charles Kingsford Smith, often nicknamed Smithy, was an Australian aviator. A pilot that crossed off many ‘firsts,’ Smith made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland. After many successful trips, Smith and his co-pilot were flying overnight from India to Singapore when they disappeared in the early hours of November 1935. Eighteen months after Smith’s disappearance, an undercarriage leg and wheel were discovered by fishermen. Although that was found, the wreckage of the plane and the body of Smith remains a complete mystery to this day.
Paula Jean Welden
Paula Jean Welden, born in October of 1928, was an American college student. A sophomore at Bennington College, Welden disappeared while walking on Vermont’s Long Trail hiking route in 1946. She had finished up a shift at the dining hall before returning to her dorm room to change into her walking clothes. She only expected to be gone for a few hours, but she ultimately vanished without a trace. The next morning, when her roommate noticed that Welden hadn’t returned, the search started and would continue for weeks. Unfortunately, her body was never found, although a local man told at least two people that he knew where Welden was buried.
Jodi Huisentruit, a TV news anchor, was only 27 years old when she disappeared. In June of 1995, Huisentruit was scheduled to work at the station but failed to show up, so the producer called her apartment. Huisentruit answered and explained that she had overslept, but she was preparing to leave. A couple of hours later, however, when Huisentruit had still not arrived, the producer called the police. When the police arrived at her apartment, they found her red Mazda in the parking lot, and it seemed as though a struggle took place near her car.
Ray Gricar was a district attorney who served for the Center County in Pennsylvania from 1985 to 2005. In April 2005, however, Gricar disappeared without a trace. He had told his longtime girlfriend Patty on April 15th that he planned on taking a half-day. When he hadn’t returned home that night, though, Patty reported him missing. The very next day, investigators found Gricar’s red Mini Cooper abandoned in a parking lot. Half a year later, Gricar’s laptop was found under a bridge with no hard drive.
Brian Shaffer was a medical student studying at Ohio State University. He was just 27 years old at the time of his disappearance. In 2006, on the night of March 31st, Shaffer headed to a bar with some friends to celebrate the start of spring break. At some point in the night, he had been separated from his friends, but the last he was seen was on the bar’s security camera around 2 a.m. Although there are various theories surrounding his disappearance, Shaffer was never heard from or seen again. Quite a puzzling mystery…
Lauren Spierer was a 20-year-old student studying at Indiana University at the time of her disappearance. She had gone out to a bar with several friends on the eve of June 2nd, 2011. She was last seen at 4:30 a.m. on June 3rd. Although there are different theories regarding Spierer’s disappearance, her body was never found, and she was never heard from again. Still, though, her parents haven’t given up the fight and have maintained a social media presence in the hopes that it’ll help get their daughter back.
Tara Calico was nineteen when she disappeared near her home in New Mexico. In September 1988, Calico had gone for a bike ride but was never seen again. In July 1989, a Polaroid photo of an unidentified young woman and boy was found in a parking lot; they were both tied up and gagged. Family and friends believed that the woman in the photo resembled Calico. While some believe that Calico was kidnapped, others believe that she may have been hit by a car while she was riding her bike and was buried the same day.
Teresa Butler was 35-years-old at the time of her disappearance. In 2006, on January 24th, Teresa went to work. She returned home in the evening to spend some time with her family before her husband, Gary, left for his night shift. When he had returned home the next morning, Teresa was nowhere to be found. Her car was still at the house, but many valuables were gone, including her cell phone. Their two sons were left alone in the parent’s bedroom. Gary immediately called the police, but she has never been seen again.
Elisa Lam, aged 21, was a Canadian student who was traveling around California. In February 2013, her body was recovered from a hotel’s rooftop water tank in downtown LA. She was seen on a surveillance video the night she disappeared. In the video, she was seen walking into an elevator and hiding as if someone was following her. When she got out of the elevator, it didn’t look like anyone else was with her, but no one ever saw her after that, and her body was found weeks later…
Asha Degree, from North Carolina, went missing when she was just nine years old. When her parents went to wake her up for school in February of 2000, she wasn’t there. For unknown reasons, Degree packed her backpack and left her home to begin walking on a nearby highway in the early hours of the morning, despite the tumultuous weather. It wasn’t long before her books and pencils were found near a neighbor’s home. She disappeared without a trace and no one has any idea where she went…
Barbara Newhall Follett
Barbara Newhall Follett was a child prodigy novelist, with her first-ever novel being published when she was just twelve years old. By fourteen, she received critical acclaim on her second novel. After years of fame and success, however, Follett fell into a pit of depression. She had married her husband by the time she was nineteen years old, and although they were initially happy, Follett soon came to believe that her husband was cheating on her. After an argument with him, Follett left their apartment and was never seen again…
Patty Blough, Renee Bruhl, and Ann Miller
In July 1966, three friends (Patty Blough — 19, Renee Bruhl — 19, and Ann Miller — 21) drove to Indiana Dunes State Park. After they parked the car and hiked to the lake, they decided to go for a swim. A couple saw the girls leave their stuff on the beach and head into the water. A few minutes later, the couple spotted them getting onto a little motorboat heading west, and the three girls were never seen again. To this day, the girls were never found and their disappearances remain a mystery.
Ylenia Carrisi, an Italian television celeb, was only 23-years-old when she disappeared. The daughter of Italian singers and actors, Albano Carrisi and Romina Power, Carrisi decided she’d take a break from studying to travel the world. After visiting New Orleans in January 1994, Carrisi went missing. From abduction to running away, there are many theories surrounding the young woman’s disappearance. Some people have even reported sightings of her alive. Still, upon her father’s request, Carrisi was declared legally dead in January 2014.
Keith Reinhard was forty-eight years old when he went on sabbatical from his sports reporter job. He wanted to exercise more, write a novel, and open his own antique shop. After relocating with his wife and opening his store across the street from a friend, Reinhard learned that the store used to be a bookstore owned by a man named Tom Young, who had mysteriously disappeared a year earlier. Reinhard became obsessed with the mystery and wrote about Young’s story. A week later, Young’s body was found and Reinhard went for a hike only to never return…
Barbara Bolick went missing while on a hike in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana with a family friend that was visiting from California. On the way back, her friend stopped to look at the scenic view. According to the friend himself, he “turned to look at a distant peak off to the West for about a minute with my back to her,” he said. “When I turned back to continue heading down, Barb was nowhere to be seen.” She was just fifty-five years old when she disappeared without a trace and has never been found…
The Sarah Joe Mystery
The Sarah Joe Mystery is a story about five men who went on a fishing trip in February 1979 in Hawaii only to never return. When they first hopped aboard their boat (the Sarah Joe), the weather couldn’t have been any better — it was literally smooth sailing. But that changed within a few short hours. The guys failed to return, which fueled a massive search. A decade later, the boat was found wrecked on the coast of one of the Marshall Islands. It was next to the grave of one of the five men in the boat…
Kinross Incident: Felix Moncla was a United States Air Force pilot. In November of 1953, at 27 years old, Moncla disappeared while performing an air defense intercept over Lake Superior. After First Lieutenant Moncla was sent to check on an unidentified aircraft, the radar showed his aircraft overlapping with the unidentified aircraft, or what was believed to be a UFO. It wasn’t long before the radar operator (Robert L. Wilson) noticed that there was no trace of Moncla or his aircraft. Wilson attempted to contact Moncla via radio but received no response.
Cheryl Gene Grimmer, born in 1966, was just a three-year-old toddler when she went missing. In January of 1970, the Grimmer family went to the Fairy Meadow Beach for the day. In the early afternoon, when the weather turned, Cheryl’s mother decided it was time to head home so the kids went to the showers to rinse off. Moments later, though, Cheryl disappeared and was nowhere to be found. While there have been suspects and evidence to suggest what happened, Cheryl’s body was never found but she was declared legally dead in 2011.
Forrest Schab, better known by his stage name DY, is a Canadian rapper and hip-hop artist. After signing with CP Records, DY decided to fly to Mexico for a vacation. Unfortunately, though, he wouldn’t ever make it back to Canada as he disappeared with no one hearing from him in months. By November 18th, 2010, DY was reported missing in Mexico. On December 10th, his family released another statement expressing their worry regarding his disappearance. While there are a lot of rumors surrounding the rapper’s disappearance, many believe that it was related or linked to organized crime.
Thomas H. ‘Boston’ Corbett, better known as “Lincoln’s Avenger,” killed Abraham Lincoln’s assassin — you know, John Wilkes Booth. Largely regarded as a hero, Corbett was appointed assistant doorkeeper of the Kansas House of Representatives in January 1887. Soon after, he became paranoid and attempted to attack the House officers. After a judge declared him insane, Corbett was sent to the Topeka Asylum. It wasn’t long before he escaped to Kansas, where he briefly stayed with a friend. Corbett is believed to have settled in a cabin he built in Minnesota before dying in the Great Hinckley Fire.
Lieutenant-Commander Lionel Kenneth Phillip Crabb, known as Buster Crabb, was a Royal Navy frogman who served in WWII. In 1956, at 47 years old, Crabb was recruited by M16 to help investigate a Soviet cruiser. Once he got his diving gear on and jumped into Portsmouth Harbour, his M16 controller never saw him again — he disappeared immediately. A little over a year later, a body in a diving suit was found by two fishermen. Unfortunately, it was impossible to identify who it was using then-available technology, as the body was missing its head and both hands.
Ken McElroy, nicknamed ‘the town bully,’ was a very hated man in the town of Skidmore, Missouri. He was accused of various different crimes including violence and assault among many other felonies. The other people in town decided to take matters into their own hands since law enforcement wasn’t really doing much. Two people were involved in the murder of McElroy but they were never caught. McElroy was forty-seven years old when he died on July 10th, 1981.