Ann Gotlib was a 12-year-old girl who went missing from Louisville, Kentucky on the 1st of June 1983. Ann was a Russian-Jewish immigrant and speaks fluent Russian and English. Ann was last seen riding her red and white bicycle (pictured below) from the Bashford Manor Mall back to her family’s home.
Ann never returned home that evening and has never been seen or heard from again.
Ann’s bicycle was later found propped up against a pillar outside of Bacon’s Department Store in the mall. Ann’s family residence was located just across the street from the mall.
Ann’s entire family was thoroughly checked and cleared by police of having any involvement in her disappearance.
There was speculation that Ann may have run away because she was having trouble adjusting to life in America. Still, her family said that she was not usually anxious and if she had decided to run away, she would most likely have made contact with them or at least taken some money or her favourite possessions.
There was also a theory that Ann had been kidnapped by agents of the Soviet government in an attempt to force her family to return to Russia, but this theory has been discredited.
The most likely explanation for Ann’s disappearance is that she was abducted and murdered by a man named Gregory Lewis Oakley Jr.
Gregory once abducted his stepdaughter and injected her with a painkiller drug to sedate her. He was charged with attempted murder but later plead guilty to assault. In September 1983, Gregory attacked a 13-year-old girl in her home, stabbed and attempted to rape her. She survived the ordeal.
Gregory was arrested in 1984 for the crime, and it was then that he was questioned about his involvement in Ann’s disappearance. Gregory claimed that he had nothing to do with her disappearance, but he failed a polygraph test. Bank records showed that he made a deposit at an ATM just 100minutes before Ann went missing, and Gregory claimed that he left Louisiana straight after his visit to the ATM machine on a business trip.
Gregory passed of lung cancer in 2002.
In 2008, an inmate who had been in prison with Gregory told police that Gregory had killed Ann with an injection of the painkiller Talwin. As Gregory was a vet, he would have had easy access to it.
The inmate passed a polygraph test and Gregory’s former girlfriend corroborated the story. She said that on the night that Ann went missing, at around 11pm, Gregory came to her home in Louisville and asked her to wash some clothes for him.
Investigators have said that if Gregory was still alive today, Gregory would be charged with Ann’s abduction and murder based on the evidence that has become available.
The investigation into Ann’s disappearance still remains active, and police hope that one day they will find her body. Ann’s parents still remain in the Louisville area and remain hopeful that her case will one day be resolved.
If you have any information about Ann’s disappearance, you can submit a tip here.
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