Annette Michelle Craver Vail
Annette, approximately 1984; Mary Vail; Felix Vail, in 1972; Felix, approximately 1983; Felix, approximately 2012
Date reported missing : 10/22/1984
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 12/07/1965 (55)
Age at the time of disappearance: 18 years old
Height / Weight : 5'6 - 5'7, 115 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, brown eyes. Annette has a small scar on the side of her forehead near the hairline.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Annette's family last saw her on October 5, 1984 in Sulphur, Louisiana. Her husband, William Felix Vail Sr., who is addressed by his middle name, told the neighbors she'd gone to visit friends in Denver, Colorado. She has never been heard from again.
Annette's mother reported her as a missing person on October 22. Felix told the police she suffered from mental illness and had left of her own accord, taking a bus from St. Louis, Missouri to Mexico, not Denver. It's unclear whether Annette ever arrived in Mexico. She had been there before during her mid-teens and had fallen in love with a Mexican man and tried to get him to come to the United States with her.
The police didn't believe Felix's explanation of his wife's disappearance, in part because the bus station he said he dropped her off at did not exist, but they found no evidence of foul play. In December 1984, Felix filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences and desertion. He gave all of Annette's belongings and clothing to charity. She allegedly said she wanted to disappear. She has never been heard from again.
Felix's first wife, Mary Elizabeth Horton Vail, drowned in Louisiana in 1962. Photographs of Felix and Mary are posted with this case summary. They had one son, named William Felix Vail Jr. and called Bill.
Felix said Mary had fallen in the Calcasieu River while they were running trotlines at night, but Mary was afraid of water, that section of the river was unsuitable for trotlines, and authorities found the trotlines still inside Felix's tackle box.
He was arrested for murder, held for three days and then released without charge, and the case was never put before a grand jury. Felix had $150,000 in life insurance on Mary, but only collected $10,000 from the insurance company because of the doubts about the manner of Mary's death.
Over 50 years later, a pathologist examined the autopsy report and found evidence of foul play, including large bruises on Mary's neck and legs and a scarf in her mouth. The pathologist believes Mary was forcibly asphyxiated and possibly struck with an oar before her body went in the river.
After Mary's death, Felix took his son and moved to California. In 1970, he began seeing Sharon Hensley, a native of Bismarck, North Dakota. They were involved with drugs, and that year Bill, who was only eight years old at the time, went to the police and told them his father kept drugs in the house and had forced him to use them, and that he'd heard him confess to Mary's murder.
Felix was arrested for drug possession, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse as a result of Bill's report, the child went to live with Mary's parents. He pleaded guilty to the drug charge and was sentenced to six months in jail. California authorities passed Bill's information on to the police in Mississippi, but they still found insufficient evidence to prosecute Felix for Mary's murder.
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