Essie Margarette Hiett
Hiett, approximately 1978; Marvin Owens, approximately 2015
Date reported missing : 02/13/1978
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 11/18/1930 (90)
Age at the time of disappearance: 47 years old
Height / Weight : 5'5, 130 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A green blouse with a female's face imprinted on the front, a tan naugahyde jacket, white pants, pantyhose, white shoes, a Timex watch with a white metal extension band and a blue face, sterling silver earrings, and a white gold wedding ring set, which included an engAge at the time of disappearance: ment ring with five imbedded stones and a wedding band with six imbedded stones; the total weight of the gems in the set is one karat.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Graying brown hair, green eyes. Hiett has pierced ears. She has a half-moon-shaped scar on her right temple near her hairline and has surgical scars on both of her legs as the result of a varicose vein removal operation. She wears a full set of dentures and wears eyeglasses with photo gray lenses. Her nicknames are Marge and/or Steele.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Hiett worked as a waitress and bartender in downtown Oroville, California. She was last seen leaving at the end of her shift at Rusty Jack's Bar on February 13, 1978. She was driving her brown 1975 Oldsmobile Toronado.
Hiett apparently never arrived home. She disappeared between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. and has never been heard from again.
That same day, her vehicle was found wrecked and abandoned in a ditch along Palermo-Honeycut Road, less than a mile from her home. Her clothes and personal belongings were scattered on the ground at the scene of the crash, but there was no sign of her.
In 2015, authorities announced Marvin Gail Owens was a possible suspect in Hiett's case. Early that year he was charged with the murder of his wife,┬áDeborah Owens, who disappeared in November 1978 and was never located.
A photo of Marvin is posted with this case summary. In mid-March 2015, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, admitting he "snapped" and strangled Deborah to death. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Deborah and Hiett disappeared in the same year and had mutual friends, which is what lead the police to think Marvin could have been involved in both cases. He was eventually ruled out as a suspect in Hiett's case.
Investigators do have another person of interest in Hiett's disappearance, however. She has never been found and her case remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Butte County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
California Attorney General's Office
Missing in California
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2ľ5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
Butte County Sheriff's Office
The Chico Enterprise-Record
Action News Now
The Oroville Mercury Register
Interactive Missing Person Search Map