Frances B. Brewster
Brewster, approximately 2001
Date reported missing : 10/01/1999
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 08/11/1924 (96)
Age at the time of disappearance: 75 years old
Height / Weight : 5'7, 150 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Gray hair, blue eyes. Brewster wears a full set of dentures. She may use the names Frances B. Shipman and/or Frances Shipman Brewster. Brewster has had both hips replaced, the right one more recently than the left. She has previously broken her right wrist.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Brewster was last seen sometime in October 1999 in Sunriver, Oregon. She was living with her adult son, John Shipman, at the time of her disappearance; she had moved in with him after leaving a retirement center in Bend, Oregon. After she vanished, Shipman said his mother was traveling with Walter Cierley, who disappeared in July 1998. Cierley had been married to Brewster's late sister, making him Brewster's brother-in-law.
In May 2000, one of Brewster's other sons reported her missing. Her relatives had become worried because they had not heard from her for such a long time. Subsequent investigation revealed Cierley's disappearance as well.
Police discovered that Shipman was cashing both Brewster and Cierley's Social Security benefit checks after they disappeared. When they tried to arrest him on some unrelated domestic violence charges in September 2001, he killed himself with a shotgun. Federal indictments related to the check-cashing were pending against him when he died.
Although Shipman never admitted to involvement in his mother and uncle's disappearances, authorities believe he murdered them both and buried their bodies somewhere in central Oregon.
Brewster and Cierley have never been located. Foul play is suspected in their cases due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Bend Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
North American Missing Persons Network
October 12, 2004. May 9, 2005.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map