Heather Dawn Mullins Zimmerman
Zimmerman, approximately 1997; Drawing of Zimmerman's tattoo
Date reported missing : 05/26/1997
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 10/17/1977 (43)
Age at the time of disappearance: 19 years old
Height / Weight : 5'6, 115 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A size medium Sears navy blue and white striped chambray shirt, size 9 stonewashed Zana Di bellbottom jeans, size 9 or 9 1/2 black St. Michael shoes, a Mickey Mouse watch, a gold ring with six diamonds, diamond-studded earrings and gold ball earrings.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, green eyes. Zimmerman is right-handed. She has a tattoo of three roses with black stems on the outside of her left ankle; a picture of the tattoo is posted with this case summary. Zimmerman's left ear is pierced eight times and her right ear is pierced six times. She has scars on her left arm, left wrist and left index finger, and a mole on her neck. Her left ring finger doesn't function properly.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Zimmerman was last seen on May 26, 1997. Her parents said that she took a soda from the refrigerator and departed their home at approximately 8:30 p.m. She is believed to have attended a party in rural Rantoul, Illinois that night.
Authorities received information that she was dropped off near her family's residence at 3:00 a.m. on May 27, but it was not confirmed. Zimmerman has never been heard from again.
Zimmerman left all of her personal belongings at home. Her purse had been stolen prior to her disappearance and she was not carrying any credit cards, cash or identification as a result. She never collected her last paycheck from her place of employment, Casey's General Store, where she worked part time as a clerk.
Zimmerman's husband was serving with the United States Marines in Japan in 1997. She resided with her parents in Gifford while he was stationed abroad. Their marriAge at the time of disappearance: was troubled at the time, with some reports stating they were divorced or separated.
In spite of her marital difficulties, it is uncharacteristic of Zimmerman to leave without warning. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of her.
Another young woman, Jamie Harper, disappeared from the Rantoul area in 2007. Authorities stated there were similarities between the two cases. They have the same person of interest in both cases; he has not been publicly identified. The disappearances have not been conclusively connected, however.
Authorities stated foul play has not been ruled out in Zimmerman's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Champaign County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
North American Missing Persons Network
The Crime Library
Unsolved in the News
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 2–5% 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.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map