Jennifer Joyce Barton

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Above: Barton, circa 1976

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 16, 1976 from Austin, Texas
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: May 31, 1955
  • Age: 20 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'7, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Barton has a light, freckled complexion. There is a scar on the calf of her right leg, and her ears are pierced. Barton may go by her initials, J.J.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A burgundy body suit, blue jeans, and sandals.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Barton went to the movies with a friend in Austin, Texas on May 16, 1976. She was last seen getting into a brown or tan vaan with California license plates outside a bar in the vicinity of east 11th Street and Waller Street in Austin. There were two African-American men inside the van. Barton has never been heard from again.

    Two other young African-American women, Debra Stewart and Brenda Moore, both disappeared from Austin in the spring of 1976, and it's possible the three cases are related. Moore vanished on March 7, 1976; she was last seen at 3:15 p.m. on the east side of Austin. On March 12, her car was found abandoned in the 1900 block of Coleto Street, less than a block from where Stewart's vehicle was later located, with the car keys inside it. Photographs of Moore are unavailable; she was 19 years old at the time of her disappearance and is described as 5'0 tall and 125 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was married at the time of her disappearance, but she and her husband had been separated for about four months and she had a boyfriend who drove a blue Chevrolet pickup truck. Moore's husband said he thought she had simply left town with another man. There is no hard evidence that Moore, Barton and Stewart's disappearances are connected, but police are looking into the possibility.

    Barton is a dropout from Reagan High School and has a record of prostitution arrests, but she has not been arrested since her 1976 disappearance. One of friends was murdered in February 1976, and Barton's apartment was broken into shortly afterwards. She frequented the areas near 11th Street at Waller and 7th Street at Congress Avenue, and there were rumors that she had stolen from drug dealers. Barton had made comments about wanting to go to California, and police looked for her in the Los Angeles area, but their searches turned up nothing. She is considered endangered and foul play is suspected in her case.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Austin Police Department
    512-974-5250

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    Source Information
    NamUs
    Texas Department of Public Safety
    The Austin American-Statesman
    KXAN

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 21, 2017; details of disappearance updated.

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