Tammy Lynn Leppert

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Top Two Rows and Bottom Left and Center: Leppert, circa 1983;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 48 (circa 2013)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: July 6, 1983 from Rockledge, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: February 5, 1965
  • Age: 18 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'5, 105 - 115 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, hazel eyes. Leppert may spell her first name "Tammi." She occasionally uses Tammi and/or Tami-Lyn as stage names.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue denim skirt, a light blue shirt with flower appliques on the shoulders, and flip-flops.
  • Medical Conditions: Leppert may have been three months pregnant at the time of her disappearance, but this has not been confirmed. She was apparently suffering from emotional problems at the time of her disappearance.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Leppert left her family's home in Rockledge, Florida at 11:00 a.m. on July 6, 1983 with a male friend. Her friend later told authorities that he and Leppert had an argument while driving and that he left her standing in a parking lot outside the Glass Bank near an Exxon gasoline station in the vicinity of State Road A1A between 2nd Street North and 3rd Street North in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

    Leppert carried a gray purse when she went missing. Many reports erroneously state that she was barefoot at the time of her disappearance. Her mother said she noticed Leppert had not combed her hair before leaving the house that day, which is very uncharacteristic of her; she usually spent considerable time on her appearance before going anywhere. At the time of her disappearance, Leppert was planning to go to California to act in some movies. She apparently never arrived there, however.

    Investigators looked into the possibility that Leppert was attacked by Christopher Wilder, a man linked to at least a dozen disappearances, rapes, murders and/or attacks of women in the early to mid-1980s. Photos of Wilder are posted below this case summary. He frequented the Florida region at the time of Leppert's disappearance. He sometimes attempted to lure young female victims by offering non-existent "modeling sessions" or other tactics, which would have fit well into a scenario involving Leppert. She was a relatively known model who had won several titles and was an occasional actress, landing bit parts in the films Scarface and Spring Break, and she wanted to be an internationally famous star.

    Wilder, whose history of violence towards women went back to his adolescent years, was put on probation in 1980 after pleading guilty to attempted sexual battery towards a teenage girl. While on a visit home to Australia that same year, he was charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting two teenaged girls. His parents bailed him out of jail and he flew back to the United States, promising to return for his trial which was set for April 1984.

    Wilder is a also a suspect in the Florida disappearances of Mary Opitz, Rosario Gonzales, and Elizabeth Kenyon. He was killed during a shootout with authorities in 1984. Leppert's family filed a one-million-dollar lawsuit against Wilder before his death, but dropped the suit afterwards. Leppert's mother, modeling agent Linda Curtis, later stated that she never believed Wilder was involved in Leppert's disappearance. Police have never been able to link Wilder and Leppert and it may be coincidence that she disappeared at the same time he was targeting area models. He had a long history of sex crimes but did not begin his killing spree until a year after Leppert vanished.

    John Brennan Crutchley, the so-called Vampire Rapist, is also considered a possible suspect in Leppert's case. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1986 for kidnapping and raping a woman in Orlando, Florida and drinking her blood. Crutchley committed suicide in prison in 2002. Authorities have never been able to link him to Leppert. A photo of Crutchley is posted below this case summary.

    Curtis criticized the police for allegedly mishandling the investigation into Leppert's disappearance. Police initially believed she ran away, and some continue to think that foul play was not involved in her case. Curtis said her daughter was afraid of the man who last saw her, and that the individual was never properly investigated. Authorities say they did the best they could to find Leppert and the man she was last seen with has been interviewed is not a viable suspect in her case.

    On June 1, a month before Leppert vanished, she began acting erratically at her home. She yelled and screamed and broke a window with a baseball bat. Curtis took Leppert to a mental health center for a 72-hour observation after she calmed down. Psychiatrists there could not find anything wrong with her. Curtis planned to find a therapist for Leppert, but she disappeared before that could be arranged.

    Curtis believed that Leppert may have been kidnapped and murdered as a result of her knowledge of a large-scale drug and money laundering operation in Brevard, Florida. The operation allegedly involved many prominent local citizens. Leppert was reportedly afraid for her life because of what she knew. She stayed in her bedroom more than usual and refused to drink from open containers or eat from her own plate. Curtis claimed Leppert made a police report about what she knew, but investigators have no record of the report and do not espouse Curtis's theory. Curtis moved to Orlando, Florida after her daughter's disappearance. She died in 1995. Leppert's sister is still looking for her and believes her mother's theory about Leppert's disappearance.

    The missing persons organization Child Protection Education of America states that Leppert had no cavities or fillings at the time of her disappearance; however, this is unproven. Her dental records have been lost. Some agencies incorrectly state that Leppert's home is in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

    Wilder Wilder 2 Crutchley
    Left and Center: Christopher Wilder
    Right: John Crutchley

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Cocoa Beach Police Department
    407-868-3269

    OR
    321-868-3251

    OR
    Suzanne, Tammy Leppert's Sister
    Suzannec4444@yahoo.com

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    Source Information
    Christopher Wilder Biography
    The Child Seek Network
    The National Center for Missing Adults
    The Doe Network
    I Care---missing persons cold cases - Message Board - Yuku
    Tammy Lynn Leppert is Missing
    Florida Department of Corrections
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 20, 2013; age-progression added.

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