Marie Elizabeth Spannhake

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Above Images: Spannhake, circa 1976

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 31, 1976 from Chico, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: June 20, 1956
  • Age: 19 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Spannhake's nickname is Marliz.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Spannhake was last seen in Chico, California at 4:00 p.m. on January 31, 1976. She has never been heard from again. Authorities believe she was abducted and murdered by Cameron Hooker and his wife, Janice. Photographs of them are posted below this case summary.

    Years later, Janice told police she and Cameron were out driving in their two-door Dodge Colt when they saw a young woman walking along Mangrove Avenue. She later found out, by looking at the woman's identification, that she was Spannhake. Janice stated they offered Spannhake a ride and she got in their car willingly. They drove her to her destination on Rio Linda Avenue and stopped to let her out, but as she was getting out of the car Cameron grabbed her wrist and pulled her back him. The Hookers took her home and kept her for about a day. Cameron hung Spannhake from the rafters in his basement, shot her in the abdomen with a pellet gun and then strangled her. He and Janet buried her body near Lassen Park.

    Cameron and Janice kidnapped twenty-year-old Colleen Stan in May 1977. Photographs of Stan are posted below this case summary. The Hookers held her captive in their home for seven years, torturing and sexually abusing her. They released her in 1984 and she went to the police. After the Hookers were arrested, Janice received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her husband. He was convicted of rape and kidnapping, in spite of his assertions that Stan had consented to his treatment of her, and sentenced to 104 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2012.

    Spannhake moved to California from Cleveland, Ohio in late 1975. She was living with her fiance in the 100 block of Parmac Road and had a part-time job as a model at a camera shop. No charges have been filed in her case, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

    Stan 1977 Stan 1984
    Cameron Hooker Janice Hooker
    Top Left: Colleen Stan shortly before her abduction;
    Top Right: Colleen Stan after her release;
    Bottom Left: Cameron Hooker;
    Bottom Right: Janice Hooker

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Chico Police Department
    530-897-4911

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    Source Information
    The News Review
    CBS News
    The Doe Network
    Facebook Page for Marie Elizabeth Spannhake
    The Sacramento Bee
    Tru TV

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    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated September 16, 2010; casefile added.

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