CLINTON, MO (KCTV) -- Angela Hammond’s future was bright in April of 1991. She was 20 years old, engaged to be married, expecting a child. But one night she was snatched from the payphone outside the old Food Barn in Clinton.

The person on the other end of the phone was her fiancé, Rob Schafer.  Angela told him she noticed a creepy car. Told him it passed her, then came back and pulled over near her. Then Rob heard Angela scream. It was the last thing he ever heard from her.

Schafer drove to the pay phone as quickly as he could and chased what he thought might be the abductor’s vehicle. But he lost the vehicle when his transmission went out. He was stopped—helpless.

Despite countless hours of investigation, Angela has never been found. What happened to her is the biggest mystery Clinton Police have never solved.

Angela was four months pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

“I think I was in shock for several days,” said Marsha Cook, Angela Hammond’s mother. “Took a while to process that could happen in a small town like this. That’s not something that would happen in Clinton, MO.”

It was a case with few leads. Police recreated the scene and welcomed help from neighboring counties. But investigators could not determine a motive. Everyone wondered, Why Angela? Why was she targeted.

You don’t have any closure, and it’s the ‘what ifs’ that bother you,” said Cook.

Now, after 30 years, investigators have a new theory about the disappearance. They believe the wrong Angela was taken that night.

“It was a case of mistaken identity,” said Captain Paul Abbott of the Clinton Police Department. “Pretty incredible.”

Police say the lead comes from the original police file. It was ignored because police couldn’t connect it to the mysterious green truck that Rob Schafer chased. An informant in another case turned over a bizarre letter threatening the informant’s wife and daughter. One is named Angela. The informant had moved to Clinton a short time before the disappearance.

pic of letter

“It was postmarked the exact date that our Angela was stolen,” said Captain Abbott. When asked if the two women looked alike, he said, “There were striking similarities. Very much so.”

Police have been exploring theory of a mistaken identity for years, originally only reviling it to Angela’s mother. They decided to go public with it hoping someone with information comes forward. They want a recent tipster to call them back. That tipster left a message echoing their mistaken identity theory.

“Boy, we would sure like to talk to that person,” said Captain Abbott. “That person named that one name that we have investigated before.”

Police are sure of a few things: Angela was kidnapped by a stranger and Rob Schafer has been cleared. He has passed numerous polygraphs, had an alibi and always cooperated with investigators.

Angela’s family want nothing more than to find her body, and bury her and her unborn child.

“I just hope if anyone is out there who knows anything, they would come forward.” Said Cook.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Clinton Police Department directly at 660-885-2679 or send an email to tips@clintonmopd.com. You can remain anonymous.

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