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MO TAMMY ROTHGANGER: Missing from Eldon, MO - 16 May 1984 - Age 15 *M. Priest GUILTY*

Discussion in 'Missing 1980 to 1989' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Tammy Rothganger disappeared from Eldon, Missouri on May 16, 1984 when she was 15 years old. She was last seen at school, which was across the street fro her home, around 7:45 that morning. Her mother's live-in boyfriend, Martin Priest, said she didn't go inside the building so he pulled up to see why. He said that Tammy told him she was going to skip school and go to meet friends at Rock Island Park, so he offered to take her there. She was last seen getting into his vehicle.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    NCMEC - http://www.missingkids.com/poster/NCMC/601885/1

    NamUs - https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/2954/120

    Charley Project -http://charleyproject.org/case/tammy-sue-rothganger


    edited by staff to fix link to the Charley Project
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2018
    Akoya and Kimster like this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Kansas inmate is charged for girl's murder in Eldon in 1984

    A man serving a life prison sentence for murder in Kansas is now charged with murdering a 15-year-old girl near Lake of the Ozarks 32 years ago. The body of Tammy Rothganger was never found.

    The Miller County prosecuting attorney charged Martin Priest, 58, on Tuesday with raping and killing a girl identified in the complaint and probable cause statement only as T.R.


    Capital murder charge filed in 31 year old cold case of missing Eldon teen

    According to the probable cause statement, a third person that was allegedly in Priest’s car during the incident recently came forward with key information that led to the charges so many years after the murder occurred.

    The third person is identified only by initials and as a man. The witness alleges Priest struck Rothganger in the back of the head with a wrench, knocking her unconscious. He then raped her and while raping her strangled her. Her body was left at what was only identified as a local residence. According to the witness, Rothganger’s body was later retrieved by her alleged killer and buried in an unmarked location.

    Rothganger’s mother reported her missing the same day she was last seen. Initially the Eldon Police Department thought she might have skipped school and gone to a park to hang out with friends. Priest was questioned in the early stages of the investigation, and he denied any involvement in her disappearance.

    Akoya, Kimster and guess who like this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Missing Girl's Family Reacts To Murder Charge, Hopes Remains Are Found

    It has been almost 32 years since Tammy Rothganger seemingly vanished just minutes before her first morning class at Eldon High School. After literally hundreds of hours of investigation, following lead after lead, a former Eldon man will now face a Capital Murder charge. Tammy’s family is surprised, but they say their greatest hope is simply to find her remains.

    Tammy's immediate family, who no longer reside in the Central Missouri area, said they were somewhat surprised to hear that Priest was finally charged in Tammy's death, although they have always suspected his involvement in her disappearance.


    Akoya and Kimster like this.
  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    'You never give up': A look inside the investigation of the 31-year-old disappearance of Tammy Rothganger

    The case of Tammy Rothganger has haunted the town of Eldon since the 15-year old high school student disappeared while walking to school on May 16, 1984, just blocks away from her home.

    For three decades, law enforcement officers with the Eldon Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Drug and Crime and Violent Crime Divisions, Camden and Miller County Sheriff Departments, and the FBI have worked on solving the cold case.

    “When the case was assigned to me, one of the factors in the case was the other passenger in the car and it was clear who the suspect was, all other possibilities had been eliminated at this point,” Kidwell recalled. “We began to pursue the passenger in the car. Me and Jimmy went to his location and spoke with him. In the beginning, he was less than cooperative, over the years he became more cooperative. He reached out and made contact, he called us. At that point, we interviewed him and received his disclosure found in the probable cause statement.”

    Investigators have interviewed Priest a number of times over the years. There have been a number of searches for her remains, but Rothganger’s remains have not yet been recovered. Priest has remained silent about Rothganger's murder.

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  5. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    maybe this is Tammy? height, hair color, PME, and age are pretty on target. Seeing now that Tammy has DNA not completed. At least the initial inquiry into obtaining her DNA is underway. The jane doe I listed below has DNA available to be compared to Tammy's whenever hers is processed. Not sure if Tammy had decaying teeth or dental issues at all as the UID is listed to have.

  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Oh wow! How do you find such good possibles?
  7. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    Cross checking on the doe network. I start by geographical index and year and work from there. i think their website has been updated recently maybe? Bc now they actually show the unidentified's photo And their general info to click on. Makes it much easier than the old way of doing it - or maybe those functions weren't available on mobile which is all I've had to use for a while.

    im slightly an Aspie so if you meant that in a figurative or rhetorical sense I apologize for giving a quite literal answer.:oops:
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  8. guess who

    guess who Bronze Member

    They have just updated this unidentified to be black or biracial in the last few months. That sure would have been nice to know decades ago.
  9. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Wait, what? How did that happen?
    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed and Akoya like this.
  10. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Capital Murder Charged In 1984 Disappearance of Eldon Missouri Teenager Tammy Rothganger | Lake of the Ozarks News

    MILLER COUNTY, Mo. – The Miller County Prosecutor has filed capital murder charges in the 1984 disappearance of Eldon teenager Tammy Rothganger.

    In his complaint, Prosecutor Benjamin Winfrey accuses Martin Dean Priest of strangling Rothganger to death on May 16, 1984.

    spike and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  11. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Capital murder trial soon to commence in Laclede County

    Barring any delays, the capital murder trial of a man who has already been convicted of killing a man in another state, will get underway in Laclede County in October.

    Martin Priest, 59, is accused of murdering 15-year-old Tammy Sue Rothganger in Eldon on May 16, 1984. Rothganger disappeared after being seen getting into Priest’s car on her way to school. Priest was the live-in boyfriend of Rothganger’s mother.

    In May, Priest filed a writ in Miller County prior to the change of venue demanding the case be disposed of within 180-days. The writ moves the case up on the court docket. Priest is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 3 before 26th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Hayden. The court has set aside 8 days for the trial.

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  12. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Man convicted of 1984 killing of 15-year-old Missouri girl

    A man serving prison time in Kansas for murder has been convicted of killing a 15-year-old Missouri girl in 1984.

    Martin Dean Priest was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Rothganger, who went missing in May 1984 while walking to school in Eldon. A friend said she got into a car with Priest and another male. Her remains were never found.

    Priest testified Wednesday that he didn’t kill Tammy. His nephew, David Nicholas, testified that he saw Priest rape Tammy and then strangle her to death.

    He will be sentenced Nov. 6.

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  13. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Judge sentences Martin Priest for first-degree murder in case of missing Eldon girl

    Judge Kenneth Hayden sentenced Martin Priest to life in prison for the murder of Tammy Rothganger.

    Priest is already serving a life-in-prison sentence in Kansas for a different murder conviction, meaning he will have to finish out that prison sentence before returning to Missouri.

    Priest is not eligible for parole for 25 years in Kansas.
    Mel70, SheWhoMustNotBeNamed and spike like this.
  14. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    Yeah. "Martin's" story was STUPID. I'm glad they had enough evidence to convict him, Even though she has never been found. I hope she is. She deserves to Rest in peace after 35 years. And how old was the Nephew that stated he saw "Martin" Rape and Kill her?.
    kdg411 likes this.
  15. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

  16. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    This is a perfect example of why I am glad "Gloria Alred" is trying to pass the Law of "No Statue of Limitations for Sexual Assault". And helped dispose of her. He said his uncle "Made him". I don't buy it.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019

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