“SEPTEMBER 17, 1992”
Do you like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too… ‘new wave’ for my taste.
Twice a year Puyallup hosts a large fair where thousands show up to ride the Ferris wheel and throw those darts at the balloons hoping to when a giant stuffed turtle (or something).
This September the fair attracted the very successful Huey Lewis and The News and was sure to be a huge success.
People of all ages would attend this year including 14-year-old Misty Copsey and her BFF Trina Bevard.
The two were close, real close.
They each had nicknames for each other.
Misty was “Bunyan,” and Trina was “Bean.”
The girls wanted to go to the fair, the only problem being they didn’t have a ride home.
After constant lobbying to her mother, Diana, she had finally agreed to let her daughter go and even committed to dropping her off as long as she would ride the bus back home before her curfew. *Misty thought initially of riding the bus idea and also mapped out possible routes back to Spanaway where she lived.
Diana would have certainly picked the girls back up if it wasn’t for her work schedule that night.
As a caregiver, she was watching over a 97-year-old Alzheimer’s patient in South Spanaway.
Misty’s plan was to hop on the bus at 8:40 and beat her mother home that evening. Diana agreed.
“MOM, I MISSED THE BUS”
And here is where everything goes sour, real quick.
About five minutes after Misty’s bus left the station, Diana received her phone call.
“Mom, I missed the bus.”
She said she could get a ride with Rheuban Schmidt, an 18-year-old friend of hers who owned a car, though it was a junker.
Diana immediately said no way and told her figure out an alternative plan. *Diana’s Distrust for Schmidt will come into play later in this story.
Misty agreed and promised to call her mother back as soon as she found a new ride home.
That call never came.
“OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT”
Let’s veer off the path for a few minutes so that I can introduce a very enigmatic – or maybe ‘weird’ would be a better adjective – character and Puyallup man by the name of Cory Bobber.
Nearly a decade before Misty has pronounced a missing person Bober was badgering police about a possible suspect for the Green River Killer (who we now know was Gary Ridgeway).
Trust me this all ties into Misty.
Cory is agoraphobic, doesn’t drive, doesn’t leave the house, and is continuously annoying everyone that unfortunately crosses his path.
Cory has been referred to as a “walking run-on sentence, a human flood of words.” A pot-head who thinks he knows more than law-enforcement.
A pot-head who thinks he knows more than law-enforcement.
And in many cases, he does.
You see, a few days before Misty Copsey disappeared Cory Bober contacted the Puyallup Police Department and warned them that a local teenage girl would be abducted.
How did he know this?
Unlike you wanna-be ‘sleuths’ (including me I guess) out there who make the occasional Reddit or post on Webslueths thinking you’re solving crimes, Cory lives it.
He’s investigated over 200 missing or deceased women in Western Washington in stacks of binders.
He’s a nuisance to law-enforcement because he tries to conduct his interviews from grieving parents, witnesses, possible killers, and has even personally obtained the autopsy reports for the Copsey’s case (supposed to be sealed tight).
From my research, I found he is relentless often making a long rambling post about how podcast covering the Copsey case has missed important clues and is just trying to pump their audience numbers.
No shame here. Hey Cory.
Bober knows the Copsey case inside and out, every detail down to the minute.
A REVELATION OR UTTER BULLSHIT?
It was September 13, 1992 when the lightbulb in Corey Bober’s head started flickering.
The two girls he was referring to was the 1988 murder of Kim Delange, 15, and the 1990 murder of Anna Chebetnoy, 14 (I believe both victims have been officially credited to Gary Ridgeway).
Cory Bober knew who the killer was; in fact, he is sure it was a fellow Puyallup resident named Randell Dean Achziger.
Of course, we know now that Achziger is not the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway is, but I guess you can’t blame Bober for trying.
And by trying I mean for years, Bober had spied on Achziger, filling binders full of every detail about this life – family history, contact with cops, addresses, employer information, all spanning back 50 years.
He called Achziger’s friends, co-workers, and family members pressing for any information to prove his theory.
He interviewed ex-lovers, undercover record video of Achziger and even had tape after tape of illegally recorded telephone calls.
It is probably also worth a mention that at one point law enforcement did take Bober’s theory under consideration, but ultimately ruled out Randell Achziger as the Green River Killer.
THE ALCOHOLIC MOTHER
AS IF THIS STORY COULDN’T GET ANY CRAZIER.
Misty was an only child of Diana and Paul “Buck” Copsey, and after her birth, the parents split up leaving Diana as the primary caretaker.
By all accounts, Misty was a fantastic student who thrived in sports.
She played both basketball and volleyball, but her true passion has always been softball.
As the primary caregiver, life was rough on Diana, and she often turned to the bottle to get her through the day today.
I couldn’t find any evidence of domestic or sexual abuse within the family. Furthermore, from what Trina told the police, Misty lived an average home life and was even excited about a new stereo and wardrobe her mother just splurged on her.
Even though the mother was drinking heavily, she did seem to be progressing. The mother and daughter duo eventually moving from Green Meadows, a South Hill trailer park to a duplex in Spanaway.
Misty knew that she was now living in a safer environment, but she missed her Green Meadow friends and was often lonely. By the summer of 1992 Misty started to blossom. She was taller than most girls and began to develop as a teenager. The boys around town started to notice Misty.
“I GET HORNY JUST LOOKING AT YOU, MISTY”
Yeah, I would also be super pissed if I heard an 18-year-old college dropout and druggie say that to my daughter on the phone.
Of course, when Rheuban Schmidt said that he had no idea Misty’s mother was listening.
According to a police interview with Trina, the girls called Rheuban Schmidt that night an asked him for a ride.
He refused, claiming he did not have enough gas to make it there. Misty told him to go to her house, grab the key under the doormat and grab some cash, fill your tank, and then get us.
However, Schmidt again refused to say he didn’t even have enough gas to make the six-mile journey to her home.
When the police finally interviewed Schmidt (nearly six months after Misty vanished), Schmidt verified Trina’s story.
However, Schmidt then told detectives that he suffers from blackouts and on that night does not remember anything or how he ended up at his grandmother’s 100-acre farm the next morning.
Schmidt ended up taking two polygraph test after he finally told detectives he knew where Misty’s body was buried.
According to him, he just wanted the law off his back. The first test was inconclusive, and the examiner noticed that Rheuban was purposely trying to put himself to sleep during the test.
DOES RHEUBAN SCHMIDT ACTUALLY KNOW WHERE MISTY IS BURIED?
BOBER FINDS MISTY’S JEANS
Tired of the lack of progress being made by the local law enforcement, Cory Bober decided to send out his own search party.
After somehow prying out the body dump location of Kim Delange and Anna Chebetnoy from the medical examiner Bober set up his search party.
Misty’s jeans were found off highway 410, close to the where the other girls were thrown.
THE DEAD CAT
I don’t believe in psychics claims that they know information about the case that detectives don’t see.
To me, it feels like most psychics make claims, prey on the desperation of the families, and hope to get featured in the newspapers as being the one to solve the case.
Anyway, one psychic named Terry Schwartz did stumble upon a fascinating piece of Misty’s case on March 12, 1993.
Walking from the spot where Misty’s jeans were found took him to a small burial spot featuring a wooden cross with the name, Misty.
Investigators were quickly dispatched believing they may finally unearth the missing girl’s remains.
As they dug into the earth, they indeed did find bones. The detectives discovered the bones of a dead cat.
WHERE IS MISTY?
For interest in time and the fact that I need a break from this case, I am ending it here.
There are many suspects that you can look up for yourself.
Please also post anything you find in the comment section, and I may shout you out on the next podcast episode.
Gary Leon Ridgway
Robert Leslie Hickey
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
SOME SOURCES I USED FOR THIS EPISODE
25 Years After This Teen Disappeared, Tweets Have Appeared To Suggest She’s Speaking To The Public. (2017, November 23). Retrieved from http://newravel.com/anthropology-and-history/teen-disappeared-tweets-appeared/8
Misty Donna Copsey – The Charley Project. (2019, July 15). Retrieved from http://charleyproject.org/case/misty-donna-copsey
Robinson, S., & The News Tribune. (2015). The Stolen Child: Part I. thenewstribune. Retrieved from https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/special-reports/article25857745.html
Harthorne, M. (2013). Police seek photos from 1992 Puyallup Fair to crack cold case. KOMO. Retrieved from https://komonews.com/news/local/police-seek-photos-from-1992-puyallup-fair-to-crack-cold-case
Sultan. (2017). A damning expose on Misty Copsey ‘s killer Rhueban Schmidt – Bazaar Daily News. Bazaar Daily News. Retrieved from https://www.bazaardaily.co.uk/2017/10/13/damning-expose-misty-copsey-s-killer-rhueban-schmidt