Melissa Witt

Missing Teen Found Strangled in the Ozarks

Melissa Witt was on her way to meet her mother at Bowling World in Fort Smith, Ark., on Dec. 1, 1994, when someone abducted her. Witt, 19, parked her car outside the bowling alley but did not make it inside where her mother was participating in her bowling league. On Jan. 13, 1995, hunters in Ozark National Forest happened upon Witt’s body. She was naked and had been strangled to death.

There were signs of a struggle, including blood, in the parking lot where Witt left her car. Her car keys and one earring also were found. Witt’s body was placed near a rock shaped like a headstone. None of her possessions, including her clothing, were found at the scene. An examination of her body revealed she had been hit in the head prior to being strangled. It also showed she’d been sexually assaulted. There was evidence that seemed to indicate Witt’s body had been moved before it was found. Despite the evidence, and even a few theoretical suspects, Witt’s murder remains unsolved.