More than a decade after Texas teen Roxanne Paltauf was first reported missing, authorities are still looking for clues about what happened to her.
As CrimeFeed reported, the then-18-year-old was staying at a Budget Inn with her boyfriend on July 7, 2006 as they were set to celebrate their two-year anniversary.
When the young woman did not show up for a planned shopping trip with her sister the following day, however, her mother became worried and reported the apparent disappearance to local police.
Given her age, she was considered an adult and the case was not immediately treated as an emergency.
Louis Walls, her boyfriend, claimed the couple had gotten into a domestic dispute the previous night and Paltauf left the hotel room without grabbing her belongings.
That led the missing teen’s family to check the hotel, located in what is described as a seedy area of Austin, where they found a room that showed signs of an extensive disturbance.
When Detective James Scott got involved, he was immediately suspicious of Walls’ decision to wait more than a day before reporting his girlfriend missing. Though his story struck many as suspicious, a statement from the Budget Inn clerk backed up his version of events.
The woman said she saw Paltauf storm from the room, followed by Walls, who apparently pleaded with her to come back before she ultimately walked away. As part of her testimony, the clerk said she went to Walls’ room after his girlfriend ventured off to stay with him “until the wee hours of the morning.”
Several days later, Walls reportedly returned what he claimed were Paltauf’s belongings, but her family said the clothing belonged to someone else.
Furthermore, a check of her phone allegedly revealed that he had begun calling multiple individuals using her phone almost immediately after she was last seen.
According to police reports, Walls was dialing numbers on a constant basis, making new calls every two to three minutes. Among the recipients of his calls, Scott said, were other girlfriends and phone sex hotlines.
Her sister said that she saw Roxanne sitting at a bus stop several months before her disappearance and stopped to pick her up. After she got in, she took off her sunglasses to reveal a bruise she said she received accidentally during a fight with her boyfriend, her sister recalled.
When a local man with a reputation for treating prostitutes violently was found in possession of Paltauf’s identification, however, some of the speculation left her boyfriend.
The pressure never fully subsided and increased when he was found to be older than initially thought with multiple criminal convictions.
More than 12 years later, he has not been charged in connection with Paltauf’s disappearance, nor has anyone else. Both he and the security guard who had the missing woman’s ID remain persons of interest, according to Scott.
“These two individuals, they have something to hide, and they’re hiding it,” he said, adding that he has no doubt “these two gentlemen are responsible for her demise.”
The missing persons case remains open and anyone with information about her disappearance can call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5250 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.
[Featured image: Roxanne Paltauf, Austin Police Department]