Historic/Cold Cases

The Disappearance of Mistie Murray – Last Seen in Goderich, Ontario – Missing Since 1995


Mistie was last seen on May 31, 1995 in her hometown of Goderich, Ontario. She attended classes at the Goderich District Collegiate Institute on the day of her disappearance and also visited the school nurse, for reasons that have not been made public. She called her adoptive mother, Anne Murray, at work at 3:00 p.m. and could not reach her but left a message. Mistie never arrived home and has never been heard from again.

Mistie’s biological mother, Darlene Oldfield, gave her up for adoption in 1980. Mistie spent several years in foster care before being adopted by Anne and Steven Murray in 1983. Her adoptive parents describe her as a friendly, outgoing child who initially performed well in school, but when she reached adolescence she developed personal problems and her grades fell. Mistie re-established contact with Oldfield and met her in person eight months before her disappearance. They were planning a weekend trip together and also were considering living together for the summer.

Investigators initially believed Mistie had run away from home. However, she had been very excited about the upcoming weekend visit with Oldfield and had already packed her suitcase, which was left behind when she vanished. She also left $200 on her bedroom dresser. If she disappeared of her own accord it makes little sense that she would have not taken those items.


Mistie’s adult boyfriend, Jeremy Cook, says he last saw her on May 30, and he cashed a check and paid his rent that day. However, bank records show that Cook actually cashed the check on May 31, the day Mistie disappeared. There were reported sightings of Mistie at Cook’s apartment on May 31 or June 1, but these have not been confirmed.

Over the course of several days in early June, a number of area teenagers who knew Mistie reported seeing her and speaking with her several times in Goderich and in nearby Clinton, Ontario. In late June, there were possible sightings of her in the Dundas/Adelaide area of London, Ontario, which is frequented by runaways and homeless children. The London witnesses reported that Mistie was involved with drugs and prostitution, and that she left London with her pimp because of the publicity about her disappearance. Police officers in Toronto, Ontario reported seeing someone matching Mistie’s description begging on the streets. None of the sightings have been confirmed, however.

Authorities quickly discarded the runaway theory and, in September 1995, charged Steven with murdering Mistie. His trial was in 1997. Prosecutors stated that on the day of Mistie’s disappearance, Steven took her out of Snug Harbor into Lake Huron, murdered her, and dumped her body near the center of the lake, where cold temperatures would keep it from surfacing. No motive for the alleged crime was offered. Steven admitted to going out on Lake Huron the day Mistie vanished, but said it was only for a very short trip. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Steven had been on dry land at the time the prosecution said he was killing Mistie, and the jury took less than an hour to acquit Steven of all charges.

Investigators have searched Lake Huron several times for Mistie’s remains; they stated that, in spite of his acquittal, they still believe Steven murdered her. A later audit of the investigation into Mistie’s case criticized police for failing to follow up on sightings and leads and focusing on the “weak” theory of Steven’s guilt. The Murrays divorced after Mistie’s disappearance. In 2000, they held a memorial service for Mistie. In 2002, they sued the police for $2.15 million for malicious prosecution and the failure to disclose vital evidence which would have exonerated Steven sooner.

Mistie remains missing and it is unclear whether foul play was a factor in her case. Her adoptive parents believe she ran away from home but is now deceased, possibly murdered by other street children. Mistie’s biological mother also believes she is dead.


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: May 31, 1995 from Goderich, Ontario
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: October 28, 1978
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3 – 5’4, 115 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Reddish-brown hair, gray/green eyes. Mistie has a mole on her right cheek and a gap between her two upper front teeth. Her nickname is Mistron. She may use the last names Oldfield and/or Kidd, or her birth name, Jean Marie Oldfield. Some agencies incorrectly give her middle name as Lynn. Mistie has five piercings in her right ear and two in her left, but was not wearing any earrings at the time of her disappearance.

Clothing/Jewelry Description: Red shorts, black boots, rings on every finger, and possibly a dark green nylon jacket with “Mistie” on the right sleeve, “Flag” on the left sleeve, and “S.D.H.S. Girls Band” on the left side of the chest.



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