The Disappearance of Ingrid Bauer

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EARLY LIFE:

Ingrid Bauer was born to February 17, 1958 to her parents, Oscar and Gisela Bauer. The family, which also consisted of her brothers, Kevin and Brent, lived in the small Ontario village of Kleinburg. Oscar, a German immigrant, worked as a purchasing manager for Kodak Canada Ltd., and the family were known for being a tight-knit unit.

Ingrid is described by those who knew her as a teenager who was very mature for her age. She was straight-laced, not known for smoking cigarettes nor drinking alcohol, and got good grades while in school. In her free time, she would take modelling courses.

The family’s home was located on Pennon Road, an east-to-west street that runs west from Islington Avenue for approximately four miles north of Highway 7, and along the south edge of Kleinburg. Ingrid’s boyfriend, 14-year-old Larry Teeple, lived just 4.7 miles away, so the pair would often visit each other. Given Kleinburg was semi-rural and not as developed as other residential areas around Toronto, there was no public transit and thus Ingrid often found herself hitchhiking in order to visit Larry.

LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:

In early August 1972, the Bauer family spent a few days at their cottage in Thornbury, Ontario. On the 11th of the month, Oscar made his way to the cottage, having had to work a few days while the rest of the family began their vacation. Five days later, after rainy weather had washed out the trip, he and Ingrid decided to return home, leaving Gisela and Kevin there by themselves.

The pair returned home, with Oscar starting on laundry and Ingrid heading to her room with her suitcase. Brent, who had remained home, was also present.

DISAPPEARANCE:

Late that evening, Ingrid asked Oscar if she could surprise Larry by visiting him at his house. At 9:30pm, she left home in her bare feet to catch a ride with a passing motorist. This would be the first time she would be hitchhiking at night, and she had no money or any other belongings with her, as she’d planned to be home by 10:30pm.

Not long after Ingrid left, Brent went out to grab some milk and a pack of cigarettes. He recalled seeing his sister during this outing. At 9:45pm, a witness remembered seeing her walking south on the west side of Islington Avenue, approximately 300 yards from her home. This would be the last time she would be seen, as she never arrived at her destination.

After Ingrid left home, a friend of hers called asking for her. When told she had left to visit Larry, the friend called his home, only to learn she wasn’t there either. Concerned, Larry called the Bauer house to inquire about Ingrid’s whereabouts. Immediately, Oscar knew something was wrongg, so while he and Brent drove the road between Kleinburg and Woodbridge toward the Teeple home, Larry road his bike toward the Bauer residence.

Upon arriving at Larry’s house, Oscar notified the authorities that his daughter was missing.

SEARCH:

The family telephoned Ingrid’s friends for news, but when none were able to account fo her whereabouts, they searched the ditches of the routes she’d normally travel, following the early theory that she may have been the victim of a hit and run.

At 12:28pm on August 17, the local authorities listed her as missing on the province-wide Telex network, which broadcast her description on police radio every hour for three weeks.

After searching throughout the night, around 200 volunteers helped scour approximately 20 square miles surrounding the Bauer home. While police officers waded through the Humber River for eight kilometres, scuba divers searched through a 40 foot gravel pit and other water-filled quarries.

When asked about the night Ingrid went missing, numerous Kleinburg residents recalled hearing a young person cry out in the area of Islington Avenue and Sevilla Drive at approximately 10:00pm on the night in question. They also reported seeing a pickup truck of an unknown make or colour in the area. However, a search of the location turned up no evidence.

Hoping for a quick resolution to the case, the York Regional Police set up a five-person detective squad, which worked to interview hundreds of witnesses, including prisoners who had been previously involved in abductions. Along with distributing over 15,000 missing person posters, they also travelled across Ontario, as well as to Montreal, following up on potential leads.

Oscar, the company he worked for and the York Regional Police each put up $1,000 for a reward fund. A billboard company, along with designers and lithographers, volunteered numerous billboards at no cost, featuring Ingrid’s picture, an appeal for information and details about the $3,000 in reward money. As a result, numerous tips were called in, with Oscar personally manning the phone, which had been attached to a police recording device. Unfortunately, these tips did not lead to Ingrid’s location.

There were numerous appeals made to viewers and listeners on TV and radio for information regarding the case. As a result, her disappearance became one of the most publicized up to that point in Ontario’s history.

In 1973, a body was discovered in the Halton region. While some believed it to be that of Ingrid Bauer, dental records proved otherwise.

There have been reports of sightings of Ingrid across Canada and the United States. One said she was seen walking along the side of the road near Lindsay, headed toward Pembroke with a guitar and a boy of around 18 years old, while others cited her hitchhiking in Scarborough, driving in a blue Thunderbird and working as a waitress in Vancouver. The most concerning to Oscar was a report that his daughter was being held in a North York apartment, but this, along with the other reported sightings, proved false.

Before his death, Oscar had Ingrid legally declared dead.

During the course of the initial investigation, there were five suspects. However, all were interviewed and through confirmed alibis were cleared of any involvement. As of now, the case is with the York Regional Police Cold Case Unit, with tips still coming in from time to time.

THEORIES:

1) The Bauer family believes Ingrid is dead and they suspect a man later found guilty of raping an 8-year-old girl and attacking an 18-year-old woman to be responsible for her disappearance. Larry believes the crime wasn’t random, as he doubts a random act of violence could be concealed for this long.

2) Another theory in the case is that Ingrid was picked up by someone while hitchhiking to Larry’s house and was killed. However, given the lack of evidence or a body, there’s little to prove if this is what occurred.

AFTERMATH:

Ingrid’s father has since passed away. Brent says he blamed himself for her disappearance up until the day he died.

Brent is now working as a paralegal in Maple, Ontario.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Ingrid Bauer went missing from Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada on August 16, 1972. She was 14 years old, and was last seen wearing a tan sweater with red apples on it and a pair of brown bell-bottom slacks. At the time of her disappearance, she was slender in stature, standing at 5’6″ and weighing approximately 100 pounds. She has long, straight dark blonde-to-brown hair and brown eyes. She has a light complexion.

Currently, her case is classified as endangered missing, with foul play suspected. If alive, she would be 62 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the York Regional Police at 1-905-830-0303 or the Cold Case Unit at 1-866-876-5423 ex. 7865. Tips can also be called into the Homicide & Missing Persons Unit at 1-866-823-3333 ex. 7778 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Image Credit: York Regional Police

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