Darian Hudson was born on January 1, 1994 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Known affectionately as “D” and “D-Baby”, her younger siblings and their mother, Stephanie Hudson, were a close-knit unit and were in constant contact with each other via phone and social media.
Those who knew Darian remember her most for her smile, which never failed to brighten their days. Bubbly and fiercely loyal, she was always there for those she cared about most, and she used her bright personality to work toward the long-held goals she had for herself.
When 2017 rolled around, she was living in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where she attended Langston University, played softball and worked as a server at the Chili’s restaurant on Perkins Road. She’d previously attended Barton Community College in Kansas. While in Oklahoma, she began dating a new man and her friends saw a drastic change in her behaviour. She stopped playing softball and began hanging out with a new group of friends whom she’d met at work.
In the year leading up to her disappearance, Darian experienced numerous hardships. She’d suffered a miscarriage, broken up with her boyfriend and experienced the death of her beloved dog, Zig.
LEAD UP TO DISAPPEARANCE:
On October 21, 2017, Darian called her mother to share with her that she was hoping to bounce back from the difficult year she’d been having. She was looking to move back home to Kansas, in the hopes of saving money, and was planning on attending nurse school.
Her family last had contact with the 23-year-old on October 22, 2017.
On October 25, 2017, Stephanie began to receive calls and texts from Darian’s friends, inquiring about her whereabouts. They informed her that she’d failed to show up for work and they’d been unable to locate her. Concerned, Stephanie and her husband drove to Stillwater and went directly to the city’s police department. However, they were told they needed to wait 48 hours before filing a missing persons report.
While they waited to file the report. the two started canvassing Darian’s neighbourhood in the 500 block of west Fifth Street. They also spoke with her friends. When they arrived at her duplex, they found the door was open, a light had been left on and there were dishes in the sink. They also located her cellphone and other belongings in the residence.
On October 28, 2017, two days after the family arrived in Stillwater, the official investigation into Darian’s disappearance began.
To kick off their investigation, officers interviewed Darian’s friends, family, co-workers and neighbours. Through these discussions, they were able to rule out those close to her as having any involvement.
Bus records were reviewed, as she didn’t own a vehicle, and showed no indication that Darian had used the Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, BOB System or any form of public transit at the time of her disappearance.
In early December 2017, investigators were alerted to a man attempting to use Darian’s debit card at a hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. When interviewed, he stated he’d found the card in a purse back in October that it had been hung off a concrete sewer pipe at a church construction site in Stillwater. At the time, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church was under construction at the intersection of McElroy Road and Country Club Drive, just northwest of the city.
Following up the lead, officers were sent to the site to interview those working on the site. They recalled seeing a woman matching Darian’s description on the evening of October 26, 2017. They said she’d been sitting in a wooded area just south of the site. When two workers approached her, she refused to speak and simply gave them both a blank stare. Concerned, they told their boss, who went to talk to her, but again, could not get her to speak. They did not call 911 or inform anyone of this occurrence.
Investigators were able to locate two others who could corroborate this sighting. One witness said they’d seen a woman sitting on construction equipment that evening, as if she’d been waiting for someone to pick her up. Another, a man whose residence bordered the east side of the construction site, said he’d seen a woman speaking with his grandchildren that day. According to his statement, his grandson had gotten off the school bus and saw the woman walk out of the nearby creek and through an electrified fence. However, by the time the man was able to reach his grandchildren, the woman was gone, walking north to McElroy Road and then west toward Country Club Drive.
This is the last known sighting of Darian.
Based on these sightings, investigators utilized drones and brought in cadaver dogs to search the wooded area south, west and east of the intersection for two days between December 4 and 5, 2017. While they were able to locate Darian’s hooded sweatshirt and her wallet, which contained her ID, credit cards and money, they were unable to find any trace of the missing woman.
There have been no other sightings of Darian. She has also not accessed her social media or bank account since her disappearance, and police say there are no substantial updates in the case.
Darian’s friends and family have dedicated numerous social media posts to the case, in the hopes of keeping it alive and in the public eye. They have also posted flyers in the area where she was last seen, asking residents to contact the Stillwater Police Department if they have any information regarding her whereabouts.
The police department teamed up with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Unit to feature Darian’s case on a Cold Case Playing Card. The deck containing the card was distributed to local jails and prisons, in the hopes an inmate with information would come forward with information.
According to investigators, the case is still open and active. While they acknowledge it’s possible Darian met with foul play and that the case is suspicious, they have not uncovered any evidence that would lead them to believe that theory over any other. It is currently the only outstanding missing persons case for the department.
Darian’s family and friends feel foul play is involved in her disappearance, as they don’t believe she would have left without telling them. They hope investigators will take a closer look at the case and those who were in her life at the time she went missing.
Darian’s family has created various social media profiles to help promote awareness for the case. Along with dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts, they also maintain a website that features any and all developments.
Stephanie says that Darian’s siblings keep her going, as she wants to be strong for them.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Darian Michelle Hudson went missing from Stillwater, Oklahoma in October 2017. While most agencies say the official date of disappearance is October 22, the last known sighting of her occurred on October 26. At the time, she was 23 years old, and she was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. One witness also recalls her wearing a dark-coloured coat. At the time of her disappearance, she stood at 5’3″ and weighed 120 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. Both her ears are pierced, and she wears a stud in her left nostril. She also has a tattoo of a feather and five birds with the words “Birds of a feather flock together” on the back of her right shoulder.
According to those who know her, she may be suffering from a mental health crisis.
Currently, the case is classified as endangered missing. If alive, she would be 27 years old.
Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Stillwater Police Department at either 405-742-8357 or 405-372-4171. Tips can also be called in to the department’s tip line at 405-742-8327 or via the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-522-8017.
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