Name: Colleen Emily Orsborn
Age: 15 years old
Last seen: March 15, 1984
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Status: Found deceased
Disappeared: Season 4 Episode 9 “Spring Break Nightmare”
15-year-old Colleen Orsborn was last seen in Daytona Beach, Florida on March 15, 1984. She vanished shortly after skipping school in order to go to the beach.
Colleen Orsborn was born on March 3, 1969 to Frances Orsbon. She was the youngest of six siblings and lived in the family’s beachside home on Butler Boulevard in Daytona Beach, Florida.
At the time of her disappearance, Colleen was an eighth-grader at Campbell Junior High School. She previously attended St. Paul’s Catholic School but was later discharged for behavioral problems.
On the morning of March 15, 1984, Colleen left home to go to school. When she missed the school bus her mother gave her money before leaving for work so she could take a public county bus instead.
Colleen never arrived at school and was never heard from again.
Investigators believe Colleen never got on the bus and ended up skipping school to swim at the beach instead. The only clothes missing from her room were a pink bikini and a pair of flip flops.
Body found in Orange County lake
In April 1984, a fisherman found a decomposed body in a shallow grave near a lake in Orange County, Florida. A knee was poking out of the ground, with faded pink nail polish on the fingers and toes.
The body was later ruled out as being that of Colleen. She had suffered a broken arm a couple of years prior to her disappearance, and the medical examiner could not find evidence of a healed break on the remains.
Furthermore, it was reported that the eyes were brown and the ears were not pierced while Colleen’s eyes were described as hazel and her ears had been pierced.
Beauty Queen Killer
39-year-old Christophe Bernard Wilder was a successful real estate millionaire from Australia. He emigrated to the United States in 1969 and lived in Boynton Beach, Florida
During a six-week cross-country crime spree in early 1984, Wilder abducted and raped at least twelve women, killing at least eight of them.
On April 13, 1984, Wilder was eventually killed in a shootout with police. He was approached by two state troopers in Colebrook, New Hampshire, who had recognized him as being on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
On the morning of Colleen Orsborn’s disappearance, Wilder checked out of a Howard Johnson’s motel near Interstate 95 in Daytona Beach. He became the primary suspect in the disappearance of Colleen Orsborn, even though no evidence has been found to connect them.
Anonymous killer confession letter
On February 21, 2001, Colleen’s brother received an anonymous letter postmarked from Manchester, New Hampshire, from someone claiming to have killed Colleen Orsborn.
The handwritten letter, filled with misspellings, gave directions to an area along the Tomaka River off Route 415 in Daytona Beach where the girl’s body and clothes could be found. Investigators reviewed the letter but said the details were too vague to be of use.
The author claimed to be dying of cirrhosis of the liver and begged forgiveness. Colleen’s family drafted a response to the anonymous letter, hoping the person would respond with more precise information.
Florida Teen Missing Since 1984 Matches DNA
In March 2010, the long-unidentified girl discovered by the lake in Orange County, Florida in April 1984, who had been ruled out as Colleen three decades earlier, was confirmed to be Colleen Orsborn utilizing new DNA technology.
Police believe Colleen was one of the first victims of serial killer Christopher Wilder.
Resources & Further Information
Christopher Wilder – Wikipedia
News & Media Links
Police appeal to letter-writing confessed killer – July 25, 2001 – CNN 07/01
‘Dr. G’ Matches DNA to Florida Teen Missing Since 1984 – The Ledger 02/11
Services honor girl killed 28 years ago – Daytona Beach News journal 04/12