Update on Cheryl Dunlap

As of October 2009, updates are HERE.

Click here for more info and more photos

Read and sign Cheryl's Guestbook

Cheryl Dunlap Case forum began 12/28/07

Big Bend Crimes website/forum began 12/30/07 with current info Cheryl

12/20/07 WJHG news article

Watch the WJGH Update
Read the WCTV Update
See WTXL Dec 9 Update

ATM Photos of Suspect Who used her ATM card

This is the latest update on Cheryl's story: The Leon County Sheriff's Office held a press conference today at 1pm to discuss Cheryl's situation. The link below has new information. A man was spotted on camera, completely covered with a hat, gloves, goggles, etc., using her ATM as late as 12/4. A black truck was spotted near her car where it was later found.


12/11/07 "Missing woman's bank card used" - http://www.jcfloridan.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JCF/MGArticle/JCF_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173353827840&path=%21news

WTXL Update on the Cheryl Dunlap Case

WCTV has a streamlining video with an update at http://www.wctv.tv/

11/12/07 UPDATE
Suspect used Cheryl Dunlap's card, PIN to withdraw cash
Originally published December 12, 2007
Leon County sheriff's investigators are searching for a man who used an ATM card belonging to Cheryl Hodges Dunlap on three consecutive days after she disappeared Dec. 1.

They're also looking for the owner of a black Dodge Ram pickup with an extended cab. Witnesses said the truck was seen near the Wakulla County woman's abandoned white Toyota Camry between 5 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Investigators are trying to link the man and the truck to Dunlap's whereabouts.

"We have serious concerns for her safety and welfare," said Maj. Mike Wood of the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Wood said Tuesday that Dunlap's ATM card was used at an undisclosed location on West Tennessee Street on Dec. 2, 3 and 4. The first two transactions were made about 9:30 p.m.; the last one, about 7 a.m.

Investigators said they delayed releasing this information so they could conduct surveillance of the ATM for one week, but after the third transaction the man didn't return.

The tall, thin man who used the card was fully covered in a long-sleeve shirt, gloves and some type of mask, Wood said. He also wore a knit cap and goggles every time.

"The video is not very telling," Wood said. "The person that used it went to great lengths to disguise himself."

"It's frustrating that he's so well covered," said Tanya Land, Dunlap's neighbor.

Wood said the man used Dunlap's PIN number to access the money. He would not say how much was withdrawn, only that Dunlap's account was not depleted.

Dunlap, 46, is 5-foot-4 with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen at her Crawfordville home Dec. 1. She didn't show up for church the next day. She was reported missing that Monday when she didn't show up for work at the Thagard Student Health Center at Florida State University.

Her car was discovered Dec. 3 on the south shoulder of U.S. Highway 319. It had one flat tire. Investigators have not released any more information on the car or its contents.

"We are really dependent on the community's input," Wood said.

Dunlap's disappearance has distressed her close friends and has captured the attention of many in Wakulla County. About 180 people turned out Saturday to search a wooded area near where her car was found.

"We are very hopeful and continue to be," said Lori White, a friend of Dunlap's, who is pastor of education at River of Life Church in Crawfordville.

"It just absolutely perplexes me," Land said. "It is so unfathomable to us that this is happening to Cheryl, of all people. We are just astounded by this whole thing."

"We want it resolved soon," White said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Violent Crimes Unit at 922-3418; Crime Stoppers at 574-TIPS; or Wakulla Sheriff's Capt. Randall Taylor or Investigator Scott DelBeato at 926-0800.

--- end ---

Dear heavenly Father, please Lord bring Cheryl home. Is anything too difficult for You? No! Will you please crack this case open and expose the criminals involved? We ask that you give divine wisdom to each one who trying to find Cheryl. I pray that she is safe and unharmed. In the power of your name Lord Jesus we stand on your promises that say "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and "God is able" and "With Christ all things are possible". May faith rise up and may all doubt, worry, fear, unbelief go now in Jesus name. Thank You, Father for your faithfulness and lovingkindness. Not only do we pray for the soon return of Cheryl but also for souls to be saved in the process - thank You, Lord God - amen.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:45 am
Post subject: How to get Cheryl on National News

I have asked my friend who is a TV producer how to get this story on the national news. Here is her response: Okay, this is what I have been able to get for you guys. The key to getting this National is to bombard the websites that I am giving you below but to get it to really work EACH PERSON that writes in needs to WRITE IT IN THEIR OWN WORDS and let CNN and CBS know that WCTV their affiliate has been doing a great job of covering it and has plenty of footage and bytes that can be used. They have to know a variety of people are interested in this story. But the key is that every email sent to them is written differently. Some can mention WCTV other can mention the CBS station in Tallahassee. It was also brought to my attention that they haven’t given a height description yet. The police should be able to do that very easily and they don’t know why they haven’t given it out yet.

Please just make sure everyone’s email is different.


Contact us is at the bottom of the page second line of blue words.

--- end ---

Wakulla Missing Woman
Posted: 9:39 AM Dec 12, 2007
Last Updated: 2:00 PM Dec 12, 2007
Reporter: Bobeth Yates
Email Address: mailto:bobeth.yates@wjhg.com?subject=Wakulla%20Missing%20Woman

It's been almost two weeks since a Wakulla County woman disappeared.

Cheryl Dunlap has been missing since December 1. Her story is not just a concern in Wakulla and Leon Counties; a lot of folks in Jackson County are also worried about Dunlap.

Many of them are teens like Heather Land, who says she was very close to Dunlap.

"She's like a second mom to me."

Forty-six-year-old Cheryl Dunlap has been mentoring children like Heather Land for more than 10 years. Sarah Steinle was one of them.

"She taught GA group at church and we use to hang out with her, and she really just discipled us and poured into our lives."

But on December 1 all that stopped. That's the day Cheryl Dunlap disappeared, and something Land says she has yet to grasp.

"It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that we don't know where she is, especially not her."

But authorities have come up with more clues in the case. Monday search crews found Dunlap's car on 319. It's a remote two-lane road and it's has very few lights. Apparently Dunlap had a blowout on this road and she left her car to go get help, but she never returned.

At this point, Leon County sheriff's investigators suspect foul play. They say someone used Dunlap's ATM card in Leon County on December 2, 3, and 4.

Pictures taken by the ATM's video camera show the suspect is a tall thin man apparently wearing gloves, a hat, and a mask.

Despite the grim outlook, Steinle says those closest to Dunlap are not getting discouraged.

"Everything is going to be ok no matter what we think. I know the lord is taking care of her.

Besides keeping the faith, Dunlap's friend Tiffany Morris says Dunlap's mentees have also been hard at work.

"We've be out passing out flyers where she works and trying to saturate the area."

And the girls have created a MySpace page for Dunlap to hopefully generate some leads. The site is findcherylatmyspace.com.

Dunlap moved to the Crawfordville area several years ago. Prior to that, she lived in Jackson County, working at the Graceville-Campbellton Hospital, so there are a lot of people in those communities who'd like to see her safe return.

If you have any information about Cheryl Dunlap, please call the Violent Crimes Unit at 922-3418 or Crime Stoppers at 574-TIPS.

--- end ---

Technology Produces Strongest Lead in Dunlap Case
Posted: 6:22 PM Dec 12, 2007
Last Updated: 8:15 PM Dec 12, 2007
Reporter: Lanetra Bennett
Email Address: mailto:lanetra.bennett@wctv.tv?subject=Technology%20Produces%20Strongest%20Lead%20in%20Dunlap%20Case

The strongest lead in the Cheryl Dunlap case so far has come from activity on her bank account.

Tracking ATM and credit card transactions, as well as cell phone use, often provides critical clues in missing persons cases.

Discovering that Cheryl Dunlap's ATM card was used after she went missing was a huge clue that led to their unidentified suspect.

Area bank managers say it's situations like this that makes them see the importance of handing over bank records to help law enforcement.

Tallahassee resident Byron Johns said, "I think it's imperative. I think that that's the only way that you're really going to try to catch somebody who's trying to steal someone's money and doesn't really care what they have to do to get it."

While tracking Dunlap's financial records yielded these surveillance photos of the suspect, investigators say he's disguised so well that they can't get a description.

Still, some residents say it's hard to believe no witnesses noticed him when he used her ATM card on December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, all three times at the same undisclosed ATM on West Tennessee Street.

Tallahassee resident Lindsey Phelps said, "Every few minutes people are walking down the sidewalk; especially students, it's one of the main areas that they go."

Authorities will not release the amount of money that was taken from Dunlap's account because they say it is not relevant. They have mentioned that her bank account was not depleted.

Investigators say they have checked surveillance from surrounding businesses but that has not produced any results either. Dunlap's car was found abandoned with a flat tire on the side of Highway 319, but investigators have not released any information regarding any cell phone traces.

--- end ---

Dec 6, 2007
Dec 11, 2007
Dec 13 2007
Dec 14, 2007
Dec 16, 2007
Dec 19, 2007 The body of Cheryl identified today (the latest UPDATES and lots more photos at this link).


  1. What a shame that in this country, where men an women die daily for their county's freedom, we cannot even go to town safely on our streets and highways! It is further proof of how "morally decayed" we have become. I really apreciated what the law officials are doing, however, to protect and teaching people how to use firearms to protect themselves. I never realized what the "right to bear arms" really meant until now. Probably better than that, we all need to bear one anothers burens and uphold each other in fervent prayer!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I agree that prayer for one another is always a good idea.

    May the Lord bless you today as we celebrate the birth of His Son, Jesus. And may He continue to comfort and bless the Dunlap family I pray.

    When the pain goes deep and we turn to Him, the love of God goes deeper.

  3. I cannot express my sadness for the loss of Cheryl. Although I did not personally know her, she was a fellow nurse.
    After looking at the disguised man at the ATM, I couldn't help but think about how he made that mask; there was something about it that was familiar. It has occurred to me that the green color reminded me of the masking paper used when painting a vehicle. The masking paper comes with a strip of masking tape; comes off a roll with the paper and tape together.

  4. Yes, many are still stunned by the tragic loss of Cheryl.

    Your comment about the mask is interesting because someone else thought it might be a piece of camo wrap, maybe from the truck/vehicle of interest to the law enforcement (LE).

    The Tallahassee Democrat message forum (link at the top of this post) is full of discussion in hopes of solving this case.

  5. The guy who used the ATM was not wearing goggles - it is plain to see they are eye glasses. Find the man wearing those eye glasses - I am sure there are more than one person with glasses like that but it is worth a start.

  6. Good observation. On another forum, someone wrote they though he probably needed glasses to read the atm info. I know I do!

    Another thing that comes to mind, if this is a drive-up window which is what I'm reading elsewhere, they are really low and most everyone would have to bend over to use it. I'm 5' 10" and once when I used a drive=up atm, I had to bend over a lot to read the info. So he may not be as tall as some folks are thinking.

    Not really sure though - just some thoughts.

  7. i'm not sure if anybody has seen this yet but the associated press is linking the murder of a hiker in georgia this month to cheryl dunlap

    gary hilton is now the prime suspect in cheryl dunlap case





  8. ughh that didn't work here's what the article says:

    Ga. Drifter Now Suspect in Fla. Slaying

    By DORIE TURNER – 9 hours ago

    DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A drifter accused of kidnapping and decapitating a 24-year-old hiker in Georgia is now a suspect in the slaying of a Florida woman whose body was found last month in a national forest, authorities said Wednesday.

    Gary Hilton, 61, made his first court appearance after being charged Tuesday with murder in the Georgia case. He was ordered held without bail.

    Meredith Emerson died of a blow to the head three days after she disappeared during a New Year's Day hike, authorities said. An autopsy report said she was decapitated after her death, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which said it was not releasing the report because it is part of an ongoing investigation.

    Hilton led investigators to Emerson's body Monday evening after Georgia prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against him, officials said. He had already been charged Saturday with kidnapping with intent of bodily injury.

    During Wednesday's hearing, Hilton spoke only to his attorney, telling him he had finished two years of college.

    The attorney, Neil A. Smith, declined to comment, other than to say the case involved "significant mental health issues."

    Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh declined to say whether he would seek the death penalty for Hilton.

    Hilton was the last person seen with Emerson on a hiking trail in the north Georgia mountains and had tried to use her credit card, according to an arrest warrant.

    Three bloody fleece tops and a bloodstained piece of a car's seat belt were found in a trash bin beside a convenience store where Hilton had used a pay phone, the warrant said. Hilton had tried to vacuum and wash portions of his van, which was found without the rear seat belt, according to the document.

    Authorities still did not release information on how Emerson met Hilton and what happened between her disappearance and her death. Those details will come out in court proceedings, authorities said.

    In Florida, the Leon County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that Hilton was a prime suspect in the death of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap, whose body was found Dec. 19 in the Apalachicola National Forest, southwest of Tallahassee.

    Authorities say a masked person suspected in Dunlap's death used her ATM card three times after her disappearance Dec. 1.

    Sheriff's Maj. Mike Wood said Wednesday authorities had confirmed that Hilton was in the area at the time of Dunlap's disappearance.

    Based on similarities between the Georgia and Florida cases and Hilton's presence in the area when Dunlap disappeared, Wood said Hilton was the focus of the Florida investigation.

    Associated Press writer John Lucas in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story.


  9. Yes, thanks for your info.

    If you go the December 19, 2007 post, this is where all the current updates are being posted.

    May the Lord bring healing and comfort to all the families of missing/murdered loved ones we pray.


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