On May 4, 1971, Erin Marie Gilbert was born. She moved to Anchorage, Alaska, from her native San Francisco, California, to live with her sister Stephanie and her family and work as a nanny.
She went on her first date with David Combs on July 1, 1995, at the Girwood Forest Fair in Girwood, Alaska. They had first met a few days earlier in an Anchorage bar.
At around 4:00 p.m., the two departed Anchorage. At around 6:00 p.m., Erin was last seen at the fairgrounds’ beer garden.
Erin Marie Gilbert Disappearance
Combs claims that when he and Gilbert went back to his car, they discovered that the battery was dead because he had left the headlights on.
He claimed that after telling Gilbert he was going to a friend’s house nearby to get help, he walked for about two hours without finding his friend’s house.
Gilbert had left the car when he came back. Combs claimed that he believed Gilbert had returned to the fair because he was able to start the car.
After that, he went back to the fairgrounds where he continued his fruitless search for Gilbert until one in the morning.
Investigation of Case
The next morning, July 2, after receiving a phone call from Combs asking if Gilbert had made it home the night before, Stephanie and her family searched the Girdwood Forest Fairgrounds as well as the nearby woods.
Alaska State Troopers organized a massive search involving helicopters and search dogs, but they were unable to find any trace of Gilbert near the fair.
Randy McPherron, a police lieutenant, publicly commented on the case in 2017: “We don’t know what happened, whether it was intentional or not — we just don’t know. We don’t have any witnesses, no human remains, no crime scene, not much of anything, so it’s going to be difficult, but as I said, someone knows something.” Gilbert’s family offered a $35,000 reward at the time for information about her disappearance.
When contacted at the time, Combs refused to speak to the press. Erin Marie Gilbert’s Disappearance remains unsolved.