Kortne Stouffer

Background of Kortne Stouffer

Kortne Stouffer was born to Wendy and Scott Stouffer on April 24, 1991. She grew up on a 10-acre farm just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as part of a large family. Despite her parents’ divorce in 2005, the family remained intact, with Scott and Wendy putting their differences aside for the sake of their children.

Kortne Stouffer was the type of person who wanted to try everything life had to offer. Her self-assurance and feistiness resulted in a fierce competitive nature, which was only fueled by her desire to be the centre of attention. She adored animals and spent most of her free time outside, travelling, or with her family. She was also talented in the arts, with a passion for storytelling, dancing, and singing.

Kortne began working part-time at Stouffer Equipment, her father’s recycling equipment company, after graduating from high school. Instead of going to college, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and work as a hairstylist at a local beauty salon on and off. This position aided her when she transitioned into animal grooming, which she enjoyed because she found it easier to work with animals than with other humans.

Kortne, after graduating, also adopted a new “hippy” lifestyle. It was a way for her to better express herself and her artistic personality, and those around her reported that she appeared happier and more peaceful. She also started smoking marijuana around this time, which her parents frowned upon, especially given the crowd she’d started hanging out with. As a result, she made a point of never smoking in their presence.

Kortne Stouffer fell in love with 19-year-old Brad Herr when she was 20 years old. He was the polar opposite of the loud and bubbly girl, bringing a more quiet and reserved nature to the relationship. Kortne had never felt this way about anyone before, according to her parents, and the couple moved in together just nine months later. They rented an apartment at 810 West Main Street in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, a 10-minute drive from her childhood home.

Lead Up to Disappearance

Kortne Stouffer was throwing a party at her apartment on the evening of July 28, 2012. Police arrived around 9:30 p.m. after a neighbor alerted them to the presence of alcohol at the gathering. Brad was on probation at the time for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, so he was barred from drinking and was arrested for violating his probation.

Kortne Stouffer was concerned about Brad’s arrest because he feared he’d be imprisoned for the rest of his probation. At 9:54 p.m., she called her mother to express her concerns. Wendy invited Kortne to spend the night at her house, but she declined. Kortne contacted 29-year-old Cody Pruett, an acquaintance who worked at a nearby racetrack, after speaking with Wendy. Cody was known to have a crush on Kortne, but the feelings were not reciprocated. During the call, the two agreed to meet at a nearby bar for drinks. Cody stated that she appeared distraught and needed to let off some steam. They eventually ran into Cody’s friend Milton Rodriguez and another couple. The group piled into Milton’s car and drove to Harrisburg, where they drank at the Hardware Bar on Second Street.

Kortne’s rage grew throughout the night, fuelled by her drinking. She got into an argument with the couple, claiming that the male individual had broken into her apartment and stolen money a few months before. Kortne was asked to leave the establishment due to the uproar. While she was compelled to leave, the rest of the group remained.

Kortne texted Cody and Milton around 2:00 a.m. on July 29 to request that they take her home. The group returned to Palmyra, with Cody dropping Milton off at his house before agreeing to pick up Kortne. Kortne, believing she was fit to drive, asked Cody to drop her off at the bar they’d visited earlier so she could pick up her car. Cody agreed despite his belief that she was too drunk to drive, but followed her to her apartment to ensure she arrived safely.

Kortne and Cody got to her apartment around 3 a.m. Kortne spotted her neighbours while walking up to the building and got into an argument with them, believing they were the ones who had called the cops earlier. As a result, police were called to the scene around 3:30 a.m. When they realised everyone had been drinking, they asked them to return to their units and went to bed, threatening to arrest them if they were called back. Cody claims that he and Kortne entered her apartment around 3:50 a.m.

After about 10 minutes, another neighbor heard loud banging coming from Kortne’s unit, prompting him to call the police. When they arrived at 4:12 a.m., however, everything was quiet. One of the officers knocked on Kortne’s door, but when no one answered, he assumed everything was over. They walked away at this point.


The next day, the entire community of Palmyra came together for the Lebanon County Fair. Kortne and her brother were to attend with their grandfather, as was tradition. Unfortunately, Kortne did not show, nor did she return any of Wendy’s calls.

When July 30 came around, Wendy began to worry about her daughter’s seemingly radio silence. She contacted her son, to ask if Kortne had been at the County Fair the previous day, only to be told she hadn’t been in attendance.

After speaking with him, Wendy drove to Kortne’s apartment, where she saw her car, which had its windows down. While this struck her as strange, she didn’t think too much of it. She then proceeded to the apartment, finding the door unlocked and the outside light on. When she entered, nothing struck her as out of place. Kortne’s keys had been thrown on the ground, as was common, and her shoes were in the area of the apartment where Kortne normally removed them. However, further investigation would cause alarm. Not only had Kortne’s beloved dog seemingly not been let out in at least a day, her purse and cellphone had been left behind, with the phone showing 18 missed calls. The television and the A/C had also been left on.

Hoping to figure out her daughter’s whereabouts, Wendy contacted everyone Kortne had recently communicated with via her cellphone. Everyone she spoke with had no information regarding Kortne’s whereabouts and appeared stunned that she’d left without informing anyone she would be away.

Wendy then contacted Scott, who immediately drove over to Kortne’s apartment. While looking through her phone, he discovered her texts to Cody, so he called him to ask for his help in finding her. Cody recounted the events of July 28, saying that he’d entered the apartment in an attempt to calm Kortne down and that they’d fallen asleep not long after. He hadn’t awoken until 7:15am the next day, when he discovered Kortne was no longer in bed. Before heading to the racetrack, he’d stopped at a local convenience store, where he texted Kortne. He’d also called Milton at this time, as he was still in possession of his friend’s vehicle.

By mid-day, Kortne’s parents were fearing the worst. They contacted the Palmyra Borough Police Department and were asked to come down to the station the next day to file a missing persons report. While they waited, they stayed at Kortne’s apartment, in case she happened to return. During this time, her friends came by to offer their assistance.

When Kortne hadn’t returned by that Tuesday, Wendy and Scott went to the police station to official report her as missing. By 2:25pm, the Palmyra Borough Police Department had issued a missing persons news release.


The Palmyra Police Department immediately requested the assistance of the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office, recognising that it lacked the resources to handle this type of investigation.

Kortne’s apartment was designated as a possible crime scene. It and her vehicle were searched several times with the assistance of various law enforcement agencies, but no evidence of wrongdoing was discovered. They also couldn’t find any information about her whereabouts.

Police talked to her neighbours, but they had no idea where she was. They’d all gone to bed after the patrolmen left in the early hours of July 29. Given his hostility toward Kortne, her 44-year-old male neighbour was of particular interest to investigators. Investigators discovered a voicemail he left with the landlady on the night Kortne went missing, in which he sounded irate, demanded the 21-year-old leave the duplex, and threatened to take care of the situation himself if nothing was done. Despite this, he claimed he was uninvolved.

Kortne’s family recalls him acting strangely around them, refusing to speak or make eye contact. Scott also remembered him carrying a large number of garbage bags to his car, which he claimed contained debris from a home improvement project. Police searched his trash from that and other days, but no evidence was found. They also used cadaver dogs to search his apartment, but that proved ineffective.

Missing posters with Kortne’s image and description were distributed throughout Palmyra. They advertised a $5,000 reward offered by Scott, which would eventually rise to $100,000 thanks to the generosity of the community. Wendy and others wore homemade “Kortne come home” tie-dye t-shirts to a candlelight vigil at the police station around this time.

The Palmyra Fire Department organised a search a week after the candlelight vigil, with the help of community volunteers. Despite searching a 2-mile radius around Kortne’s apartment, no evidence could be found.

The disappearance of Kortne made national headlines.

Kortne’s circle of friends was investigated by police, particularly those who were with her the night she was last seen. They interviewed those people several times and administered polygraph tests to them. Because the case is still ongoing, the results cannot be made public.

Brad couldn’t provide much information to help the investigation because he was in police custody at the time. He is said to have been uncooperative, but many attribute this to his dislike of law enforcement due to his previous interactions with them.

Cody’s story and alibi were investigated thoroughly. Investigators went to the convenience store he’d gone to on July 29 to try to corroborate his story. They discovered surveillance video from 7:30 a.m. that morning, which showed him buying food and a drink while texting on his cellphone. Throughout the investigation, his version of events has remained consistent.

Scott took the initiative to contact Milton, who appeared tense. He was evasive in his responses and claimed to be unaware of what happened to Kortne. Scott told investigators about his impressions of Milton and Cody, which prompted them to obtain search warrants for their apartments and vehicles. Nothing was discovered during these searches that could be linked to Kortne’s disappearance, and both men maintain their innocence.

Investigators learned more about the argument Kortne got into while in Harrisburg. They discovered that the man she’d been arguing with was a known drug dealer. This prompted them to consider the possibility that Kortne’s drug use had put her in danger. When questioned, the man denied any involvement, claiming he’d spent the night at his girlfriend’s parents’ house after leaving the bar, an alibi that was later proven. He also denied breaking into Kortne’s apartment.

Kortne’s family and friends have searched for her extensively.

A local woman contacted Scott in March 2014 about a conversation she overheard between two acquaintances. They claimed they killed Kortne while stealing marijuana and money from her apartment, then rolled her body into a carpet and dumped it in Memorial Lake, about 12 miles away. When Scott brought this information to the attention of the District Attorney’s Office, he was met with resistance. Investigators found no evidence that Kortne’s body was in the lake, and they questioned the woman’s credibility because her story changed several times. Despite this, Scott wanted the lake search and asked the Pennsylvania State Police for help, which they provided on April 1, 2014. They searched the water for Kortne for five hours, using an underwater camera and sonar equipment. When a volunteer diver conducted his own search later that spring, the results were the same.

The Stouffer family hired a private investigator named Leah Hopewell in the fall of 2015.

A Facebook page has been created to raise awareness and share updates about the case. A website has also been established.

The investigation is still being led by the Lebanon County District Attorney, with assistance from the FBI. Given the circumstances, the case has been treated as a homicide from the start, and no one has been ruled out as a suspect due to a lack of evidence. They have stated that, while they receive new tips from Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers on a regular basis, they have little new information or leads to share.


1) One theory in the case is that one of Kortne’s neighbours is to blame for her disappearance and possible murder. This is due to her conflict with the other residents of the duplex, particularly her 44-year-old male neighbour. As previously stated, Scott observed him loading numerous large garbage bags into his vehicle, which many believe contained Kortne’s remains, and he acted suspiciously when questioned about his possible involvement.

Investigators believe none of Kortne’s neighbours were involved because searches of their apartments yielded no evidence. The male neighbor’s vehicle was also searched, but no evidence linking him to the crime was found.

2) A private investigator in Florida has suggested that Kortne was the victim of a serial killer operating in Kentucky and surrounding states. At least 18 women who fit Kortne’s profile, he claims, went missing around the time of her disappearance. The Palmyra District Attorney, on the other hand, believes the case is unrelated to any other, and many have dismissed this theory.

3) The Stouffers believe Kortne was kidnapped on the night she went missing. This would explain both the lack of evidence and the lack of potential sightings.

4) Given her connections to known drug dealers and her marijuana habit, some online speculated that Kortne’s disappearance could be linked to a suspected drug debt. As previously stated, she had a verbal argument with a dealer the night she went missing, accusing him of breaking into her apartment and stealing both money and personal items. Brad, her boyfriend, was also a drug dealer.

It should be noted that investigators have found no evidence that Kortne owed any dealers money.


Kortne’s family commemorated the fifth anniversary of her disappearance with a two-day “Peace & One Love Event” at Scott’s home, which included a bonfire, music, and the release of paper lanterns.

Every year, the family organises a float down Swatara Creek between Palmyra and Hershey in her honour. Kortne’s favourite pastime is said to have been floating on the water.

Kortne’s belongings have been kept by her family in case she is found alive.

Information of Case Contact

Kortne Ciera Stouffer went missing on July 29, 2012, in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. She was wearing a yellow tank top, black floral-print or fluorescent paint-splattered shorts, a silver class ring, and a diamond wedding ring when she was last seen. She stood 5’8″ and weighed between 110 and 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance. Her dreadlocked hair is long and strawberry blonde, and she has green eyes. Her tongue and ears are both pierced, and she has a mole on her right cheek. On the left side of her abdomen, she has a handgun with flowers growing out of the barrel; three stars on the top of her right foot; and “One Love” on her bicep, with the “O” in “One” drawn as a peace sign and the other in “Love” drawn as a heart.

Her case is currently classified as endangered missing. She would be 30 years old if she were still alive.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Lebanon County Detective Bureau at 717-228-4403, extension 4403, or the Palmyra Borough Police Department at 717-838-8189. Tips can also be directed to the FBI ViCAP hotline at 1-800-634-4097 or to private investigator Leah Hopewell at 717-348-3205.

To remain anonymous, call Lebanon Crime Stoppers at 717-270-9800 or Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers at 1-800-472-8477.

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