Tonight, I have decided to write a post about an unsolved case involving a missing female. This case has frustrated me since I first heard about it in 2018, as there is very little information as to what happened to Karlie. As time goes on with a lack of new evidence emerging, I fear the case will become cold.
Karlie Lain Gusé was was born on 13th May 2002 and was residing in the rural White Mountains Estates area in Mono County, California with her father, Zac Gusé, her two younger brothers and her stepmother Melissa Gusé. Her mother, Lindsay Fairley lives in Nevada as her and Zac divorced when Karlie was only a toddler.
On 12th October 2018, Karlie was supposedly attending her high school’s football game with her friends and boyfriend Donald. However, the plans changed and she instead attended a party with Donald. Around 8pm that evening, Melissa rang Karlie to check if she needed a lift home from the football game, but Karlie said that she would get a ride with Donald. According to her boyfriend, Karlie began to act strangely at the party, and he recalled that she was afraid of the music and of Donald himself. She rang Melissa approximately an hour after she had stated she would get a ride home with Donald, and asked if she could come and pick her up at the trailer park where the party was and confessed she had not actually attended the football game. Karlie was reportedly frantic on the phone, begging Melissa to hurry and saying she was scared. She didn’t want Melissa to hang up the phone. When Melissa arrived to pick Karlie up, she saw Karlie who was running down Dickson’s Lane leading away from the trailer park - it was pitch black and Melissa was only able to see Karlie because she was running while holding her phone with the flashlight on.
When Karlie got into the car, Melissa reported that Karlie was acting very paranoid and on edge, moving from seat to seat and kept saying how scared she was. Melissa stated that when she picked up Karlie, she was ‘as white as a ghost’ and that her pupils were dilated. She admitted to Melissa that she had smoked marijuana at the party, something which her boyfriend Donald would later confirm, but he insisted that they had not taken any other drugs nor had he witnessed Karlie ingest any other substances. Karlie continued to act strangely when they returned home, and Melissa made her a salad and gave her a granola bar, in an attempt to lessen the effects of the marijuana. When Karlie ate the salad, she supposedly spat it out crying that it was ‘the devil’s lettuce’. Devil’s lettuce is a synonym for marijuana which I think it an interesting point. Melissa stated that Karlie continued to act paranoid all night, asking her if she would call 911. Karlie also reportedly kept saying that she did not want to go to bed because she feared Melissa would kill her and she kept having ‘demonic thoughts’. Melissa decides to audio record Karlie, so she could listen to it the next morning and hopefully realise how bizarre her behaviour was due to smoking marijuana. This recording has never been released to the public.
Due to Karlie’s distressed state, she asks Melissa to stay with her all night to which Melissa agrees. She said that they painted their nails in bed and read the Bible. Melissa reports that she fell asleep but whenever she woke throughout the night Karlie appeared to be lying awake beside her. Melissa exchanged several text messages with Karlie’s boyfriend throughout the night, and rather chillingly, the last message she sends is asking him to ‘please pray’ for Karlie. When Melissa woke up the next morning at approximately 5.45am, Karlie has gone. She finds the front door to be slightly open, and Karlie’s purse and cellphone are still in the house, but there is no sign of Karlie.
However, Melissa’s own behaviour gets more bizarre in the days following Karlie’s disappearance. She has been criticised heavily for posting multiple Facebook ‘live’ videos, and it is noted that she changes her original story of the events leading up to Karlie being reported missing. Notably, she states during one of these videos that she did not spend the night in Karlie’s room with her, but that she slept in her own bedroom and when she went to check on Karlie and her brothers at 5.45am, which she supposedly did routinely, it was then that she realised Karlie was missing. When Melissa was questioned about the inconsistencies, she has now retracted this statement and stated that the originally version of events was true. It is of course to be expected that witness’ accounts change - the reality is that often an individual does not think to check the time or what someone is wearing for example, until someone goes missing and they then try to remember the details. In my opinion however, I found the inaccuracies in Melissa’s stories to be rather extreme. If my stepdaughter were to go missing, I do not think I would post several Facebook live videos, and this is something which Karlie’s biological mother has also questioned. However, it is difficult to know exactly what one would do in such upsetting circumstances and therefore I do not wish to speculate too much on this point.
Karlie with Melissa prior to her disappearance.
When questioned about what Karlie was wearing when she was last seen, Melissa and Zac could not give a specific answer, but it is believed that Karlie may have been wearing a white t shirt, dark grey sweatpants or jeans, and Van shoes. She did not leave with any personal belongings. Richard Eddy, a retired officer from the LAPD, was sitting in his hot tub with a coffee on the morning Karlie disappeared. His hot tub reportedly faces the street, and he recalls that sometime at approximately 6.30am, he saw a tall young female with long hair walking past his house, looking up at the sky. Other eyewitness accounts place Karlie on Ponderosa Street, near White Mountain Estate Road in Chalfant in the pre dawn hours of 13 October 2018, and the final sighting is believed to have been of a young woman wandering aimlessly towards Highway 6 in the early hours of the morning. If we are to assume the young woman was Karlie, these are the last reported sightings of her and no one has seen of the teenager since that morning.
Highway 6 which runs through Chalfant Valley.
Unfortunately, as there is no evidence that a crime has been committed, Karlie’s case has been classified as a missing person case, and this means there is a different protocol than if it was believed foul play was involved. She is however deemed a missing endangered child, and an extensive search of the area was carried out. As there was no immediate indication that an abduction had taken place, or a description of a vehicle which was possibly involved, no AMBER Alert was issued. In the days after Karlie disappearing, extensive searches were carried out near her home and the surrounding area - helicopters, search dogs and law enforcement officers on horses and off-road vehicles were all used in the search, but nothing was found. It appeared that the teenager had vanished without a trace. Due to the extreme weather conditions in the area at the time; freezing cold mornings and scorching hot afternoons, it was a concern that if Karlie were in the desert she would perish to the elements as it could not be confirmed that she left with any type of overcoat. Sadly, on 25 October 2018 law enforcement announced that the ground search for the teenager had ceased. The FBI became involved in the case, and Karlie remains on the FBI Most Wanted list under Kidnappings/Missing Persons. The FBI reportedly undertook an extensive search of her social media accounts and her phone, but the search did not lead to any suspects in the case.
My theory is that whilst at the party, Karlie smoked marijuana which had been laced with a hallucinogenic drug, most likely LSD. I don’t think she knew the drugs were laced, and when she began to trip she started to panic. I think she was most likely still tripping the following morning, as I believe that the effects of LSD can last for over 12 hours. Unfortunately, I think she left the house in this altered state without her phone or purse, and set off walking. The two eyewitnesses who supposedly saw Karlie walking towards Highway 6 in the early hours of 13 October 2018 stated that she appeared to be carrying a piece of paper in her hands, and was walking whilst looking up at the sky and around her. Karlie’s family have stated that she began to attend counselling earlier in the year, and speculated that the piece of paper she was carrying was for the counselling sessions. I think it is likely that Karlie was walking along the Highway when someone stopped and asked if she needed a lift. I think unfortunately, she got into their vehicle and was possibly abducted. This particular Highway in California is very deserted - once you are on the Highway you quickly travel through the deserted landscape and can be gone without a trace. It has become a popular spot for human trafficking due to the speed at which a vehicle can leave the area, as the route leads to some of the loneliest desert in Nevada. Highway 6 weaves from California to Massachusetts, passing through a total of 14 states. If one wanted to abduct an individual and flee the scene quickly, this route would allow exactly that. Regrettably this Highway 6 has become known as a route used by sex traffickers. If Karlie has been forced into sex trafficking, she could be anywhere in America by now. It is therefore vital for her case to continue to be shared.
Another theory which many people speculate about is that Karlie overdosed on drugs, and Melissa and Zach covered it up. Honestly, I don’t really know what to make of this theory. If Karlie did overdose on drugs, why wouldn’t they call 911? What reason would they have for covering up her death and making up a story about her leaving the house? Those who believe this theory suggest that the ‘sightings’ of Karlie could actually have been Melissa walking past the neighbours in an attempt to cause false eyewitness accounts. I appreciate that the videos posted by Melissa in the days after her disappearance is very bizarre, and it also makes me rather uncomfortable that she recorded Karlie whilst she was in this supposedly drug induced state, regardless as to her reasons for doing so. However strange the behaviour of Karlie’s stepmother, I just cannot believe that they covered up her death or murder. In my opinion, the best possible scenario is that Karlie had been abducted that morning, but that she remains alive and will make it home one day.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comment section below.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT KARLIE GUSE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL IT MAY BE, PLEASE CONTACT THE MONO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 760-932-5678 OR ON firstname.lastname@example.org. ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN CONTACT THE CENTRE FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN AT 1800-THE-LOST.