On the evening of July 16th, Aleah Beckerle’s parents tucked her into bed at their home in Evansville, Indiana. When they woke up the next morning, she was gone.
But eight weeks after the 19-year-old disappeared, prompting a multi-agency police investigation and civilian search parties, her bed is still empty and her wheelchair is tucked in a corner of her room, unused.
Beckerle is wheelchair bound and nonverbal after a stroke when she was three months old. Though Beckerle could roll and even crawl a little, she would not be able to run away. The question her family doesn’t want to ask but has to: Will she ever come home?
“I can’t see anyone taking her to murder her. But why would they take her in the first place?” asked her mother, Cara Beckerle, during an Aug. 26 interview. “I have zero answers.”
According to her mother, Aleah recently had a medical procedure to cut down on her seizures, so she might be okay without medicine.
One theory on social media, spread in Facebook comments and blog posts, is that Beckerle was involved in Aleah’s death or found her dead and tried to cover it up by reporting her missing. Beckerle pleaded guilty in 2007 to child neglect and dealing marijuana, both Class A misdemeanors, which is supposedly the reason she would be afraid of another child neglect charge. She denies that, too.
“But why would they want to take her and take care of her?” she snapped out, angry. Then, tearing up: “That’s why I don’t know if she’s alive or not.”
Evansville Police Department Chief of Staff Cpt. Andy Chandler hopes that the quicker they spread the word, the quicker they find her.
“The more people we reach, the better the chances, and we’re not giving up hope,” he said.
He would not confirm whether or not family members have been cleared as suspects.
Anyone who has information regarding Aleah’s disappearance should contact Evansville Detectives at (812) 436-7979, WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME, or dial 911.