Missing Since: 07/19/96
Missing from: Shreveport, Louisiana
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: 05/08/70
Age at disappearance: 26
Weight: 115-120 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
Distinguishing Characteristics: Double-pierced ears.
Scar on left side of her neck.
Clothing: Jeans, a short-sleeved black midriff shirt,
brown sandals, & carried a black denim purse with light
Details of Disappearance
O’Pry needed to run errands on July 19, 1996 in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Eric Dale Mickelson, a friend of her boyfriend, agreed to drive O’Pry if she paid for his gasoline costs. Mickelson and O’Pry were riding in his white 1971 Chevrolet Fleetside pickup truck. Photos of Mickelson and his vehicle are posted below this case summary.
O’Pry and Mickelson visited her sister’s residence on Meriweather Road and departed at approximately 8:00 p.m. Mickelson told authorities that he and O’Pry stopped at the Circle K store on the corner of Walker Road and Mackey Lane. Mickelson stated that O’Pry used the pay phone at the store. Phone records did not show any indication of any calls O’Pry may have made from the location. Mickelson claimed that he did not witness O’Pry make a call from the phone; he said that he was repairing his vehicle’s stereo speaker wires at the time she was inside the business. Mickelson stated that he proceeded to drop O’Pry off at the El Chico entrance of the South Park Mall on Jewella Avenue in Shreveport at approximately 8:30 p.m. O’Pry has never been seen again. She was carrying a black denim purse with light pastel-colored stripes at the time of her disappearance. She was reported missing four days after she was last seen.
O’Pry’s boyfriend, Jerry “Todd” Dean, told investigators that Mickelson called him between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. on July 20, 1996, the day following O’Pry’s disappearance. Dean said that Mickelson told him he dropped O’Pry at the mall the previous evening. O’Pry lived with Dean and his friend, Wade Burnley, on Linwood Avenue at the time she was last seen. Dean did not inform O’Pry’s family that she never returned home until July 23, four days after she initially disappeared.
O’Pry did not take any personal belongings with her when she vanished. She left behind her three-year-old daughter, something that her family said was completely uncharacteristic of her behavior. Security guards at the South Park Mall told investigators that they did not observe anyone matching O’Pry’s description at the shopping center the night she was last seen. Authorities are not certain if she arrived at the location.
Both Dean and Burnley passed polygraph tests administered by law enforcement shortly after O’Pry’s disappearance. Mickelson refused to take a lie detector test, saying that he considers the devices unreliable. He was considered the prime suspect in O’Pry’s case, although for many years he maintained his innocence. He was subsequently charged with the unrelated murder of an elderly man. In 2007, while in prison awaiting trial on that charge, Mickelson confessed to O’Pry’s murder. He said he had strangled her and disposed of her body in a pond on his property on Woolworth Road, but later moved the remains to another location. Some months later, in August 2007, he was charged with second-degree murder in O’Pry’s case. Authorities stated they found unspecified evidence in the pond that corroborated his confession, but her body has not been located.
Extensive searches have not yielded any clues as to O’Pry’s whereabouts. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved in O’Pry’s disappearance.
Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office
- KTAL 7-13-07 Search Continues for Cold Case Victim
- KSLA 7-13-07 Sister reacts to Mickelson’s Confession
- KSLA 7-13-07 So-Called Confessed Killer’s Past
- KSLA 7-14-07 Mickelson Confesses to 1996 Killing & More
- KSLA 8-23-07 Mickelson charged with 2nd Degree Murder
Sequence of Events
- Fri. July 19, 1996 — Kristi leaves her sister’s house on Meriwether Road at about 8pm with Eric Dale Mickelson in his pickup truck.
- Sat. July 20, 1996 — According to Kristi’s boyfriend Jerry “Todd” Dean, Eric called him at home about 10 or 11am claiming he dropped Kristi off at South Park Mall the night before. Eric asks Todd to tell Kristi that she better not ever use him for a ride again.
- Tue. July 23, 1996 — Kristi’s boyfriend “Todd” calls Kristi’s mother and reports that Kristi never came home Friday night. Kristi’s family begins contacting Kristi’s friends and acquaintances to see if they can find anyone who’s seen Kristi since Friday night.
- Wed. July 24,1996 — Kristi’s mother alerts the police concerning Kristi’s disappearance. Many more phone calls are made to try and locate her.
- Fri. July 26, 1996 — A search of Kristi’s home reveals that none of her personal belongings are missing. “This is a girl who really cared about her appearance … she wouldn’t have left on her own without all her stuff.” says her sister Paige. (Kristi’s toothbrush and make up were found in the bathroom) Her purse and keys could not be located anywhere inside her home. Family members begin posting flyers in Shreveport, East Texas and the surrounding area reporting that Kristi is missing.
- August 1996— South Park Mall Security Guards that were at the mall entrance on horseback stated that they did not recall seeing anyone fitting Kristi’s description being dropped off between 8 and 9pm the night Kristi vanished. Private Investigator and retired Shreveport Police Officer Ken Hudson of Kenro Investigations offers his services free of charge. He advised the family to obtain Kristi’s dental records so they could be added to NCIC. A few days later William “Bill” Meeks of M & M Investigations also offered to donate his services to assist in the search for Kristi. Reporter Meredith White with Channel 6 (NBC) in Shreveport does the first “family” interview. Kristi’s mother and sister Paige were interviewed. The Times, a newspaper in Shreveport has done several stories on Kristi’s disappearance asking for anyone with information to come forward. The Thrifty Nickel newspaper in Shreveport also donated space in their paper. They ran a series of display ads for several weeks. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office August 30, 1996 Press Release .
- September 1996— Eric Mickelson, the man last seen with Kristi is refusing to cooperate with authorities and has refused to take a polygraph test. He claims that he doesn’t believe in them. Eric Mickelson told the detectives that before he dropped Kristi off at South Park Mall he stopped at the Circle K store at the corner of Walker Road and Mackey Lane across from Southwood High School so that Kristi could make a telephone call. Eric claims he didn’t actually see Kristi make a phone call because he had his head under the dashboard repairing his stereo speaker wires. Detectives got the records of all the telephone calls made to and from the pay phones located there but did not find any calls that could be linked to Kristi. Kristi’s mother went to visit Eric Mickelson asking him for help in locating her daughter, he told her that he did not know where Kristi was. Someone has begun to “destroy” and/or take down Kristi’s missing posters around Shreveport. Rumors of what became of Kristi are a hot topic all over town. The Most Wanted, a weekly newspaper in the Shreveport – Bossier City area devoted to locating fugitives and missing persons is running a series of display ads reporting Kristi’s disappearance. The friendship between “Todd” Dean and Eric Mickelson continues.
- October 1996— Detective Roy Tabor with The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office takes over the case and he begins his investigation. The original detective on the case left the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office to work for another law enforcement agency. This change in detectives was much needed because the original detective did not believe anything had happened to Kristi. He kept saying “Oh she’ll problably show up in a couple of weeks”.
- November 1996— Detective Roy Tabor continues to interview many people concerning Kristi’s whereabouts. Several hundred more missing posters are distributed all over North Louisiana and North East Texas.
- December 7,1996— The Times runs an article saying that the male acquaintance that was last seen with Kristi is not cooperating with authorities and has refused a polygraph. This was made public for the first time today.
- March 10,1997— The Geraldo Rivera Show profiles Kristi’s case.
- May 8,1997— Today is Kristi’s 27th Birthday.
- May 28,1997— Front page article in The Times today. Reporter Larry Burton interviews Kristi’s sister Paige and Bill Meeks with M & M Investigations. A photograph of Paige holding Kristi’s child is also printed on the front page.
- July 19,1997— Kristi has been missing for one year today.
- December 27,1997–Detective Roy Tabor brought in cadaver dogs to search an area in South Caddo Parish. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office December 27th 1997 Press Release.
- Tuesday January 10,1998— Two of Kristi’s sisters fly to New York City to be guests on the Geraldo Rivera Show. The show about missing persons was taped the following day, January 11.
- Tuesday February 3,1998— The Geraldo Rivera Show aired the story taped on Jan.11. Reporter Larry Burton with The Times did an article telling the citizens of the Shreveport area that Kristi’s case would be on the Geraldo Rivera Show today.
- Friday May 1,1998— This web site went online.
- Friday May 8,1998— Kristi’s 28th Birthday. Reporter Meredith White who now works for Channel 12 (CBS) in Shreveport interviewed two of Kristi’s sisters about how the World Wide Web can assist families and law enforcement agencies with unsolved cases. They discussed how Kristi’s new web site is helping spread the word of her disappearance. Everyone involved in the investigation feels like this web site will be an asset to the case. Kristi’s sisters made it very clear, they want justice, not revenge.
- Sunday July 19,1998— Kristi has now been missing for two years. Family members are desperate to know what became of Kristi. They are asking local residents to assist in the search for the Missing Shreveport Mother. We hope that someone will come forward with helpful information, because it’s the right thing to do. Kristi’s disappearance has been a nightmare for her family and they pray that someone will come forward with the information they need to solve Kristi’s disappearance. Please pray for Kristi and her young daughter who is very confused and hurt by her mother’s disappearance.
- Monday September 7,1998— The Geraldo Rivera Show taped back in January of 1998 was rebroadcast today. It’s widely believed that Kristi was murdered but Kristi’s family and friends pray that’s not the case and have refused to give up.
- Wednesday November 11,1998— A talented reporter from The Inquisitor
wrote an interesting article concerning Kristi’s disappearance.
- Friday January 1, 1999— The investigation into Kristi’s disappearance continues on a daily basis. Assistance is still being sought from individuals who can provide helpful information concerning Kristi’s whereabouts.
- Tuesday February 16, 1999— Cosmopolitan Magazine published an article in the March 99 issue concerning “Missing Women”, Kristi’s name was included in the article.
- Saturday May 8, 1999— Kristi’s 29th Birthday.
- Friday May 5, 2000— Kristi’s Family once again requests that anyone who may have helpful information concerning Kristi’s fate and or location to please contact the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office. Contact numbers and an email address are listed below.
- Sunday May 8th, 2000— Kristi’s 30th Birthday.
- Wednesday July 19th, 2000— Kristi vanished four years ago today.
- Tuesday May 8th, 2001— Kristi’s 31st Birthday.
- Thursday July 19th, 2001— Kristi vanished five years ago today.
- Saturday December 15th, 2001— Kristi’s Family and Friends are living through another Holiday Season with no knowledge of Kristi’s location. It’s difficult to put up a Christmas Tree, buy gifts and cook a big dinner because despite it all, there’s still that empty chair at the table.
- Wednesday May 8th, 2002— Kristi’s 32nd Birthday.
- Wednesday May 29th, 2002— Even after all this time, we still have faith we’ll find Kristi one day. John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted told us he’s solved 20 year old crimes in the past and encouraged us not to ever give up.
- Friday July 19th, 2002— Kristi vanished six years ago today.
- May 8th, 2003— Kristi’s 33rd Birthday. An empty, sad day for her family.
- Saturday July 19th, 2003— Kristi vanished seven years ago today. It’s hard to believe that this much time has passed with no resolution. Her little girl is growing up before our eyes still wondering what became of her mother. Those responsible for Kristi’s diappearance have caused far more damage than they will ever realize.
- January 26th, 2004— William “Bill” Meeks, age 49, Private Investigator and Family Friend passed away unexpectedly today. Bill had a strong personal interest in finding justice for Kristi and spent countless hours over the years searching for her. Bill was a member of the Louisiana Private Investigators Association. He owned and operated M & M Investigations in Shreveport for sixteen years. He always assisted his clients with the utmost attention. Bill also served on the committee for Domestic Violence for Caddo and Bossier Parishes and was an advocate for abused women and children. His heart was made of gold and he was constantly there to help others. We hope he now knows the truth about what became of Kristi since he put so much effort into the case while he was here with us. God Bless You Bill, Thank You For Everything.
- Friday April 23rd, 2004— Dateline NBC did an investigative report on the disappearance of 18 year old Kelly Dae Wilson who vanished from Gilmer, Texas in 1992. The story was aired on Friday April 23rd, 2004. (Kelly’s picture is shown below, Gilmer Texas is not far from Shreveport) At the end of the show Stone Phillips mentioned that strangely enough other women in the area found murdered or who had gone missing also have names that start with the letter “K”. He was talking about Murder Victim Kayla Mayberry (1994) and Missing Person Kristi O’Pry (1996) from Shreveport, LA. There’s also Kimberly Norwood who’s missing from Northeast Texas.
- May 8th, 2004— Kristi’s 34th Birthday. Still missing you more than ever Boo.
- Mother’s Day May 8th, 2005— Kristi’s 35th Birthday.
- Tuesday July 19th, 2005— Kristi has been missing nine years today.
- May 8th, 2006— Kristi’s 36th Birthday.
- May 8th, 2007— Kristi’s 37th Birthday.
- July 12th, 2007— Eric Mickelson is arrested for the murder of 86 yr-old War Veteran Charles Martin
- Friday July 13th, 2007— While in Shreveport Police custody Eric Mickelson confesses to murdering Kristi. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Department begins excavating the area where Eric claims to have abandoned Kristi’s remains. Mickelson Mentions Six Slayings total to Police. Caddo sheriff’s deputies are searching a creek and boggy area on Jefferson-Paige Road near the American Rose Center for evidence. Deputies dug at times with shovels and sent in a trained dog to search the area. Parish workers later joined, using a track hoe to dig out chunks of concrete and mud and put it in a dump truck. The sludge will be sifted through at another location. The sheriff’s office did not report locating tangible evidence. Sheriff Steve Prator said that no one else is suspected in the O’Pry case. Prator’s office is contacting other agencies because of what he said is the “serial nature” of the O’Pry and Martin slayings.
- Saturday July 21th, 2007— About 10 Caddo sheriff’s recruits are set to join the search today for the remains of Kristi O’Pry. The recruits will help deputies and medical personnel comb an area near a creek off Jefferson-Paige Road near Greenwood. Investigators divided the area with strings Wednesday to form a grid. The grid makes identifying the location of any evidence more accurate and manageable. Deputies have been searching the area since July 13.
- Wednesday August 8th, 2007— The Pond on Mickelson’s Woolworth Rd property was drained and searched. Information provided by Mickelson was corroborated by evidence recovered from the pond. Mickelson told detectives he strangled Kristi with his bare hands, then disposed of her body in a pond on his Woolworth Rd property. Mickelson said he moved her remains to several other locations some time later. Caddo Parish investigators conducted a detailed search of the Jefferson Paige Road area Mickelson led them to looking for remains, but nothing was ever found at that location.
- Thursday August 23rd, 2007— Investigator Kay Ward with The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office charged Eric Dale Mickelson with second-degree murder in the death of Kristi O’Pry. Mickelson was already in the Caddo Correctional Center on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the July death of 86-year-old Charlie Martin. Detectives say after Mickelson was arrested, he confessed to killing O’Pry. He was the last person seen with Kristi before she disappeared in July of 1996.
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.