Ten years ago today, one local family talked to their 21-year-old daughter without knowing it might be the last time they ever spoke.
Kortne Ciera Stouffer was last seen on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at her Palmyra apartment, where she had returned following a night out with friends. Her vehicle, keys, cellphone, and purse all remained at the apartment, but Stouffer vanished without a trace.
With the anniversary in mind, Chief County Detective Jonathan Hess issued a press release summarizing the findings of the investigation over the last decade. Over that time, Palmyra Borough Police Department and the Lebanon County Detective Bureau have been joined in the investigation by other federal and state law enforcement partners, as well as a private investigator hired by the family, Hess said.
Here is the timeline of Stouffer’s disappearance, according to Hess.
9 p.m. – July 28, 2012
Palmyra Borough Police and Lebanon County Adult Probation responded to 810 W. Main Street, an apartment shared by Brad Herr and Kortne Stuffer for a report of an Underage Drinking Party. Neighbors knew Herr was under 21 years of age, was on house arrest and under the supervision of adult probation. Todd Saksek had seen people carrying cases of beer into the residence and had alerted probation. Herr was taken into custody by Adult Probation for a probation violation. Probation had requested the assistance of the Palmyra Police Department to investigate this alleged violation. Police found seven people inside and Kortne was the only person 21 years of age or older. Two subjects were cited for Underage Drinking and released. Kortne was the only person remaining in the apartment when police and probation left.
10:07 p.m. – July 28, 2012
Kortne received text messages from Cody Pruett and Milton Rodriguez, to join them and others at the Gas Station Bar in Hummelstown, PA. After meeting them in Hummelstown, Kortne, Pruett, Rodriguez and another couple went to the Second Street area of Harrisburg. Kortne left her car at the Gas Station Bar and rode with the others to Harrisburg.
1:50 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Kortne engages in a verbal altercation with the girlfriend of Arvard Brown at the Hardware Bar in Harrisburg. She is asked to leave by security, and for a brief time is separated from the others. They find each other and stop at a nearby pizza shop before returning to the car.
2:45 a.m. – July 29, 2012
The group returns to the Palmyra area. Pruett is the designated driver and is operating a car owned by Rodriguez. They drop off the couple on North Railroad St and Rodriguez at his residence on West Cherry Street. Kortne asked Pruett to take her back to the Gas Station Bar in Hummelstown to retrieve her car. He did so, and then followed Kortne back to her residence in Palmyra
3:00 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Kortne and Pruett arrive at the residence and Kortne gets into a verbal altercation with her neighbors, Janice Riemenschneider, Richard Sheetz and Todd Saksek, whom she suspects contacted police about the earlier underage drinking party.
3:12 a.m. – July 29, 2012
The Palmyra Police are called by Richard Sheetz concerning Kortne starting issues and making threats towards him. While on the line, Sheetz reports the Kortne went into her apartment, and that some guy with her is there also causing problems.
3:15 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Palmyra Police arrive at the residence. Kortne reported the neighbors came out and began to yell at her while she was walking her dog. The neighbor’s reported Kortne was being loud and unruly. Saksek reported Kortne was yelling at him and had kicked him in the leg. All the subjects appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and were told to go into their homes.
3:22 a.m. – July 29, 2012
North Londonderry Police arrive at the residence as a back up unit.
3:49 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Police clear the scene after the parties are dispersed.
4:11 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Todd Saksek contacts the Palmyra Police through LCEMA and reports Kortne is screaming through the walls and stomping on the floor, slamming doors and making threats to him and other neighbors.
4:31 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Palmyra Police arrive at the residence with backup from two nearby jurisdictions. They are met outside by Todd Saksek who advised Kortne was stomping on the floor and slamming doors and that she does this deliberately to aggravate him and the neighbors. Police did attempt to make contact at the door without a response. They were able to see into the residence through a patio door and nearby window. There was nothing out of place or unusual. The dogs barked from deep in the residence when they knocked, and quieted until they knocked again.
4:36 a.m. – July 29, 2012
As there was no response from within the residence and without grounds to pursue the matter further, the Palmyra Police cleared from the residence.
7:30 a.m. – July 29, 2012, 0730
Todd Saksek appeared at the Palmyra Police Department to make a formal complaint and request charges against Kortne for kicking him during the prior incident.
7:56 a.m. – July 29, 2012
Cody Pruett claims he slept inside the residence and when he awoke, Kortne was not there, though he did not go through each room looking for her. He drives to the Sheetz store and makes a purchase which is on video. Pruett texts Kortne “Hey, what happened to you?” He goes to Rodriguez’s house to return the car and to be driven to his residence in the Hummelstown area. He texts Kortne again at 12:36 and at 13:58 without a response.
2:42 p.m. – July 30, 2012
Scott Stouffer reports Kortne is missing to the Palmyra Police Department. No evidence of foul play within the residence. Kortne’s purse is next to her bed with cigarettes, money, cellphone. Her shoes and keys are on the stair landing where she customarily left them. Her car is parked outside with the windows down.
July 31, 2012
The Lebanon County Detectives are asked to assist the Palmyra Police Department. Residence secured. Interviews commence.
August 8, 2012
Ground search conducted two-mile radius of residence with K-9s.
August 9, 2012
Searches of her residence by forensic teams as well as a searches of the neighbor’s residences and related vehicles conducted by forensic teams.
Any members of the public who may know something about Kortne’s disappearance are urged to share it. Hess said that investigators continue to speak to anyone with factual information pertaining to Stouffer’s disappearance, and shared contact information for a number of resources:
- Palmyra Borough Police Department – (717) 838-8189
- Lebanon County Detective Bureau – (717) 228-4403
- Lebanon County Crime Stoppers – (717) 270-9800
- Private Investigator Leah Hopewell – (717) 348-3205 or email@example.com
The easiest way to understand the impact of Kortne going missing is hearing it directly from those she left behind. Over the past six months, local filmmaker Erik Soulliard has been speaking with Kortne’s loved ones and capturing their stories as testimony to the immense gaps left in their lives with her disappearance. Find all those videos below.
Kerstin Stouffer, sister of Kortne Stouffer
Elizabeth Monk, best friend of Kortne Stouffer
Wendy Stouffer Hammel, mother of Kortne Stouffer
Julie Keiter, best friend of Kortne Stouffer’s younger sister
Betty Klick, grandmother of Kortne Stouffer
Amy Revely, best friend of Wendy Stouffer
Austin Stouffer, younger brother of Kortne Stouffer
Patti Cover, family friend of Kortne Stouffer
Scott Stouffer, father of Kortne Stouffer
Lauren Smith, friend and nanny of Kortne Stouffer
Maryann Smith, Kortne Stouffer’s grandmother
Lisa Marko, Kortne’s cheerleading coach
Jess Innocent, friend of Kortne Stouffer
Morgan Innocent, friend of Kortne Stouffer
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