Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Julia Aul was four weeks out of rehab on January 9, 2001, when she stopped into the Maryland Transportation Authority office at the Hatem Bridge to visit her girlfriend, Officer Tanya Watson. Though it's not clear what exact words were exchanged between the two women, it is believed Watson confronted Aul about a possible relapse with drugs.
Following their verbal confrontation, Aul left the lobby of the police station, got into her car and drove off. That was the last time she was ever seen.
The two women had been dating for a short time when Aul moved from her own apartment in Abingdon, MD, to 300 Commerce Street in Havre de Grace to live with Watson. Aul had battled drugs on and off throughout her life. It was unknown whether she was taking medication for her mental illness the day she disappeared.
When Aul didn't return home the evening of January 9, Watson contacted Havre de Grace Police to report her missing. An official missing persons report was filed with the Havre de Grace Police on January 12, when Aul still had not turned up.
Maryland Transportation Authority launched an internal investigation into Watson, but it turned up nothing. The two women had no history of domestic violence, and Aul's sister didn't think Watson was involved in her disappearance.
Described as a transient type of person, Aul was born and raised in Leechburg, PA. She worked various industrial jobs over the years, her last at Pep Boys auto parts store in Bel Air. She had been working at Pep Boys only a few days when she went missing. The store's management said she never returned to work, not even to pick up her paycheck.
Aul's only criminal history is a DWI charge. For such traffic offenses, people often are not fingerprinted, as was the case with Aul. Without fingerprints in police databases, had Aul been picked up by police for any reason after she went missing, she wouldn't likely show up in the system. She had no bank accounts or credit cards. No cell phone. And the only traceable possession she owned was a Geo Tracker, registered in her name.
Two months after her disappearance Aul's Geo Tracker was found in Baltimore City. Aul's vehicle was retrieved from a Baltimore City impound lot, where it had been for more than a month, and taken into evidence by Maryland State Police. "A fine-tooth comb" search of the car turned up no evidence. It was determined there had been no struggle in the car, no break-ins and nothing else unusual was found. Aul had also been making her car payments up until her disappearance.
The only personal belongings found in Aul's car were some CDs and other random items, none of which indicated where she may be. According to police, Aul had no friends or contacts in Baltimore City and only a few in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County, who said they had not heard from her. Because her vehicle was found in a "known drug area" of Baltimore City—parked and locked on Pennsylvania Avenue; Attempts to canvas the area were met with little cooperation.
About six months after the launch of the search for Aul, all leads and tips were exhausted, and the case went cold. One of the reasons Aul's disappearance was deemed unusual is because of the close relationship she shared with her mother. Though her mother was ill and lived in Pennsylania, Aul stayed in contact with her frequently. Her mother has since died. As far as anyone knows, Aul was never made aware of her mother's death.
Because of Aul's history of mental illness, it is possible that she is alive but doesn't know who she is. It is also possible she may be living under an alias.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Havre de Grace Police Department
Captain Wayne Young
Maryland Missing Person Network