Above Images: Left and Center: Barnes, circa 2002;
Far Right: Barnes, circa 1997
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: September 1, 2002 from Gold Hill, Jackson County, Oregon
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: August 28, 1949
Weight: 110 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Distinguishing Characteristics: Bifocal glasses with
light tan-colored frames. Scar on her forehead near her
several scars on her back, and a scar behind
her right ear. She has
a light complexion and she walks
with a limp. Very short hair; sometimes wears a wig.
Medical Conditions: Barnes was diagnosed with
lymphoma in January 2002, and was undergoing chemotherapy.
She was not carrying her medication or medical equipment.
would have needed them to survive in the woods for an
extended period of time. May have become disoriented
due to her medication.
Clothing: White tank top, sage green pants and tennis
shoes. She carried a green fanny pack.
AKA: Goes by her middle name, Darlene
NCIC Number: M-122666933
Case Number: 02-14863
Details of Disappearance
She had been reported missing before when she was lost while hiking, but was found safely and was angry at her family for sending out a search party.
This time her family waited 30 hours before informing the authorities.
Barnes was last seen hiking near the 6000 block of the right fork of Sardine Creek Road,
in the area around the "House of Mystery" in Gold Hill.
Barnes had been diagnosed with cancer and before she started her next round of chemotherapy, while she was still
feeling well, she wanted to go on road trip with her sister, Andy Mussen.
She and Mussen separated to look for aluminum cans.
They were supposed to rendevous at Mussen's car, but Barnes never returned.
Several people reported seeing Barnes in the days to come. On the day of the disappearance a
man said he saw her in the woods and another witness said he saw her at the Valley of the Rogue
State Park. Police dogs managed to track her scent to a nearby I-5 off-ramp.
A week later, a man found a bronze ski pole Barnes had used for a walking stick. Authorities
questioned him and he passed a polygraph test and is not considered a suspect in the case.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Jackson County Sheriff's Office
Detective Dan Hobbs
Jackson County Sheriff
The Mail Tribune