Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Penney Cruser called home just before Christmas, 1996. She was anxious that her toddler son was in state custody, and she said she had stopped taking medication to ease her mental illness. Relatives haven't heard from Cruser since. Penney gave up her first child for adoption and then yielded parenting rights on her younger son just before her disappearance. Family members last saw her in late October 1996. She usually called home every week.
She was reported as missing in March 1997. She was often seen in the area of Sprague Avenue and Pittsburgh Street before she disappeared from Spokane. Cruser was also known to frequent the Hoot Owl Club and other East Sprague gathering spots.
Detectives are investigating whether Cruser's disappearance may be related to serial killer Robert L. Yates Jr. The apparent vanishing happened right before Yates escalated his killings in 1997 and '98
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Spokane Police Department