Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
On the morning of Wednesday, 17 February 1988, the victim, Catherine Ford, a resident of Maryland, received a call from a man claiming to be a magistrate at Mt. Storm, in Grant County, West Virginia. The man wanted Catherine to meet him at his office at 3:00 p.m. the same day, to discuss some checks.
Later that day, a man claiming to be an undercover officer called Catherine with information concerning a possible investigation of her family's restaurant by the liquor licensing authorities. Catherine told her family and the restaurant employees to check identifications before selling beer, and then left the restaurant to meet with the alleged undercover officer.
Catherine drove her Ford Bronco on route 50 into Grant County, and turned off at the Bismark Road. She has not been seen since.
On 8 March 1988, the Ford Bronco in which Cathy Ford was last seen was found burned and hidden in brush near the river, off the Bismark Road. The people who found the Bronco knew to look there because they heard that smoke was seen hanging over the river on 17 February 1988. Experts determined that the fire was deliberate arson.
Paul William Ferrell was sentenced to consecutive terms of life with a chance of parole for her kidnapping, five to 18 years for second-degree murder and one to three years for arson. Ferrell was 32 and a rookie deputy when Ford disappeared. He was granted release by the state Parole Board in 2004. He continues to deny that he kidnapped and killed Catherine.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Garrett County Sheriff's Office
Charleston Daily Mail (WV) - Wednesday, May 26, 2004