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  1. Do you have some story ideas you would like to see us cover? If so, please post your suggestions and ideas here.
  2. What is up, EWU Crew? Today, we are covering the case of Karlie Guse. Watch this story in video form here: https://youtu.be/vSvVkGqD6m0 On the morning of October 13th, 2018, the stepmother of 16-year-old Karlie Lain Guse awoke to every parent's personal nightmare. The door of her Mono County, California home was slightly ajar, and her stepdaughter was nowhere to be found. Karlie Lain Guse was never seen again. She completely vanished without a trace. As the case began to unfold, the insane events leading to Karlie's disappearance were revealed, and for many, the bigger picture they formed was quite disturbing. Karlie Guse lived with her father Zachary Guse, stepmother Melissa Guse, and two younger brothers in a rural California neighborhood. Karlie's parents had gotten divorced when she was just a toddler, and later on, she decided to move in with her father, because her biological mother, Lindsay Fairley, was moving to Nevada. According to friends and family, Karlie had a relatively happy childhood and adjusted well to what can often be an unsettling transition into newly divorced parents. She was described by many in her close circle as being sweet, funny, and popular. And Karlie's biological mother, Lindsay Fairley, said that the two of them were best of friends. However, in the days leading up to her disappearance, Karlie began to have what one friend described as episodes. Karlie was terrified that someone was tracking her on her phone. The creepiest part is, to this day, no one knows why Karlie thought she was being tracked. Despite Karlie's episodes of irrational fear, life went on as usual. On the evening of Friday, October 12th, 2018, she asked her parents if she could go to her high school's football game. They agreed. However, Karlie never made it to the game. Instead, she ended up going to a house party with her boyfriend, Donald, the last time she would ever see him. This is where things start to take an extremely bizarre turn. Something about Karlie that night seemed very, very wrong. Something at the party horrified Karlie, leading into a disastrous night before her disappearance. Later that evening, at around 8:00 PM, Melissa Guse called Karlie asking if she needed a ride home from the football game. At first, Karlie answered no and that she would get a ride home from her boyfriend. But just a short while later, things took a dramatic turn. As everyone ese was having a fine time at the party, Karlie began to panic. She became frantic and impossible to console. Donald stated: “She got scared of the music. She got scared of me.” Something terrified Karlie so much that night, she no longer cared about pretending she was at her high school's football game. Karlie called her stepmother less than an hour later and asked if she would come pick her up from the trailer park, saying: "Never mind, hurry up. I changed my mind, come get me. I'm booking it down Dixon Lane. Hurry, hurry, hurry, I'm scared." Dixon Lane, Bishop, California Melissa immediately agreed and Karlie came clean about having gone to a party instead of a football game. On her way to get Karlie, Melissa Guse recalled that her stepdaughter did not want to get off the phone and that she was extremely adamant about wanting to be picked up immediately. But when Melissa arrived at the trailer park that night, Karlie was nowhere to be seen. She continued driving around, searching for Karlie. That's when she spotted a faint light, coming straight for her. Guided by the light of her cellphone, Karlie was frantically making a beeline for Melissa's car in the pitch darkness. In a state of complete hysteria, Karlie jumped into the backseat. According to Melissa: “She was really pale, looked like a ghost. Her pupils were really dilated.” Even though Karlie was now safe in the car and far away from whatever had sent her into a state of alarm, she was still panicking. She kept jumping from seat to seat, worrying that somehow the car would kill her and repeating over and over again how scared she was. Melissa Guse later informed police that her stepdaughter had admitted to smoking a substance at the party she had attended and that she seemed excessively paranoid and on edge, even after she returned back home. At one point, it took Melissa almost 15 minutes to calm Karlie down, but she had refrained from taking her to the hospital, because she did not feel that Karlie was in immediate physical danger. Melissa believed Karlie was just having a bad reaction to something she had taken at the party. But this was just the beginning of Karlie's distressing breakdown. Safe back at home, Melissa and Zachary Guse both claim that Karlie was continuing to act very erratically. According to Zachary, he had gotten home from work and had a couple beers when Melissa and Karlie showed up. He said that his daughter would huddle in the corner and act almost afraid of her parents one minute, and then the next, she would be telling them how much she loved them. He also explained that she was particularly afraid of her phone and her parents being around her. Melissa and Zachary kept asking Karlie what was wrong, but she kept telling them she didn't know. She begged Melissa to spend the night with her, wanting to paint her toenails, color, and read the Bible. In between her odd requests, Karlie's mental state was a complete rollercoaster, up and down, every few minutes. She would regain her senses one moment to fall back into a state of complete and utter paranoia. At one point in the night, after dealing with Karlie's nonstop erratic behavior, Melissa took out her cellphone to secretly record Karlie with the intention of showing her the following morning. She figured this would be an important lesson: show Karlie how she behaved while she was under the influence. Karlie had already gotten suspended from school for a month for her use of this particular substance and had to attend counseling on school campus. Although these two secretly recorded videos have not been released to the public, multiple accounts describe the footage as a short clip of Karlie repeatedly saying that she is scared but doesn't know why. However, once Karlie's private investigators got their hands on this footage and showed her biological mother, Lindsay Fairley ,her mother claimed that the footage told a very different, extremely disturbing story. According to Lindsay, Karlie was begging Melissa to call 911, but she continued refusing to do so. Melissa counteracted this later on, stating that one video captured Karlie asking: "If something were to happen, would you call 911?" and Melissa answered, "Of course." Fox News was granted permission to listen to one of the two recordings, revealing more of Karlie's fragile mental state that night—and it's pretty chilling. According to Fox: “Karlie's shaking voice conveyed deep angst, saying she didn't want to sleep in case she was killed and asking Melissa to call 911, if needed. The teary teen apologized and allegedly continued in something of a panic mode, littered with ‘I love you’s and ‘hi’s, talking to her stepmon, who appeared to have been calmly talking her down until after 3 AM.” According to Doug Kari from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who also listened to the audio: “At one point, in the eight-minute audio, Karlie says, ‘I really messed up today,’ and Melissa tries to sooth her by saying, ‘We all do things in life that we regret, substances especially.’ After Melissa urges Karlie to get some sleep, the troubled girl responds, ‘No, I don't want to go to sleep. You're gonna kill me.’ Melissa tries to reason with her. ‘Why would I kill you? That's preposterous.’ ‘I'm just thinking all this demonic stuff,’ Karlie sobs. ‘I can't help it.’” Shortly after the video was filmed, Melissa prompted Karlie to eat a little something before going to sleep and tried to give her a salad and energy bar, before helping her to bed. Karlie would not take anything. She spat the salad out in disgust, saying it was the devil's lettuce. According to a Facebook comment allegedly written by Melissa, Karlie had also been writing on a piece of paper that night, for a few hours. Whatever she wrote remains a complete mystery. What could Karlie possibly have been writing for hours? While trying to calm Karlie down, Melissa was texting Karlie's boyfriend, Donald, who was deeply worried about her. Karlie and her boyfriend, Donald. This next text caught the attention of many internet sleuths, who found it rather suspicious. In a text to Donald, at 1:27 AM, Melissa asked him to please pray. Karlie's behavior only continued to escalate as the night wore on. According to one video from a collection of Facebook live streams Melissa made, Karlie was so paranoid that she would not let her stepmother out of her sight and was determined to stay by her side the entire night. Melissa stated in her Facebook video: “And then she was like, ‘Can we go to bed?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And she was like, ‘Well,can you come sleep with me?’” She even asked Melissa if she would sleep with her for security. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, why not? Whatever, I'll lay with you and watch a movie.’” That's when the unthinkable happened. Now, this is where Melissa's story starts to get a bit fuzzy, raising a lot of suspicion on the internet. At first, Melissa Guse reported that she had put Karlie to bed and spent the night in her own room. When she then went to check on Karlie and her brothers at around 5:45 a.m., she found everyone present and nothing was out of the ordinary, until she checked again, around 7:45 a.m., and Karlie was missing. However, Melissa later changed her story and claimed that she had spent the entire night by Karlie's side to make sure she was safe and comfortable. She stated that the last time she saw her stepdaughter, she was in bed beside her at around 5:45 AM. She briefly woke up before drifting back to sleep, noticing Karlie was still awake with her eyes wide open. Then, when Melissa woke again, around 7:15 AM to 7:30 AM, Karlie was gone. The front door was left ajar. A single fresh footprint, believed to be Karlie's, left a lone track on the driveway. A lot of speculation was thrown around concerning these changes in Melissa Guse's story, as many concerned citizens found it odd that so many important details had changed from one of the last people to have seen Karlie. Was this an overwhelmed stepmother who was unsure of what to day when reporters first began questioning her? Did she carry guilt for not having watched Karlie more closely? Soon after discovering her absence, Melissa and Zachary Guse assumed that Karlie had gone for a walk in the neighborhood to clear her head. Concerned over her mental state from the night before, the two of them jumped in their cars and began driving around, frantically attempting to locate her. When they failed to find her, her father gave his ex-wife, Karlie's biological mother, Lindsay, a call to inform her that Karlie was missing. Lindsay was adamant that something seemed wrong with this phone call. She stated: “At 9:35 AM on Saturday, October 13th, I was notified by her father, my ex-husband, that she was gone. Gone to me is a huge red flag and has never sat easily with me.” He then called the Momo County Sheriff's Department and reported her missing. To make matters even more unnerving, the couple also noticed that Karlie's cellphone was still at home, which was very uncharacteristic of the teenager and further raised their cause for concern. Karlie's boyfriend, Donald, came over to the house after receiving the call that she was missing. According to Donald, he swore he spotted Karlie's cellphone by her bed, but according to Melissa, it had been on the island in the kitchen the entire time. Once the police began their investigation of Karlie's disappearance, they uncovered three separate witnesses who claimed to have seen someone matching her description walking throughout her neighborhood early on the morning of her disappearance. According to Mono County Sheriff's, the witnesses are very credible and they have no reason to doubt them: “They are very credible witnesses. We have no reason to doubt them. Two of the witnesses, the first two, knew Karlie, and they had seen her before. So we do not have any reason to question their credibility.” The first two witnesses actually knew Karlie, and they had seen her before. They have no reason to question their credibility. One witness was an educator, another, a retired law enforcement, and the final witness was a wooder. Richard Eddy, who lived just on the street from the Guses, was unwinding in his Jacuzzi hot tub, sipping a hot cup of coffee, when he spotted a girl with long hair walking by at about 6:30 AM to 6:45 AM. But something just didn't seem right about the girl he saw. He stated: “She was looking up, looking around at the sky” with a piece of paper in her hands. “It was kind of unusual. We don't have a lot of kids out walking.” Another witness, Kenneth Dutton, who lived just down the street and around the corner from the Guses, claims he saw Karlie walking by that morning as well, also holding a piece of paper in her hands. It has been speculated by Karlie's family that the piece of paper was for the counseling sessions Karlie had been attending prior to her disappearance. Melissa indicated in an interview with “Dateline” that the third final witness, the wooder, told her they had seen someone who looked like Karlie at the corner of Highway 6, around a mile away from her family home, mysteriously standing on the inside of a barbed wire fence at around 7 AM to 7:30 AM. Melissa's accounts of the clothing Karlie was wearing when she vanished also raised many eyebrows. She first reported that Karlie was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and skinny jeans. But once the eyewitness accounts surfaced, some believed that she seemed to, yet again, change a piece of her story. She then claimed Karlie had actually been wearing gray sweatpants. This was a description that many speculated conveniently matched those who believe they saw her walking throughout the neighborhood. She later stated, on Nancy Grace's podcast, that the actual last time she saw Karlie, she was wearing a T-shirt and undergarments. She didn't know if gray sweatpants or skinny jeans were missing from Karlie's wardrobe, explaining that she had too many clothes to tell. Despite the reported sightings and massive search efforts to find Karlie using scent dogs and helicopters, the wandering 16-year-old girl is still missing almost a year and a half later. Over time, news of this case went viral. Thousands of people nationwide joined Facebook Groups, such as Bring Karlie Home and Justice for Karlie Guse, in hopes of finding some piece of information that would be the turning point in her disappearance. The Karlie Guse press conference in 2019. But in October of 2019, a detective at the Mono County Sheriff's Department stated: “We are no closer to finding Karlie.” Meanwhile, the groups dedicated to bringing Karlie home descended into drama, viciously turning on each other. People have primarily joined two different sides with two very different stories theorizing what happened to Karlie Guse. These two camps have been embroiled in a deeply personal battle with accusations of doxxing and harassment flying from both sides. Both sides also cite sources and information surrounding Karlie's disappearance that we can't independently verify. We're going to go over it all now, so you could decide. Now let's get into camp number one. One of the darkest and more recurrent theories surrounding Karlie's disappearance places Melissa Guse at the center of the case. This is also the group that Karlie biological mother, Lindsay, has firmly sided on. Thousands of comments from Reddit users have examined the possibility that perhaps Melissa accidentally caused Karlie's death by poorly handling her reaction to substances at the party, and ultimately, scrambled to find a way to cover her tracks. The evidence they use to support this theory is heavily rooted in the fact that Melissa changed multiple aspects of the story she gave. Melissa stated: “There's no need for negativity. A lot of people are bashing, and I don't care, whatever. And right to that person, you don't know me. You don't know what I'm going through. You don't know what we're going through.” Now this next detail sent red flags up in the minds of many. There were claims Melissa, suspiciously, had detail work done on her car immediately following her stepdaughter's disappearance, leading into even more theories. Melissa stated: “I drove my Corolla out in the boonies, over boulders.” Since Melissa and Zachary first searched for Karlie in their own vehicles, could Melissa have accidentally hit and fatally injured her stepdaughter and covered it up? Additional comments around this theory zero in on the stepmother's somewhat shifty behavior during her Facebook Live videos. Those skeptical of Melissa describe her eyes constantly darting around screen as she films herself, giving often-changing information to her followers about her stepdaughter's disappearance. They claim Melissa has rarely questioned where Karlie might have ended up and has never made any video begging someone to come forward or speaking directly to the teen to come home herself. Skeptics asked: Does this mean she knows this outcome would be impossible, or is she simply attempting to manage her grief? In fact, as it turns out, Melissa and Zachary did speak directly to Karlie at Mono County Sheriff's press conference on October 11th, 2019. They stated: “Hi, Karlie. Hi, Kar Bear. I hope you're watching this. I miss you so much.” In addition, Lindsay, Karlie's biological mother, claims she heard the audio captured the night before Karlie vanished. According to Lindsay, at the end of the audio, there was some sort of scuffle. Alarmed, Lindsay asked what happened at the end and Melissa allegedly just walked away. Karlie with her father, Zac. Lindsay also wrote an accusatory post on Facebook in which she described Zac saying: “At least you have an alibi, Lindsay. You're in Nevada.” A quick browse around Facebook pulls up a couple of people who have gotten so invested in this theory, to the point that it seems almost a bit creepy. One Facebook user posted that they heard from multiple people that Melissa and Zachary had pulled Karlie's two younger brothers from school, with someone chiming in: "Has anyone talked to any of the teachers?" Now let's get into the second camp. Believing Melissa's changing stories aren't as big of a deal as some claim, camp number two points to a few different theories. They also cite disturbing alleged clues leading up to Karlie's disappearance that haven't been mentioned anywhere else. According to some posts, Karlie called a certain hotline for people who feel like taking their own life just weeks before vanishing and had a tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend, Donald. She also had a counselor at the local medical center. According to The Charley Project: Karlie's final text to her boyfriend at 10:15 PM claimed that the substance she smoked had been laced. Perhaps Karlie was still experiencing intense paranoia and erratic behavior from the night before. Maybe she simply wandered off into the desert surrounding her rural neighborhood, and fell victim to the harsh environment. Did Karlie take a different substance that night, explaining her huge dilated pupils? It turns out, not long before she disappeared, she had asked her biological mother about a psychedelic substance. Some also point to what they believe is Donald's unusual behavior the night of Karlie's panic, citing his alleged comment in a Facebook Group. Now this is where things get really, really weird. Donald allegedly wrote: “No, me and Karlie were walking almost to my house, and she got so damned scared, it was scaring me. So I looked her in the eyes and said, Karlie, baby, you are safe with me. And then she got this horrified look on her face and started screaming my name. So I wrapped my arms around her to hold her, and she bit my side and was pushing away. So I let go, and she told me not to follow her and to go home, so I stayed in the middle of the street, for like 20. I wanted to chase after my baby, but it was pitch black, and I didn't want to scare her anymore. To this day, I wish I had chased after her. I wish we had made it to my house. I wish none of this happened.” And if that wasn't strange enough, Donald also stated on Facebook about 10 days after Karlie vanished that there was no party the night before she disappeared. The actual Facebook comment. According to Donald's Facebook posts, he said: "No party, Karlie got picked up on the way to my house." He also said: "Me nor Karlie had been to any parties, and, no, I wasn't at any party the next damn night." The actual Facebook comment. This completely conflicts with many news articles, including NBC News, which states: “According to her mother Lindsay, Karlie's boyfriend Donald would later say that after hanging out with friends for a while, Karlie started not to feel well and wanted to leave the party.” Source: nbcnews.com (https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/missing-in-america/sixteen-year-old-karlie-gus-missing-after-vanishing-california-home-n923066) In a private conversation that was shared on Facebook, Donald allegedly stated the following as well: “Me and Karlie did smoke. It was at my friend's house, at like 7 PM, not a party. She got very scared, so we started walking back to my house. Karlie got scared and ran from me and called Melissa. That was the last time I saw her. She got scared of me and started screaming my name and then pushed me away and told me not to come near her and stay away, and that was when she called Melissa and started running. I tried to hold her and calm her down.” Now let's cover some more theories. Another possibility for the whereabouts of Karlie Guse point to the many travelers that frequent the highway she was potentially seen walking near. Commenters on many of the Facebook pages dedicated to Karlie's return have shared local knowledge of the fact that truck drivers frequent this highway for early-morning routes. They speculate that she could have possibly been picked up by someone who had evil intentions of kidnapping young girls. Police were able to uncover what they believe to be Karlie's footprints along the highway, but no viable path could be followed from what was found. If Karlie had been suffering a continued bad experience from substance usage from the party the night before, she could have very easily fallen victim to someone passing by while still being in a confused mental state, only standing five feet, seven inches and weighing just 115 pounds. Although search parties have scoured the areas surrounding her home and the highway to no avail, maybe she slipped and fell in a ravine and was unable to find her way back home. Regardless of how she happened to disappear from her bed, a year and a half ago, the nation will continue to wait and watch in hopes of some clue manifesting to lead to Karlie Guse's whereabouts.
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