What happened to the girl who went missing from Ruskin?


Sixteen-year-old Samantha Vanco, also known as “Sam”, disappeared while on a camping trip in Ruskin, Missouri on July 3rd. 

Sam was with four other teenage girls and the campground attendant when she left to go for a walk about 7 PM. Sam never returned and has not been seen or heard from since. 

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The Ruskin Police Department is involved in the search for Sam and continues to follow any leads that come in. Samantha also left a note outlining her plans for the future. 

The police are presently investigating three possibilities; she either ran away or disappeared voluntarily. 

The search for Sam is continuing by the Ruskin Police Department and the Ruskin/Osage County Sheriff’s Office, who are currently using dogs to assist in the search efforts. 

Here are some points discussed about the girl who went missing from Ruskin-

1. The girl who went missing from Ruskin is Samantha Vanco. 

She is described as an Asian with green eyes, brown hair and a small scar on the lower left side of her forehead. She also has a tattoo of a small red “heart” on her left wrist. 

The Missouri Division of Missing Persons is working with the Ruskin Police Department to provide leads in their search for Sam. 

She is 16 years old. Her family is from Southern California and moved to Ruskin shortly after her disappearance was reported. 

2. She was last seen on July 3rd, 2007 in Ruskin, Missouri. 

Her tent was found with her things inside. A note was also left for her sister. One of the girls who was camping with Sam said they both saw a man in Sam’s direction shortly after she left the campground at 7 PM, but shortly after he disappeared into the woods behind the campground. 

However that lead has not been pursued by police or Samantha’s family. 

Recent sightings of Sam have been reported in several neighboring towns including Mattoon, Blue Springs, Collinsville and Springfield. 

Vanco has friends in those areas and may be trying to make her way back there at this time. 

3. The police are investigating the possibility that Sam ran away on purpose. 

FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said there is no evidence to suggest that Samantha has been abducted or has met with foul play, but it is still an “active investigation” for all law enforcement agencies involved. 

Her family said they don’t think she had any mental issues, but rather just felt she didn’t belong in Ruskin anymore. 

She left her dog behind so it’s extremely doubtful she would have run away or left on her own accord without him. 

4. Sam’s family is also involved in the search for their missing loved one. 

Sam’s older sister, Nancy Vanco, has been putting up posters in the Ruskin area and even some surrounding areas to help spread the word about her sister’s disappearance. 

She hopes someone will recognize her or remember seeing her somewhere on foot or by vehicle. Please help spread the word.

5. Police are also investigating the possibility that Samantha.

The police chief said Samantha left a note for her parents which can be interpreted as suicidal, but not threatening. Her family said the note might have been misinterpreted; it was written in “teen speak.” 

Police are also looking at whether or not she could have just decided to run away because she had become too overwhelmed with all the changes in her life. 

Her family said they don’t think she had any mental issues, but rather just felt she didn’t belong in Ruskin anymore.

6. There are rumors that Sam is being held against her will.

Authorities are looking into the possibility that Sam has met with foul play, but that she also left of her own free will. 

Still, authorities are looking into that angle because someone would have to be helping her or at least listening to what she had to say if she was trying to get away from wherever she was staying while away from home.

7. There are rumors that she was seen in Mattoon, Illinois.

The Mattoon police chief offered this statement; “Upon further investigation, the witness clarified that they ‘thought’ they saw Samantha Vanco or someone that looked like her, but was unsure.” 

That is like saying they think they saw Elvis, but were not sure. The police chief did say he would forward all information to the Ruskin police department if anything else came up in the future.

8. There are rumors that she was seen in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Rumors that Sam was seen at various places like Walmart, the Osage County FairGrounds and other places in the area including Blue Springs, Missouri. 

She was even supposedly spotted at a grocery store in Mark Twain National Forest near Marionville MO where authorities have found some evidence of foul play in their search for another girl who disappeared in December of 2006 named Jessica Runions. 

But none of this has been proven yet by investigators.


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