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Crime Stoppers: Pineville police looking for new tips in 1986 case of missing mother

Disappearance of Debra Woodson remains unsolved
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - The Pineville Police Department and Crime Stoppers of Central Louisiana need your help in solving a missing persons case from 1986.

On Feb. 28, 1986, 32-year-old Debra Woodson was living at the Pine Highland Apartments in Pineville with her two sons after separating from her husband about 10 months prior. According to Pineville police, sometime that afternoon, she left with a male friend. Investigators said she returned about 15 minutes later saying she felt ill.

Detectives told KALB, the friend apparently dropped Woodson off at the mailboxes on the property. Woodson wasn’t seen again.

“She loved her children,” said Capt. Roy Fore, who oversees the detectives division for the Pineville Police Department. “Her children loved her. She had no problems at all at work or at home. And, her vehicle was left at the apartment also. I don’t think there’s any other way to look at it other than something happened that wasn’t good.”

Woodson was a postal worker for the office on Odom Street in Alexandria. Her disappearance remains labeled as a missing persons case. But, police told us that they and members of Woodson’s family are not so sure.

“The family has even, they have the mindset that she’s dead. They expect foul play was involved,” said Capt. Fore.

Pineville police told us they interviewed all the key suspects and have called on other agencies for help. They also told us Woodson’s estranged husband has since passed away. While they have talked to plenty of people over the years, detectives said they’re looking to start fresh.

“Any lead we get we follow up with,” said Capt. Fore. “We had a lead a couple of years ago and followed through with it. It didn’t turn out. Basically, we’re back to square one.”

Detectives believe Woodson was wearing her blue USPS jacket at the time of her disappearance. They said roughly a month after she went missing, her purse was found by a fisherman in the Flagon Creek area. Police are also reaching out to detectives who have since retired from the department for their help on the case.

They said even the smallest bit of information can help.

“Just any information anybody may have. Anything at all. Even if you knew the lady just in person - we’d like to talk to you,” said Capt. Fore. “We’re going to need to start this over from scratch. If anybody knew her or was a friend of her or has any information about the relationship with her husband or other people, we’d like to hear from them.”

If you have any information that could help Pineville police solve the case of the disappearance of Debra Woodson, you can contact them at 318-442-6603 or Crime Stoppers of Central Louisiana at 443-STOP. You can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers, and your tip that leads to an arrest or indictment could lead to a reward of up to $2,500.

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