Katelin Akens


Katelin Akens

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Last Known Whereabouts

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

The day she disappeared.

1:52 PM

Branton texts Lisa claiming he dropped Katelin off at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, 14 interstate miles away from Reagan Airport. Neither Katelin, Branton, nor Branton's Jeep are ever confirmed on any of the metro station's surveillance cameras.

9:00 AM

Katelin's mom, Lisa, drops Katelin off at her former stepfather, James Branton's, primary residence in Partlow, Virginia. Since Lisa has to work, Branton has agreed to drive Katelin 75 miles north to Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

12:47 PM

Exact time Katelin and Branton would have needed to depart Partlow in order to be at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station by 1:52pm.

2:00 PM

A text message is sent from Katelin's cell phone to her mom:

I'm at the airport.

Battery dying, so won't be able to text for a bit.

Katelin's cell phone pings a cell tower near Branton's residence in Partlow, almost 75 miles away from Reagan Airport.

5:40 pM

Katelin's flight departs Reagan Washington National Airport for Arizona. Neither Katelin, Branton, nor Branton's Jeep are ever confirmed on any of the airport's surveillance cameras. The airline confirms Katelin never checked into her flight and her airline ticket remains unredeemed.

7:15 pM

Katelin's flight is still in the air when two last text messages are sent to Lisa from Katelin's cell phone:

Staying with a friend.

I need some time alone.

Katelin's cell phone pings a cell tower in Stafford, Virginia, less than 15 miles from where her blue suitcase will later be discovered. Shortly hereafter, Katelin's cell phone is turned off.


Katelin's mom, Lisa, arrives at the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office to report her daughter as a missing person.

While there, a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) employee turns in a disheveled blue suitcase that had been discarded in a nearby drainage ditch near Motts Run Reservoir. Lisa immediately recognizes her daughter's suitcase, and she is given possession of it without any preservation of evidence (e.g. fingerprinting). Inside are Katelin's airline ticket, wallet, identification, credit cards, cash, phone charger, glasses, and toothbrush. However, Katelin's cell phone, high school diploma and all articles of clothing are missing. 


As the suitcase is newly distressed, unzipped, and missing one wheel, authorities determine it must have been thrown out of a moving vehicle along the 6600 block of River Road in Spotsylvania where it was recovered...less than five miles away from 823 Salem Drive, a vacant property owned by the Branton family.

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Two days later.