Left and Center: Joyce circa, 1983
Right: Age Progressed to age 43
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 2, 1983
Missing From: Broken Bow, McCurtain County, Oklahoma
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: May 10, 1968
Age: 15 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 116 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Green eyes, Joyce’s ears are pierced
NCMEC Number: 600777
Details of Disappearance
Joyce Cogburn was last seen with her older sister, Josephine, on October 2nd 1983. They were last known to be in an apartment complex in Norman, Oklahoma. They were staying with a family friend at the time. He stated that he was out for the day and that the sisters were supposed to go to the library. He claimed that when he got home, the girls were nowhere to be found.
The girls were initially believed to be runaways but they left all of their person belongings and effects behind. As time passed, authorities started to believe that something else transpired that day and that something had possibly happened to the girls. They began to Lena towards the likelihood that the girls met with foul play.
The sisters both lost their father in 1968 due to a car crash. They were given to their paternal grandparents for care and their older sister, Rosetta, went to live with their maternal grandmother. They were in the care of their grandparents until 1975, when their mother married another man. She made her husband leave the home after allegations were made that he tried to molest the sisters.
The girls had disciplinary issues in 1983, as a result they left their mothers home and went to go live with the family friend. He was given temporary custody of the two. They disappeared while in his care.
It’s possible that the girls were involved in drugs at the time. Numerous people reported sightings of the girls in the years after they disappeared. Investigators believe it’s possible that the girls are alive. The reports have not been confirmed.
According to authorities, the family friend is a person of interest in the Cogburn case. Rosetta believes that this man murdered the girls in a jealous rage. Apparently in mid September of 1983, Josephine told Rosetta that Joyce and the man were dating. She also said that Joyce now has a new boyfriend and wanted nothing to do with her guardian. She also stated the man never returned the sisters personal items even though he said he would.
None of the girls have been seen or heard from since 1983. Their case remains unsolved and authorities believe foul play was involved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Norman Police Department 405-366-5211
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children