Left and Center: Andrea circa, 1990
Right: Age Progressed to age 35
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: February 1, 1990
Missing From: Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: April 24, 1976
Age: 13 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Green eyes, Andrea’s hair was shoulder length at the time of her 1990 disappearance and was dark in color, her ears are pierced, she might use the nickname “Andi”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black sweater, a white t-shirt, a pair of black faded jeans, and white sneakers
NCMEC Number: 735437
Details of Disappearance
Andrea was last seen in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on February 1st 1990. She was at her residence in the Royale Apartments located at the corner of Colonial Drive and Mayflower Avenue at approximately 7:00 pm. Her mother, Roseanne Sterling, and her older sister, Ashyea, had a meeting to attend that evening from 7:45 pm to 9:15 pm. She promised that she would do her homework while they were gone as well as vacuuming the house.
When they returned home, Roseanne and Ashyea discovered the front door unlocked and the vacuum in the middle of the floor in the living room. They were unable to find Andrea in the apartment. Roseanne said she initially suspected that her daughter was outside talking with friends but this wasn’t true. When Andrea didn’t return home, Roseanne called the police and reported her missing.
Andrea was classified as a runaway during the initial investigation into her disappearance. She had gotten into some trouble prior to her 1990 disappearance. She had an upcoming date with Juvenile Court over a minor crime she was involved in. She had been caught acting as the lookout for other teenagers who were stealing change out of unlocked cars in a Red Lobster parking lot. However, her sister and mother said she was not worried about this since the judge gave her a light sentence of community service for her role in the crime.
Roseanne also revealed that Andrea had gotten involved with the wrong crowd of older kids who seemed to constantly be in trouble. Due to her concerns, she moved herself and her two daughters across town to a new apartment. The move meant she had to change schools and on the day Andrea disappeared, it was her first day attending her new school. She was not very happy about having to move schools.
Her mother somewhat believed she might’ve run off like some of her friends had done in the past. There were multiple reported sightings of Andrea that occurred in Okaloosa County, the Holley-Navarre area in Santa Rosa County, Pensacola, and from Peridio Key. Speculation also existed that she remained in the local area for some time after her disappearance. None of the sightings were ever confirmed, however and investigators doubt Andrea could’ve survived long on the streets alone.
Andrea’s family searched extensively for her following her disappearance. They distributed hundreds of posters with her photograph on it and had her case listed with multiple state and federal missing persons registry’s. They searched dozens of places such as beaches, campgrounds, and shopping malls to no avail. Her mother also hired several private investigators and flew to other places in search of her daughter but nothing was ever located.
On March 21st 1990, the heavy metal band Whitesnake performed a concert in Pensacola. It’s unclear if Andrea wanted to go and see the concert prior to her disappearance but her family staked out the concert to see if they could spot her anywhere. She did not attend the concert though and no one reported seeing her there at the time.
Andrea’s father, Larry Durham, also participated in search efforts for her. He and the child’s mother separated prior to her going missing and he lived in Pensacola in 1990. He is not a suspect in this case and continues to hope for a resolution in the case. Andrea’s grandmother on his side continued to pass out fliers of her in the area of Abilene, Texas where she lived. Her family also went on national television to talk about Andrea’s disappearance and at least one of them included a psychic. No leads panned out as a result of this.
Roseanne never fully believed the idea of her daughter leaving voluntarily and now discounts the runaway theory as a possibility. She stated Andrea would never leave home without leaving a note for her to see. It should also be noted that Andrea left behind other personal belongings such as her pocketbook, money, clothing, and makeup. Roseanne said her daughter never went anywhere without her makeup. Investigators also no longer fully believe the theory.
It’s been considered that Andrea might’ve been abducted by a stranger. Some agencies classify her disappearance as a non-family abduction but there’s no evidence to prove she was taken. There were no signs of a struggle in the apartment and no witnesses reported seeing her being abducted. All of her friends at the time were interviewed but they all denied knowing where she was or what happened to her. None of them are not considered suspects in her disappearance.
Investigators do believe it’s possible Andrea was a victim of serial killers Mark Riebe and William Alex Wells III. They were both half-brothers who are believed to have committed multiple murders of young women in Florida in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There crimes remained a secret until they were both named as the killers of Donna Marie Susino Callahan.
Donna was thirty nine years old when she disappeared from her job as a clerk at the Sunshine Jr. Food Store in Gulf Breeze, Florida on August 6th 1989. She was reportedly last seen at midnight. There were no signs of a struggle at the store and her purse, keys, and car were left behind which lead investigators to suspect early on that she was abducted.
Donna’s case remained unsolved for some years until 1993 when Wells confessed that he was involved in her abduction and murder while in a prison Bible Study group. He was in prison serving scene years for kidnapping, assault, and robbery of a convenience store at the time. He supposedly told cellmates that Donna’s body was buried on a family property at the time. When authorities confronted Wells about the confession, he denied being involved in the case.
In June of 1993, investigators searched a family property of Wells in Walton County, Florida for Donna’s remains but were unable to locate her or any evidence connecting him to her disappearance. At the time, Mark Riebe helped in the initial search of the property and was questioned extensively by police for information about the case. He claimed that Wells was a serial killer and admitted that he saw Donna’s body in the trunk of his car. He also recalled Wells confessing to the murder.
Based on Riebe’s information as well as the information gathered from jail informants, Wells was indicted for Donna Callahan’s murder in 1995. In July of 1996, before William’s trial for Donna’s murder, he began cooperating with police in the investigation and confessed he was indeed involved in Donna’s kidnapping and murder but that he wasn’t the only one involved in the crime.
William claimed that both he and Mark were involved in Donna’s death. He stated that he and Mark drove up to the convenience store where Donna was working and that Riebe went into the store and robbed it before kidnapping her at gunpoint. Donna was placed in the backseat of the vehicle and begged for her life and the life of her unborn child. She was pregnant at the time of her 1989 abduction.
Riebe strangled Donna to death in the backseat of the vehicle and then the men buried her in a shallow grave. Two days after he confessed, Wells led officials to her remains which were buried in a wooded area directly next to a family property in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. He later agreed to plead no contest to her murder so that he could be spared from the death penalty for her murder.
Riebe had moved his family to Illinois by the time he was arrested and charged with Donna’s murder. He was charged with first degree murder in the case and also plead no contest to the crime in 1998. He and Wells were both sentenced to life in prison for the crime. After his arrest, Riebe began confessing to multiple other slayings that he committed throughout the years. Investigators believe he began killing in the late 1970s and stopped in the early 1990s.
Riebe has confessed and recanted most of the statements over the years but investigators believe he committed most of the crimes he confessed to as well as others he hasn’t admitted to. Based on information collected from Riebe, investigators believe he is responsible for eight of the twelve murders he confessed to and that Wells was complicit in at least two of them.
Investigators believe that Mark’s first victim was possibly 27 year old Bonnie Gayle Ryther. She was a cocktail waitress who went missing after leaving The Scene Lounge on Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on April 4th 1978. Her battered body was found a week later in a wooded area. She was found approximately thirty feet away from where her vehicle, a Ford Pinto, was found abandoned a day after she went missing.
In his confession, Mark indicated that he and Ryther met at Wayside Park and were smoking with each other when he reportedly got angry and beat her to death in her vehicle. He stated afterwards that he left her body partially buried in the woods and left her car in the park nearby but he couldn’t remember the name of it. The vehicle was found in Ferry Park.
Mark even added that he liked to drink Busch Tallboy beers at the time. When Bonnie’s body was discovered, Busch Tallboy beer cans were found scattered around her body. Some accounts state that he described the beer that she liked. Investigators have not stated whether they truly believe he killed Ryther or not and they have other suspects besides him in the case. He would’ve been seventeen years old in 1978.
His next possible victim was 18 year old Jaqueline “Jackie” Brant who was last heard from on April 15th 1986. She had traveled to Panama City Beach, Florida from Illinois for Spring Break at the time. She was not officially reported as a missing person but her parents did contact the police to perform a welfare check on her in April of 1986. Nothing came of this though.
On November 30th 1986, Jackie’s skeletal remains were discovered by a hunter in a wooded area off Back Beach Road. Due to the state of her remains, no cause of death could be determined and investigators never labeled her death as a homicide. Riebe confessed to Brant’s murder in 2007. He stated that he met her at a bar called “The Playground” which she frequented a lot. He stated they left the bar together and that he got angry before strangling her to death in her car.
Riebe was able to perfectly describe Jackie’s clothing and also led investigators to the location he recalled burying her in. He led them to an area that was only ten feet from where her remains had been found years earlier. Riebe was not charged with Brant’s death and has since recanted his confession in her case. Investigators believe he did kill her though.
Mark also confessed to being the killer of Lindsay O. Sams. She was 35 years old when she was viciously attacked by an unidentified intruder in Miramar Beach, Florida on July 23rd 1986. She was originally from Mississippi and was staying at the Seaward Condominium Complex with her family while they were on vacation. Her daughter discovered her unconscious and brutally beaten on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.
She was taken to a local hospital where she was in critical condition. She unfortunately did not survive the attack and after spending eleven months in the hospital, Lindsey passed away on June 2nd 1987. Investigators were initially under the belief that Wells committed the attack that resulted in Lindsay’s eventual death. However, Mark later confessed he attacked her in what he initially said was going to be a robbery of her house.
Riebe stated he was going to rob the residence after seeing it from a convenience store across the street and was crawling on the floor of Lindsay’s bedroom. Lindsay woke up in the middle of the night to go and get something to drink. She was a hypoglycemic and had a habit of getting out of bed to go and get a soft drink for sugar. She stepped on him while walking and tried to escape the attack but Riebe beat her in the head with a pry bar and left the scene afterwards.
He supposedly provided important details and facts in Lindsay’s case that only the true killer would really remember or know. He recalled how he saw the Jaguar parked out in front of the condominium and remembered a license plate with the Vanderbilt University logo on it. His description of her being attacked on the stairs is also accurate as her bed was found to be largely undisturbed and evidence on the staircase suggested Lindsay was trying to flee her attacker.
Riebe also accurately described the jewelry he stole from the home during the attack and the exact layout of the three-story condominium. He even remembered the railway that was pulled off the wall during the attack on Lindsay. Despite the confession and detail surrounding Lindsay’s attack, Riebe was not charged with her death or assault.
Investigators also believe Riebe was involved in the 1990 murder of 23 year old Rhonda Taylor. Her nude body was discovered in the back seat of her vehicle, a silver Buick in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on July 7th 1990. A man walking down Tupelo Avenue at 12:00 pm noticed the vehicle and initially suspected Rhonda’s body was a blowup balloon or something. Upon further inspection, he realized it was a body and contacted police.
Rhonda’s throat was slashed and she had been stabbed several times in her hands and arms. Scratches were also found on her legs. Based on information from the scene, it was apparent that she had been killed elsewhere before being moved to where she was found. Mark later confessed to Rhonda’s murder. He claimed that she and him were looking for cocaine to purchase on the day she died. They eventually purchased some from an African American male who ended up tagging along with them afterwards.
They used the cocaine in Rhonda’s car and got out afterwards. Riebe stated that she became hot and took off her clothing. They both got into a heated argument which resulted in him stabbing and attacking her. The other man at the scene attempted to step in and help but Riebe stabbed him in the hand. Afterwards, Riebe placed Rhonda in the backseat of her vehicle and left the vehicle near where his wife worked at the time.
Investigators noted that Rhonda’s clothing had no blood or cut marks on them which fits with his story about her undressing. The only bloody object in the vehicle was a towel which was code red in blood that didn’t belong to Rhonda. It was eventually tested and matched the African American man that Riebe mentioned in his confession. He is strongly suspected in this case still.
Investigators also suspect Riebe and Wells were potentially involved in three missing persons cases from that time, including Andrea’s. Investigators suspect Riebe was involved in the 1992 disappearance of Pamela June Ray. She had driven from Atlanta, Georgia to Panama City, Florida during the early morning hours of August 12th 1992. She was taking her two children on a brief beach vacation before the school year started.
After being unable to locate a vacant motel room in Panama City and ended up parking her blue 1991 Plymouth Sundance in the parking lot of the Wilhite Apartment Complex on Front Beach Road. She locked the car and left her two children asleep in the backseat at approximately 5:30 am. Witnesses saw her walking from the apartment lobby to the swimming pool area. She was seen being followed by an unidentified man at the time.
Shortly afterwards, witnesses heard a woman screaming for help from the pool area and Ray was nowhere to be found. The building manager found her car parked with her tow children sometime later and contacted the police. Investigators suspected early on that she was abducted as she was said to be a very devoted mother to her children and she also left her purse and keys behind.
In 1999, Mark confessed that he had abducted and murdered Pamela in 1992. He stated that he and his wife were partying in Panama City that night and were looking for someone to rob.He noticed Pamela’s car parked in the complex parking lot with out-of-state license plates and had his wife pull her red Firebird vehicle up near the office door by the back of the apartment building.
He followed Pamela before confronting her at knifepoint and forcibly kidnapping her. She begged him to let her go as she had two young children but he didn’t care. Riebe was somewhat vague about the details surrounding the place he left Pamela’s body. He originally claimed he buried her body in Point Washington but later claimed she was dumped in the ocean.
According to reports from that time, when it became known that police were talking to Wells about Donna Callahan’s disappearance, Riebe spent a considerable amount of time outside on the family property in DeFuniak Springs, Florida and then went to visit him in prison. He apparently assured Wells that Donna Callahan’s body would not be found as he buried it in the location it was found in 1996.
While in this conversation, Mark told him “and I had to move the other lady.” Since Wells was in prison when Pamela was abducted he asked Riebe “what other lady?” Mark replied “the one from Panama City with the kids.” In his confession, Mark also gave one detail that only the person responsible for Pamela’s disappearance could’ve known and it was that she was only carrying one key when she was taken.
In 2019, Mark’s daughter, Jelena, came cowards and stated she remembered something odd they occurred with her father shortly after Pamela was abducted in 1992. This is when the family moved to Warrensburg, Illinois and she recalled how her family took two U-Haul trucks with them during the move. She remembers riding in one of the trucks with Riebe and she remembered seeing six garbage cans with black bags in them.
The children were forbidden to touch or go near the cans at the time. Jelena remembers that when they got to a relatives home in central Illinois, Riebe made the children dig holes that he said were for a garden. After they finished digging, Riebe placed some of the black bags in the holes before covering them up. As a result of this information, investigators have searched the family property in Illinois for human remains but haven’t found anything.
Pamela’a sister, Rhonda, and Jelena believe that the bags contained the remains of Ray and several other victims of Riebe. They also believe that Jelena’s mother was wearing a ring that belonged to Pamela sometime after her 1992 disappearance. Her body has not been located and no one has been charged with any crime relating to her disappearance but her family suspects Mark was responsible for it.
Investigators believe both Riebe and Wells were possibly involved in the unsolved kidnapping of Deborah Poe. She was just 26 years old when she vanished from her job as a clerk at the Circle K convenience store near Hall Road and Aloma Avenue in Orlando, Florida on February 4th 1990. She worked the night shift and her boyfriend frequently checked on her as there were safety concerns over her working in that store at the time.
Deborah’s boyfriend told police he last saw her at 1:00 am when he came by to check on her. A friend of hers told police they saw Deborah standing behind the counter at 3:00 am. This is the last confirmed time she was seen. Approximately fifteen minutes to a half hour later, a customer walked into the store and noticed an unidentified Caucasian male standing behind the counter at the time.
The individual was described as being between 19 and 25 years old in 1990 and was said to stand at 6 feet tall. He had long black hair and dark colored eyes. He was wearing a black t-shirt with the Megadeth rock band logo and a dragon spitting fire on it, a skull ring on his finger, and a wire earring with a cross on his right ear. He was said to drive a black van with a Megadeth mural airbrushed on the side of it.
The customer assumed he was an employee but when she asked for a pack of cigarettes, he did not know where they were and she had to point them out. She believed he was simply a new employee who was still learning where everything was. When a regular employee entered the store at 4:00 am, they found it unoccupied and contacted police. Deborah’s car was found undisturbed in the parking lot with her purse in the back seat.
Her paycheck and car keys were also found inside. It was also found that her Circle K smock was also found neatly folded behind the counter. Investigators believe that Poe was forcibly taken from the store. While neither man has confessed to Poe’s kidnapping and possible homicide, investigators were able to find that the two were together during the weekend of her disappearance and they had a close relative who lived in the area at the time.
The witness who interacted with the unidentified man in the store picked William out of the photo lineup and believes he is the man she asked to point out cigarettes. Investigators have not officially named the two as suspects but are not discounting their possible involvement in Poe’s disappearance.
When Mark was making his confessions to police about his crimes, he made it a point to say he was not involved in Andrea’s disappearance at all. Investigators found him doing this as odd because they never mentioned Andrea’s case to him and he was never questioned about it whatsoever. Andrea knew him at the time she went missing and was friends with his stepchildren. She had been to their home multiple times before her 1990 disappearance.
Investigators continue to look into the possibility that Wells and Riebe were involved in Durham’s case but no evidence has surfaced to suggest they killed her or that she’s ever deceased to begin with.
At the time of her disappearance, Andrea had previously attended Bruner Middle School. After she and her family moved, she attended Pryor Middle School. Her mother has since moved to South Carolina but she continues to hold onto hope that her daughter will be found someday. Her sister described her as a mellow person who didn’t like to be outside alone unless she was with someone. She was said to be loving and sweet in nature.
Andrea’s case remains unsolved. Foul play is possible in the case. Her photo was shown in the 1992 Soul Asylum Song “Runaway Train.”
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Okaloosa County Sheriffs Office 850-651-7400