Left and Center: Tammy circa, 1983
Right: Age Progressed to age 48
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 6, 1983
Missing From: Rockledge, Brevard County, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 5, 1965
Age: 18 years old
Height and Weight: 5’4″ and 105 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Hazel eyes, Tammy may have been 3 months pregnant at the time of her disappearance, she was suffering emotional problems at the time of her disappearance and she was extremely paranoid prior to her disappearance, Tammy might spell her first name as “Tammi” since this was one of her stage names and she might also use “Tami-Lyn”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light blue colored shirt with flower appliques on the shoulders, a blue denim skirt, flip flops, Tammy was last known to be carrying a gray purse
NCMEC Number: 1180588
Details of Disappearance
Tammy disappeared from Rockledge, Florida on July 6th 1983. She left her family’s home with a friend, Keith Roberts at 11:00 am. She told her family that she was going to the beach for a little while. Keith told police that he and Tammy got into an argument while driving and that he had left her standing in a parking lot outside of the Glass Bank which was near an Exxon Gas station at 1:00 pm. It’s possible he left her two blocks south of the bank, however.
The area he left her in was in the vicinity of State Road A1A between 2nd street north and 3rd street north. She may have been seen hitchhiking during that day. She never returned home and her family never saw her again. She was reported missing on July 11th, 5 days after she went missing.
Investigators initially assumed that Tammy had runaway and simply left on her own accord. Her mother, Susan Curtis, never believed her daughter would do such a thing. Some officers still hold the theory that she ran off. She claimed that Tammy feared Keith and that he wasn’t properly investigated by authorities when Tammy was initially missing.
Keith was never apparently properly interrogated. He also cancelled two appointments to come have a face to face interview with investigators which disturbed them. He had no criminal record prior to Tammy’s disappearance and investigators mainly used that as their basis to clear him.
The police fought her claims and said they put a lot of effort into locating Tammy. They also stated they had investigated and questioned Keith after she went missing. He is not considered a suspect by police. He did owe Tammy approximately $300 on the day she disappeared and he gave it to her. He also said that she wanted to go to Fort Lauderdale, Florida that day. He said he couldn’t take her.
Investigators have come up with two possible suspects in her disappearance. Serial killer Christopher Wilder is one possible suspect in Tammy’s disappearance. He was linked to a dozen rapes, murders, and/or attacks of women in the early to mid 1980s. He was known to be in the Florida region in the early 1980s. He was known to try and lure his victims with offers of non-existing modeling jobs or sessions. He also used other ways to gain the trust of his victims.
On March 18th 1984, Wilder abducted and killed Theresa Wait Ferguson. She was lured away from a Merritt Island mall and her body dumped at Canaveral Groves. Her body was discovered 5 days later. Tammy’s mother based her company known as “Galaxy Productions” in Merritt Island. It should also be noted that Tammy was a model when she disappeared and Wilder was known to offer non-existent modeling jobs.
Apparently Linda also made a statement in which she said she met Wilder previously before her daughter went missing. She said that after she was shown photographs of Wilder, she recognized him as a man who had visited her modeling agency quite a few times in 1983. She said he came in looking for models. She also said that Tammy had also spoken with Wilder since she worked part-time for her mother.
It’s also possible that Tammy met Wilder on the set of Scarface. Some agencies also claim that Wilder went as far as to visiting Tammy’s home and asking Curtis to allow him to see Tammy. This information has not been confirmed.
Wilder was a native of Australia and was put on probation in 1980 after pleading guilty to attempted sexual battery towards a teenage girl. He went on a visit home to Australia and was charged with the abduction and sexual assault of two girls. He was bailed out of jail by his parents and returned back to the United States. He promised to return to Australia for his trial in 1984.
Wilder is also a suspect in the Florida disappearances of Elizabeth Ann Kenyon, Rosario Teresa Gonzales, and Mary Opitz. He’s also considered a primary suspect in the 1984 disappearance of Colleen Orsborn. She disappeared from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 15th 1984 after she left her home to go to the beach. Wilder was in the area at the time.
Colleen’s body was discovered on April 6th 1984, a few weeks after her disappearance. It was not identified at the time and was initially ruled out as being hers. As a result, Colleen was listed as missing and a non family abduction until 2011 when the body was identified as hers.
Wilder was not charged with any of the missing persons cases he’s suspected in. He was killed in a police shootout in 1984. Investigators have not named Wilder as Tammy’s killer and have stated it’s possible that him being in Florida in 1983 and offering modeling jobs was a coincidence and that he wasn’t involved in the case. He also started killing women a year after Tammy disappeared but he’s suspected of killing in the early 80s.
Linda and her family initially filed a $1,000,000 lawsuit against Wilder before he was killed but dropped the suit. Linda revealed that she never believed Wilder to be responsible for her daughters disappearance. He was never charged with her disappearance before his death.
Another possible suspect in Tammy’s disappearance is John Brennan Crutchley. Crutchley is a possible serial killer and has been dubbed as the “vampire rapist”. John was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in Orlando, Florida. He apparently drained half her blood and drank it. He was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
Crutchley is thought to have killed as far back as 1977. He was in Brevard County, Florida in late November of 1985 where he was charged with committing rape. He’s also a suspect in the 1985 disappearance of Patti Lou Volansky who vanished from Mims, Florida. He killed himself while in prison in 2002. Investigators have found no evidence to link Crutchley to Tammy or Patti.
In 1985, a detective who was working on Tammy’s disappearance received 2 phone calls from an unidentified woman. She told him that Tammy was still alive and well. She also said that Tammy would contact them when the time was right. She claimed that Leppert was going to school to become a nurse, which is what she always wanted. The calls have never been confirmed.
After the 1985 calls, police started to doubt that foul play was involved in Leppert’s disappearance. According to her sister, Leppert had 3 different social security numbers and there’s a theory that she might have ended up in the witness protection program.
However, her family and sister who continues to search for her feel that Tammy was abducted and killed on the same day she went missing.
About a few days before Tammy disappeared, she had a mental breakdown and began acting erratically while at home. She was said to have yelled, screamed and broke a window or two with a baseball bat. She also attacked a family friend. She accused her family and friends of trying to poisoning her. Tammy was taken to a mental hospital for a 72 hour observation by her mother. She calmed down and testing revealed she was not on any type of drugs or alcohol.
After Tammy was released from the hospital. Tammy told her mother that if anything were to ever happen to her, she wanted Linda to get even with a specific person. She told her mother that this person was going to kill her.
Keith Roberts also told police that Tammy previously told him she didn’t like her home and wanted to leave. He also described her as paranoid and said she slept with a knife under her pillow. Tammy repeatedly told people that someone was trying to kill her. She also refused to eat from her own plate or drink from open containers.
The possibility that Tammy was saying these things due to drugs or intoxication has been dismissed since she didn’t go drugs and didn’t like alcohol. The day before her disappearance, Tammy hung out with Rick Adams. He said Tammy told him someone was going to kill her and he described her fear as real and true.
Tammy trusted Adams like a close friend. She started confiding him this information shortly before she disappeared. She also told Adams that she had seen something she shouldn’t have seen but wasn’t specific. He also said that when they went to pray at the Rockville Evangel Temple, Tammy cried harder than he had ever heard anyone do so.
Tammy and him made plans to go back to the church the next afternoon. He said that before he dropped her off at her home, she said she might have to go away for a while and that she loves him. He called her the next day to confirm they were going to church but she had disappeared by that time. Tammy was planning to go to California a few weeks after her disappearance to act in some movies. She never arrived there.
Adams was never interviewed in relation to Tammy’s disappearance. Linda Curtis believes that Tammy was abducted and killed over her knowledge of a large scale drug and money laundering operation in Brevard County, FL at the time. According to Linda, the operation of ring involved many prominent citizens and locals of the area were involved in the whole thing. Many have come to think that Leppert’s paranoia and strange behavior was from this. Her paranoia apparently started after a 1982 weekend party following the Spring Break Movie.
Tammy was known to stay in her bedroom for long periods of time. Tammy was also said to always be very cautious of her style and look before she went out during the day. She apparently always needed to wear the perfect outfit and she usually combed her hair well before she left. On the day she went missing, she did not comb her hair.
Tammy feared for her life due to her knowledge and even went as far as filing a police report about what she knew, according to Linda. The police have no record of such report anywhere. They have not confirmed Linda’s theory of what happened to Tammy. She moved to Orlando before she passed away in 1995 following a blood transfusion. She pleaded to know where her daughter was before she passed away.
At the time of her disappearance, Tammy was a well known model and beauty pageant queen. She won several titles as a model and was an occasional actress. She got parts in the 1983 film of Scarface and Spring Break. She wanted to become and international star at the time. There have been rumors that Tammy was 3 months pregnant when she disappeared and might have been seeking an abortion on the day she disappeared.
Her disappearance remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Cocoa Beach Police Department 321-868-3251
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Crimeblogger1983 segment #1 10/2016
Crimblogger1983 segment #2 07/23/2019