Above: Dean Pyle Peters in 1981 (left) and an age-progressed image to 47, circa 2013 (right)

Dean Marie Pyle Peters

Last seen in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 5, 1981

Vital statistics: White female. Born on September 24, 1966. Brown hair, brown eyes. Her nickname is "Deanie." Last seen wearing a brown ski jacket, pink sweater, blue jeans, white socks, and a cream colored scarf with the word "ski" written on it in dark brown lettering. Her ears are pierced but it is unknown if she was wearing earrings at the time. Was fourteen at the time.

Circumstances: She was last seen at at Forest Hills Central Middle School in the 5800 block of Ada Drive southeast in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She told her mother she was going to the restroom and never returned. Classified as a Non-Family Abduction.

Theories: Dean's case stunned me because she vanished from a school, an area that parents think of as a safe point for their children. It also seemed that she vanished into thin air, as their is no indication of what may have happened to her. For awhile, many thought that the school's janitor, Arthur Diaz, was responsible for Dean's disappearance. He was thought to of burnt her body in the school's incinerator, but was cleared of all accusations a couple days after Deanie went missing. Dean seemed like a happy young woman whose whole life was in Grand Rapids, so the chances of her running away are slim to none. Her fate is impossible to determine due to lack of suspects and leads that are dead ends. I will discuss two top possibilities of Dean's fate. One: I do not believe Dean ever intended to use the restroom. I think she may have stepped outside the school for a cigarette or to go to a friend's house, but met up with someone she knew and possibly left with that person or persons, and later met with foul play. Two: She stepped outside the school for a cigarette and was struck by a car. The person who hit her panicked and hid her body to cover up the crime. I think for sure the investigator's from the get go presumed Dean Peters as dead. It is disappointing, as that assumption could have been something that cost Dean her life. Jaycee Dugard shocked us all by being found alive 18 years later. That should remind everyone, especially investigators, that instead of just looking for Dean's body, they should try looking for a 42 year old woman as well. Overall, I believe Dean's case just doesn't have enough evidence to point anyone in the direction of what may have happened to her that night. What I can confidently conclude is one: she is still missing without a trace and two: Someone out there holds the key to all the answers, perhaps even someone Dean and her family are familiar with, and that someone is most likely right under everyone's noses, because in most scenarios that is just the way it goes.

If you have any information as to Pyle Peters' whereabouts, please e-mail For the Lost at this address. Or you may contact the Kent County Sheriff's Office at 616-336-3113. Any information received can be kept confidential.

Information used to compile this case file came from the following sources:
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
The Doe Network
The Charley Project
The Grand Rapids Press
NamUs National Missing Persons Data System
Child CyberSearch (site now defunct)

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