25 years ago: Battle Creek woman vanishes from home leaving food in pot on stove, car locked in yard

She was declared legally dead in 2010

Bernadette Ruby Behmlander (NamUs)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – It has been 25 years since Bernadette Ruby Behmlander vanished from her Battle Creek home.

Behmlander lived alone and was not employed at the time of her disappearance. According to the Doe Network, Behmlander spoke with her ex-husband once a week by phone.

They spoke on the phone in October of 1997 and she mentioned some work needed to be done on the house. The Doe Network said he mailed her a check for $400 for repairs and when he couldn’t reach her the next week for the phone call he drove over to her house.

He found spoiled food in the refrigerator and in a pot on the stove. The check he had mailed her was next to the sink and the diamond ring she wore was found on a hook in the bathroom.

Her car was locked and parked in the backyard. The Doe Network said it appeared that she had left in a hurry. Her ex-husband did not report her missing immediately because he believed she would return.

Behmlander was born in Trinidad and is of Chinese descent. She was declared legally dead in 2010.

Her nicknames were ‘Susie” Bernadette Symons/Bernadette Bailey/Susie Behmlander. She was 5′ tall and weighed 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance.

She has a scar on her left cheek, moles under her left eye and the left side of the bridge of her nose. There’s a scar on her abdomen. It’s unknown what she was wearing when she was last seen, but she preferred to wear athletic casual attire or country western clothing.

DetailsBernadette Ruby Behmlander
Missing Age50
Declared legally dead2010
Missing FromBattle Creek
Height5′
Weight120 lbs
HairBlack
EyesBrown

Anyone with information should contact the Battle Creek Police Department at 269-781-0911.


Read: Michigan cold case coverage


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About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.