Twelve-year-old Katherine (or "Katie") was last seen on July 12, 1982 spending the night at her friend, Tammy Gates' house located in the 2700 block of McElroy Drive in Charlottesville, Virginia. Tammy's mother, Carrie Gates called Katie's parents early that morning thinking that Katie went back to her own apartment, but she did not and Katie was reported missing to the police.
Carrie's ex-boyfriend, Glenn Haslam Barker (who was one of the people that volunteered in the search for Katie) was immediately suspected in Katie's disappearance due to his criminal record.
Barker admitted that he went over to the Gates' residence after everyone had gone to sleep and gave Katie and Tammy each a can of beer. Tammy said that Katie had more than one beer and got sick. Afterwards, they went to bed. Barker said that he left at 12:30 a.m. after making sure that the girls and Tammy's younger brother were asleep. At 5:30 that morning, Tammy woke up and realized that Katie was missing.
Authorities searched Barker's apartment and discovered wet, bloodstained men's clothing and towels wedged between his mattress and boxspring where his blood type and Katie's blood type was discovered. A second search of his apartment revealed a pair of girls' panties hidden in a ball of socks in his dresser with a tiny bloodstain in the back of the panties that was consistent with the location where Katie injected her insulin.
In January of 1983, Barker was arrested and charged with murdering Katie. Prosecutors theorized that after Katie became intoxicated, he carried her into the living room, attempted to molest her and then murdered her. He was convicted of second-degree murder. He was paroled in 1992, but re-arrested a year later for possession of a firearm and served six months in jail.
Barker maintains his innocence in Katie's disappearance. As of 2021, Katie's body has never been found, but due to the circumstances involved in her disappearance, she is classified as an endangered missing person.
- 4'10, 90 pounds
- Blonde hair
- Hazel eyes
- Is an insulin-dependent diabetic
- Has Type B blood
- Last seen wearing a pink t-shirt