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Appleton was last seen by her mother at approximately 5:00 p.m. on October 13, 1999 in in the vicinity of the 100 block of northeast 9th Avenue in northwest Amarillo, Texas. Appleton's mother said her daughter appeared to be frightened about something, but refused say what was disturbing her, or to accompany her mother back to their family's residence in Pampa, Texas. Appleton has never been heard from again. Her relatives reported her missing from their home in Pampa in November 1999.
Appleton was last known to be in the company of Ivory Tealer, also known as T and/or T-Baby. When he was interviewed by investigators, Tealer stated that he did not know Appleton's whereabouts. He has since refused to speak any further about to the police about her disappearance.
Appleton left behind her son and daughter, which her loved ones said is extremely uncharacteristic of her. She had been divorced from her husband for about a year prior to her disappearance, and her children lived with her mother. She saw them regularly prior to going missing, but has not had contact with them since she vanished. She has also not picked up her child support checks from her ex-husband; he stopped paying support less than a year after Appleton disappeared.
Appleton's mother received a phone call from an unidentified man on August 20, 2000. The individual claimed that he was a gang member and witnessed Appleton's alleged murder at a hog farm in Amarillo, Texas shortly after her disappearance. He said that another member killed Appleton, then disposed of her remains at the farm. The individual claimed that her body would never be located. The man terminated the call before Appleton's mother could learn additional details. The information he provided has never been confirmed and no supporting evidence has been located.