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Hiett worked as a waitress and bartender in downtown Oroville, California. She was last seen leaving at the end of her shift at Rusty Jack's Bar on February 13, 1978. She was driving her brown 1975 Oldsmobile Toronado. Hiett apparently never arrived home. She disappeared between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. and has never been heard from again. That same day, her vehicle was found wrecked and abandoned in a ditch along Palermo-Honeycut Road, less than a mile from her home. Her clothes and personal belongings were scattered on the ground at the scene of the crash, but there was no sign of her.
In 2015, authorities announced Marvin Gail Owens was a possible suspect in Hiett's case. Early that year he was charged with the murder of his wife, Deborah Owens, who disappeared in November 1978 and was never located. A photo of Marvin is posted below this case summary. In mid-March 2015, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, admitting he "snapped" and strangled Deborah to death. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Deborah and Hiett disappeared in the same year and had mutual friends, which is what lead the police to think Marvin could have been involved in both cases. He was eventually ruled out as a suspect in Hiett's case. Investigators do have another person of interest in Hiett's disappearance, however. She has never been found and her case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.
Butte County Sheriff's Office