Missing Essie Margarette Hiett new case information posted as of May 15th 2020

Important Notice:  This page only contains basic information that publically available, to view my work on the case during for this year please follow this link.


Missing Essie Margarette Hiett

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: February 13, 1978 from Oroville, California

Type: Endangered Missing

Date of Birth: November 18, 1930 Age at disappearance: 47 years old

Weight and Height: 5'5, 130 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Graying brown hair, green eyes. Hiett has pierced ears. She has a half-moon-shaped scar on her right temple near her hairline and has surgical scars on both of her legs as the result of a varicose vein removal operation. She wears a full set of dentures and wears eyeglasses with photo gray lenses. Her nicknames are Marge and/or Steele. Clothing/Jewelry Description: A green blouse with a female's face imprinted on the front, a tan naugahyde jacket, white pants, pantyhose, white shoes, a Timex watch with a white metal extension band and a blue face, sterling silver earrings, and a white gold wedding ring set, which included an engagement ring with five imbedded stones and a wedding band with six imbedded stones; the total weight of the gems in the set is one karat.

Details of disappearance and psychic work by Brian Ladd (login to view entire case as of May 2020)


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