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MacDuckston was seen by her adult daughter at home in the 2000 Block of Belle Monti in Belmont, California, on August 11, 2003, approximately 8:30 a.m. She left her home telling friends and family that she would be shopping in Davenport, California for the day.
MacDuckston's husband reported her missing the next day at 9:00 a.m. On that same afternoon, MacDuckston's minivan, a tan 2001 Mazda MPV with the California license plate number 4POG552, was found abandoned near some cliffs and a beach on Highway 1 near Davenport in northern Santa Cruz County, California, five miles north of the New Davenport Cash Store and Restaurant. This is one of MacDuckston's favorite places. There were gifts locked inside the van. A photograph of it is posted below this case summary. There was no sign of MacDuckston near where it was found, but some of her belongings were located in the area. Investigators found a folding chair, a blanket, a book called In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson which is about travel in Australia, sunglasses and a bright pink sun hat near Greyhound Rock about a hundred yards from the van; it appears that MacDuckston may have been sitting on the beach reading.
MacDuckston is said to have made some long-term arrangements with her workplace before she disappeared. Police do not suspect foul play in her disappearance and there are indications that she may have left of her own accord, but she was not having problems at home or work and her husband says it would be unlike her to leave behind her young granddaughter. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are unclear. Drawing on the book that was found near the van, investigators have looked for MacDuckston in Australia, but with fruitless results. Suicide is also being considered as a possibility, as the cliffs near where her van was parked are known for suicides and a sheriff's dog tracked MacDuckston's scent to the cliff's edge. However, MacDuckston has no history of depression or other mental problems.
MacDuckston is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and was the director of Carlmont Parent Nursery School in Belmont at the time of her disappearance, and her life is said to have revolved around her work. She is described as an organized, dedicated person and a nature lover who enjoys exploring back roads and isolated areas. She and her husband moved to Belmont in 1979, and have a grown daughter and son. Her case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.
Left: MacDuckston's minivan;
Right: Sketch of MacDuckston's companion