Acacia Patience Bishop
Acacia, approximately 2003; Age at the time of disappearance: -progression to Age at the time of disappearance: 11 (approximately 2012); Sketch of man possibly involved in the case; Kelly Jean Lodmell; Lodmell's car
Date reported missing : 05/25/2003
Missing location (approx) :
Salt Lake City, Utah
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 10/29/2001 (19)
Age at the time of disappearance: 1 year old
Height / Weight : 2'6, 30 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A pink sundress printed around the bottom with white daisies or sunflowers.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Acacia has a birthmark on the side of her abdomen, about the size of a tennis ball. Her ears are pierced.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Acacia was abducted by her grandmother, 38-year-old Kelley Jean Lodmell, from her great-grandparents' Salt Lake City, Utah home at 6:00 p.m. on May 25, 2003. Photographs of Lodmell and her car are posted with this case summary. She had previously taken Acacia without permission and hid her in a basement, and she was on supervised visitation with the baby when she abducted her in May 2003. They escaped when the supervisor, Acacia's great-grandmother, left the room for a moment.
Acacia and Lodmell were last seen together in Idaho Falls, Idaho on May 26, close to the Broadway overpass and green belt, next to the Snake River.
That same day, Lodmell went to a hydroelectric plant near the overpass and told employees there that she had dropped Acacia into the river while they were dangling their feet off the bridge. The plant was immediately shut down so Acacia would not get sucked into its turbines.
Divers searched the murky river for several days, but Acacia was not found there. However, a pair of baby shoes and a doll were found on the riverbank. One of Lodmell's shoes was also found on the bank; the other one was in the water.
Authorities believe Acacia drowned in the Snake River; they have classified her case as a homicide. They do not feel that Acacia accidentally fell into the river.
Lodmell was soaking wet when she ran to the power plant for help, and the police believe she intentionally jumped in the water with Acacia in her arms in a murder/suicide attempt. She admitted this to authorities and was charged with kidnapping and murdering Acacia. She stated that she believed the baby made it out of the water and is still alive somewhere.
Lodmell has a criminal record; she has been charged with many petty offenses including drunk driving, threats with a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct. Her most serious offense was aggravated assault; she served sixty days in jail for shooting a child with a pellet gun.
She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and has a history of substance abuse as well. She has occasionally lived on the streets or in her car, and she took her medication only when she could afford to pay for it. She was not taking it at the time she abducted Acacia.
Acacia's parents hope that Lodmell is lying about her granddaughter's presumed death in an effort to conceal her from the rest of the family, and that she possibly passed Acacia over to one of her friends and would find her after she was released from prison. She had reportedly always been possessive of the child.
Acacia's parents say Lodmell has never had suicidal tendencies before, and had never indicated that she might harm Acacia. They characterize Lodmell as a habitual liar and suggested her confession of murder was a fabrication, and that she had been planning Acacia's abduction for months.
Acacia's parents claim Lodmell sent them a letter from jail, writing that Acacia was alive and being cared for by others. She never referred to Acacia in the past tense in her letters. They also point out that Lodmell purchased diapers and milk for Acacia shortly before the baby allegedly drowned, which would not make sense if she had been planning to murder her.
Police investigated the possibility that Lodmell gave or sold Acacia to other individuals, but they could find no evidence to support this theory. Nevertheless, her parents are convinced she is still alive.
Acacia's mother and father are offering a reward for their daughter's safe return. They have issued a sketch of a man they think may be helping hide Acacia. The sketch was not made by a professional sketch artist and is not endorsed by the police. It is posted with this case summary.
The man was allegedly seen checking Lodmell and Acacia out of the Red Lion Hotel on May 26. He was described as being in his late forties or early fifties with rough, weathered tan skin, graying sunbleached hair, hazel eyes, large hands with carrot-shaped fingers, and a small build. He was about 5'6 tall and smoked Basics cigarettes. Police detectives do not think the man, if he exists, was involved in Acacia's disappearance and presumed death.