Elizabeth Jean Acton
Acton, approximately 1994; Willow Cherry, approximately 2018
Date reported missing : 08/24/1994
Missing location (approx) :
Colonial Beach, Virginia
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Age at the time of disappearance: 41 years old
Height / Weight : 5'0, 125 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Acton's nickname is Betsy. She may use the last name Bryant. She has a scar on her abdomen.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Acton was last seen at the Days Inn on Colonial Avenue in Colonial Beach, Virginia on August 24, 1994. She has never been heard from again. Blood was later found in her hotel room, but her boyfriend, Willow Bruce Cherry, said it was menstrual blood. Acton's car was found elsewhere after her disappearance.
Curiously, Cherry was arrested for an unrelated homicide in September 2018, and the body of the victim in that case has not been found. He has been charged with first-degree murder in the presumed death of his brother-in-law, Peter Lian, who disappeared in February 2018.
A photo of Cherry is posted with this case summary. He has not been named as a suspect in any other cases, but Acton's co-workers stated she was afraid for her life and told them that if anything happened to her, the police should look at Cherry.
She worked as a nursing educator at Central Baptist Hospital at the time of her disappearance. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
Virginia State Police
The Lexington Herald-Leader
Co-worker of Elizabeth Acton
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
October 12, 2004. May 15, 2019; Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : updated.