JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - The disappearance of a pregnant Jefferson County woman has devastated her family and frustrated law enforcement for more than 13 years. Fox 2 sat down with investigators from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI to retrace the last known steps of Amanda Jones and find out where the investigation stands today.
After attending church with her family on Sunday, August 14, 2005, then 26-year-old Amanda Jones met Bryan Westfall, the man she believed to be the father of her unborn son, at the Hillsboro Community Civic Center, according to Det. Sgt. Scott Poe with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Jones' family said she was days away from giving birth. She had not been in contact with Westfall through most of her pregnancy, but she hoped he would want to be part of her son’s life. The two met around 1 p.m.
"Apparently during that (meeting), she asked if she could give the child his last name," said Poe. "She also had a photo album with a picture of the sonogram, some poems, things like that trying to inspire him to be more involved in the child’s life. He, apparently, refuted that he was the father and told her not to use the name."
Westfall told police, around 2 p.m. Jones took a call and returned to her car, and he went back to work at a barn on the property. Investigators said Westfall reported leaving the Civic Center grounds around 5 p.m. and said he saw Jones talking on her phone while sitting in her car in the Civic Center parking lot.
"The last contact we've had that someone had with Amanda was at about 1:20 p.m., and that was through a phone call," said Special Agent Michael Christian with the FBI. "We were able to establish that through telephone records and witness interviews, and that is the last time that we have a confirmed contact with her."
According to Christian, records show there were no later calls to or from Jones' phone. Witnesses confirm Westfall was at the Civic Center grounds from 2 p.m. until around 5 p.m.
"He came out of the barn when he saw them pull up," said Poe. "Appeared to be startled and said, 'I'm down here loading things.' One of the witnesses said he found that odd because there was nothing on the trailer."
While witnesses did see Westfall, they did not report seeing Jones. Christian said Westfall is the only witness who said he saw Jones in her vehicle at 5 p.m.
"It's hard to believe someone would sit in a 95-degree day in their vehicle,” said Poe. It was August, Jones was pregnant, and the air conditioning in her car was not working.
Westfall told investigators after leaving the Civic Center, he stopped by the Hillsboro Fire Department for ten to 15 minutes before leaving to go home, according to Poe.
When Jones did not return home or call her family, they called Westfall. Jones' family tells Fox 2, Westfall gave them several different stories about what happened that day.
Jones' family then called the police. Police found Jones' car still parked at the Civic Center.
"The vehicle was unlocked, however, there was no cell phone, no purse, no keys. There was also no sign of a struggle or any type of foul play in the vehicle," said Poe.
After speaking with Jones' family, police went to interview Westfall. Investigators said Westfall was interviewed the night of the disappearance. The following day, detectives asked to interview Westfall again at the sheriff’s office, but he did not show up.
Investigators said Westfall hired an attorney and consented to a limited search of his home and property. Christian said Westfall told officers where they could search. Since law enforcement did not have a search warrant, they were limited to the areas Westfall consented to.
Christian said to get a search warrant, investigators must be able to establish a crime has been committed. Then, they have to prove evidence of the crime is in the area, location, or object they want to search. Motive, on its own, is not enough to get a search warrant, he said.
"We need to have more to lead to believe that she went to that home," said Poe adding the timeline Westfall provided to police checked out. "We were able to corroborate he did, in fact, stop by the firehouse, and no one was with him, and that was on his way home."
While law enforcement was unable to thoroughly search the Westfall property, Poe said they were able to rule out many other areas.
"We had an inordinate amount of manpower thrown at that from us, other agencies, specialized units doing grid searches, they did ground penetrating radar, they did cadaver dog searches," he said. Poe said officers also excavated holes in the area, set up surveillance, and walked the river banks and nearby quarry.
Still, Poe said, there is nothing to suggest Jones ever left the Civic Center property.
Westfall was in a relationship when he met Jones. Neither Westfall nor his long-term girlfriend has ever spoken to the media, and neither has spoken with law enforcement since 2005.
"Every other person that we wanted to talk to again agreed to be re-interviewed," said Christian. "We would like to speak with Bryan Westfall again because he was the last person, last known person, to see Amanda. We have tried to set up that interview, but Bryan Westfall and his attorney have not agreed to be re-interviewed."
In a statement to Fox 2, Westfall's attorney, Kevin Roberts, said, "He spoke with the authorities when Ms. Jones first went missing and answered all of their questions... He and his family also allowed them to thoroughly search their property, without any restriction. He has always denied any involvement in her disappearance."
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to Jones and her unborn son, or for information leading to the person involved in their disappearance.
"Regardless of circumstances, this family deserves more," said Poe. "Give these people some closure. Let the child know what happened to her mother. That's no way for a child to grow up."
If you have any information, please contact the FBI St. Louis at (314)589-2500 or the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at (636)797-5515.