Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Brooke Wilberger--Corvallis, Oregon

Photos from The Charley Project: Brooke, the sweatshirt she might have worn when she vanished, suspect Joel Courtney. The Charley Project has many more photos of Brooke from different angles and with different hairstyles, so please take a look at them at if you thinks she looks even slightly familiar.
Article from KATU 2 (

February 14, 2006
'I'll see her one day... I can deal with that'
By Steve
Dunnand Web Staff
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It is a story that captivated
the Northwest - the disappearance of college student Brooke Wilberger.
nearly two years later, much has changed in the case.
A suspect in Brooke's
disappearance has been arrested and a trial is on the horizon, even though there
is still no sign of the young woman.
Ever since Brooke disappeared, her
mother, Cammy, has been a remarkable pillar of strength.
Now, as the case
draws closer to a resolution, she sat down with KATU News for a one-on-one
interview to talk about how she and her family are doing.
"Pretty good, we
have our low moments, but we can see a light at the end of the tunnel," she

That light is the trial of Joel Courtney, the man accused of
killing her daughter.
He faces other charges as well in New Mexico and after
that is over, he will stand trial in the Wilberger case.
When asked if there
was anything she would say to Courtney, given the chance, she said she is
"You know, I might come to that point, but I guess it's really sad.
His life is sad and I feel for his family," she said.
That is a very rare
approach for someone who has lost a family member to violence, but for those who
know Cammy Wilberger, it is no surprise at all. So how does she do it?
not sure," she said. "I think we have just put our faith in our savior, Jesus
Christ, and we've spent a lot of time in prayer. And for us, it's been a
journey. There's no room for revenge. That would destroy us." Cammy spends her
time teaching a third-grade class. It is where she can sometimes escape from
constantly thinking about what happened. However, most of the time there is no
"I can't go down a certain street in Corvallis," she said. "My
(other) daughter lives not too far from there now, so we've found a different
route to get to her house. Some things are just painful."
One of the most
painful times for the entire Wilberger family was the recent holiday season
because with a suspect in custody, the picture became much clearer about what
likely happened to Brooke.
"It was difficult the first Christmas," she said.
"I still had a lot of hope that I would get to have Brooke alive, back with us.
This Christmas, I did not have that, so it was difficult."

Besides her
faith, Cammy says it is the support of many people, some she has never met, that
has given her the strength to go on. She thinks about that often.
"I do,"
she said. "There is no way that our family can express fully how much we love
and appreciate the people in this area of Oregon, all over the world in fact,
who have sent us cards, who searched and prayed for us, even after it became
evident that Brooke was probably gone."

Hearing her say those very words
"that Brooke is probably gone" is hard for any parent to hear, much less say,
but Cammy said it is a reality she has to face.
"I feel she's dead and that
I'll see her one day, but not soon, and I can deal with that," she said.
now, though, it is a long, agonizing wait for Joel Courtney's trial. Cammy
said she never realized how slow the legal process is.
She said she also
understands that no matter what happens in the trial, a lot will change, but one
thing will stay the same.
"We have a real strong belief that families are
forever and that Brooke will always be with us," she said.

Cammy said
the family is planning an official memorial service for Brooke that will take
place sometime at the end of May.
When asked if she would be willing to
accept a plea deal for Courtney in exchange for finding Brooke's remains, she
said that is not a place she is prepared to go yet.
Related links:
KATU's coverage of the Brooke
Wilberger investigation

Brooke's information from the Charley Project:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 24, 2004 from
Corvallis, Oregon
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth:
February 20, 1985
Age: 19 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4, 104 - 119
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes. Wilberger's
hair was shoulder-length at the time of her 2004 disappearance. Her ears are
pierced, including a piercing in the upper cartilage of her right ear. She was
not wearing an earring in that piercing at the time of her disappearance.
Wilberger has a scar on her right arm which extends from her wrist to her elbow.
Her nickname is Brookie.
Clothing Description: A gray Brigham Young
University sweatshirt or t-shirt with the words "BYU Soccer" printed on it in
small letters, blue jeans, flip-flop sandals, small hoop earrings, a ring with a
blue stone, a ring inscribed with the initials "CTR," and possibly a silver
watch and a medium-blue hooded sweatshirt with the words "Fresh Jive" in
metallic print on the chest. A photograph of the hooded sweatshirt is posted
below this case summary. Investigators are interested in finding a sweatshirt
like it for possible fiber analysis should Wilberger's shirt be found, and are
appealing to the public as the manufacturer no longer makes the item. It was
possibly made in 1999 or 2000.

Details of Disappearance
Wilberger was
a freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 2004. Over the summer
vacation she was visiting her sister and brother-in-law at Oregon State
University in Corvallis, Oregon. Her sister and brother-in-law manage the
apartment complex they live in, Oak Park Apartments, and Wilberger assisted
them. The complex is in the 1200 block of southwest 26th Street near Oregon
State University, across the street from Reser Stadium.
Wilberger was last
seen by her sister shortly after 10:00 a.m. on May 24, 2004. She was cleaning
light bulb covers in the tall lamps in the parking lot Oak Park Apartments at
the time. When her sister went back to the parking lot at 10:30 a.m., Wilberger
was gone. Her bucket of soapy water and other cleaning implements were still in
the lot. Wilberger left behind all of her personal belongings when she
disappeared, including her purse, wallet, keys, cellular phone, and her car, a
Ford Contour. Her sister reported her missing to the police that afternoon,
having searched for her with no result.
Wilberger's sandals were found in
the parking lot after her disappearance. They were separated from each other by
a few feet and turned to the side at an angle. The sandals, coupled with the
fact that Wilberger had vanished suddenly and had left all her things behind,
lead police to believe she had been kidnapped. An extensive search of the
Corvallis area failed to turn up any trace of her.
Almost a month after
Wilberger's disappearance, police named Sung Koo Kim as a possible suspect in
her apparent abduction. Kim was arrested in June 2004 and charged with the theft
of women's undergarments from college dormitories across the Willamette Valley,
including Oregon State University. Investigators found dryer lint in Kim's home
that was labelled with the name of Oak Park Apartments. They found human hair,
bags of dryer lint, over 3,400 pairs of women's panties, and 4,000 bondage
pornography videotapes, and over 40,000 pornographic images on Kim's computer.
Also discovered were assault rifles, handguns, ammunition, gas masks, and
videotapes of two local women, both college students who had been filmed by Kim
without their knowledge or permission.
Kim's arrest and possible connection
with Wilberger's disappearance were highly publicized and he faced a very large
bail, ten million dollars, on the theft, weapons and pornography charges. He
stated that he was innocent of involvement in Wilberger's case and maintained
that he had been in another town when she vanished. In February 2005,
investigators ruled him out as a suspect, stating that they had investigated
every lead they had on him and could find no evidence to link him to Wilberger.
Afterwards, Kim's bail was reduced over tenfold.
In May 2005, investigators
announced that they were looking for a green 1997 Dodge Caravan which may be
involved in Wilberger's case. Investigators believe it may be owned by a "person
of interest" in her abduction. On the day Wilberger vanished, a man who
identified himself as Brian called 911 on his cellular phone to report that such
a vehicle was speeding and driving erratically. Authorities appealed in the
press for Brian to identify himself and come forward for questioning.
In a
surprise move in August 2005, over a year after Wilberger's disappearance,
authorities charged Joel Patrick Courtney with rape, sodomy, sexual abuse,
kidnapping, and aggravated murder in connection with her disappearance.
Courtney, who is married with three children, has a history of drug and alcohol
abuse and possible mental illness, and a criminal record, including sex
offenses, drug offenses, and assaults, which dates back at least twenty years.
He is currently incarcerated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, awaiting trial for
kidnapping and raping a foreign exchange student at the University of New
Mexico. The incident occurred six months after Wilberger vanished and reportedly
the circumstances are remarkably similar to Wilberger's abduction.
photograph of Courtney is posted below this case summary. He was supposed to be
in court on a drunken driving case the morning Wilberger vanished, but never
arrived. Authorities announced that they had located the Dodge Caravan they were
seeking and had tied it to Courtney; they did not state what, if any, evidence
was uncovered inside the vehicle. Wilberger's remains have not been located, but
they believe there is enough evidence to convict Courtney. He could face the
death penalty.
Wilberger's loved ones say she is a responsible, studious
person and would not leave without telling anyone. She is a devoted member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more often known as the
Mormons, and does not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illicit drugs. Her
longtime boyfriend was on a religious mission trip to Venezuela in May 2004.
Wilberger is a native of Eugene, Oregon and her parents live in Vaneta,
Oregon. She is a graduate of Elmira High School and played soccer and ran track
there. Wilberger was majoring in elementary education at college, specializing
in speech pathology, and was a B student her first year. She worked to help pay
for her education. Foul play is suspected in Wilberger's case due to the
circumstances involved.
Left: Wilberger's sweatshirt; Right:

Investigating Agency If you have any information concerning this
case, please contact: Corvallis Police Department 877-367-2270 OR 541-766-3522

Brooke's website:
A poster of Brooke is available at

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