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Today, Erin Kay Pospisil of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, would have celebrated her 30th birthday. She has now missed 15 Christmases and 15 birthdays and has been gone for as many years as she was here.
This year, instead of a balloon release to celebrate her birthday, her family will mark her absence by helping local students give back to those in need.
The Pospisils hope to help raise funds for Metro High School – the same school Erin attended – so students may attend a service trip to South Dakota’s Oglala Lakota Nation reservation. There, the group will help repair buildings and outdoor facilities while being fully immersed in this near-Third World culture.
The Pospisils will host the fundraiser from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at The Quarter Barrel, a restaurant, microbrewery and quarter arcade at 616 2nd Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids.
The event is open to the public.
Metro’s cost to send each student is $499, and the school is working with Re-Member, a South Dakota based organization that seeks to improve the quality of reservation life for the Oglala Lakota Indian community. The Pospisils hope those attending the April 17 event will commemorate Erin’s 30th birthday by contributing $30 or more toward the school’s service trip project.
Erin was last seen alive on Sunday, June 3, 2001, when she left her home with Curtis Padgett, a friend of her older brother, who’d agreed to give her a ride to her friend Brit’s home. Brit and Erin had planing on watching movies or going to the theatre.
Padgett is the last known person to see Erin alive. He told police that when they arrived at Brit’s home in the 1500 block of Second Ave. SE, that Erin went up to the door and knocked but nobody answered. He said as Erin walked back toward his truck, an early ’90s model black Chevrolet Cavalier with tinted rear windows pulled up to the curb, and Erin went up to the car and had a short conversation with someone in the vehicle.
Padgett said Erin told her “These guys will give me a ride,” and that she’d then climbed into the Cavalier’s back seat.
Despite a massive search for Erin, no one in the area recalled seeing any black Cavalier, and no one recalled seeing Padgett’s pickup pull up to Brit’s home or saw Erin walk up to the door and knock. There is no concrete evidence to suggest Padgett ever took Erin to Brit’s home.
Six years later, Padgett’s name was back in the news after Dennis Lee First, 64, was stabbed and beaten to death Friday, May 11, 2007, in his 2249 C St. SW Cedar Rapids apartment. Padgett lived right next door to First and allegedly was the last known person to have seen First alive. First’s case also remains unsolved.
Information about Erin’s unsolved disappearance is needed. If you know anything about what may have happened to her, please contact Det. DeVore at the Cedar Rapids Police Department at (319) 286-5350.