Audrey Dill

Audrey Eileen Watson Dill (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Audrey Eileen (Watson) Dill

Missing Person

Name: Audrey Eileen (Watson) Dill
DOB: April 8, 1946
Age at Report: 32
Weight: 110 lbs.
Height: 5’03”
Race: White
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Sex: Female
Incident Type: Involuntary disappearance
Des Moines County
Investigating Agency: Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office
Reported Missing: August 18, 1978
Case Number: 78-10307 File #1454
NamUs MP # 17034
Estimated Date of Death: August 15, 1978


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing
Des Moines County in Iowa
Des Moines County in Iowa
Mediapolis in Des Moines CountyMediapolis in Des Moines County

Audrey “Eileen” (Watson) Dill, 32, of Mediapolis, Iowa, was reported missing to the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office in Burlington on Friday, August 18, 1978.

She was last seen at her Mediapolis residence wearing blue jeans and a blouse, and described as a 5-foot-3 white female with brown hair, blue eyes, and weighing 110 pounds.

Officials classified her disappearance as “Involuntary,” which describes a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating the disappearance was not voluntary — i.e. an abduction or kidnapping.

Petition for Conservatorship Filed

Though officials suspected foul play in Eileen’s disappearance, her mother, Marion Edith Watson, held out hope her daughter would return.

Two months after Eileen went missing, Mrs. Watson filed a petition in the Iowa District Court for Henry County to be named conservator over all property belonging to her daughter. If Eileen was still alive, the notice to appear might prove effective in drawing her daughter home.

The original notice of intent for Probate No. 14410 was published in area newspapers on Oct. 19, Oct. 26, and Nov. 2, 1978. Unless Eileen or her attorney appeared in court to defend and or dispute the petition by Nov. 22, 1978, conservatorship over all Eileen’s property would be granted to her mother.

Courtesy Meyahna
In October 1978, Eileen Dill’s mother petitioned the court for conservatorship over all her daughter’s belongings in hopes that Eileen, if still alive, would return.

Eileen did not appear in court and later was presumed deceased.

The United States Social Security Death Index lists Audrey Eileen Dill’s date of death as Tuesday, August 15, 1978.

According to the NamUs Missing Persons Database, dental information and charting is available and entered in Ms. Dill’s case.

A DNA sample has been submitted and tests are complete.

About Eileen Dill

Audrey Eileen (Watson) Dill was born April 8, 1946, to Virgil “Everett” and Marion Edith (Garmoe) Watson.

In addition to her parents, she was survived by her 2-year-old daughter, Mindy, two brothers, Dean and Virgil “Allen” Watson, and two sisters, Marilyn Jean and Cheryl.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Lois Elizabeth Watson.

Eileen’s sister Marilyn Jean passed away in July 2000.

Eileen’s father died in May 2005, and her brother Virgil “Allen” passed away in August 2012.

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Audrey Eileen Watson Dill’s mysterious disappearance and/or death, please contact Det. Eric Blodgett at the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office at 319-753-8212 or the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-346-5507.

You may also contact Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form or our Anonymous Tip Form.


16 Responses to Audrey Dill

  1. Cheryl Sanders says:

    You don’t have the correct date Audrey Eileen Dill was reported missing. She disappeared in the 1970’s. She is my sister.

  2. Jody Ewing says:

    Dear Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for contacting us about your missing sister, Audrey, and for clarifying the date. In cases like these — where we have so little information and what we do have appears to be the same erroneous information reprinted across the Internet — it helps enormously to hear from one of the victim’s family members.

    Would it be possible for you to send me the correct details and information about Audrey’s case, and (if at all possible) to send me a better photo of your sister that we may use on her case summary page? (Full credit will be provided to you for any photos you let us use.)

    If you’d like to include additional details about your sister’s case such as the circumstances under which she went missing (and whether there were any immediate suspects or persons of interest) I will get that added to Audrey’s page as soon as I receive it. You may send it directly to

    Watching months and then years pass after Audrey’s disappearance, I can’t begin to imagine how difficult the “not knowing” must be for you and your family.

    You are in my thoughts.

    Thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    All best,


  3. Karen Kay Shull/Watson says:

    I would like to make a comment. I am Eileen’s first cousin. My name is Karen K. Watson/Shull. The comment I would like to make is that Eileen goes by the the name of Eileen, The other name you are using is her middle name ONLY. Her name before she got married the first time was “Watson”. Eileen is my first cousin.
    I want to know what happened to her. Has the detective agency on this case had any hits at all????
    Her name is Eileen A. Watson (maiden name)
    Have you found anything????

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Dear Karen,

      Thanks so much for your comment, and please accept our condolences on your cousin’s unsolved disappearance.

      I must admit, what little information we have about her is confusing at best. Her sister, Cheryl Sanders, had written back in January and said we had the incorrect date — she stated her sister disappeared in the 1970s, not 1994 — but then when I responded and asked for the correct date in the 70s, she didn’t respond. Also, she referred to her sister as “Audrey Eileen Dill.”

      Now, you are telling us it was Eileen Audrey, not Audrey Eileen, and that her last name should be listed as Watson, not Dill. I realize now that Watson was her maiden name, but was she divorced at the time she went missing? If so, had she taken back her maiden name?

      I’ve made some of the changes to her page, but have included both surnames in the event someone looks for her under Dill rather than Watson. And, other than the information provided on the State’s MPIC site, we still have no official “missing” date other than the one they have listed.

      If you have any other information you could provide to us for her page, it would be most helpful. Perhaps we’ll be able to find more under her maiden name, as that was something we didn’t have before.

      I’m not sure whether any new leads have been reported to the investigating agency, but you could contact them (the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office) and inquire as to whether they have anything new to report.

      Thank you again for contacting us, and we look forward to receiving any new information you might be able to provide, including any photos.

      All best,

      Jody Ewing

  4. Jody Ewing says:

    Thanks go out to Meyahna for sending along the conservatorship notice on Audrey Dill and also alerting us to Audrey’s now-updated page (with the revised missing date) on the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse site. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

  5. karen kay shull/watson says:


    Do you know Eileen’s home address at the time she went missing? I just wondered if she still lived at her mom’s Marion house at that time. I am just wondering.

    Eileen’s first cousin

  6. karen kay shull/watson says:

    Did Eileen’s mom Marion Watson have any contact with her in a few days before Eileen went missing???

  7. tina says:

    have any family members done any investigating on her? any info at all…

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Tina, some of the family members must have gotten involved because NamUs now shows that dental charting information has been entered, and that tests are also complete on a submitted DNA sample.

      This doesn’t necessarily mean they have the victim’s DNA on file, but that either siblings or the victim’s parents provided DNA samples for comparison should Eileen’s remains ever be found. Mitochondrial DNA (which comes from one’s mother) is passed down to all her children, and testing the sequence of mitochondrial DNA in siblings will show if they are biologically related via the maternal line. With nuclear DNA, a person inherits half from his/her father and half from his/her mother, and those samples can also be used to verify whether unidentified remains are that of one’s son or daughter.

      Either way, the DNA sample on file could help identify Audrey Eileen should she or her remains ever be recovered. Her family is to be commended for making this possible.

  8. tina says:

    A Eileen Higdon married a Stanley C. Higdon in Elko, Neveda, have one minor child when they divorced in January 1975

  9. t says:

    I still think of you Audrey

  10. t says:

    your case grabbed my eye for some reason… i still think of you… it is kinda obvious what happened to you… but there is lack of proof… rip

  11. Deidre Pearson says:

    I know Eileen’s daughter who was just a baby when she went missing. She is my cousin’s half sister .

  12. Tina says:

    “She was last seen at her residence in Mediapolis by her ex-husband.“ that is what I found out from the case detective

    • T says:

      Pretty sure her ex husband who operated backhoe equipment did it. She lived next door to her ex in laws and he was the last one to see her. I am guessing there is lack of physical evidence

  13. Sharon Cunningham says:

    Eileen was a wonderful lady! She opened a branch of our dress boutique in Mediapolis. Main store was in Burlington. Bob didn’t want a divorce. Why is there no mention of her 2 year old daughter Mindy as a survivor. Bob didn’t want to give up his daughter. Bob has passed away now and with him – his secrets. As the story goes Bob Dill passed a polygraph test but I always wondered – his line of work and past history of physical abuse in other relationships. Only the Lord knows and those responsible for this terrible tragedy will be held accountable by a higher power.

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