Elizabeth Syperda

Elizabeth Syperda (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Elizabeth Nicole Forshee-Syperda

Missing Person — Homicide Strongly Suspected

Age at Report: 22
DOB: May 13, 1978
Weight: 150 lbs.
Height: 5′ 04″
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Incident Type: Endangered / physical
Missing From: Mount Pleasant, IA
Henry County
Investigating Agency: Mt. Pleasant Police Department
Case #: 00-4376
NCIC #: M-670900255
NamUs MP # 398
Last Seen Alive: July 16, 2000

Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Elizabeth Syperda was last seen by her roommate at their East Madison Street apartment in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, 2000, when the roommate left to go to work. When the roommate returned at 4:00 a.m. the following morning, Elizabeth was gone, though she did not have access to a car and all her personal belongings were left behind.

Henry County in Iowa
Henry County in Iowa
Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant in Henry County

The door was locked from the outside, leaving investigators to initially believe she left the apartment voluntarily.

She’d been living apart from her husband of two years at the time she went missing.

Syperda never claimed her paycheck from her employer, and there has been no activity on her bank account since the night she disappeared.

One month before Syperda vanished, her estranged husband, Michael Syperda, had been arrested for assaulting both his wife and her roommate. The court immediately put a protection order in place.

In November 2000 — four months after Liz went missing — Michael Syperda pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and domestic abuse assault stemming from the June assault. He received a suspended prison sentence and was placed on probation for five years.

Though authorities could not find any evidence of foul play in her disappearance, Elizabeth’s family is convinced her husband — whom they describe as dangerous and violent — murdered her.

Elizabeth Syperda

Elizabeth Syperda

Michael Syperda stopped talking to police soon after the investigation began and also refused to take a polygraph (lie detector) test. He eventually moved to Colorado.

Liz was just 14 when she first met Michael and his wife in Truckee, Calif., and began babysitting their daughter. Two years later, she’d moved with the couple to Winfield to serve as a live-in-babysitter. After the couple divorced, Michael and Liz eventually married, but she left after he allegedly became physically abusive.

Elizabeth has been described as a 5-foot-4 white female with naturally curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and weighing about 150 pounds.

Her ears are pierced multiple times, and her tongue and left nipple are also pierced. A heart tattoo encircles her navel. She was last seen wearing a t-shirt, black jeans, a diamond and emerald ring, a wedding ring and a diamond “Year 2000” necklace.

Mother holds out hope of solving disappearance

Elizabeth’s mother, Donna Forshee, of Sacramento, Calif., remains determined to keep a light on for her daughter’s return.

In a Hawk Eye article published Friday, July 15, 2010, Donna Forshee said that every year she makes a trek to Mount Pleasant to raise awareness that “Liz” is still missing. She stays in close contact with local law enforcement in efforts to get the latest information about her daughter’s case.

2010-7-15-hawk-eye-elizabeth-syperda-billboard-john-lovrettaCourtesy photo John Lovretta / The Hawk Eye
This billboard near New London announced a $20,000 reward for information about Elizabeth Nicole Forshee-Syperda’s whereabouts.

In 2010, Forshee paid for a billboard on U.S. 34 between Danville and New London, announcing a $20,000 reward for information about Liz and seeking information that might lead to her daughter’s whereabouts or fate. She also planned an informal gathering at the Mount Pleasant square for Saturday, July 16, 2010, stating that its purpose was “to raise awareness that Liz is still missing and that we still need help from people to help locate her and possibly bring people to justice.”

Her son, Michael Forshee, accompanied her on the trip.

Forshee said she suspects her daughter may have met a tragic death, but is optimistic they’ll eventually find her.

“Someone back there knows what happened to her, and I hope that our presence would spark a recollection,” she said during a phone conversation with the Hawk Eye from her California home Wednesday, July 13, 2010. “My hope is to find Liz, that’s my whole focus. The reason for doing this is to find her.”

Lt. Ron Archer of the Mount Pleasant Police Department told the Hawk Eye the case remains open, although he has not received any new leads. He said Michael Syperda has not been ruled out as a suspect.

Donna Forshee has her theories about what might have happened.

“My assumption is that he called her and enticed her somehow to come out of the apartment and meet him,” Forshee told the Hawk Eye for the July 2010 story. “Then, they got into a fight and something happened during that night.”

Elizabeth Forshee-Syperda remains listed as missing and endangered, which the Iowa Department of Public Safety classifies as a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety is in danger.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Elizabeth Syperda’s unsolved disappearance, please contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department at (319) 385-1450.

  • Iowa Department of Public Safety Missing Person Information Clearinghouse
  • Mount Pleasant Police Department
  • National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
  • The Charley Project
  • The Doe Network
  • “Henry County remains are from adult woman,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 13, 2012
  • “Remains could end uncertainty,” The Associated Press / The Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 20, 2012
  • “Discovery of remains spurs M.P. speculation: As investigation starts, police chief notes two women still missing,” by John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, March 20, 2012
  • “Chief: Remains could be 1 of 2 missing women,” The Associated Press / Quad-City Times, Monday, March 19, 2012
  • “Human remains found in ditch could be one of two missing Iowa women, police say: Autopsy will determine if remains are those of Douthart or Syperda,” The Associated Press, March 19, 2012
  • “Mother still hopes to solve disappearance,” by John Mangolonzo, The Hawk Eye, July 15, 2010
  • “Vigil renews hope,” by John Mangalonzo, The Hawk Eye, July 13, 2007
  • “Officer seeks truth in Syperda case,” by Jeff Abell, The Hawk Eye, July 20, 2006
  • “Syperda vigil today,” The Hawk Eye, July 16, 2006
  • “Syperda missing five years,” by Jeff Abell, The Hawk Eye, July 17, 2005
  • “Questions remain,” by Dorothy de Souza Guedes, The Hawk Eye, August 1, 2004
  • “Area missing person cases listed online,” The Hawk Eye, August 1, 2004
  • “Friends, family gather to recall missing woman,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Monday, July 19, 2004
  • “Four years later, Syperda still missing,” by Dorothy de Souza Guedes, The Hawk Eye, July 18, 2004
  • “Family convinced Syperda was killed,” by Kiley Miller, The Hawk Eye, July 18, 2003
  • “Syperda brief,” The Hawk Eye, July 16, 2003
  • “REGIONAL ROUNDUP: Probation for man in domestic assault,” The Associated Press and Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 11, 2000


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3 Responses to Elizabeth Syperda

  1. andrea says:

    On June 9, 2012, the “post independent” of Colorado reported:

    “Assault: Deputies responded to a disturbance at a residence in the 3200 mile of County Road 114 near Glenwood Springs at 5:30 p.m. on May 28. Angela Sharee Ockerhausen-Moore, 49, of Glenwood Springs was cited for assault and obstruction of telephone service. Michael Syperda, 47, of Glenwood Springs was cited for assault. Both were booked into the county jail.”

    I wonder if it is the same person.

  2. Not Sure says:

    I still have suspicion her remains could have been buried under where they built the new HWY 34. It was under contraction at the time and completed shortly thereafter she went missing.

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