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Vanished in Shreveport: David Yeager's Story


Do you hold the key to cracking the David Yeager case? David was 17 years old when he vanished from his home in Shreveport, Louisiana on Feb. 6, 1971. His family, still searching for answers, is begging for help in this decades-old mystery.

David’s cousin, Kelly Chance, has made it her mission to find David, whether that means locating him or unraveling the tragic circumstances surrounding his disappearance.  

Shreveport Police Sgt. Richard Turpen is now the lead on David’s case. He is hoping that having David’s case back in the spotlight will help generate new information. Turpen says that trying to solve David’s case is like putting together a puzzle without all the pieces, but he has vowed to never give up.

Do you have a missing piece of this puzzle? Here’s what we know: 

  • At the time of David’s disappearance, he was living with his mother, Betty, and his younger brother on Lola Lane in Shreveport. David’s father had moved to Texas shortly after he and Betty divorced.
  • Those who knew David describe him as a kind young man who steered clear of trouble, followed the rules and shared a close bond with his mother and brother.
david's house -- one level white house with black roof and big front yard

The house David grew up in on Lola Lane. He was last seen leaving this location on Feb. 6, 1971.

  • David was a senior at C.E. Byrd High School, located at 3201 Line Ave., Shreveport. According to archival newspapers, David was a member of the Gayarre History Club, a member of the Library Club and on the school’s debate team.
black and white photo of david (wearing suit, dark hair swept to side); brick building of school; second picture of david wearing collared shirt with similar dark hair swept to side

David’s high school senior photo, Byrd H.S., and a photo from the Library Club circa 1970-1971.

  • On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 6, 1971, David’s younger brother said that David left the house on foot, supposedly heading to Centenary College located at 2911 Centenary Blvd. to attend a debate. The boys’ mother was not home at the time, leaving David to find his own way to the college. According to law enforcement, this is the last confirmed sighting of David. David left behind two hundred dollars in his bank account and his brand new senior ring. “He was so excited,” said Kelly. “His mother said David was flashing the ring all around the house. He was so proud.”
  • In 1971, hitchhiking was a common mode of transportation, and David’s family feels he might have resorted to this method to get to the debate. The distance from David’s house to Centenary College is roughly eight miles. It would have taken him three hours to walk. David’s family believes he may have arranged a ride as his brother recalled David’s confidence that day. “He was calm and had a reassurance about him that led his younger brother to believe that David was going to meet someone,” said Kelly.
  • Investigators speculate the route David would have taken: Lola Lane to Mansfield Road, then proceeding northeast toward Centenary Blvd. It is important to note that not all the highways and roads on the map below were constructed in 1971.
map of route david possible took, heading north then east from his house to the college

Map suggesting David’s route from his house to Centenary College.

  • Authorities do not know if David ever made it to the college that night and cannot confirm that there was even a debate held on Saturday, Feb. 6, 1971. It was Centenary’s Homecoming weekend, and many events were scheduled. David told his brother he was going to meet up with friends, but the identity of these friends remains unknown.
list of homecoming events on white paper in black ink

Centenary’s Homecoming Calendar from the weekend of Feb. 6, 1071.

  • David was looking forward to his own high school’s homecoming and reportedly had a new girlfriend. This is a piece of the puzzle the public may be able to assist with. Do you know who David’s girlfriend was?
  • On April 27, 1971, just four months after David was last seen, police said a 16-year-old girl named Kathy claimed to have seen David in Columbia Park in Shreveport. According to her account, the young man she ran into told her he was living in Natchitoches and was headed to New Orleans/Baton Rouge. However, the credibility of this sighting remains uncertain. David’s family strongly believes he would never have willingly left on his own. “He had a good life and a family that loved him,” said Kelly. “He was happy.”
  • David’s cousin, Kelly, believes he could have encountered one of the numerous serial killers that were active in the south in the ‘70s. While investigators say they have excluded many – including John Wayne Gacy, “The Killer Clown,” and Dean Corll, “The Candy Man,” – Danny Rollings, also known as “The Gainesville Serial Killer,” could have crossed paths with David that night, but it is unknown.        
black and white photo of danny rollings as a teenager. dark hair swept to side

Photo of Danny Rollings.

  • Rollings lived fewer than three miles from David in 1971 and committed a heinous murder in 1989, fewer than .04 miles from David’s family home on Lola Lane. At the time, Rollings was only 16 years old when David vanished. Did Rollings, a future serial killer, have a connection to David’s disappearance? It is a possibility, but police have no evidence at this time that he ever did. Rollings later confessed to all of his killings before he died by lethal injection in October 2006. He never mentioned David.

David Yeager would be 70 years old today. “We always hold on to the hope that David could be alive and living somewhere,” said Sgt. Turpen. Shreveport Police (Louisiana) are asking anyone who knew David, went to school with David, may have information regarding his whereabouts or knows what may have happened to him to call them at 1-318-673-7300 or NCMEC at 1-800- 843-5678. You can remain anonymous.

View David’s missing poster here: