Taken From Inlander.Com; Written By Leah Sottile
INLANDER.COM - Jackie Forney fell asleep with a cordless phone in her hand every night for two months. And the few times it pierced the midnight quiet of her remote country home, her heart would kick-start into a flutter, and she'd jerk the handset up to her ear before the end of the first ring. In the split second before she hit the plastic TALK button, she would feel reality slow to a stop, like time itself was holding its breath.
For months she collapsed onto the green-and-lavender quilt covering her double bed, still dressed in her jeans and sweatshirt, makeup smudged under her eyes, her graying hair in a messy ponytail. But the phone was always in her hand. She prayed for the one call that could end this nightmare for good.
For three years, she's been waiting for her daughter, Heather Higgins, to call her and tell her exactly how she could just vanish from the face of the Earth without a trace.
If Forney tries hard enough, she can almost hear her daughter's voice on the other end of the line: "Hi, Mom. It's me." As she lay awake at night, Forney rehearsed what she would say first: "Where are you? Are you hurt? Is someone listening?"
If only she would call. At least, then, Forney would know that her daughter — now 42 years old and, as of this week, missing for three years — was alive.
Forney still has hope that her daughter will come home and has spent every day obsessing over the details of her strange disappearance, fighting the nagging reality that she might not see her again.
"That's the last thing you can think about because it hurts too bad," Forney says.
While local law enforcement says that most missing-persons cases resolve themselves in a matter of hours, there are rare instances when people seem to vanish into thin air. Over decades, there have been dozens of such cases across the Inland Northwest. Among them:
Kathryn Gregory, a 24-year-old, clean-living Deaconess Medical Center nurse who never showed up for her 1 pm shift on Nov. 4, 1981. Two days after her disappearance, her car was found at Monroe and Fifth — a place co-workers say she would have never parked due to heightened fears of the South Hill rapist at that time.
Deborah Sykes, a 38-year-old mother and hard drinker who liked to hop on the back of her friends' motorcycles and appeared to simply walk out of her Rathdrum, Idaho, home on Feb. 13, 2005.
Angel Wilson, a 17-year-old with a history of running away. She left the house she shared with her husband in August 2007 and hasn't been seen or heard from since.
And then there is Forney's daughter, Heather Higgins, a 39-year-old Eastern Washington University student who disappeared in September 2010.
CLICK HERE to read full article from "The Inlander," written by Leah Sottile