It’s been 20 years since a Rainier, Oregon, woman disappeared without explanation, but her daughter and mother are still holding out hope to find her.
“I’ll never give up hope,” Jessica Borreson said recently of the search for her mother, Teresa Davidson, who was last seen in October 1999. “My mom was my best friend. My mom was my rock. … I just can’t bear myself to give up hope. I’ve read stories about how missing people have been found 35 years later.”
Oregon State Police Capt. Tim Fox said Thursday that Davidson’s disappearance is still an open investigation. He said he had no further information on the case to share.
“I wish I did,” Fox said in an email.
Borreson said it feels like she’s “getting nowhere” with detectives. She and her grandmother, Evon Riesch, have reached out to news media and social media and written letters to state congressmen and senators to spread her mother’s story and recruit helpers to try to find her.
“This is my only child,” Riesch said. “We’ve done everything that we could think of, and we just want to find her, find out what happened to her, when, why, anything. … Being 78 years old, I have emphysema and COPD. I would love dearly, if anything, to know exactly what happened to her before anything happens to me.”
Teresa Davidson was last seen in her Rainier home on Oct. 7, 1999. She’d come home that day after dropping Borreson, then 13, off at a relative’s house in Rainier. She saw her husband Richard Murphy, who said he was leaving for a weekend camping trip. Davidson did not take any personal belongings and left her pickup at her house with the keys in the ignition, according to the Oregon State Police.
Davidson was supposed to pick Borreson up from the relative’s house, but she never came back, Riesch said. At the time she disappeared, Davidson was 6 feet tall, 130 pounds, with blue eyes and long brown hair. She would now be 55.
A few days after her disappearance, Murphy reported a .45-caliber handgun missing from the residence. (That gun is a 1991 Colt 1911 A1 .45-caliber, serial number 2757178.)
In 2001, the Oregon State Police reported Davidson was likely dead: “All indications are that it appears Teresa Davidson has most likely met with foul play,” Detective Jeff Hershman said.
He cited the fact that Davidson left behind a large amount of money in her bank account, a house she owned that was foreclosed on after she disappeared, and most critically, her two children with whom she’s had no contact since disappearing.
Davidson was described as an “extremely devoted mother” who would not have left her kids behind, Hershman said.
Borreson, now 33, lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and is a customer service manager at Walmart. She said she was extremely close with her mother: “I was basically like her little shadow.”
“My mom was an amazing person,” Borreson said. “She did whatever she had to do to make sure my brother and I were taken care of. She was there for me. … She was a hard worker, she was caring. She would go the extra mile for a person she didn’t even know.”
Riesch, who lives in Umpire, Arkansas, said the two were “like glue,” and that Davidson wouldn’t have left her daughter for anything.
And Borreson said she dreads the anniversary of her mother’s disappearance.
“I hate it,” she said. “It’s frustrating. It’s heartbreaking. I can’t even put words to it … I think the worst part about everything is not knowing.”
Anyone with information about the case can reach Oregon State Police headquarters at 503-378-3720.