Kelli Cribbs Abad, was reported missing October 26, 2011 from the Kadena Air Base in Japan. Abad had been living in Japan with her husband who was serving in the U.S. Air Force and two children for three years. Before that they were stationed at Edwards Air Force Base.
Vince Abad told CNN the couple had fought over the telephone the night of her disappearance, and he had gone to see a pastor who had helped the couple in the past. When he got back home, the children were in bed asleep and Kelli was gone. He thought she had gone to stay with a friend and didn’t look for her or call or even report her missing. When she didn’t return the following day he called the police.
It seems odd that Kelli would leave a 4-year-old and 22-month-old baby alone and drive off. It is even stranger that her husband didn’t think it was an unusual thing for her to do either.
Once she was reported missing, Japanese authorities searched the area by land, air and sea, and even caves, but nothing was found. Then three days later her green Toyota SUV was found at Cape Zanpa on the island of Okinawa, about ten miles from the base.
There were no signs of struggle, no indication of an abduction. Inside the car was her wallet, identification, wedding ring, carneys, phone and purse and a note. It said, ‘Love my kids, love my hubby and parents. Bye.’
Kelli’s husband, Tech. Sgt. Vince Abad, said that it may have been a suicide note, and Air Force investigators have said the evidence support that theory, reports the Air Force Times.
I suppose you could see it that way, but why would that be the conclusion? Most families of missing people are positive their loved one would never commit suicide and besides that they want the authorities to keep searching, so rarely will they conclude that is what happened. Families will insist that is not what their loved one would do.
Kelli had two beautiful kids, talked with her parents frequently, and friends, so it is hard to understand why she one day just decide after an argument she was going to leave all that behind and commit suicide and cause so much heartache for her family.
Janice Cribs, tells Stars and Stripes that she talked with Kelli on the phone the morning before she went missing and at that time she asked her for warm winter clothes because she believed their next duty station would be in a colder state.
“There was no indication that Kelli was about to commit suicide,” Janice said.
Janice Cribbs, Kelli’s mother has been trying for years to find answers. She filed Freedom of Information Act requests that were never answered, she wrote to her congressman and the Air Force and even a Japanese consulate and Inspector General, but to no avail. Janice also has many questions about the investigation, like was there any surveillance video looked at or why was the search not continued after Kelli’s car was found.
News coverage in 2014 on Kelli’s case.
Janice has a Facebook page for her missing daughter and welcomes any clues or suggestions.
Kelli has brown hair that had blonde highlights in it at the time she went missing. She has a scar under neck, near thyroid. Large abdominal scar from prior sugery (tumor removal). Burn scar on upper arm in bicep area — most likely left arm. She has a tattoo on upper center of back which reads “REDNECK ANGEL” and a tattoo of a large gothic rose with vines on right hip, extending into abdomen.
If you have any information about Kelli, please contact Donald Day at 098-961-5300 or if you want to remain anonymous, contact MPofA.