MAGNA, Utah – (ABC 4 News) – There are scores of missing persons cases throughout Utah but none quite like this one.
Three years ago in September a Magna wife, mother and grandmother turned up missing. Her family and detectives investigating the case say it’s as though she fell off the face of the earth.
The mystery began early on the morning of September 22, 2007 when Lark Montague backed out of her driveway, leaving behind nothing but a dent in the fence and her husband, children and grandchildren wondering what happened to her.
“It was September 21st, 2007 at nine o’clock at night was the last time I seen her," says husband Dennis Montague.
He says he had gone to bed. Lark reportedly went to a friend’s house where she stayed until after midnight. She’d been drinking.
A friend followed her home to make sure she arrived safely. But that friend would later tell police detectives that as he drove away, he noticed something strange.
"He watched her pull into the driveway and he kept going and observed the tail lights, the back-up lights had come on on the vehicle," says Unified Police Detective Mike Smith.
Lark was reportedly seen minutes later, driving past the Cypress Credit Union in downtown Magna, veering onto the curb before heading southbound on Highway 111.
She and her vehicle — a silver, 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer — had vanished. Even this veteran police detective is baffled.
"Most vehicles, even if they’re stolen, surface at some point, and there’s never been a frame or anything that surfaced with this vehicle," says Smith.
Family, friends and police started the frantic search, putting up posters, questioning practically everyone in their small town.
"We went door-to-door, all through every house in Magna," says Dennis.
A week after the disappearance, a reported citing in Wendover, Nevada. One week after that, another citing, this one at a restaurant parking lot about five miles from the Montague home. A family friend said she was certain it was Lark, now driving a Gold Toyota Corolla.
“Do you think she’s still living?" I ask Dennis. He takes a deep breath before he speaks.
"Boy, I don’t know. She was so bonded to the grandkids. That was her whole life."
A niece says she doesn’t believe Lark is still alive.
"Too many things have happened that would have brought her home,” says Cheri Reilly-Thompson. “Her son’s passing, a brand new granddaughter being born, things that just mean so much to her that they would have brought her home."
Lark’s emotionally tortured husband has filed for divorce, citing abandonment. Still, he holds on to her clothes and her personal belongings. And he holds on to hope.
"One minute, you get angry. The next minute you feel, you know, she’s gonna come home."
If you believe you have any information that may help detectives find Lark Montague, her family and loved ones and Detective Mike Smith need to hear from you.
Here’s how to contact Detective Mike Smith:
Your call or e-mail can be confidential.