Dateline NBC spotlights cold case of Sonoma County native Amanda Fravel’s 1986 disappearance in Las Vegas

No one has seen Amanda Fravel in 36 years. The Sonoma County native was 20 years old when she disappeared on June 13, 1986, while hitchhiking in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s a case that’s gone cold for more than three decades. Now,investigative newsmagazine Dateline NBC is hoping to rekindle some interest in Fravel’s disappearance, recently giving the case a spotlight on its website and interviewing family members who are hoping for some closure on the mystery.

Amanda and her younger sister, Melisa Fravel, grew up in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, where Melisa said the two were close-knit, despite being raised in a “rocky” environment.

According to the Dateline article, Fravel’s parents struggled with alcohol addiction and divorced when the girls were young. After living with her father and stepmother in Santa Rosa, Fravel was kicked out of the house and moved to Gilroy to live with her mother at age 16.

Described in the Dateline article as a “rebellious teenager” by stepfather Tom Davis, Fravel moved to Las Vegas with a girlfriend from Santa Rosa in April 1986. There, she worked at a Taco Bell.

A planned visit home after months away never happened.

Davis told Dateline that Fravel was due to arrive in San Jose on June 14, 1986, but never showed up. The family initially thought she had changed her mind about seeing them, but after a week of no communication, they began to worry.

This is where the case grows cold.

Las Vegas Metro Police Department at the time could only confirm that Fravel was last seen by a friend, an older man whom she was supposedly roommates with. Her friends said Fravel was going to hitchhike across town to see her boyfriend before leaving for California, but police could not confirm the boyfriend’s name or address. No other witnesses could help police track Fravel down. The department’s current public information officer who spoke with Dateline for the new article, said that authorities do suspect foul play in her disappearance.

⁠ Fravel — who would be 56 years old today⁠ — was 5’5” and 110 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She has brown hair, green eyes and a tattoo of a rose on her left hand. Anyone with information on Fravel’s disappearance is asked to contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 800-492-6565.

For more information and to read the full Dateline article, go to

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