Realizing that a family member or a close friend has gone missing is one of the worst situations imaginable. The nagging uncertainty over where they are—and what could have happened to them—just further proves how crucial it is to trace their whereabouts and bring them home safely.
No one knew that better than Brooke Farthing’s family and friends. A recent high school graduate, Brooke was excited to enjoy her summer break before she went off to college. One evening, she attended a house party with some friends. Early the next morning, however, a small blaze broke out at the house—and Brooke was nowhere to be found…
Brooke Farthing of Berea, Kentucky, was like any other teen. She loved spending time with her friends and family, and she was known as an avid baker. In June 2013, however, Brooke suddenly vanished without a trace.
Brooke was a typical 18-year-old girl. She was thrilled to finally graduate high school and enjoy a few carefree months of partying and spending time with her friends before heading off to college in the fall.
She had also recently split with her fiancé, and she was looking forward to enjoying her new single life. Little did she know, a party she was about to attend would change that life forever…
Just a few days after her graduation ceremony, Brooke and her younger sister, Paige, were scheduled to take their driver license tests. They were excited to be able to hit the open road without the accompaniment of an adult.
Brooke aced her exam, and she was looking forward to acquiring her father’s Ford Ranger as he’d promised. Luck wasn’t on Paige’s side, however; she failed her test. To raise her spirits, Brooke decided to bring her little sister to a party that evening along with their cousin.
Even though the driver’s test didn’t go according to plan for Paige, the two girls were excited to celebrate with friends. It was summertime, and the sisters were determined to make the most of the night no matter what.
Before the sisters headed to the house party, they stopped at their grandfather’s 70th birthday celebration. The family and friends they saw there had no idea that it’d be the last time they saw Brooke…
Shortly after, the girls arrived at the house party. It was crowded, but everyone was enjoying the warm summer night. Paige and the sisters’ cousin, however, decided not to stay for too long.
Brooke planned to sleep at a close friend’s house that night, so she didn’t mind that her sister and cousin left early. However, Brooke and her friend got into a heated argument, and her friend stormed off, leaving Brooke alone at the party.
Soon after, a male friend of Brooke’s needed a ride home because he drank too much. Brooke offered to borrow the party host’s car and drive him back as long as she returned immediately. Excited about her new driver’s license, she happily agreed.
Brooke returned to the party after dropping off her friend, but she came to a disappointing realization: the friend she’d just brought home was the last person she knew relatively well. She was alone at the party, and she soon became concerned for her safety.
It was now 4 a.m. She pulled out her phone and texted the only person she knew who’d be willing to make the journey to pick her up at that late hour: her ex-fiancé. Even though they’d broken up, they were still on good terms, and it was his friend who was hosting the party, after all.
Her ex-fiancé agreed to make the trip to the house, but she’d have to wait until 6 a.m. since that was when he would be able to leave his shift at work. The only thing she could do at that point was to settle in and hope that the time passed quickly.
Brooke continued to text her friends for another hour or so, keeping in touch while she waited for her ex-fiancé. Then, at 5:30 a.m., Brooke suddenly seemed to want to stay at the party. She sent a text to her ex-fiancé that read, “Never mind, I’m okay. I’m going to a party in Rockcastle County.” What made her suddenly change her mind?
Not long after she sent this text message, the host of the party stepped out briefly; he needed to go to the ranch behind his house and move several of the horses his family owned out of their stables and into a field. As he was leaving, he noticed Brooke sitting on a couch and smoking a cigarette; she was the only one left by that time.
When the host returned a short while later, he was horrified to see smoke and flames billowing out of his windows. He had no idea what happened, but he immediately phoned firefighters who quickly showed up and put out the blaze.
Luckily, the fire didn’t cause too much damage, but after things had finally calmed down, there was no sign of Brooke anywhere. As the firefighters were clearing out some charred remains, they found the couch Brooke was sitting on when the host left. But where was she?
Brooke left behind her purse, boots, and some of her clothing, but she herself had vanished. The last place cell phone records placed her was 30 miles away from the party. Over the next several weeks, police, volunteers, and dogs searched three counties for Brooke, but to no avail.
Years later, no one is any closer to finding out what actually happened. Police believe the final text sent to her ex-fiancé was actually sent by someone else with… likely the one who started the fire as a distraction while they kidnapped Brooke.
Brooke is still missing to this day, and her family still hasn’t given up hope. Until they find official closure, they pray every day that a miracle will happen and they’ll see their girl again. She was an outgoing young woman with a bright future ahead of her, and she deserves to come home safely.