MYSTERY WIRE — The details in an unsolved 2006 disappearance point to murder, but the body of Maureen Fields has never been found.
Fields seemed perturbed when she showed up for work on Valentine’s Day at the Wells Fargo bank in Pahrump, Nevada. She was in the midst of a troubled 15-year marriage to Paul Fields. She told her coworkers “something’s going to happen.” The next day, she was gone.
The case has been widely reported, including a file on The Charley Project.
Maureen, 41 years old at the time, was last seen by her husband on the morning of Feb. 15, 2006. Paul Fields told police that they had a fight before she left for work. Her coworkers called him when she was late, and he alerted the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.
Police found her car a day later in Inyo County, California, stuck in the desert sand not far from Death Valley. Pahrump is about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
Maureen’s car was about 125 feet off the road, with the keys in the ignition. Her purse and wallet, including her ID and credit cards, were also in the car, along with bottles of prescription painkillers and tranquilizers. At least one of the bottles was empty, the investigation revealed.
Other details from the scene: A knotted pair of pantyhose and a blanket with traces of blood and vomit. Male DNA was also collected.
Police considered Paul Fields the prime suspect, but the DNA didn’t match, and the evidence wasn’t enough to make a case.
Six years after Maureen Fields disappeared, Lt. David Boruchowitz discovered a clerical error in the file. The DNA evidence had not been entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. When the DNA evidence went through, police got a hit.
READ: The lady vanishes
The DNA matched convicted sex offender Keith Wayne Holmes.
Holmes told police he had consensual sex with Maureen before leaving her alone in the desert. Holmes said he knew Paul Fields, but little else came out of the interview — Holmes was affected by dementia. With the opportunity to make a deathbed confession in 2014, Holmes said repeatedly, “I’m sorry.” But the reasons behind the apologies were unclear.
Paul Fields told a reporter in 2014 he thought there was something fishy about the delay in tracking the DNA, and that it eliminated the possibility of finding more physical evidence that might tie Holmes to Maureen’s death.