The following is a partial transcript of Here One Minute, Gone the Next, a Newsweek podcast, to which you can listen here:
They say that if you can’t find a body, you don’t have a crime. Unfortunately, this puts thousands of families across the country in a state of limbo because many times law enforcement is unable to dedicate the same resources to missing persons cases as they are when it’s a clear-cut killing.
In the opening season of Here One Minute, Gone the Next, we’d like to turn your attention to the disappearance of Fauna Frey, a 45-year-old woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and between 135 and 150 pounds. She was last seen in the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, June 29, 2020. She disappeared from the parking lot of a small grocery store, and her Jeep was found several months later, abandoned, and hidden deep in the forest, with many of her possessions still inside.
Fauna Frey’s dad, John Frey, has agreed to sit down with us here at Newsweek to share information that has previously been unknown to the public. Fauna Frey was traveling with thousands of dollars in silver coins. A saddlebag with her name on it was found near a park that she frequented. And why was there a box of hair dye found in her Jeep? Could Fauna Frey still be alive?
Jesse Edwards: John, why are you coming forward with this information now?
John Frey: Because it’s been three years that Fauna’s been gone. I don’t see any point in holding back information anymore. If there’s the slightest chance that a little extra information could perhaps jog somebody’s memory or get somebody to come forward with some additional information.
Jesse Edwards: Let’s talk about some of the items that people are going to be very interested in, specifically the silver coins. What’s the story behind the silver coins? Why did she have them?
John Frey: The silver coins were her brother’s when he passed. He was living in a guest house on my property. He died in the middle of the night. The medical examiner said it was major prolapse, something to do with the heart. One day, she came up to me and said she was taking the silver. She told me she was going to give it away to Dallas’ [her brother’s] friends.
Jesse Edwards: How much silver are we talking about?
John Frey: I think it was originally about $25,000, and about seven of that she left with one of Dallas’ closest friends.
Jesse Edwards: So, she still had about $18,000 in silver coins?
John Frey: Roughly, yeah.
Jesse Edwards: It’s going to be pretty heavy, too.
John Frey: Oh, I bet it weighs 40 pounds. Not something you can take a hike with. They were all the same. There’s no dates on them.
Jesse Edwards: When Fauna Frey went missing from Grants Pass, Oregon, on June 29th of 2020, her Jeep Cherokee Laredo was found deep in the woods, and invisible from the main passing logging road.
John Frey: It’s been difficult for me because there hasn’t been a crime committed. When her Jeep was first reported, we found out from a scanner page on Facebook, not from the sheriff. That night, they had it towed away. Towed to the impound yard. They looked at the site where her Jeep was found and the first thing that the sheriff told me is that he thought that she was eaten by bears.
Jesse Edwards: The Jeep was locked?
John Frey: Except I’m pretty sure that the back didn’t lock.
Jesse Edwards: What about the coins?
John Frey: She had a North Face backpack, and it was just a day pack. You might be able to get the silver in there, but nothing else. And you’re not going to take 40 pounds of silver on a hike. One theory that we had is that she ditched the Jeep there with somebody else, and then left with most of her stuff. Some stuff she chose not to take. There was a pair of shoes there that I don’t think fit her properly that she just bought.
Jesse Edwards: What was in the Jeep?
John Frey: We don’t know about all of it because the sheriff is keeping it in evidence. I specifically went to him to the evidence locker and met him there one day to check out the hair dye because I wanted to see if it was used or not, and it was not used. There was an old Lion King video cassette that I think had some sentimental value from when she was younger. A few articles of clothing, there were a pair of shoes. From what we know, there was a map there. There was the wrong map, but it sounded right. It was a Rogue River map, but it was actually for the other side of the freeway.
Jesse Edwards: Do you think she’s still alive out there?
John Frey: I don’t know. I go back and forth. We were so close that it’s hard to believe that she wouldn’t have gotten in touch with me.
Jesse Edwards: Let’s talk about the saddlebag.
John Frey: Well, we know that she was on Fish Hatchery Road because when she called me the night after she left. She talked to me about the hitchhiker, and giving her a ride. Right in that area is where the saddlebag with her name stamped on it was found. We had a sighting from reputable people who said that they saw Fauna in a white BMW coming out of a driveway on Fish Hatchery. They gave me the address and said that there were some dopers, and they were having a lot of problems with this address. I started checking the place out, so months went by, and this property changed hands twice, so it was sold to new people. The new people called us and said that the saddlebag was left there. They knew from flyers about Fauna, so they said, «this is weird.» And it was.
John Frey: On a post of a carport down on the ground, with the strap wrapped around the post, it’s the weirdest thing you ever saw. I was at this place earlier and there was garbage all over, and now the place is all cleaned up when I go back. They left the bag there. It was just so incongruous because what was this bag doing there? By itself; there was no other thing around it.
Jesse Edwards: Was there anything in it?
John Frey: There were a couple of cigarette butts in the bottom of it, and maybe some loose tobacco. I think American Spirits, and she hardly ever smoked in front of me. The big thing that comes to my mind is that it seems to be a message. This bag was cut down the middle, so it was only half of a saddlebag. It was, it was obviously repurposed as a purse.
Jesse Edwards: Big enough to carry all her silver coins?
John Frey: It was big enough where actually you could have probably fit all the coins in there.
John Frey is a man desperate to find his daughter, and he’s offering a reward of up to $100,000 for her safe return. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Fauna Frey, please call the anonymous tip line at 541-359-5638, or email FindFaunaFrey@gmail.com.