Part 3: Caylor's wife missing 19 years

Editor's note: This is the third and final part in a series of a Lindsay native who is the "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance 19 years ago, unless police manage to break the case.

Other papers pick

up the story

Jule A. Caylor, a Libertarian hopeful for the Utah Legislature, withdrew his candidacy on Saturday, April 17, following reports that he is under investigation for possible connection to the 1985 disappearance of his former wife in California.

"Caylor, 66, was unavailable for comment Saturday evening. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence and, in previous interviews, had said he had no intention of dropping out of the race for House District 47," ran a story in the Salt Lake Tribune on April 18 by Tribune reporter Kirsten Stewart. Stewart had picked up the story from the a five-part series run in the Contra Costa Times by reporter Joan Morris March 14-18, and a three part series in early April when she discovered Caylor was running for the Utah Legislature. Stewart did her own three-part series in the Tribune.

"Caylor says the only problem with his marriage was Dottie's 'unstable' mental health, but he admits to an engagement to another woman six months before Dottie went missing. Third District Court records in Salt Lake show that Jule and Dottie Caylor were officially divorced Jan. 7, 2003." Stewart wrote. She quoted Caylor as saying, "It is a travesty that my family and I are being made to suffer again for this matter long past," although who his family is isn't clear. Caylor said he never remarried, but is listed in Utah state motor vehicle records as sharing his West Jordan, Utah residence with a woman. He gave the reason for the divorce as "willful disertion," by the wife noe one has seen in 19 years.

"He decided it was not in the best interest of his family because of the harassment he received from you guys, the local paper (in Utah) and USA Today," said Fran Tully, Salt Lake County chairman for the Utah Libertarian party. The party will be unable to field a candidate in that district because the deadline for filing candidate papers with the state has passed. The seat is now held by a Republican who is a neighbor of Caylor's.

Caylor retired in January from the U.S. Forest Service where he worked for 33 years in remote sensing.

In mid-June 1985, Dottie, then 41, disappeared from her Concord, Calif. home. The Caylors had a stormy 10-year marriage, and with Jule Caylor moving to Salt Lake City for a new job with the U.S. Forest Service, Dottie had planned to remain in their Concord, Calif. home and pursue a divorce.

Caylor told police he had taken Dottie to the Pleasant Hill BART station on June 12, 1985, and had not seen her again. He said he found her blue Volkswagen parked alongside his car the next day at the Concord BART station, and that he found Dottie's purse and car keys inside her locked car.

Over the next few days, Caylor repainted the interior of the house, poured a concrete patio and hired a real estate agent to find a renter for the home. He also packed up the couple's belongings, 'filled a large dumpster with debris, and made at least one trip to his parents' home in Lindsay. After five days, Caylor reported Dottie missing to BART police, who then contacted the Concord police.

In the 19 years since she vanished, none of Dottie's friends or family has heard from her. She left behind all of her belongings, a $5,000 cashier's check, and money in a secret bank account she opened not long before she disappeared.

This past April Concord police returned to the Caylor home and employed ground-penetrating radar to probe a concrete patio purportedly poured by Caylor around the time of Dottie's disappearance. Police also used the device on the back yard of the 48-year-old home, which Caylor still owns. Detectives were waiting for a report from the geophysical firm that conducted the tests, but preliminary results indicated nothing that would warrant excavation.

In addition, portions of the home's interior were tested for forensic evidence. Police said the focus of the investigation now will shift elsewhere, but they did not specify their next step.

Sgt. Judy Moore of Concord's Crimes Against Persons Unit said there were small areas that still needed more investigation, but she said she doesn't anticipate digging in the back yard or excavating the patio.

"This (exploration of the back yard and house) was something that came up due to the Times<$> articles and calls to our tip line," Moore said. "We had to look into it. We had to check it out. But this isn't the end of it. We'll keep investigating."

Diane Rusnak, Dottie's sister who lives in the East Bay, said she believes the reason Jule didn't do anything with the properties he and Dottie had in common was that, "He didn't want to rock the boat." She said the Concord house has been rented at "under market value all these years," which she just recently checked out.

Rusnak is upset that the case, which she said has been on Unsolved Mysteries "hundreds of times" got the cars wrong. "Both cars are Volkswagens. His is bright red. Her's is light blue and much older." Her memories are still fresh.

"It doesn't help that the actress they used didn't look anything like Dottie," she added. She was also frustrated that Jule Caylor had refused to take a lie detector test, but had written a 12-page letter to justify his refusal. She said Jule has serious control issues.

Rusnak wasn't convinced Jule would have called anyone at all about the disappearance if she and a half dozen of Dottie's women friends hadn't been calling because Dottie, who suffered from agoraphobia, was especially distressed at the recent death of her dog.

Dissatisfied with police efforts, Rusnak involved private investigator Fracie Koehler who said she has been working the case pro bono for 19 years. She was a novice when the case first started and now has her own company, Special Circumstances. Koehler showed up in Lindsay a few weeks back, checking out LHS school yearbooks and asking questions about Jule. She hopes anyone with information will contact her at 510-772-5512.

Rusnak has also hired attorneys. In June she is going to court to take legal steps to get whatever was in Dottie's name. "I'm going to ask the judge to make me an administrator," she said.

Concord Police ask anyone with information on Dottie Caylor's disappearance, even if the information is 19 years old, to call them at 925-603-5836.

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