The Mysterious Disappearance of Trevaline Evans
I am delighted to be publishing this article on behalf of another True Crime cold case reviewer and investigator
This article also includes an update on the original article, so do read to the end.
Just over 30 years ago, an owner of a small antiques and collectables shop in Llangollen, North Wales “just popped out” and left a note in the shop window to advise her customers that she would be back in just ‘two minutes’, but she never returned. The shop remained closed throughout the day and customers that bought small things from the bric-a-brac baskets outside the shop even put the money through the letterbox of the shop.
Mrs Evans is thought to have left the shop now as ‘Attic Antiques’ at around 12,40pm on 16th June 1990 to get a bite to eat, this is backed up by the fact that she bought an apple and a banana from a shop on the High Street and was then spotted crossing Castle Street, It was presumed that she returned to the shop at some point as a banana skin was found in the bin, but there is also a possibility that she had eaten one earlier in the day.
People who saw Trevaline on 16th June reported that she seemed happy, relaxed and had been talking of plans to go out in the evening. Several of her friends and customers had popped into the shop to chat, as was the norm when they were out shopping. Police estimated that between 0930 when Trevaline opened the shop and when she left at 12.40 approximately 30 people had been in and spoken with Mrs Evans.
A bunch of flowers that she intended to take home were found in the shop along with her jacket and handbag, I do have to ask here, would she not have taken her handbag to the shop? I don’t know, just in my mind, a lady goes to the shop, she takes her handbag.
The police treated the enquiry as a murder investigation, pretty much from the beginning, despite there being no body and no sign of attack or struggle, but it seems that with it being such an odd thing for Trevaline to do I guess it seemed logical.
No money was ever taken from her bank account and after one last confirmed sighting at 2.30pm on the same day in Market Street, very close to her home Trevaline Evans simply vanished. Her car was left parked just 30 yards or so from her shop, so this would indicate she did not leave the area by choice. Once again this seems more than a little odd as if she had used the car to drive to her shop then surely it is reasonable to assume the 52-year-old would have driven back home not walked. Keys to both her car and her home were found at the shop so how would she have got in?
Interestingly Trevaline’s husband Richard was away from home at the time, renovating their holiday bungalow in Rhuddlan, approximately 40 miles away. Trevaline had spent a few days there herself but had returned on Wednesday 13th June in order to open the shop.
On the evening of 16th June, Richard Evans tried in vain to contact his wife by telephone at their home and after having received no reply on several occasions he rand a family friend and neighbour to ask them to call by the house and see if everything was alright. When the friend called back and told Richard that Trevaline was not at home he became very worried and asked if the search could be extended to Attic Antiques.
The neighbour went to the shop and that’s when things had begun to unfold. Discovering the shop was locked up with the note “Back in 2 Minutes” still in the window and Trevaline’s car parked just along the road, the concerned neighbour rand Richard back and it was decided that the police should be called.
The enquiry focused a lot on the days between her return to Llangollen and her disappearance. The police spent hundreds of hours taking over 330 statements from every single household in the area, some 700 cars were all checked out and eliminated from the investigation.
Of course, in 1990 CCTV was in use in shops and businesses but not to the level that we know it today so it was not so easy for the police to track Trevaline’s movements. They had a statement from a market trader where she bought here apple and banana but were unable to state with certainty if she had returned to the shop at all. This seems unlikely as locals that knew Mrs Evans said if she had returned, the very first thing that she would have done would have been to remove the note from the window.
The police spoke to a local shopkeeper who told them that earlier in the morning of 16th June Trevaline had gone to buy milk and he noticed that when she opened her purse she had a considerable wad of cash in there. She partially removed the money in order to get to the 32 pence for the milk. Curiously this money was not in her purse later in the day. The cash had not been banked, so where was it?
Witness statements said that on 14th June 1990 Trevaline had been seen with a very smartly dressed, grey-haired man in her shop. Again on 15th June, she was reportedly seen walking through the town with the same man, he was wearing a smart suit and carrying a briefcase. To add to the mystery two tourists contacted police and told them that they had seen Trevaline in a wine bar drinking in the company of a smartly dressed, grey-haired man. Clearly, this man seems to hold a key to the investigation as he has never come forward to be eliminated.
It was suggested that perhaps Trevaline had been having some kind of an affair but surely knowing that her husband was well known in the town, as were her family surely she would have been a little more discreet. Although locals dismissed the idea of an affair as ‘preposterous’, there was a large bunch of flowers at the shop of which no evidence was ever found of Trevaline buying. Was there a secret lover? It was said that she was happily married but, the couple had one car and her husband was left somewhere close to 40 miles away.
The local canal, mine shafts and caves were searched in the hunt for Trevaline, divers even scoured the river Dee but there was simply no sign of the shop owner.
BBC Crimewatch took up the search and ran two appeals in hope that someone may know something, once again police drew and blank. Detective Chief Inspector Colin Edwards said in 1992 “How a happily married woman could vanish without a trace on a sunny Saturday afternoon in a busy town centre is simply baffling. It is, without doubt, the strangest enquiry I have ever dealt with”.
It has been reported that Trevaline was very happy in her life and had family living locally, as Llangollen was her home town from birth in 1937 until the day she disappeared. She had married Richard in 1958 and lived a good and comfortable life, so there is no clear reason why she should want to up and leave, except for the slight possibility of some kind of an affair that maybe went wrong somehow.
Richard Evans offered a reward of £5,000 (Five Thousand Pounds) for information relating to his wife’s disappearance, in a hope that the money may draw someone out that held the important clues. He made a public appeal in which he said that “Trevaline doted on her elderly father and would not leave him behind” but still no new information came.
After two years of investigation, appeals and searches police still had no clue as to the whereabouts of Trevaline Evans and they announced that they believed that Trevaline had been lured away somehow, possibly by someone that she knew or at least believed she knew. They said that they did not believe the missing woman to still be alive. She was not declared as legally dead until 1997.
By 2001 forensic science had progressed considerably so the case was reviewed and Richard Evans was arrested. However, he had a rock-solid alibi in that he was miles away at the couple’s holiday bungalow and several witnesses confirmed that they had seen him there on the day in question. He was released without charge and Trevaline’s brother told the media that he believed her to have been abducted. Richard Evans died in 2015 aged 83.
In 2019 two brothers, Andy and Lee Sutton suddenly came forward to the police saying that they believed that Trevaline had been murdered and her body buried under the floor of the Ridding Golf Club. On March19th 2019 the police began to excavate the club, but no remains were ever found.
To date, there is still no concrete evidence to indicate what happened to the antiques shop owner back in 1990 and no trace of her has ever been found. I personally think that the police may find it useful to do some digging at the family’s old holiday home, just a hunch but for some reason that is my take on things.
BACK IN TWO MINUTES — AN UPDATE
I am bringing this short update for you as a reader kindly sent me the pictures shown below, for which I am very grateful.
As you will probably know Trevaline Evans disappeared from the small Welsh town of Llangollen, where she owned an antique and collectables shop. The town only has a population of around 3,700, but is a popular tourist town that attracts quite a number of visitors during the summer season.
Trevaline, by all accounts was a popular local lady with a number of friends, many of whom visited her shop a lot for a coffee and a chat. In fact on the day that she vanished it is estimated that she had received between 25 and 30 visitors and customers to her little shop, Attic Antiques.
This council bench, seems to have recently been made into an unofficial memorial to Trevaline Evans. It is sighted alongside the Prestatyn to Dyserth Walkway, approximately 30 miles from Llangollen where Trevaline was last seen, so why there?
According to locals, the plaque was not authorised to be fixed to the council owned bench and the reason for it being placed there has now become something of a puzzle to the walkers that stroll through the area and to the police.
The inscription reads:
“In memory of Trevaline Evans vanished 16/6/1990. Found Rhuddlan GC 14/3/2019, removed 19/3/2019 RIP”
GC thought to stand for Golf Club where it was alleged by two brothers that Trevaline’s body had been buried under the bar.
Trevaline left her shop around 12.40 hours, was seen around the area a couple of times, with the last confirmed sighting near her home in Market street at around 1400 hours on June 16th 1990 and has never been seen since.
Her bank accounts have never been used since and despite the case being treated as a murder enquiry and many hours of police investigation, she has never been located.
The plaque on the bench suggests that her body or remains were found at Rhuddlan Golf Club in March 2019, but there is certainly no official record of this and the police deny any such finding.
As far as the police are concerned the case remains active, but unsolved.
So what has happened to cause this plaque to appear? Why would someone go to the trouble of engraving such an item? Seems very suspicious to me. The writing says “Found”, but that seems to be untrue.
Trevaline’s husband was arrested on suspicion of her murder at one point, but there were no charges ever brought and he passed away in 2014, aged 83.
If you have any further information that you believe would be of interest to this case then please get in touch with me or the original article author.