10/28/2010 – OKC, OK — A woman known to support her drug habit through prostitution was found dead at a local motel yesterday; this after the woman’s parents pleaded with Oklahoma City police to investigate their daughter’s disappearance – Police refused to list her as missing.
Early yesterday morning (10/27/2010) the body of Elizabeth “Libby” Ann Hauptman-Diaz, 33, was found in a room at the Regency Hotel (4712 W I-40 Service Rd.) in NW Oklahoma City. Libby was working as an Internet escort and street prostitute.
On Sunday, October 17, Libby was staying at the La Quinta Inn (800 S. Meridian Ave.) and had reportedly been dispatched to the Regency by an escort agency. She was never heard from again. Libby’s parents, living in Texas, became concerned over the next couple of days when they had not heard from her and it was learned her personal possessions had been found abandoned in her room at the La Quinta and in a car she was using. Libby had a habit of calling her mother most every day.
Libby’s mother and father (divorced) called Oklahoma City police and spoke with VICE and Detective Upshaw in missing persons. When it became apparent police were being dismissive of their concerns they contacted us here at JohnTV via our FaceBook pageand then drove to Oklahoma City.
On Tuesday, October 26, Libby’s parents arrived in Oklahoma City and met with an older man, Russell Eugene Phinney, 59, who had recently befriended Libby and had bailed her out of jail and paid for Libby’s detox treatment in recent weeks. Phinney claims not to have seen Libby since she left in his truck to respond to an escort call from the Regency hotel. Phinney claims he found his truck abandoned a few days later with Libby’s personal belongings inside.
Libby’s parents then went to the Oklahoma City Police Department’s main headquarters. There police once again refused to help the family and expressed that since Libby was an adult and working as a prostitute they would not consider her missing despite the odd circumstances of her disappearance.
Libby’s parents then made telephone contact with Brian Bates of JohnTV and asked to meet with him in person and for his help in getting media attention on Libby’s disappearance. Bates agreed and asked the parents to first go by the La Quinta and talk with management and/or security and see if they could get any information and/or Libby’s belongings.
While in the area of the La Quinta, Libby’s parents learned that a desk clerk at the neighboring Motel 6 was confident he saw Libby the day before with a man that had checked into the hotel. A security guard from the La Quinta also claimed to have seen Libby in the company of a Hispanic male and a black female prostitute at the Circle K next door to the La Qunita on Saturday, October 23. The security guard said he saw all three leave in a black Chrysler Sebring. The security guard made note of the vehicle’s tag number.
When local media, working on reporting details of Libby’s disappearance, contacted the Oklahoma City Police Public information Officer, they were told Libby was not missing, was not considered missing, that Libby probably just wanted her parents to leave her alone and that there was no story to be reported.
In light of the police department’s dismissiveness and attempts to prevent any local news coverage, combined with possible sightings of Libby, the family felt they should return to Texas. Libby’s parents did not want to be seen as “crying wolf” and potentially harming any future coverage of disappearances of women involved in prostitution.
Libby’s parents plan was to wait a week and see if any word came from Libby or those who knew her. If none came then they would return to Oklahoma City and insist for cooperation from the police and local media.
Libby’s parents didn’t have to wait long to get word – but it was the harshest words of all… “Your daughter’s body has been found.”
Within 24-hours of returning to Texas, Libby’s family’s worst fear was realized.
To add insult to injury, Libby’s body was found in the hotel her parents had told police she was last seen. Though no official cause of death has been released, police have told the family there were no obvious signs of trauma and she appears to have been dead for up to a week.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Libby’s family. Libby was a daughter, mother, sister and dear friend to those who knew her.
JohnTV will continue to follow this case.