Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Troubling Disappearance of Air Force Nurse Nonnie Dotson

Denial

While he was not officially named a suspect, investigators initially sought to speak with Edward Vehle, 54, the father of Nonnie's child. However, according to ABC 7, when investigators in Bexar County, Texas, along with members of the Air Force Special Investigations, went to Vehle's home to question him shortly after her disappearance, he refused to speak with them.

"He's acting on the advice of his attorney, and so it's hard to make anything of it," said Bexar County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Pesses. "It seems to me the reasonably prudent person would want to do whatever they could do to help find the mother of his child. It does seem rather odd to me."

On Dec. 1, 2006, Vehle's attorney contacted authorities and made arrangements for his client to meet with them the following week. During the interim, Crime Library investigator David Lohr spoke with a source close to the investigation who was able to provide background information on Nonnie's relationship with Vehle.

According to the source, Nonnie and Vehle met in 2004 while taking line-dancing lessons at the Midnight Rodeo and Cowboys dance hall in San Antonio. Nonnie was immediately smitten with Vehle, who was twenty years her senior, and the two soon began dating.

Things went well at first, but the situation allegedly took a turn for the worse in 2005, when Nonnie discovered she was pregnant. According to the source, Vehle became angry when he heard the news and demanded Nonnie get an abortion. When she refused, he broke off their relationship and denied that the baby was his.

A friend of Nonnie's, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that after he learned of Nonnie's pregnancy Vehle's personality completely changed, and he turned from happy-go-lucky to hostile.

"He started spreading nasty rumors about Nonnie that anyone who truly knows her would know weren't even remotely true. But enough people chose to believe the lies, and it made it difficult for Nonnie to feel comfortable at dance lessons. And when Nonnie would show up, Ed would leave shortly thereafter usually and come back only after she left."

According to a Hollywood Park police report obtained by the Rocky Mountain News, Vehle placed a 911 call regarding a domestic dispute on June 22, 2005, just days before the birth of the couple's child. The following text is taken from the police report:

"Upon arrival I contacted [Vehle], who stated that [Nonnie] was refusing to leave. After speaking with both subjects, it was determined that there had been no physical violence. Dotson had come to the residence to pick up some of her belongings, and the two subjects got into a verbal disturbance."

The officer was able to defuse the situation, and Vehle declined to press charges. Nonnie then agreed to make arrangements with the police to have her belongings picked up at a later date.

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