Glenpool Families Still Seeking Answers In Mother's Disappearance
GLENPOOL, Oklahoma - The search for answers continues in the disappearance of a Glenpool mother.
Tracy Samuels has been missing 25 years, and her children have never given up on trying to find out what happened to her.
Samuels’ parents and children never believed she left on her own, and her disappearance has left a hole in hearts and lives.
Kristina Ritzhaupt was only eight years old when her mother vanished without a trace. Now, Kristina is a grown woman, married with two children of her own, and she's driven to be her mother's voice.
"Missing adults are, unfortunately, a forgotten group of people. When a child goes missing it's so tragic and at the forefront of every story. This is still someone's child, still someone's mom, even though she was 24," Ritzhaupt said.
In 1993, Samuels dropped off her 5-year-old son at his grandparents, said she had a job interview and drove off in her GMC pickup.
A witness said he later saw Samuels get into a Chevy flatbed with a man with brown hair and a mustache.
"This might be a part of someone's past that they buried and put away, but for us, this is our present day, this is our future," Ritzhaupt said.
Ritzhaupt said she can see in pictures how much her mother loved her and her brother, Charlie, but those same photos are bittersweet.
"I think about my wedding day, standing at the doors, and she wasn't there. Having my babies, and she missed out on that," she said.
On February 17, 2018, Ritzhaupt is holding a tribute for her mother to drop flowers off the 21st Street bridge over the Arkansas River.
She’s inviting all people who have a missing loved or cold case to join her. She'll also have a box for people to privately write memories or leave tips.
Ritzhaupt's son is now eight - the same age she was when her mom vanished. He told her, that if she were to die before learning what happened to her mother, he would continue searching for answers because Samuels is his grandma.