Tulsa Mother Missing Longer Than She Was With Her Family

Thursday, October 22nd 2020, 6:49 pm
By: Lori Fullbright

TULSA, Okla. -

Tracy Samuels disappeared from Glenpool in 1993.

Her family never believed she left on her own, and her disappearance has left a hole in their hearts and lives.

"We were never able to figure out where she went, and she was just gone," said Kristina Ritzhaupt.

Kristina was only 8 years old when her mother vanished without a trace. She is now a grown woman, married with two children of her own, and she is 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," Kristina said.

Tracy dropped off her 5-year-old son at his grandparents’ house in 1993, on her way to a job interview. A witness told police he later saw Tracy get into a Chevy flatbed with a man who had 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," said Kristina.

Kristina knows how much love her mother loved her family and looking back on old family photos is 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," Kristina said.

In 2018, family and friends marked the 25th anniversary of Tracy's disappearance by dropping flowers off the 21st street bridge over the Arkansas River. Kristina's son is now 10 and has told her, if you die and still don't know what happened to your mom, I'll keep looking because she is my grandma.

"I'm hoping this stirs some emotion in people and they remember her beauty and her laughter and stirs people to think they need to come forward and do the right thing," said Kristina.

To report a tip about a missing persons case, call 918-772-7568 or email coldcase@osbi.ok.gov