Katelin Akens, 19 at the time, disappeared on December 5, 2015. She had been visiting family in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and was supposed to fly home to Arizona that day. She was last seen at her ex-stepfather’s place. He claims he dropped her off at the airport, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Katelin did not make it to the airport and has not been heard from since. Her ex-stepfather has been anything but helpful.
This Katelin Akens wiki examines her life and the puzzling events surrounding her strange disappearance.
|About Katelin Michelle Akens|
|Birth||September 2, 1996|
|Spouse||Amber Rios (fiancee)|
|Siblings||Gabrielle Madison (Akens)|
Who Is Katelin Akens?
Katelin Michelle Akens was born September 2, 1996 to mother Lisa Sullivan. She grew up in Caroline County, Virginia, with one sister, Gabrielle Akens (now Madison). When Katelin was seven, her mother married James Branton.
Katelin Akens is described by her friends and family as unique, quirky, sometimes unpredictable, and emotional. The outgoing punk girl dyed her hair different colors, gave herself different haircuts, and had tattoos and piercings.
While Akens didn’t always belong in conservative Caroline County, she had an active social life. Her fun-loving, carefree attitude led her from boyfriend to boyfriend and girlfriend to girlfriend.
But Akens wanted more. She asked her mother if she could graduate from high school early. She was clearly smart and knew dropping out wasn’t an option. She also knew a four-year grind would be a waste of her time.
When Akens was 15, she took classes to complete her junior and senior years of high school. She graduated from high school when she was just 16. After graduating, she started to work and get on with her life.
Katelin Akens’ home life might have been one reason why she wanted to get out and move on with her life. Life with her stepfather was, according to some, far from perfect.
“She flat-out didn’t trust him,” said Katelin’s close friend Kevin Eastridge. “She felt very nervous around him, and that he was kind of abusive to an extent. I can’t confirm physical because she never outright told me, but definitely verbally.”
During this time, Akens’ best friend was a girl by the name of Amber Rios. When the two were around 11 years old, Rios and her family moved from Virginia to Arizona.
Katelin Akens Moves to Arizona to Be with Rios
Despite the distance, the two girls remained close, talking each and every day. As they got older, they came to realize that their friendship had blossomed into a long-distance romance.
In December 2014, shortly after Katelin Akens turned 18, she moved out to Arizona to be with Rios. Soon after, the two became engaged.
Again, despite the distance, Akens remained in close contact with her family, in particular her mother and sister Gabi. She spoke to each of them two or three times a day.
While in Arizona, the now 19-year-old Akens decided she wanted to be a cosmetologist. She registered at a local school, but they told her she needed to provide them with a copy of her high school diploma. Unfortunately, it was back in Virginia with her family.
Katelin Akens Returns to Virginia in Early December 2015 to Visit Family
As luck would have it, her sister Gabi had just had a baby boy. Katelin Akens decided to return to Virginia in December 2015 to hold her new nephew, Landon, see her family, and grab her high school diploma.
But it would be a quick trip: she would land in Virginia on Tuesday, December 1 and return to Arizona on Saturday, December 5. Akens wanted to stay longer, but her first day of cosmetology school was Monday, December 7.
During her short visit, Akens spent a lot of time with her family and managed to hang out with some friends from high school.
On December 4, Katelin Akens visited some friends from high school, a man and a woman who were now dating. They hung out, played cards, and drank. Akens actually ended up spending the night at her friends’ place because there was no designated driver.
The next morning, they drove Akens back to her mother’s place. Akens was able to spend time with her mother, sister, and new nephew. According to her family, Akens was in good spirits and seemed totally fine.
December 5, 2015 – Katelin Akens Vanishes
Katelin Akens needed a ride to the airport. Her flight wasn’t until 5:40 p.m., but her mother Lisa Sullivan had to work that day. She couldn’t make the 50-mile drive to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in D.C.
Before Sullivan left for work, she dropped her daughter off at her ex-husband James Branton’s place in Partlow, Virginia at 9:20 a.m. Sullivan and Branton were on good terms. And even though the relationship between Akens and Branton was strained, he was the only father she really knew. Akens hadn’t seen her biological father since she was three.
“He seemed happy to see us, see her. He seemed happy, excited they were talking about her cosmetology school, her high school diploma. They were talking about it, sitting on the couch,” Sullivan recalled.
Branton also had to work that Saturday, but he didn’t have to begin his shift until 3:00 p.m. He decided to drop Akens off at the airport a little early.
According to Branton, Akens asked to be dropped off at the Springfield Mall Metro Station, two stops from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, because she wanted to kill some time before her flight.
From there, Branton claims his former stepdaughter said she was going to walk to the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station and take a train to the airport.
“She’s never really been on the Metro before since she was like six, seven, so I don’t know why he would do that,” said Sullivan about Branton. “He just said yes, he was gonna do it.”
At 1:52 p.m. that afternoon, Branton texted Sullivan to say he had dropped Akens off. Their text exchange was as follows:
Branton: “I dropped Katelin off.”
Sullivan: “Okay thank you.”
Sullivan: “How was traffic?”
Branton: “Not too bad.”
A Series of Odd Text Messages
Just a few short minutes later, Sullivan received a text from her daugher Katelin, or at least someone using her phone. It said, “I’m at the airport. Battery dying so won’t be able to text for a bit.”
Sullivan later learned that Akens had sent her fiancée Rios a totally different text earlier at 11:56 a.m.: “Something came up. I’m not coming back today. I’ll let you know when I get a new flight. I won’t be able to text for a bit.”
Rios thought this text was strange and out of character. So she reached out to Sullivan to see if she had heard from Akens.
“I got nervous when Amber had texted or messaged me saying that Katelin wasn’t coming home, she needed a new flight, something was wrong with her flight, and I was like, ‘What do you mean? She said she was there,’” said Sullivan.
Sullivan continued to call and text Akens but got no answer. The young woman who was never without her phone had gone silent.
Hours later, at 7:15 p.m., almost two hours after Akens had missed her flight, Sullivan received two final texts from Akens’ phone that alarmed her. They said: “I’m staying with a friend” and “I need some time alone.”
Sullivan, who was on her way home from work, quickly pulled over the second she received the texts, to call her daughter right away. But her call went to voicemail. Akens’ phone had apparently been turned off.
Sullivan was concerned for many reasons: the timing of the texts meant Akens had missed her flight; Akens wasn’t replying to her texts when she knew her mother was distraught; and the texts Akens sent didn’t sound like her, with two back-to-back texts and no emojis.
“It didn’t sound right. It didn’t look right because it was two messages,” said Sullivan. “And she doesn’t do that. She’ll wait for you to respond, and then she’ll send another one. It wasn’t her style.”
Right before Sullivan received her final texts from Akens, Rios received a strange message through Facebook Messenger. In it, Akens said she couldn’t come back because she had cheated on her. But even Rios said the message didn’t “sound” right, as if it wasn’t coming from Akens; the cadence wasn’t right.
Besides, Akens and Rios hadn’t been having any troubles and it didn’t sound like something Akens would