Michael Chambers, a 70-year-old retired Dallas firefighter, vanished from Quinlan, Texas on March 10, 2017. This Michael Chambers wiki looks at what we know about his life, his strange disappearance, motives for his possible murder, and other theories about this unsolved case.
Some blood in his workshop could suggest that he met with foul play. But investigators have suggested that Michael Chambers could have left of his own free will. But where would he have gone? And why would he leave his wife, children, and grandchildren behind? Despite what investigators think, the man’s disappearance may not be as cut and dry as it seems. Darker motives may be at play.
Michael Chambers Wiki: Portrait of a Beloved Papaw
Who Is Michael Chambers?
Michael Glen Chambers was born in 1946 to Alton Clayton and Fannie Belle Meadows Chambers. He had one brother, Marshall Lee Chambers.
He was a loving husband who was married to his wife Rebecca Lynn “Becca” Erickson, 60, for almost 40 years.
He had two daughters from his previous marriage to Vickie Elizabeth Bray: Vickie Suzanne Chambers, now Suzy Chambers Losoya, and Cheri Michelle Chambers, now Cheri Hanes.
He went on to adopt two sons with Becca: John Chambers and Justin Chambers.
A big family man, he also had nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren, not to mention numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom lovingly call him “PaPaw.” His daughter Suzy called him the “epitome of a good grandfather.” He was central to family events, cooking for everyone and playing with his grandkids.
“They want their PaPaw…they need their PaPaw back,” said Suzy in an interview.
Well-Deserved Retirement in Rural Quinlan
In 2008, after a successful 36-year career as a firefighter and paramedic with the Dallas Fire Department, Michael retired.
He and his wife Becca led a pretty tranquil existence at their rural bungalow on Farm to Market Road in Quinlan, Texas. The 10-acre property is 42 miles east of Dallas.
In his retirement, Michael stayed active in his church. He was a member of the local Baptist congregation. He’d even been a deacon at one point.
He also loved to sing. Michael was a member of gospel group The Joint Heirs Quartet.
But the retired fireman’s greatest passion project was restoring classic cars and building road racers from the ground up. He was a regular fixture on the car show circuit and a member of the Texas Most Wanted Car Club. He was considered a father figure to many of his fellow gearheads, including his son-in-law, David Losoya.
Most afternoons, you could find Michael tinkering away in a large multi-car workshop, in a garage just steps away from the family home.
But all that changed in the afternoon of Friday, March 10, 2017. On that day, he vanished. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Michael was 6′3″ tall and weighed 225 pounds. He had blue eyes, and was balding with grey hair. Michael had a small scar on his upper lip from an auto accident, and he had surgical scars on his right knee and both shoulders. He was regularly seen wearing a Dallas Fire Rescue T-shirt and baseball hat. He had no known health or mental issues.
The family is offering a $25,000 reward for information on his disappearance.
Friday March 10, 2017: Michael Chambers Vanished
March 10, 2017 started out like any other day. Around 8 a.m., Michael Chambers spoke to his wife on the phone. It was then that his wife probably asked Michael to go to the local WalMart to pick her up some mascara; something that was not uncommon for Michael to do.
Security footage at WalMart showed Michael paying for the mascara around 11 a.m. He was seen checking out at the cashier and then walking across the parking lot. He was not followed by anyone. Michael got into his truck and drove home.
See mark 1:08 in the below news video for the Walmart surveillance footage.
At 3 p.m., a neighbor came home and spent most of the day outside in the yard. The neighbor had a clear view of the Chambers property and did not see anything out of the ordinary. This suggests that Michael disappeared sometime between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
At approximately 5:51 p.m., Becca texted Michael, saying she was almost home. Becca, a home health nurse who was often on the road visiting patients, arrived home around 6:15 p.m.
6:15 p.m.: Michael Chambers Was Missing
After arriving home, Becca Chambers discovered that Michael was nowhere to be found. His truck was parked in its usual spot. The house and workshop were both locked.
Becca unlocked their home and looked around.
She then asked her neighbors, Barrie and Sandra Paris, to help look for Michael around the property.
When they unlocked Michael’s workshop, Becca found Michael’s keys and wallet. Missing were his cell phone and driver’s license.
She also found quarter-sized droplets on the floor of the workshop and she wondered whether it was transmission fluid.
After failing to locate him, Becca called everyone she knew.
According to one report, Michael’s daughter Suzy told Becca to contact police, so she called 911 around 6:55 p.m. to report Michael missing.
According to Disappeared, Barrie Paris, a retired Greenville chief of police, is the one who called 911.
Becca then called family friend Penny Edwards and asked her to come over. Around the same time, a single deputy from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office arrived.
When it became clear that Michael was missing, two additional officers were dispatched to the property.
Deputies and neighbors searched the 10 acres of the Chambers property, but did not find any clues. Meanwhile, police helicopters searched overhead and police dogs searched the fields and forests around the home. The bloodhounds picked up a scent close to the workshop, but it disappeared in a culvert across the street.
Based on the evidence that they found, police say Michael did not leave on his own accord. They also believed he was in danger.
Video footage taken inside Michael’s workshop suggested that the quarter-sized droplets were not transmission fluid.
Tests later confirmed that it was blood belonging to Michael. The blood droplets started in the middle of the floor and led to the front door.
There was a sink in the workshop, but there was no evidence that Michael had tried to clean up an injury, nor use any of the towels that he kept there.
To the side of the workshop was a large dowel rod on the ground with a bloody palm print on it.
Despite the blood, there were no signs of a struggle. It was also unclear whether Michael left of his own free will or was taken by force.
Police and Others Searched for Michael Chambers
Quinlan police followed Michael’s cell phone pings to see if it could shed any light on his disappearance. It showed that Michael traveled from the WalMart to his workshop on Farm to Market Road. When he left Walmart and drove home, he was clocked at between 50 mph and 60 mph.
A short time later, the cell phone signal was picked up again, traveling at a much more leisurely pace of 4.5 mph. The phone traveled from Michael’s workshop, back the way he came. The pings suddenly stopped in the middle of the two-mile bridge over Lake Tawakoni, more than 17 miles away.
For weeks after Michael went missing, his daughter, Suzy—along with other family, friends, and community members—searched and found nothing.
Even though Becca wasn’t much help, authorities continued to search for her missing husband.
On June 8, 2017, three months after Michael disappeared, Texas EquuSearch, a non profit, all-volunteer organization, conducted a ground search in the area surrounding Michael’s property.
No trace of Michael has been found.
Becca Chambers’ Peculiar Actions After Michael’s Disappearance
People grieve in different ways. Becca Chambers, the wife of Michael, seems to have grieved by deleting every memory and trace of her husband.
In late March, just 10 days after Michael mysteriously vanished, Becca cancelled/suspended the cell phone service for two of the family’s accounts with Verizon. For some odd reason, Becca dropped the numbers and turned off the service that belonged to Michael’s phone and her son’s phone. Only her own cell phone service remained active.
Becca then sold Michael’s pickup truck.
On June 28, 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation issued a new title on the 2014 Dodge Ram truck that belonged to Michael. The new owner was listed as “Michael Chambers Rebecca Lynn Chambers.”
On July 13, 2017, for reasons unknown, Becca took out a Protective Order against her son Justin. The Protective Order was for two years.
On April 20, 2017, the Hunt County District Clerk received three filings from Becca:
- Application for Probate of Will and Issuance of Letters of Testamentary
- Citation by Posting
- Order Appointing Attorney Ad Litem
On June 6, 2017, the Hunt County District Clerk received even more filings from Becca:
- Order Admitting Will to Probate; Authorizing Letters of Testamentary Signed
- Proof of Death and Other Facts
- Letters of Testamentary Issued
- Original Last Will and Testament of Michael Chambers
- Court-Ordered Delayed Certificate of Death Signed
According to Michael’s will, Becca was the sole heir to his estate, valued at almost $300,000. Becca also would receive his pension.
Becca Chambers Adamant That Michael Was Not Coming Back
Becca Chambers seemed to have an eerie sense that her husband Michael was never returning. At a birthday party on June 27, 2017 at the home of Penny Edwards, Becca insisted to her that Michael “was not coming back.” Penny later recounted that Becca seemed indifferent, but adamant about her statement.
Becca was so certain that Michael was gone for good that, on July 7, just four months after he disappeared, she sold a red 1966 Mustang convertible to an out-of-state buyer. Michael had given the car to Becca as a gift the previous November, so that means she only kept it for less than a year.
Why did Becca sell off everything so quickly after Michael vanished? She claims she was facing financial hardships. Becca said that if she didn’t sell the car, she would have to file for a death certificate and probate Michael Chambers’ will.
In fact, Becca decided to do both. Michael’s family was only made aware of the June 6 death certificate filing when Suzy Losoya received a call from one of Michael’s former coworkers from the Dallas Fire Department, asking about Michael’s death.
The Dallas Fire Department’s pension board was notified when the death certificate was filed. Up until that time, the Chambers family had no idea that Becca had filed the death certificate.
New Theory About the Michael Chambers Disappearance
After a frustrating year of no new leads and no activity on Michael Chambers’ credit cards, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks floated a new theory: suicide. In addition to this theory being a surprise to Michael’s family, it essentially showed that police believed they would never find Michael alive.
According to Sheriff Meeks, Michael may have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge on Lake Tawakoni. Meeks said that the cell phone data had led him to that conclusion.
Signals from Michael’s cell phone showed that he was travelling at 4.5 miles per hour—too slow for a car and too fast for a walk. Meeks believes that the speed is consistent with a bicycle. Meeks believes that after arriving on the bridge, Michael climbed over the side and plunged to his death.
To back up their claim, authorities checked Michael’s workshop to search for his bicycle. It wasn’t there.
“We re-checked the shop where the blood was found and there is a bicycle missing that was hanging on the racks above the shop,” said Meeks.
Meeks went on to say that Michael had been suffering from severe depression for about three weeks. He did not say why Michael was depressed, or how he learned of this information.
Family of Michael Chambers Doesn’t Buy Suicide Story
The family of Michael Chambers doesn’t believe that he committed suicide. They say that the only thing the cell phone data showed is the exact moment that Michael’s cell phone stopped working.
“I do think unfortunately that he was harmed, I do not think it was by his own hand,” said Suzy Losoya.
Even police conceded that they didn’t find any evidence on the bridge to support their claim that Michael killed himself. Dive teams searched the area of the bridge three times for Michael’s body, bicycle, and cell phone, but came up empty.
Michael’s family contends that police haven’t found anything because Michael didn’t commit suicide. They say that, not only was he not depressed, but he also was not the type of person to take his own life.
On top of that, Michael’s family and friends say that the idea that he cycled more than 17 miles to the middle of a bridge doesn’t add up. Michael had injured his Achilles heel and he had debilitating bad knees, making the trip physically impossible. Even Michael’s car club friends say he could barely stand for more than half an hour.
It’s not only bad knees that make Michael’s long bicycle journey impossible; it’s the route. It would have taken him straight through town. Certainly, people would have recalled seeing him, and security cameras in dozens of stores would have at least captured an image of him.
There’s more. When Michael allegedly got to the bridge, he would have been met with lots of traffic and a bevy of construction workers. And yet, nobody saw Michael—a 70-year-old man suffering from a serious injury that had left him bloody—step off his bike, climb over the concrete barrier, and fall the measly nine feet into the lake.
Hunt County Sheriff Jeff Haines said that they just followed where the evidence led. Sheriff Haines said that, while their lead theory was suicide, they were still investigating other angles in the case.
Chambers Family Says They Know Who Wanted Michael Dead
Who would want to see Michael Chambers dead? The police seem to think that’s the million-dollar question.
His family believes they have the answer. Suzy Losoya and the rest of the Chambers clan think the police should be focusing their efforts on Michael’s wife Becca.
Michael’s family contends that he treated Becca, his wife of nearly 40 years, like royalty. Some went as far as asking how Becca got so lucky as to snag Michael. He brought her coffee every morning, made her lunch, and cooked dinner.
But maybe Becca didn’t feel lucky enough. According to Suzy, she’d confirmed that Becca had been cheating on Michael with a number of men. “He would do anything for her,” said Suzy. “And it broke my heart that somehow, that wasn’t enough.”
What was enough for Becca though was just the mere notion that Michael was dead. If you’ll recall, just a few months after Michael vanished, Becca petitioned the courts to have him declared deceased. She was the sole beneficiary of Michael’s estate and was in line to receive his pension.
Easy money for someone who hasn’t lifted a finger to help find her missing husband.
“She hasn’t helped in any searches, she has not talked to any media,” said Penny Edwards, Michael’s friend. “How she has basically shunned Suzy and not reached out to her. She’s gotten rid of Suzy’s father’s stuff. Becca’s gotten rid of the whole house. And that’s sad.”
It’s not just sad; it’s suspicious. Is there a direct link between Michael’s disappearance and Becca’s alleged numerous affairs?
Hunt County Sheriff Sgt. Jeffrey Haines said he was aware of the family’s suspicions about Becca, but he wouldn’t provide much information into the ongoing investigation. But he did confirm that police have spoken to Becca and her alleged boyfriends, and that they have all been cleared.
“The other parties involved in the extra-marital affairs were interviewed and their statements have been corroborated and dismissed as suspects at this time,” said Haines.
That said, Haines admitted that suicide was not the only angle that investigators were looking at. For the integrity of the investigation, however, police have not divulged what else they were considering. They have been treating the case as a homicide though, and Haines was hopeful that someone would eventually come forward.
“One thing about a case is, as it goes on, loyalties between people kind of diminish and you hope that when those loyalties diminish, whatever they may be, that they’ll contact law enforcement. And give us some information,” said Haines.
If you have any information on the disappearance of Michael Chambers, or you saw him on March 10, 2017, please call the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department at 1-903-453-6800.