41 years after Nashville mom disappeared, police still looking for clues

NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (WKRN) — It’s been more than four decades since Veda Lou Powers left her Nashville home to start her morning routine, but she’s never been seen again.

Powers was 29 years old when she disappeared on May 26, 1982, leaving behind two young daughters. Her disappearance has been largely shrouded in mystery, but despite the fact that information has dried up for several years, investigators are still looking for a breakthrough in the case.

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Metropolitan Police Cold Case Detective Matt Filter reopened the case about two years ago and began reviewing the evidence to see if there was a “small piece of information” that had been left out. According to him, even the smallest clue can be the key to solving a 41-year-old case.

“You have to look at some of these old cases that are 40-50 years old, and you really need to take a close look at them because this might be the last chance we have to solve it,” Filter said. “In 10 or 15 years, the chances that it will ever be solved are very small.”

MNPD Cold Case Detective Matt Filter revisits the disappearance of Veda Powers on the 41st anniversary of the investigation. (photo WRC)

“She never went and took her children”

As per her usual routine, Powers left her house on South 9th Avenue on the morning of May 26, 1982, to send her two children to kindergarten. She then picked up her sister and drove her to her new job at the Continental Insurance Board on Murfreesboro Road.

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Powers told her sister that she had taken a day off from her job at St. Thomas Hospital and was going to return home to go to bed, but after she left, Powers was never heard from again. Her sister is still the last known person to have seen her.

“She never took her kids and didn’t get involved with anyone at all,” Filter said. “On May 28, the family finally wrote a statement about her disappearance, and then the police joined the search for her. On May 30, they had their first big breakthrough.”

“What they found was quite disturbing”

On May 30, her orange 1975 Chevrolet Monza was found abandoned a few blocks from her home on South 14th Avenue, off Edgehill Avenue. Filter said there was no particular reason for her car to be there, and in fact, it looked like someone was trying to hide the car.

“It was unusual,” he said. “I don’t remember exactly who found it, but it was clearly parked there so that it wouldn’t be found, at least not immediately.”

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When investigators looked inside the car, Filter said “what they found was pretty disturbing.” Her glasses were in the back seat. According to her family, Powers had very poor eyesight and would not have been able to get around without her glasses.

This information led investigators to conclude that foul play was “highly likely”. Filter said there are a couple of people the police suspect of being involved in her disappearance, but there isn’t enough evidence yet to press charges.

Police are looking for more information from friends, colleagues

“Perhaps one of the most important things we’re looking at now, looking at this case 40 years later, is that there’s not a lot of information that appears to have come from people who knew her then.” Filter said.

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The best-known information was provided by her family, but police believe that some of Powers’ former colleagues or close friends may know more details that could help them bring her home. Many would be in their 60s and 70s now.

“People who would be close to her and might know something about her that you don’t always share with your family; or you can confide in a really close friend; or could talk to colleagues, this is the information that we really do not have, ”Filter said.

“They Lost Mom”

Powers has been described as a dependable employee and devoted parent who was very close to her two children and family. At the time of her disappearance, Powers was about 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed about 110 pounds, and had black hair and brown eyes. She would have turned 70 today.

“Her daughters were very young and unfortunately they didn’t get to know their mother very well,” Filter said. “So they missed mom for most of their lives and I think if we could at least find out what happened to her and maybe bring her back home to her daughters, that would at least help them a little.” calm down.”

Unsolved Tennessee: Learn more about the state’s cold cases, missing persons and other mysteries →

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Nashville Police Department’s Cold Case Unit at 615-862-7329. Anonymous advice can also be shared by calling the Police Department Crime Squad at 615-74-CRIME (615-742-7463).

“We welcome any advice, even if you do not consider it important, we would appreciate a phone call,” Filter said. “Because sometimes things that other people don’t think are all that important end up being a big deal for us.”

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