Nancy and Steve Shoupp had been married for five years when she packed her bags and moved out of their Boulder, Colorado townhouse. The 26-year-old told loved ones that her estranged husband was abusive and that he had threatened to keep their two young children away from her, for good.
Nancy was looking forward to her newfound freedom but Steve didn’t handle their separation well. He called Nancy at all hours of the day at night, harassed her at a computer company where she worked and even stalked her. 10 days after Nancy filed for divorce, the mom-of-two vanished without a trace.
On Friday, April 27, 1990, Nancy went on a date with a co-worker. According to the newspaper, the couple went out for dinner, rented the classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally and spent the evening together at his apartment, with plans to pick up her children at 4:30 am in a pre-arranged custody exchange. At 3:30, Nancy got into her dark green 1984 Volvo and headed to Steve’s home in the nearby town of Littleton. She was never seen again.
Nancy was reported missing by her stepmother when she failed to show up for work on Monday. According to CBS News, her car was found in the parking lot of her apartment complex and there was a bloodstain on the carpet inside her home.
Foul play was immediately suspected. Those who knew Nancy claimed that she “lived and breathed” for her children and that she never would have abandoned them. Curiously, a neighbour told the police that they saw Steve’s car outside her apartment at 7 am the day she disappeared.
According to Steve, Nancy never showed up. He claimed that he drove to her apartment and knocked on the door. When she failed to answer, he left their children in his car while he worked his shift at a gas station.
Steve claimed that he loved Nancy and was concerned for her well-being. He told the police he had called and left her a message but her voicemail was found empty and he never bothered to report her missing.
Nancy’s son, Geoffrey, who was only 3 & 1/2 when she disappeared, had an entirely different story. According to The Charley Project, he told the police that he saw his father carry her into the car before they took a long drive down a dark bumpy road stating, “daddy put mommy by a tree.”
Steve quickly hired a lawyer and stopped cooperating with the investigation. He took their two children, moved to Kansas and re-married, telling his new wife that his ex had died in a car accident. In 2009, Steve’s second wife filed for divorce alleging physical abuse. He was ultimately sentenced to 18 months in jail for stalking, aggravated menacing and domestic violence.
Nancy’s co-worker passed a polygraph test and was ruled out as a suspect. Steve Schoupp has never been arrested in connection with her disappearance. According to CBS News, he remains the prime suspect in the case.
At the time of her disappearance, Nancy was 5'5" and 120 lbs with blonde hair, blue eyes and freckles. She was wearing a cream-coloured sweater with matching pumps and light gray pants. A red gym bag that she had in her possession at the time of her disappearance has never been located.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Nancy Lynn Begg Shoupp, contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at (720) 913-STOP (7867) or call Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office at 303–795–4711