Crystal River, FL

A New Bride Vanished Days After 1994 New Year Holiday. What Happened To Margo Register?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

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Margo Andrea RegisterThe Charley Project

Although they were newlyweds, 19-year old Margo Register and 23-year old Willis Register had a rocky marriage.

The couple argued often, even though they had been married for only ten months.

On January 4, 1994, Willis told authorities that he and his wife Margo argued off and on for most of the day.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Willis told authorities the two visited the A to Z Beverage Store on Highway 44 in Crystal River, Florida.

Willis told authorities that he wanted to end the relationship with Margo.

He said he decided to berate her with a ton of verbal insults outside the store in order to crush her self-esteem.

Willis said he wanted Margo to break up with him, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Willis told investigators he went inside the store to get change and purchase beer.

He told the police when he returned ten minutes later, Margo was gone, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Margo's family and friends got together and searched the area and woods throughout Crystal River.

Authorities brought in search dogs and helicopters trying to locate Margo or any evidence in her disappearance.

Willis told authorities he felt Margo went to Washington, D.C.

No one believed this.

Margo had no high school diploma, job experience, money, or change of clothes with her.

Later in 1994, after Margo vanished, Willis was arrested for the murder of his best friend, Johnny Lemmon, and the attempted murder of Garlene Rowell.

In 1996, he was sentenced to two life sentences plus 30 years.

"He knows where she is," Mrs. Wilkerson told the Tampa Bay Times. "I do believe that without a shadow of a doubt. And I will carry that to my grave. I know he knows what happened to her. (She) didn't go away on her own free will. If she's alive she would have called by now. I just wish Willis would tell the truth. The real truth. I'm very disappointed in him."

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Willis RegisterThe Charley Project

The Tampa Bay Times reported Willis sat in jail, still wearing a 14-karat wedding band on his finger.

"It's not the same wedding band," Margo's grandmother Mrs. Dorothea Wilkerson told the Tampa Bay Times "Willis destroyed their wedding bands right before Margo disappeared. He took them both and mashed them up. But Margo still wore them around her neck."

"I'm not going to accept the idea that she's dead," Willis told the Tampa Bay Times. "I'm still keeping the faith. I just wish she'd come on back so that I can tell her that I love her and I'm sorry about the argument. And then I could shake my head at everybody and say, "Look she's alive. See, I told you so.' "

No one has ever been charged in the disappearance of Margo Register and she has never been found.

In January 2018, Crystal River Mayor Jim Farley presented Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Detective Corey Sharpe with a proclamation naming Jan. 8, 2018, as Margo Register Remembrance Day.

Margo Register was 5’4” and weighed 210 pounds when she vanished.

Please contact the Crystal River Police Department at 352-795-4241 with any information.

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Margo Andrea RegisterThe Charley Project

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