MILLERSVILLE, Md. — The Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division receives about 600 missing person reports a year. One of those cases involves a woman who disappeared more than 20 months ago.
Susan Lane was last seen around 12:30 in the morning of March 2nd, 2020 at a 24-hour McDonald's along West Street in Annapolis.
Anne Arundel County Police detective Jay Schline said “she actually spoke with officers that night. Later on, early morning, her vehicle was located to the west at the Shell station, unoccupied.”
Detective Schline recalled how Lane’s black BMW was parked n front of one of the gas station's pumps.
“The keys were in it, cell phone was in it, the door was ajar,” Schline said.
Except Lane, the car's driver, was no where to be found.
“Employees there at the Shell got suspicious when the vehicle had been there for a couple hours so that's when they went to investigate, found the cell phone, called the cell phone or the mother on the cell phone,” Schline said.
Lane’s mother contacted police and reported her daughter as missing.
Detective Schline demonstrated how police retraced Lane’s last known steps, starting at the Annapolis McDonald's on West Street.
However, investigators don't know if Lane drove her own car to the Shell gas station or if someone else did.
“She lived out of her car, and would sleep in various parking lots throughout this area. One of the areas, that she seemed to sleep the most was behind Giant Food on Forest,” Schline said.
Detectives passed out fliers and combed the surrounding area as part of the search for Lane.
“We checked video cameras of around the Giant. We checked to see if they had active cameras pointed into the direction of this parking lot here, along Forest on West Street where the vehicle was located,” Schline said.
Crews also searched a nearby wooded area where detective Schline pointed out many people who are homeless sleep in tents.
“With her being voluntarily homeless, it lends itself to difficulty trying to locate friends and so forth because most of her associates or friends are also transient,” Schline said.
So police armed dogs with GPS trackers to sniff out a path they hoped would lead them to where Lane disappeared.
“I’ll take their GPS, download it into the software, their lines will come up, and we'll see what area that they covered,” Schline said.
Which is translated into a color coded map that helps detective Schline keep track of where search crews have already looked and where he needs to send them next.
“You take the green section task five, you take the red section task three.
These searches can get pretty extensive, so it becomes a little overwhelming to look at,” Schline said.
Even after four years of searching and no sign of Lane, detective Schline is not ready to call this a cold case just yet.
“It’s still very active. So, for me to say that it's a cold case, I can't put this into cold case status. I’m still talking to the family every, almost every day,” Schline said.
Meanwhile, police hope someone will talk to them with the information they need to find Lane.
“If anyone is familiar with Mrs. lane, she is certainly someone's daughter, loved one, family, and we're still actively searching and any help from the public would be greatly appreciated,” Schline said.
Anyone with information which could help police find Susan Lane, is asked to contact the Anne Arundel County Police Missing Persons Unit at 410-222-8610 or 410-222-3588.