Austin woman missing for 40 years, one of many on site dedicated to solving cases

The case of an Austin woman who went missing 40 years ago is still a mystery. She's one of many on a site designed to collect information about unsolved cases called "Solve the Case."

Sharon McCully disappeared on December 11, 1984.

She was doing Christmas shopping that day and had left lunch with her husband. She dropped him off at his job and drove away, last seen going east on Howard Lane towards I-35.

Sharon McCully

Her car, an off-white 1965 Volkswagen Beetle, was found two days later, unlocked and abandoned at an apartment complex on the 8600 block of Research Boulevard, about five-and-a-half miles from her last known location. Her keys and purse were gone. 

"Sharon was not believed to have had any connection with that apartment complex," "Solve the Case" founder Aaron Benzick said. "There's just no information to be concerned about the husband or anyone close to her at that point."


When her husband got home from work, she wasn't there. After waiting and calling her friends, he reported her missing the next day. 

"Really speaks to there being an unknown factor that gets involved in this," Benzick said. 

McCully's story is one of many on "Solve the Case," a place where all the facts of a case can be aggregated. 

"With the Solve the Case platform, we're opening up for missing persons, unsolved homicides, unidentified persons, even fugitives that are on the run, have warrants out for their arrest and haven't been found for many years," Benzick said.

Benzick's day job is a homicide detective in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He got the idea to create the website after he got a bulletin about a decades-old case of someone who went to the same high school as him. 

"Family had expressed some frustration, 'we've been trying to promote our son's missing person case, bring awareness of the case, and some of the things we've shared haven't been updated, and we don't really know what to do with that.' That kind of inspired me to create this home page for victims," he said. 


Cases on the site can come from law enforcement or families. 

"When you create the case page on Solve the Case, we're going to walk you through. Here are the things that should be happening in your case, during a missing person investigation," Benzick said.

For McCully's case and so many others across the nation, "We want to build out a database of where known offenders were operating at that time," Benzick said. "At minimum, we want to tell Sharon's story."

The hope is that the community can work together to solve mysteries. 

"Through creating this platform, we're hoping to open up this information nationwide, get families, victims, law enforcement all on the same page in a consistent way so that we can do the most good on these missing person cases," Benzick said.