Roxanne Paltauf was eighteen-years-old when she and her boyfriend, Louis Walls, checked into the Budget Inn Motel located off I-35 in Austin, Texas, to celebrate their two-year anniversary. According to one friend of Roxanne, the twenty-eight-year-old father of two had been physically abusive with Roxanne. In the past, he threatened former girlfriends resulting in at least two of them filing protective orders against him. In addition, he had a criminal record dating back to 1995.
Roxanne may have experienced some difficulties in her young life, but despite this, she was a responsible young woman devoted to her four younger siblings and kept in daily contact with her mother. After dropping out of McCallum High School during her junior year, she enrolled in job training and acquired her GED. She had dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer.
On the evening of July 7th, 2006, Roxanne and Louis got into an argument, causing Roxanne to storm out of the motel room, carrying only her identification. According to Louis, approximately twenty minutes after she walked out he went searching for her, but she was nowhere to be found. The following day, he called Roxanne’s mother who then reported her missing.
By the time police got involved, Louis checked out of the motel room and went to his sister’s home, taking Roxanne’s belongings with him. Left behind were her clothing, purse, wallet, and cell phone. Louis returned Roxanne’s cell phone to her family on July, 12th. At the time of her disappearance, no warrants to obtain her cell phone records were filed. It wasn’t until 2019 when Roxanne’s sister, Rosalynn Schultz, noticed suspicious charges on her sister’s phone. Between the time that Roxanne left the motel room and the day Louis returned her belongings to her family, hundreds of calls were made from her phone, several of them to Louis’s ex-girlfriend in New Mexico. Approximately forty-eight calls were made on July 7th between 6:44 pm and 8:42 pm, the time when Roxanne walked out. According to Rosalynn, in one of the calls made to his ex-girlfriend, Louis said, “I am in trouble. I [expletive] up.” Louis also evaded numerous interview attempts by the Austin Police Department.
On July 13th, six days after Roxanne vanished, a young woman was attacked and nearly raped near the Budget Inn by a male named Geoffrey Moore. After his arrest, authorities found he had Roxanne’s identification on him. No information is available as to why he had her ID, and charges were dropped against him for lack of evidence.
To this day, no one has been charged with Roxanne’s disappearance and possible murder. However, police still consider Louis a suspect. If anyone has any information about Roxanne Paltauf, please contact the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, Texas Department of Public Safety at 512.424.5074.
The Charley Project: charleyproject.org/case/roxanne-elizabeth-paltauf
***Brenda Thornlow is an author from Brooklyn, New York. More of her work can be found on Amazon.com.***