ST. LOUIS – A missing person’s case that captivated the St. Louis area is now getting renewed attention in the form of highly visible electronic billboards. They feature Amanda Jones, who disappeared 16 years ago last August.
Bertha Propst, Jones’ mother, maintains hope, while preparing herself for the same sad disappointment she’s felt since 2005.
Propst said she was surprised today to hear about a new electronic billboard reminding people about her daughter’s cold case. It appears near the St. Louis skyline – “FBI Reward: Up to $20,000.” You will see it when driving both directions on the Poplar Street Bridge.
“I like it. I’m glad that it’s up. I just wish it would stay up,” Propst said by phone.
After 16 years of disappointments, she’s measuring her hope.
“You get all hyped up and so glad that something’s being done and then the next thing you know, in a week or so, it’s no longer there,” Propst said. “It’s just a disappointment.”
Jones was 26-years-old and eight and a half months pregnant when she disappeared on Aug. 14, 2005. She left behind a four-year-old daughter, Hanna, who is 20-years-old today.
Propst said Hanna also responded to news of the billboard with reservations about whether it’ll get action.
“She just kind of giggled and said, ‘Yeah, right, that’s what they always tell us.’ So, I mean, it’s even hard on her,” Propst said.
They say the last movement on the case was when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office searched for Jones in 2019.
It was near the Hillsboro Civic Center where she was last seen. Jones went there to meet the man she believed to be the father of her unborn child. The search included excavation with an anthropologist watching over, along with cadaver dogs. That search brought no new answers.
Though frustrated, Jones’ mother wonders if a new billboard could get someone to talk.
“I would hope so, but is it reaching the right people?” she said. “You know, obviously it happened down here in Jefferson County and I’m sure there’s still someone down here in Jefferson County that’s got the answers that just won’t speak, but I’m hoping that even though it’s in St. Louis, that perhaps somebody in St. Louis will know something and come forward.”
On Tuesday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said it’s also glad to hear about the new attention in St. Louis and that it hopes the billboard will generate new leads. Here’s the FBI’s page on Amanda Jones, which includes a link to leaving a tip, including if you choose to remain anonymous. You can also simply call the FBI at 314-589-2500.
The FBI added that typically, FBI rewards require a conviction. In this case, the FBI reward of up to $20,000 is for information leading to the location of Amanda Kay Jones and her unborn child, and/or for information leading to the identity of the person or people involved in the disappearance.
It’s interesting to note that the billboard is paid for by the billboard company. In this case, it’s DDI Media, which told FOX 2, “DDI Media and the members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America have a long-term partnership with the FBI and law enforcement to assist in solving crimes when they feel billboards may help. Locally, we also work with CrimeStoppers.”