Terri Lea Schlatter was twenty-one years old when she went missing, along with her one year old son Nathan, from Tulsa in February 1985.
The tale of Terri and Nathan’s disappearance is a sordid one, full of twists and turns. Both her and her husband Darrell Schlatter had been charged with federal bank fraud after they signed for a boat loan under false pretenses. Terri fled after she was indicted for the fraud, eventually being located in Colorado. Eventually, Terri agreed to assist investigators with their case against Darrell.
Given the charges that were pending against her, Terri sent Nathan back to Indiana (where she was from) to stay with her mother, however, within a month she went to Indiana to retrieve her son and returned to Tulsa with him- against her mother’s wishes. The last time Terri was known to have been seen was when she dropped Nathan off at a babysitters. Darrell picked Nathan up from this babysitter later, and told the sitter that her services were no longer needed. This was the last time Nathan was seen alive.
Darrell remains the only person of interest in Terri and Nathan’s disappearance. It’s worth mentioning that when Terri met Darrell he was living under an assumed name that belonged to a deceased man. In 1993, Darrell was charged with murdering his girlfriend. During the course of that investigation, the investigation into Terri and Nathan’s disappearance was once again looked into. During this investigation, law enforcement drained a pond to look for Terri and Nathan’s bodies. Shortly after this occured- Darrell Schlatter hung himself in his jail cell.
Terri and Nathan remain missing. At this point it is presumed that Darrell killed Terri to keep her from testifying against him, and then murdered Nathan to make it appear that Terri once again fled charges against her.
In spite of law enforcement’s belief that Terri and Nathan are dead, Terri’s family believes she still might be out there. Believes it so firmly that they have vowed to keep the same landline phone number as long as they’re living, just in case Terri should ever reach out.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Terri and Nathan Schlatter, please contact the OSBI at 405-848-6724.