Bianca Noel Piper was 13 years old when she went missing from Foley, MO in March of 2005. Bianca was a troubled child, and suffered from ADD, as well as bi-polar disorder.
Some say Bianca had the mentality of a six or seven year old. Others claim that isn’t true, that she was an average teenager, albeit with some behavioral issues.
On March 10, 2005, Bianca and her mother, Shannon Tanner, got into an argument about Bianca doing the dishes. Shannon had been instructed by a mental health professional to drop Bianca some distance from their home to let her walk back when her temper became a problem. The hope was that this would give Bianca some time to cool off. In fact, Bianca had requested this treatment the previous day when she was out of sorts, and it had worked quite well.
Frustrated with her daughter’s temper, Shannon drove Bianca about a mile away from their home, and dropped her off around 6 PM with a flashlight and instructions to walk home.
She never made it.
By 8 PM, Shannon was panic-stricken, and by 8:20 had reported her daughter missing.
The road Shannon dropped her daughter off on is not well-traveled, and it isn’t likely someone who isn’t local to the area would have known about it. Besides, what are the odds that a predator happened to be sitting on that lonely stretch at the exact moment Bianca was dropped off there? Not very high.
Next, there’s Bianca’s physical size. At 13 years old, she was already 5’6″, and weighed approximately 185 lbs. She was large for an adult, let alone a child, and likely would have been mistaken as grown by any passersby in the dark.
Some speculated that perhaps Shannon Tanner had a hand in her daughter’s disappearance. If not her, then perhaps her live-in boyfriend, Jim Felt. These suspicions heightened to a near-frenzy when, mere months after Bianca vanished, Shannon was charged with the assault of another daughter, allegedly hitting her repeatedly with a curling iron and punching her in the head. According to police reports, Shannon threatened to tie her daughter up and lock her in her bedroom.
Then there were the domestic disputes between Jim and Shannon…
… It couldn’t all be coincidental…
Or could it?
Apparently, the answer is yes, it can be. Local law enforcement has stated neither Shannon nor Jim are suspects in Bianca’s disappearance. Both were investigated fully, and both have passed lie detector tests.
In 2007, two years after Bianca vanished, investigators announced they were looking to find any possible links between this case and the Shawn Hornbeck/Ben Ownby cases. Shawn Hornbeck had been kidnapped in 2002 in Richwoods, MO by Michael Devlin, and held captive in Kirkwood (a suburb of St. Louis) for five years. Devlin, likely growing tired of Shawn, later kidnapped Ben Ownby. Both boys were found, and were saved.
Unsurprisingly, no link was ever established between the cases. Devlin pretty clearly preferred young(ish) boys, and Bianca simply did not fit that mold.
The case of Bianca Piper’s disappearance grew cold.
Shannon moved from her home in Foley, MO, where for years she had kept Bianca’s room exactly as she’d left it, hoping she’d return. She split from Jim Felt, and life went on, though her daughter’s disappearance was never far from her mind.
Locals never forgot, but their lives, too, had to move on.
The case again made headlines in 2014, when one of Bianca’s sisters was charged with promoting prostitution. The woman, Tiffany Piper, admitted to trafficking two high school age girls for sex, and received an eight year sentence for her crimes. Tragically, it was learned Tiffany herself had been a victim of sex trafficking. It appeared to be a case in which the victim becomes the perpetrator.
The family of Shannon Tanner, and Ms. Tanner herself, appear to have lived lives that were anything but charmed. Criminal histories abound, but through their presence in both mainstream and social media, it’s clear one thought remains forefront in their minds:
Where is Bianca Noel Piper?