Joanna Kay Otto (Aug 3, 1973 – missing Nov 20, 1992) was nineteen years old on Nov 20, 1992 when she went missing from Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida. Her case is classified as endangered missing. Foul play is suspected. Her case was added to the NamUs database on Oct 4, 2013.
Joanna Kay Otto was born in Dothan, Alabama on August 3, 1973. She went to elementary school in Dothan, then to Ferry Pass Elementary School, followed by Ferry Pass Middle School, and Woodham High School in Pensacola, Florida.
She dropped out of high school in her junior year. Her mother said that Joanna was “a trusting” person who loved to party. At the time that she went missing, Joanna did not have a job.
Joanna is white, with brown hair and eyes. At the time that she went missing Joanna was 5’7” and approx. 140lbs. NamUs does not mention any other distinctive marks, whether dental records are on file, or whether they have her DNA.
At the time that she disappeared, Joanna lived with a roommate at the Maison de Ville Apartments in the 800 block of Royce Street, Pensacola.
On Nov 20, 1992, they went to a party. At that party, her roommate felt sick. She went home, Joanna stayed, and got a ride from a friend. This friend was James Earl Gibson. He was an acquaintance and 27 years old at the time. He later told the authorities that he dropped off Joanna at her apartment after he had taken home two other people from that party. Otto was never seen again. I wonder whether all those people were eliminated as suspects.
Gibson received a thirty-five year sentence for a 1995 kidnapping and rape conviction in an unrelated case. He was convicted for the abduction of a young woman (18) known to Joanna. Gibson sexually assaulted that woman and held her captive for almost nine hours before he let her go. Gibson was never arrested or charged for Joanna’s disappearance.
I have not found information to see if Joanna’s roommate confirmed that she indeed arrived home after the party. Joanna was reported missing two-and-a-half weeks later on December 8, 1992.
I found online that Joanna Otto had a habit of taking off for days but that she always called home. When she didn’t call home for Thanksgiving, her family got worried and reported her missing. I wonder why the roommate didn’t do that earlier.
If you have any information, please contact the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at 850-436-9620. Joanna’s Agency Case Number is: 92S039039. Her NCIC Number is: M-609465680.