Pat Collins: last seen 20 years ago
It was twenty years ago yesterday that UVA physiology graduate student Pat Collins was last seen alive. Unfortunately for his parents and friends, the mysterious disappearance of the 27-year-old has never been solved.
His case was long treated by the UVA Police Department under former chief Michael Sheffield as a walkaway, according to Hook contributor Barbara Nordin.
According to her two 1997 cover stories, one of which took first place for Investigative reporting from the Virginia Press Association, the UVA P.D., having never before dealt with a possible homicide, failed to interview many of Collins' classmates and any of his Belmont neighbors, failed to send Collins' answering-machine tape to the FBI, failed to test a Kool cigarette butt and other evidence for fingerprints, and somehow lost Collins' calendar (whose current month had been ripped away but which might have contained impressions of lost text).
Sheffield, now retired, insisted that the case remained open and that all leads would be pursued.