I made this website in July of 2021, when I still had no idea what had happened to my mother and sister. At that time, pursuing this old mystery felt like an ill-advised hobby, a guilty pleasure not unlike packaged cookies or teen dramas. I wrote what I knew without much fact-checking, and I wrote what I felt without much fear that very many people would ever stumble upon this website.
I didn’t expect to find my mother and sister.
As of today, I have a pretty good idea of why they left, where they’ve lived, and how they hid. The short version: They left to protect my younger sister from abuse at the hands of our father, they’ve been hiding in plain sight, and everything they did to hide was completely legal. I've spoken to them both and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with them and sharing more wonderful updates.
But our first priority has to be making sure that my mother is cleared of all charges.
If you’re interested in what my story was when I created this website and started this journey, read on:
For an unbiased overview of this case, see one of the resources on the press page. For my very biased perspective, read on.
If you're no stranger to this case, you may have heard from my father, stepmother, stepsiblings, or other people who aren't even related but have taken an interest in the disappearance of my sister, Bethany, and mother, Teresa. At times it's felt like this issue was stolen from me by louder voices, just like my mom was stolen from me by circumstances beyond my comprehension. For the past twenty years that's been okay with me because I've been busy living my best life. I have a husband, a career, a child of my own, an adorable dog, a charming little house in the German countryside, and probably every flavor of Chapstick known to humankind.
But I still don't have a mom. And that's why I made this website.
This is what I can remember: my parents, Teresa and Joe Tiner, separated when I was very young. I've been told this separation happened when I was four years old, so this would have been the year1994. My mother moved into a new house with her friend, Rachel Lewis, where I would visit her every other weekend. My mother would blast ABBA while cleaning the little house, hanging laundry in the back yard. Everyone would dance like crazy, but I danced the craziest. At night I slept in a twin bed with a red metal frame in the same room as my sister Bethany while a fan coaxed the curtains into a soothing dance. One night as I lay there after being tucked in, I saw my mom and Rachel kissing in the doorway, silhouetted by a light coming from the living room. I relayed this information to my dad soon after he picked me up from this visit.
This is my opinion: That was a mistake. My father hired an expensive lawyer who painted a picture for the conservative 90's-era Oklahoma court of a sinful lesbian who was unfit to be a mother. I'm not sure that they bought it at first. Actually I'm fuzzy on how the court proceedings were going, until one weekend when my dad and I drove to my mom's house to pick up Bethany for our weekend visit. The house was empty. I'll never forget looking in the windows at my empty bedroom.
I'll never forget the feeling of panic that made me feel like my chest was going to explode when I realized my mom was gone.
The truth is, I have no idea why she left. I was told it was because she was losing the court case and wanted to escape with one child while she could get away. But I'm fairly certain that my father wasn't awarded full custody until after she abandoned the house. Then I stayed with my grandmother while my dad flew to Seattle to retrieve Bethany. Of course, he came home without her. I've heard the story about how my mother never showed up at their meeting place. I've spent my life listening to the endless speculation of others and myself. But the bottom line is that I have no idea what happened. If you have any information about the disappearance of my mother, Teresa Tiner [Kennedy] and Bethany Maria Tiner, please contact me or the Chickasha police department.