Dail Dinwiddie missing poster

Dail Dinwiddie. Provided

For the last quarter century, Columbia couple Dan and Jean Dinwiddie have been waiting for answers and holding on to hope.

Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of their daughter Dail's disappearance from the Five Points entertainment district after attending a U2 concert with friends. 

"After 25 years, our family and friends still hope and pray each day that someone will come forward with information that will lead us to Dail," said a statement from the husband and wife, and their son, Drew.

Dinwiddie's parents declined to give an interview, stating they wanted to keep the focus on the case and not on themselves.

Then 23 years old, Dail Dinwiddie was last seen around 2 a.m. on Sept. 24, 1992 leaving a bar called Jungle Jim's — now The Horseshoe — located at 724 Harden St., said Mark Vinson, a Columbia police cold case investigator. 

Dinwiddie attended the concert with a large group of friends who used several cars as transportation that night, Vinson said. Investigators believe that one-by-one her friends left Five Points, each thinking that someone else had given her a ride home.

Dinwiddie told a doorman that she was stranded before walking in the direction of Harden and Greene streets, Vinson said. She has not been seen since. 

At the time of her disappearance, Dinwiddie was 5 feet tall and weighed 98 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a forest green pullover shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes, according to a Columbia police statement. A $20,000 reward is still being offered in the case.

It is the oldest missing persons investigation in the department's jurisdiction, said Jennifer Timmons, a Columbia Police spokeswoman.

For Vinson, that means working on a case that's had countless leads over the years.

"The difficulty is there's no crime scene," he said. "We just have to hope someone will come forward."

Authorities have consulted with psychics over the years, Vinson said. They've searched drainage pipes in Five Points and have followed tips that Dinwiddie's body was in a well in the Hopkins or Eastover area.

But so far, no information has brought closure to the case.

As the years have passed without answers, the Dinwiddies know they can at least expect a phone call every Sept. 24 from Dail's childhood best friend, Amy Myers.

Now an Austin, Texas-based doctor, Myers said she feels for Dail's parents and that her friend's disappearance continues to impact her.

"I don't go anywhere alone at night," she said.

Myers, like Dail's parents, hope someone with information on the case can step forward.

"The most important thing is giving them closure," she said. "Not knowing is haunting them."

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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