Lisa McBride was 27 years old when she disappeared from her home in the middle of the night on June 23, 1990. Lisa was a very well-liked and vibrant woman, making friends everywhere she went. She worked as an executive secretary at Lakeland Bank in Newfoundland, a community in West Milford, New Jersey.
On June 23, she ended her shift at the bank and had plans to go to New York City that evening. Lisa and 3 of her friends went to the Beacon Theater in Manhattan to see a concert, then they went to Big John’s Pub on Route 23 at 12:30 a.m. At the pub, witnesses stated that Lisa drank 3 beers, talked to many people, and also gave 3 old friends her telephone number. At 1:15 a.m, before leaving, Lisa said she was going home because she had work in the morning.
Neighbors reported to have seen her enter her home alone, at around 2:00 a.m. That was the last time she was seen alive.
At 7:30 the next morning, a co-worker tried to call Lisa after she didn’t arrive for her shift. There was no answer, even after several attempts. With workers being concerned, Lisa’s brother Douglas was contacted. He arrived at his sister’s home at 10 a.m. and noticed her vehicle was in the driveway. He decided to use a spare key she kept under the porch steps to enter the home. He called out his sister’s name and received no response. Doug did not find Lisa, but he noted that the lamp on her dresser in her bedroom was left on, there were no sheets or blankets on the bed, the couch in the living room was pulled away from the wall about 6 inches, and the kitchen light by the refrigerator was also left on. He contacted the Vernon Police. When they arrived, they found that the telephone wire to the home had been cut from outside. They also found a window screen that had two slits through it, allowing someone to reach inside and unlock the window, gaining access to the home.
Local police launched an investigation with State Officers and the FBI, plus several other departments. Nearly 70,000 posters were distributed through the country and into Canada, with an image of Lisa and a reward offer. She was 5’7” 135 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white shirt with a shoelace-type black tie in the back.
After Lisa disappeared, detectives searched wooded areas near her home for her medium sized, oval shaped black leather purse. The purse contained a brass nameplate key chain with letters spelling “Weesa,” her nickname. The purse and keychain were never found.
Unfortunately, on October 20, 1990, four months after Lisa disappeared, her remains were found by hunters in the woods off Old Mine Road in Sandyston, part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This is over 35 miles away from Lisa’s home.
Lisa was found naked and almost completely skeletonized. She was identified through dental work. Her cause of death was ruled “undetermined,” but when she was found, she had a left cheekbone fracture that is believed to be from blunt force trauma. Her death was determined to be a homicide. She had most likely been killed soon after her disappearance. When found, the condition of Lisa’s body indicated that her murderer had placed her in the woods right after she died.
There have been several suspects over the years, one being a secret admirer who at one point left Lisa flowers and love notes, but all of these people have been ruled out. More than 400 people were interviewed and 850 leads were followed, but nothing came of them.
In March of 2022, it was announced that a judge had signed a court order to exhume Lisa’s body in hopes of finding additional evidence in her case. A forensic lab called Bode Technology in Virginia will be examining the remains.
As of April 27, 2022, Lisa’s killer has still not been caught.
If you have any further information about this case, please contact: Lt. Nicholas Elmo with the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-383-1570.