Update: Katelyn Schwindt was found safe in Escondido, California, on June 26. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department explained in a news release, “Schwindt was in good health and told the Escondido Police that her being reported missing was a misunderstanding. We thank the media and public for looking out for Ms. Schwindt.”
The original story is below.
Katelyn Schwindt, 27, is the southern California mother who posted a disturbing message to Facebook hours before she was reported missing on June 25. According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Schwindt wrote that she believed she had been drugged and assaulted after visiting the Pala Casino. She also said she did not know where she was.
Schwindt is 5’5″ and weighs about 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, according to a news release. Investigators have not yet shared what type of clothing she was wearing when she was last seen. Sgt. Daniel Deese told NBC San Diego that as of Friday evening, investigators “have no phone number for her, we have no vehicle and we don’t know who she may have been with at Pala the night she said she was there.”
Anyone with information about Schwindt’s whereabouts or relevant knowledge that could be helpful to the investigation was asked to call the sheriff’s department 760-510-5200.
Heavy reached out to the detective leading the case, as well as the media relations office for the sheriff’s department, for an update on the search and whether investigators have found any evidence of foul play. This post will be updated once we hear back.
Here’s what you need to know:
Schwindt Pleaded For Help On Facebook & Suggested She Had Been Kidnapped
Schwindt’s Facebook page is relatively private. The only posts visible to the public since 2015 have been when she updated her profile picture. But friends of Schwindt have shared screengrabs of the messages they say appeared on Schwindt’s page during the evening of June 24.
The message appears to have been shared on Facebook Stories. Schwindt wrote that she was in trouble, didn’t know what happened to her and asked for someone to come and get her.
In the second slate, Schwindt shared that she had been at Pala Casino two nights prior. She wrote that she had been assaulted and drugged and was “lost and scared.” She insisted that this was “no joke” and that she “just got to a computer to type this.” Schwindt added that she was badly in need of help and that she thought she had been kidnapped.
In the final section, Schwindt wrote that she “overheard them say they are taking me to Nebraska.” She pleaded for someone to believe her and to call the police.
Schwindt Has Been Out of Touch With Her Family For Several Months, According to Social Media Posts
Schwindt’s friend Krystle Hudnell was one of the people who shared Schwindt’s distressed message on Facebook and has been the driving force in getting the word out about the search. Hudnell shared on social media that she had been in contact with the Pala Casino and the San Diego Police Department. She later added that an official case was opened after a member of Schwindt’s family contacted law enforcement.
In the comments of one of Hudnell’s posts, Hudnell shared a screengrab of a text conversation she had with Schwindt’s stepmother. Her stepmother said that the family had previously filed a missing person report with the Oceanside Police Department but that the case had been closed three months prior.
Hudnell further explained in the comments that Schwindt’s family members had told her they hadn’t spoken with Schwindt in about a year. A man who identified himself as Schwindt’s brother, Jeff Paben, wrote that the police needed her last known phone number and Paben asked anyone with that information to share it. Multiple people have remarked that they tried calling Schwindt but that the number had been disconnected. Schwindt’s sister also shared on Instagram that she hadn’t spoken with her in a while.
Several people have also commented on the social media chains about Schwindt’s alleged drug use and referred to her as a “sister in recovery.” On June 25, Hudnell noted that she had last seen Schwindt about three months ago in Oceanside, California, and that Schwindt told her she was living with friends. Hudnell was asked how Schwindt looked at that time and she responded, “bad. She was using but trying to keep it together.”
Heavy has reached out to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for more information about her background. A search of online records on the Superior Court of California website lists several cases in 2019 and 2020 in North County involving a Katelyn Schwindt who was born in 1992, but the site does not include further details.
Schwindt Has a Young Daughter
Schwindt became a mother in 2014. Her Instagram account, which has not been updated since 2017, includes pictures of her daughter Grace when she was still a baby. Schwindt suggested becoming a mother had inspired her in a post from May 2015. She wrote at the time, “I found a reason for me To change who I used to be A reason to start over new, And the reason is you.”
On Facebook, Schwindt announced in 2014 that she was engaged. A friend commented “Congrats Mike” but his last name was not shared and he was not tagged in the post. Schwindt also shared a couple of pictures with her fiance and her daughter. But it’s unclear whether they got married.
According to her Facebook page, Schwindt graduated from Wiggins Junior-Senior High School in Colorado in 2011. Older posts from her teenage years indicate Schwindt ran cross-country and may have been active in her church. She referenced a mission trip in late 2011.