Update: Authorities confirmed Marilane Carter has been found. Unfortunately, it appears she died by suicide.
It’s been two weeks now since Pastor Adam Carter of Leawood Baptist Church in Overland Park, Kansas has heard from his wife, Marilane Carter. Despite extensive efforts on the part of Marilane’s family and law enforcement to find her, very little information has been uncovered about where she could be.
“This is a very unique and strange case,’’ Detective Blake Larsen with the Overland Park police said in a press conference on Friday, August 14th. However, Larsen said “there is no reason to believe criminal activity is afoot, and there is no evidence that anything nefarious has happened.”
Marilane Carter Hasn’t Been Heard From in Two Weeks
What is strange is that any trace of Marilane (cell phone pings, credit card purchases, security camera footage) abruptly stopped on August 2—the day after she left her home.
As ChurchLeaders reported last week, Marilane left her home in Overland Park, Kansas on August 1st around 8pm. She was headed to Birmingham, Alabama to seek treatment for a mental health issue. Adam last heard from Marilane on Sunday, August 2nd around 7:45pm. At the time of their conversation, she was about to cross the I-55 bridge heading into Tennessee. It appears her cell phone has since died or been turned off, and no one has heard from her.
Volunteer boaters were recruited to help search the Mississippi River in the vicinity where Marilane’s phone last pinged. The boaters are using sonar and the readings are being analyzed to see if there is any sign of Marilane or the vehicle below the surface of the water.
One new piece of information Larsen released this weekend is that Marilane had purchased a plane ticket to fly from Kansas City to Birmingham on Saturday, August 1st. But later on that day she decided to drive instead. She was planning on visiting her sister in the Birmingham area who is due to have a baby soon in addition to seeking healthcare.
Who Is Marilane Carter?
According to the Alabama Baptist (TAB), Marilane is a 2008 graduate of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. She and Adam have three children together, the youngest of which just turned three today.
In a video posted to YouTube on May 5, 2020, Marilane is seen talking about a continuing education program she was interested in pursuing. The video appears to be part of an application. Marilane explains she wants to become an elementary school teacher and provides some of her professional background. Marilane says she worked for four years as a chaplain in a hospital following her graduate studies.
TAB reports this hospital was UAB Hospital in Birmingham, and that Marilane was actually traveling to seek help for a mental health issue at UAB when she left her home in Kansas a couple weeks ago.
Although Adam currently serves as the pastor of a Baptist Church, and Marilane’s upbringing and education were in a Baptist context, there is information circulating that Marilane recently converted to Catholicism, although this has not been confirmed by her family. Her name appears in the bulletin of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Leawood. On June 20, 2020, the church held a new believer’s communion and Marilane Carter is listed as one of the people participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation. The church also posted information about Marilane being missing on their Facebook page.
Marilane is 5′ 8″, 130 lbs, brown hair, green eyes and was driving a 2011 dark gray GMC Acadia with a Kansas tag—194LFY.
The public is asked to call 205-390-1003 if they have any information or 911 if she is found.