Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site

American Tourist Leta Lynn Cordes Missing in the Caribbean while Vacationing on Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles Since 1/11/2008

49 year old Leta Lynn Cordes has been missing since Friday, January 11, 2008.Leta Lynn Cordes Leta Lynn Cordes and her husband, Frank Cordes, had been vacationing on the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten. She was last seen by her husband when she went gambling and walked to a the  near by Westin hotel about a quarter of a mile away. Leta Lynn Cordes left to go gambling with only her ID and about $100.00 in cash. She has not been seen nor heard from since.

Once again a Caribbean paradise that was a familiar and considered safe haven for an American tourist may have been responsible for the disappearance of Leta Lynn Cordes. It is shameful that reports have stated that Cordes was a drinker. If that were the case then she would have been found some where between the location where she left her husband and the hotel casino. The situation does not look good.


  • Leta Lynn Cordes is  49 years old
  •  5-feet-5
  • 145 pounds
  • with a “777″ tattoo on her back circled by flames
  •  has long dark blonde hair below her shoulders
  • she left the house she was wearing a blouse and short jeans pants

Video, Orange County Mission Viejo woman Missing

The Cordeses had just come back to their island home from dinner when Leta Lynn Cordes decided she wanted to gamble. Her husband gave her money and she walked toward a casino about a quarter of a mile away that is frequented by friends and family when they travel to the area, Honstein said.

When her husband woke up Saturday at 7 a.m., he discovered she hadn’t returned, she said. He filed a missing persons report the same day. Police and family are wondering about her whereabouts.

“It’s not her personality to leave with strangers,” Honstein said.

Dogs searching for Mission Viejo woman on island

Police: No Sign of Missing California Woman Who Vanished in St. Maarten

Still no trace of missing woman

A search to locate the 49-year-old woman started when her husband filed a report with the police on Saturday, January 12, that his wife was missing, but up to now has had no positive results.

Police spokesman Inspector Ricardo Henson said Wednesday that a search had been carried out by the police K-9 unit on Tuesday afternoon. He said the search would continue.

The Police Department is asking anyone who may have any information that could help locate Leta Cordes to call the station.

Husband of O.C. woman missing on St. Maarten searched for her
Police report no evidence of foul play so far.

If I was the Saint Maarten authorities I would not be too quick to stress the “no sign of foul play” agenda. One would think that they would have learned from Aruba and their mis-steps in the Natalee Holloway investigation.

Investigators have no leads, and family members are wondering what happened to Leta Lynn Cordes, 49, after she left her island home to gamble.

“I want to find my wife,” said Frank Cordes, her husband.

Authorities on the island said there is no evidence that Cordes has been the victim of foul play, but haven’t ruled it out.

UPDATE I: FBI Offered to Help in Search for Missing Leta Lynn Cordes

Saint Maarten would be wise to accept the help of the FBI or face the scrutiny of turning away much needed help, similar to the problem that Aruba faced in the Natalee Holloway investigation.

Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI, said the bureau has volunteered their help to the St. Maarten police, who are leading the investigation. The department frequently offers assistance in similar cases, although local departments lead the investigation. Eimiller was unable to confirm if the St. Maarten police accepted the assistance.

Cordes said he has tried to assist police by searching the island, although he feels he has been unfairly targeted as a suspect by the public and in some stories by the media on the case.

It would appear that the St Maarten police are focusing on the husband rather closely and his time line.

Police in St. Maarten interviewed Frank Cordes for the second time Tuesday morning as his wife, Leta Lynn Cordes, is still missing in the Caribbean island for the 11th day.

Two investigators with the St. Maarten police questioned Cordes about the couples’ time in the island and asked detailed questions about who the couple came into contact since they arrived at the island in December, Frank Cordes said.

Investigator Ricardo Henson of the St. Maarten Police said in an earlier interview that investigators verified that Leta Lynn Cordes made it to the casino that night. But in a written statement, the public relations firm representing the Westin St. Maarten casino said there was no trace of Cordes in surveillance tapes, and staff did not report seeing her.

“Upon review of the surveillance tapes from the evening of Friday, January 11, the resort security and surveillance staff found no footage of her entering the resort or casino. Additionally, the casino security director and staff reported not seeing her in the casino that evening,” read the statement. “The Westin continues to cooperate fully with island authorities, who have the Westin’s surveillance footage, and to implement its measures to ensure the safety of its guests, from a director of security, director of surveillance, security staff, security cameras, trained managers on duty and security gates manned by security officers.”

UPDATE II: Frank Cordes, Husband of Missing Leta Lynn Cordes Offers $5000 Reward

DAWN BEACH–Frank Cordes, husband of US citizen Leta Lynn Cordes who went missing on Saturday, January 12, has announced a US $5,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of his wife.

Cordes said media reports indicating he had left the island were untrue. He told The Daily Herald yesterday that he had plans to travel to California, USA, today, Wednesday, if there was a flight available. In California, he will be meeting with Leta’s family to discuss details of the case.

Cordes said that in California he would also be transferring a sum of money to an RBTT bank account that holds the reward money for any person who comes forward with information regarding Leta’s whereabouts.

January 17th, 2008 at 10:31pm Posted by | Leta Lynn Cordes, Missing, Missing Adult, Pictures | 27 comments

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  1. [...] 49 year old Leta Lynn Cordes has been missing since last Friday, January 11, 2008. According to her husband, Frank Cordes, who was the last person to see her, she walked to a nearby hotel to go gambling. That was the last anyone has heard or seen from Leta Lynn Cordes. [...]

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  3. What’s up with these people who go missing while only carrying ID and a few bucks cash?
    SM: When one is on vacation and just walking to ahotel, casino or restaurant … how much does one really carry with them? Because of crime in the Caribbean like robbery one would suspect that carrying more than one needs is never a good thing.

    Comment by disgustedmom | January 18, 2008

  4. Leta Lynn Cordes was last seen Jan. 11 shortly before 11 p.m. when she left their vacation home for the Westin St. Martin hotel to gamble, her husband, Frank Cordes, said.

    To the sad misguided haters that waste their time and lives doing nothing more than hating … maybe some of you would like to take some reading comprehension? It would appear like it is a must.

    READ … VACATION HOME!!! That means they own a home where they vacation. That means they do not live there … THEREFORE THEY ARE TOURISTS!!!

    Tomorrow’s lesson will be on manners.

    Comment by Administrator | January 21, 2008

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with Frank and Rory and pray for Leta’s safe return. Rory, hang tough buddy: thoughts and love from Satyrah, Cindy and Ida

    Comment by valgal | January 21, 2008

  6. Before comparing St. Maarten to Aruba let the FBI check outn the Cordes history. Secondly did Cordes tell any of the US media he and his wife fought the day she disappeared and the Casino he claimed she went to after reviewing their tapes she was not there that night. Since you all claim to know so much why not question Cordes instead of friends
    SM: Of course the husband has to be questioned. Unlike in the Natalee Holloway case, he was actually on the island. Not where in Aruba, people want to find guilt with family members who were in another country when a person went missing.

    The comparison to the Aruba case is to not cover up and have a transparent investigation.

    It is common knowledge in the Caribbean among the islands that when some thing bad happens, they do not want it to become a “Natalee Holloway”. They have security and communication conferences on this very issue.

    Comment by Jonas | January 27, 2008

  7. Oyster Pond: — The husband of Leta Lynn Cordes is furious with the media, whom he is accusing of wanting to make money on the disappearance of his wife instead of wanting to help him locate the woman. Frank Cordes said that the media is distorting what he said to them and this creating media frenzy especially with bloggers in the United States of America.
    On Sunday January 13 SMN News did an interview with Frank Cordes and he said that he is the one who dropped his wife to the casino, he said his wife was drunk at the time and that she wanted to drive there but because she was so drunk he did not give her keys to the car. Cordes said that he advised his wife to take a taxi home since he was not in the mood to go get her later that night. He went on to say that he had his wife passport, ticket and credit card which were not charged and the only thing he could not find is her driver license and felt that was the only identification she had on her.

    He also said that when he returned from an all day adventure in Grand Case where they were eating and drinking he did leave his drunken wife in the car sleeping. Cordes said a neighbor who was walking his dog in the area opened the car door when the man noticed his wife was alone in the vehicle and his wife then went into the house and asked him for $200 to go and gamble at Westin but he only gave her $100. The man said when he went to look for his wife and could not find her he waited to see if she had checked in at the resort or to see if she met friends and decided to spend the night with them. Cordes went on to say he proceeded to the police station and police refused to take his complain because 24 hours had not elapsed.

    He further claimed that someone from Westin had called him and said his wife had an argument that night while at the casino. Cordes explained that the caller gave him the name of the employee who had seen the fracas. He said he went more than once to see the employee and each time he was told the woman was not at work and finally he said someone told him that the caller had misinformed him about the argument. Cordes said on the night of January 11 2007 when he last saw his wife the security at Westin did not work something he finds strange. He also charged that management of Westin was trying to suppress information to protect their international image.

    Yesterday SMN News contacted Cordes who was obviously angry with the media whom he said is not giving him any assistance. He complained about the bloggers in the United States of America. Cordes said his son contacted the FBI and they are going to be leading the investigation since police on St. Maarten is not making headway in the recovery of the 49-year old woman.

    However, SMN News received information that Cordes and his wife had an argument on the beach in Grand Case that Friday and the woman threatened to divorce him. One witness told SMN News that Cordes is not telling the police what really happened and the Dutch police they say are allowing the man to get away with constant lies. SMN News confronted Cordes with this information and instead of answering the question he said the FBI will lead the investigation and hung up the phone.

    Police on St. Maarten already determined that the man and his wife were having marital problems and they also know of the argument Cordes and his wife had on the day she disappeared. However, they are tightlipped about the investigation except to say they are looking for her and that they have no evidence to suggest a crime has been committed.

    The Island Chief of Police, chief commissioner of police and chief prosecutor have been in constant meetings this week and they agreed to send out a prepared statement to the media, however, no one knows when that statement is going to be released.

    Chief Prosecutor Taco Stein admitted to the meetings and said that his office will not intervene in the case until it is proven that a crime has been committed. Stein said that the FBI will be assisting with investigation starting in the United States of America. He did not say if and when the FBI will be coming to the island. Stein said that he does not know where the media is getting its conflicting information from because they already reviewed the tapes from Westin Resort and they confirmed that the woman did not visit Westin that night. Stein said the first thing police did was to review Westin tape and he also sanctioned the statement released by management of Westin Resort.

    In the meantime, police on St. Maarten has been conducting an island wide search for the missing woman, on Thursday the police searched the Guana Bay area with the K-9 dog while yesterday they searched several areas in Pointe Blanche and they are expected to use both dogs to search Mullet Bay area today to see if they can find any traces of Leta Lynn Cordes. Police Spokesman Johan Janchi Leonard is calling on members of the public who may have seen Cordes to contact the police at 54-22222 or 911.
    M&E: Frank Cordes could always contact us where he will be given a fair shot and a chance to voice a plea for help.

    This is what happens when one goes missing outside the US … when tourism is involved, they either cover up or make an attempt at an immediate conviction.

    Comment by martini | January 27, 2008

  8. This is a sad story. I live in Florida and tourists visiting our country go missing everyday but no one seems to care. As a matter of fact, our citizens go missing everyday. I just think it is sad how we hold others to standards that we do not uphold ourselves.
    I love to travel and I think people need to get a realistic view of places, cultures etc before they sit and critisize. Our house isn’t in order. Oh by the way, I hope the authorities on that island look into the husband. He is the one who gave the timeline and we were discussing at work today that if that had happened in American he would be the prime suspect. Look at the Drew Peterson case……

    Comment by suzy | January 30, 2008

  9. Hi Guys,

    If I was any country in the world, I would not want anything to become a natalee holloway fiasco. We do the same thing as well here in America. Let’s not get it twisted.

    Let’s pray for the family and hope that all turns out well. If there is foul play lets hope that the person(s) are caught. But please let us not think that we do so great a job in finding missing persons that we can sit in judgement of the Caribbean islands where this type of thing don’t happen often.

    I decided to try to read papers from the local media on that island to see what they are saying. It appears that Cordes is back in the USA. He said that the local papers are brandishing him as the culprit, but I did not see that in the articles I read online. He is telling our media one thing and all things are not as they appear. This thing does not feel right. If I sound like an investigator, I am married to one…sorry guys.

    Comment by Suzy | January 30, 2008

  10. As a St.Maartiner, I must say, this whole story seems kind of fishy. It’s always the quick thing to say that whenever you go to the caribbean, this kind of thing always happens, etc etc… But common knowledge (sense) should tell you that anywhere you travel, once you are not within the vicinity of your house, USE PRECAUTION. We have had situations where tourists get robbed in a dark alley at 3 in the morning. HELLO? I have worked in the tourism business for a long time, and in my opinion, majority (not all) but, majority come to the islands intending to do whatever it is they please without any self regard other then committing acts of God knows what, that they would never dare do within their respective communities. It’s a shame that this woman went missing, and we all hope she is found safe and sound. And i will say this, Westin will always look for THEIR best interest, not that of guests if it means a tarnished name, especially after they gained the “star” reputation. With that said, I wish all the best in this case, and sooner or later, the truth shall be revealed. God Bless.


    Our police have been investigating the husband, and rightfully so. All of the sudden, when the heat draws near, Leta was drunk… Sounds like somebody is trying to make excuses before being asked the question. As i said, The truth will be revealed.

    Comment by L M | February 1, 2008

  11. I agree with what Suzy comented on the matter. Many things i read here today, I have come to realize that locally on St. Maarten some was not mentioned. It is really fishy that Mr. Cordes knows pretty much. His wife was drunk at the time how could you leave her in the middle of darkness in such an isolated area to walk to the Casino?? I know that area and trust me at those hours of the morning No one would take a chance. Stop blaming the caribbean for anything, like it has been mentioned these things happen all over the World. America aint all that saint either.

    Comment by Luisa | February 1, 2008

  12. Dear Frank and Rory,
    We hope you read this and remember us from your days living in Costa Mesa at SCF Apartments in 1993-1994. Rory was only 12 or 13 at the time….. We last saw all of you when you first moved to Mission Viejo. We wanted to call and leave you a message of support, but could not get a phone number……We were shocked to hear the news and are extremely worried by Leta’s disappearance in St. Maarten. We are hoping and praying for her safe return. Try to hang in there, have faith and know that even your friends from long ago are thinking of you guys every day and praying for only a positive outcome to this unbelievable nightmare that you are having to live through. With our love, Sue & Robert

    Comment by Robert & Sue | February 2, 2008

  13. Suzy,

    You are right. He is back in the US. In fact, word got out that our detectives were going to pick him up and bring him in for more questioning, and he boarded up their house, and took off. Doesn’t sound to me like the kind of man who wants his wife found. In addition, we locals find it very strange that as REPEAT visitors to the island with a home here, that he would let his wife go walking to Westin, despite it being ten minutes from home. At that hour, not even local St. Maarteners go walking. What kind of husband lets his wife go back on the road, while intoxicated, with money in her hand and nothing else?

    He is very irresponsible and again, we see American media and citizens trying to skewer an island for their own shortcomings. If anyone sees him or speaks to him, please let him know that our detectives are waiting to interview him, so that they can further their investigation, seeing as how he is so “desperate” to find his wife.

    Thank you for being the only sensible commentator I have ever encountered on the web Suzy. I hope this situation gets resolved soon.

    Comment by MelChan | February 4, 2008


    Comment by HS | February 4, 2008

  15. God bless this family, may their loved one be be safe. nothing matters but her .

    Comment by susan | February 5, 2008

  16. I am a Dawn Beach resident for the past 17 years. The casino in question is not even a good 9 months in operation. Westin casino has recently been constructed????
    The impression is being created as if this lady as well as other people regularly walk to this casino in the late hours???????? I live in the area, no one who claims to love his or her partner will allow him or her to walk that road. Firstly the Road is pitch dark with lots of overgrown bushes. Secondly the road is full of huge holes with huge puddles of water. And the many stray dogs along the road???? No one in their right mind would have allowed this pretty baby to walk that road. Her husband should come clean. He knows what he did. A search on Sunday did not produce any break through. Her Husband had a new year resulotion?????? Who would call their wife a compulsive gambler and heavy drinker. That is how this man described his wife in the local newspapers. He certainly loved her?????

    Comment by Michelle | February 5, 2008

  17. Here’s a question: Why doesn’t Frank offer to take a lie detector test??? Why did he leave the island to go to the U.S., then go right back? Is Leta only worth $5,000.00 to him?? Why refuse to talk to the press?? Shit, even Scott Peterson talked to the press!!!! If he is innocent, then what does he have to hide??? What about the island??? What are the Police there really doing???

    Comment by anonymous | February 11, 2008

  18. Hie everyone. Leta is my sister inlaw and I am very worried about her. Maybe I shouldnt lower myself to respond to some of the comments I have read (not necessarily here- but in general), but I just can not help myself.

    I can not speak for everyone, but I have talked to different people. Not one of them blames or will blame the island if something happened to her. Things happen everywhere. What I do have a problem with is how it is being handled. Im not talking about the gossip type stuff- that is human nature. The way some things have happened, and how they are being done is what bothersome, and everyone I have spoke to. It appears a serious lack of concern by the authorities. I am not just saying that to place blame. I have info to back it up that I cant print here.

    Leta is not psycotic, so what if she takes antidepressants, millions do, doesnt mean they have psychotic episodes. FOr those who say I dont live with her, well I was very close and when leta told me about things she told me even the things that could make her lookbad or foolish or grumpy whatever. SHe would tell me well rounded viewpoints not just the parts where she looked good.

    she is not a drunk. Oh sure she drank sometimes, and maybe she was tipsy that night. She was on vacation. I know her to be a very responsible person, who knew when it was ok to let loose and when not to.

    Please just pray for her safe return somehow. NO ONE deserves any of the scenarios that I try not to think about. Her son doesnt deserve to lose his mother, i dont deserve to lose one of my closest friends She has alot of friends and some friends that she has had for 20= years and we just want her home. Yes i know its against the odds at this point

    Comment by Whereisleta | February 11, 2008

  19. I am quite concerned about this case and although people (except the family) seem to have moved on. I still research it daily. The strange thing is that a tourist returned from the island with a newspaper and I read the first interview that Leta’s husband gave. I have a few questions:
    1. Did the authorities accept the assistance of the FBI? This man (he is from ft. lauderdale) was telling me that the island is part of the Netherlands Antilles and they cannto accept the help but the federal government who is responsible for justice has to. Is that correct? If so, is the island lobbying the federal authorities to accept the FBI’s help?
    Oh and I also read that the FBI is assisting in getting some background info on the cordes, so they are in fact looking at him.
    I also read (quickly since I had to give back the papers) that Cordes is saying that the 25000 reward is only for a short period because he is going to Germany on vacation. What is this?
    My heart goes out to the family and friends. But the husbands actions and words do not ad up. My husband may be getting sick of me bringing up points to him every night for his opinion but I can’t seem to let this case go.
    Frank, take a lie detector test with an FBI technician to clear yourself. Oh and Frank, those initial comments you made about your wife, is what has persons thinking negatively about you. Does anyone has any updates as to what the authorities are saying? My husband told me that Dutch law officials do not talk about investigations as we do here in the US, but are they saying anything?

    Comment by Suzy | February 24, 2008

  20. This is very sad!!! I was staying at the Westin the week this disappearance occurred. That night, I went to bed early. However some friends of mine who were at the casino said they had seen her in the casino arguing with another person, then leave the casino alone.

    Comment by lj | March 26, 2008

  21. lj ….
    if that is the case, that your friends SAW her IN the casino, then come forth with their names and contact information so the police can speak with them about what they saw. In fact, why must it even be asked? Or are you writing on behalf of her husband and trying to skewer the investigation to another direction …. just curious

    Comment by anonymous | April 2, 2008


    Comment by BOB | May 4, 2008

  23. Here are a couple of facts about Frank Cordes. I am a friend of the family. I have known them both for over 10 years. Frank offered up his Passport to the authorities, they said no, Frank has only left the island to meet with family (Hers)to keep them updated and to take care of Business stuff that does not go away when things are bad. He has made hundreds of search dives looking for her with search teams. And he is following his legal council because it’s the smart thing to do. Especially when people are jumping to conclusions. Leta has walked that road many many times. I have been to the island many myself and haven’t had any issues. But that does not mean that they don’t happen. I hope they find out what happen to her for everyones sake.

    Comment by jm | July 14, 2008

  24. Frank Cordes has been arrested by Dutch authorities.

    Comment by T | October 14, 2008

  25. NEWS FLASH!! Frank Cordes was arrested by the RST (dutch investigators like FBI) October 14th @ 7:30 AM from Leta and His home here on St.Maarten. When one of the lead invistagtors was asked if there was enough evidence, his replie “We would not have enlisted the help of French, German, American and Dutch police without very good cause”
    More to come! I am sure Frank is not enjoying Point Blanc prison as much as he has been enjoying the bars and brothels over the last few months like most greeving husbands would do.
    Please see October 15th 2008 St.Maarten Herald and Today news papers for more info.
    It is time Frank clears his sole and tell’s where Leta is so we can return her to her family for the respect of a proper service. Soon you will rest in peace Leta!!

    Comment by RB | October 15, 2008

  26. I feel so bad for her family and the ones that love her the most. It is quite obvious what has happened to this poor lost soul. Maybe now she is in peace, and the one that did this to her will live in hell for the rest of their life.

    Comment by christopher | May 15, 2009

  27. It is awful about Leta. I have been going to SXM for years and we were held up in broad daylight noon time. Local kids carrying a gun! Right in this area. They followed us in and knew it was one road in and one out. Don’t blame the husband just yet!

    Comment by karen | September 8, 2011

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