New Information in Roxanne Paltauf Disappearance

Phone records may provide clue in 2006 disappearance

New Information in Roxanne Paltauf Disappearance

Sunday, July 7, marks the 13th anniversary of Roxanne Paltauf's disappearance, and her family is grappling with new information about the case. Earlier this year, Paltauf's sister Rosalynn Schultz (who was just 15 when Paltauf, then 18, went missing) discovered "airtime" charges on Paltauf's phone bill from the night of her disappearance. "This changes everything," Schultz told the Chronicle. On July 7, 2006, Paltauf was with boyfriend Louis Walls, then 30, who told her family (and later, Austin Police) the two got into an argument at a Budget Inn near I-35 and Rundberg, after which Paltauf walked out to "cool off" without her phone, purse, or money and never returned.

Walls didn't hand over Paltauf's possessions until July 12 and made hundreds of calls from her phone during that time; having evaded numerous APD interview attempts, he remains a suspect in what is now presumed to be a homicide. Today, Paltauf's family continues to investigate her disappearance, which is how Schultz ended up with her sister's phone records and noticed a handful of "unexplainable charges" that could "only be roaming charges" from the night of Paltauf's disappearance. The records, reviewed by the Chronicle, show approximately 48 phone calls made from Paltauf's phone on July 7, including the potential roaming charges for 12 calls between 6:44pm and 8:42pm, the time period during which Paltauf left the hotel, according to Walls. In May, APD Detective Jamie Harvel filed a warrant with T-Mobile, noting in his affidavit that "no historical data has ever been legally requested" by APD regarding Paltauf's phone use. A week ago, Harvel related to Schultz that, as of now, the phone company had only shared the subscriber's information, but the investigation into the airtime charges is ongoing.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Sarah Marloff
<i>An Army of Women</i> Tells the Story of a Criminal Justice Crusade in Austin
An Army of Women Tells the Story of a Criminal Justice Crusade in Austin
Julie Lunde Lillesæter shines a light on the women who made Austin a better place for rape survivors

March 8, 2024

City Acknowledges Its Debt to Sexual Assault Survivors
City Acknowledges Its Debt to Sexual Assault Survivors
Seen and heard

Feb. 4, 2022


Roxanne Paltauf, Rosalynn Schultz, Louis Walls, Jamie Harvel

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle