Years later, the family still seeks answers in mother, son disappearance

WETUMPKA, Alabama  – This Memorial Day marks six years since Susan Osbourne and her teenage son Evan Chartrand were last seen or heard from. What’s strange for the family is that they haven’t received any information from investigators in years.

“I’m hoping that with the media attention, their story will reach the right person, and they will do the right thing and come forward,” said Melissa Canfield.

The 42-year-old mother and her 14-year-old son were last seen at their Wetumpka home in May 2017. At the time, they were living with Susan’s second husband. The mother and son duo, originally from Michigan, went to Alabama with Susan’s first husband. Susan stayed in the Deep South and split custody of their son Evan after the couple divorced. She then rediscovered love and married her second spouse. They lived at a house on Waterview Drive in Wetumpka.

Melissa Canfield, Susan’s sister-in-law, still lives in Michigan. She used FaceTime to communicate with Susan and Evan all the time.

“We spoke to them about two weeks before this all happened,” she said, “and everything seemed fine. Then in May, we all planned a trip down there, and my mother-in-law hadn’t heard from Susan. She was texting her and leaving messages and hadn’t heard from her. But, she didn’t tell us anything, and she reported her missing that day.”

Susan and Evan were last heard from in early May, according to family and friends, but they were not reported missing to the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office until July. Melissa Canfield recalls having the sense that something was wrong.

“They said her car was still at the house, and we were all shocked, and I remember looking at my husband and saying,’ This is bad,'” Canfield explained.

“Her mother reported her missing and said it was extremely unusual that she had not heard from her, you know, in this extended period of time,” CJ Robinson said.

Authorities conducted a welfare check at the Wetumpka residence. Robinson has attentively studied this case and is now the district attorney for that county. He told WSFA 12 News in 2021 that detectives discovered her automobile at the house, as well as indications of renovation and fire piles on the property. Susan and Evan’s things have both been taken from the house.

“I do believe there was some evidence of burn piles and things like that around on the property,” he said. “And some things were removed. Now, whether those things were taken with them or were removed after they went missing is a question, we may never know the answer to.”

CJ Robinson was sworn in as District Attorney of the 19th Judicial District, which includes Elmore County, in November 2022. Susan and Evan’s family contacted our 12 News Defender’s Case File team for an update, expressing hope that the new district attorney may lead to new leads in this case. Robinson did say in a 2021 interview that he hopes new technology will help.

“There is hope, that with the technology with DNA that, we might actually catch who did it,” Robinson said, “but right now, we just don’t know.”

Melissa Canfield stated that she does not believe they are still alive and that her family simply wants closure.

“We know they’re gone,” Canfield explained,  “we would like to find their bodies, and they need to have a proper burial.”

Contact the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office at 334-567-5441 or the Elmore County District Attorney’s Office at 334-514-3116 if you have any information that could aid in this case.

The Secret Witness line in Elmore County is 334-567-5227. Callers can, once again, remain anonymous. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip by dialling 334-215-STOP.

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Sean O
Sean O

Sean thinks the world of Montgomery County, Maryland. She grew up in the area starting from Silver Spring and has been involved in various organizations around the County. With the transformation of downtown Silver Spring, She pioneered interest in online content specific to the area. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus in Economics and Geographic Information Science.

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