Kansas Cold Cases: Margaret Tighe

No one knows what happened to Margaret Tighe after she was reportedly dropped off in Manhttan Nov. 24, 1998.
Updated: Jul. 31, 2022 at 10:00 PM CDT
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POTTAWATOMIE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - No one knows what happened to Margaret Tighe after she was reportedly dropped off somewhere around Hwy. 24 and McCall road in Manhttan on Nov. 24, 1998.

Gerald Schmidt was the lead investigator on the case for the Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve never recovered any remains and there is no concrete sightings or any activity,” he said.

Schmidt remembers Margaret’s father and sister coming to file a missing person’s report a couple weeks later, Dec. 10. She was 33 years old at the time.

“They felt that probably she’d met with foul play because everything was unusual - no contact; her banking, her money she needed every month - she had a check coming in - was never touched,” Schmidt said.

Margaret lived with a man named Michael Klingsieck in home near St. George. The pair had a history of domestic incidents. But Schmidt said the family told him any other time Margaret would leave him, she would reach out to one of her sisters.

“He did have a social history with her of putting her in hospital and having to go to crisis centers,” Schmidt said. “She told her family, ‘If anything ever happened to me, he killed me.’ That was her words, but whether that happened or not, we don’t know. We do know he was the last one to be with her.”

Schmidt says the boyfriend is not the only one who could have meant Margaret harm.

“(With) her lifestyle, surely other things could have happened,” he said.

Nearly 24 year later, there are many questions, with few people left to answer them.

Margaret’s father, who spoke with 13 NEWS about the case in 2005, has passed away now, as have two of Margaret’s sisters, and Klingsieck. Schmidt said the boyfriend died of cancer, and his family says he never revealed any additional information as to where Margaret might be.

“If we had a body or remains, we could have probably drawn some conclusions,” Schmidt said. “The other thing would be if someone somewhere talked, befriended someone and had information at this point and would finally come forward.”

That latter piece is why Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff Shane Jager, who also was a detective on the case, submitted it for the Cold Case Deck. Margaret is the eight of hearts in a special deck of playing cards the KBI and Dept. of Corrections are distributing to jails and prisons.

“The association with the people that they were with may have some idea where she may be, and to put that in a deck of cards that would be located in institutions would give us the likelihood of maybe finding out where she was,” Jager said.

It’s a drive to find answers, and bring closure: for Margaret, for her family, and for themselves, too.

“We don’t have cases that are unsolved and this being one of them is the biggest thing - that we have not located Margaret and we would like to find her,” Jager said.

“I worked pretty hard on it and I kind of took it personal, I guess, being with the family and interviewing the family,” Schmidt said. “We’d like to close the case.”

If you know anything about Margaret Tighe’s disappearance - or any unsolved case - call the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Prior KS Cold Case Profiles:

John Waller

Joshua Jernagin

Clarence “Butch” Lavin

Arthur Goebel

Gary Leo Nelson

Charles Giles

James Winston III

Mercedes Holford and Crystal Andrews

Tirell Ocobock

Carla Avery, Eric Avery, Tamesha Lee, and Marvin Woods

Nelson Jones

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