Overview of Gayle Sorensen
On February 11, 1977, Gayle A. Sorensen left work to run some errands for her employer. After she did not return to work, her coworkers became concerned and notified her husband, who reported her missing. Later that evening, Sorensen’s vehicle was found in the Dillon’s parking lot at 734 E. 4th in Hutchinson.
A witness who was later interviewed said she observed a vehicle in the Dillon’s parking lot that is believed to have been Sorensen’s. She said that she had observed a woman sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and an unknown white man standing outside of the driver’s door talking to the driver. She said that both were laughing, and she assumed that they knew each other. This unknown man was described as 26-28 years old, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot, and with shaggy brown hair which was about collar length or longer He was described as wearing wire-framed glasses with brown lenses, a red stocking cap, and he had a mustache and goatee.
Several days later, Sorensen’s body was discovered southeast of Hutchinson, along the Arkansas River Levey. Her throat had been slashed, and she had been sexually assaulted. Police are puzzled as to how the killer gained access to the area since the fence prevented vehicles from entering and officers had to break a padlock to gain entry. Her body could be seen from the other side of the water, however, fresh motorcycle tracks were found on the opposite side of the river. The bank deposit was never made; however, Gayle Sorensen only had $300 in cash; the rest of the $1800.00 was in checks. Sorenson’s purse was noted to be missing. Investigators also note that several years prior, they had investigated two cases in which a man accosted a woman in a parking lot with a knife at a discount store. In one case, a man sexually assaulted a woman after forcing her to drive her car to a rural area. In the second case, the man was frightened away by another motorist. The FBI behavior analysis unit was asked to construct a profile after graffiti was found in a nearby Hutchinson Cessna Fluid Products plant in May as well as a random caller contacting the local radio station & having a three-hour conversation with the host. However, police & KBI have not discussed the connection.