It was just after 4 a.m. when the music died, and Kortne Stouffer's apartment finally went silent. The party is over, and the beautiful young girl who lived here is missing.

"I think Kortne surrounded herself with people she should not have," said Wendy Stouffer, Kortne's mother.

Kortne was a free spirit who loved the clothes, music and attitude of the 1960s. But did all that peace and love lead down a dark road?

For Kortne, it all started here in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, a perfect blend of country living and city life. The pretty green-eyed blonde grew up loving the outdoors and all it had to offer. She's exuberant, full of giddy energy and love.

But even Kortne's parents Scott and Wendy admit their beautiful, loving daughter is also bold. Now they worry she may have been too bold for her own good.

"When she was little she was feisty and she had a mind of her own," said Wendy. "Sometimes it rubbed people the wrong way. Sometimes she couldn't contain it or couldn't control it and she irritated some people."

At 21, when this fresh-faced beauty leaves the safety of her parents' nest, that boundless energy blooms.

"She was on her own for the first time," said Wendy. "She got her own apartment with her boyfriend. So she was starting her life."

And Kortne the free spirit takes to her new independence like a moth to flame.

"Kortne was 21. She was going to the bars, she was partying, she had her own apartment," said Wendy. "She was a hippy at heart. She wore tie-dye everything."

Saturday, July 28, 2012, was supposed to be one long party for Kortne, her boyfriend Bradley and other guests at their apartment. But before the night can even get started, neighbors call the cops and cut the party short.

"Probably about 9 o'clock Saturday evening, authorities did go over and break up what was essentially an underage drinking party," said Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold.

Bradley is caught drinking, and that's a big problem. He was on probation for a DUI, so cops haul him off to jail.

Kortne's furious with the busybodies next door.

"Kortne already had issues with these people," said Scott Stouffer. "She felt they were directly related to her boyfriend and getting picked up that day, she believed they snitched on him because he had alcohol or they saw someone bringing alcohol into the home."

She and her friends decide to move the party down the road to the nearby town of Harrisburg. But more alcohol isn't the cure for Kortne's fury. She gets into a screaming match with another guy and his girlfriend at the bar.

"If Kortne had a problem with you she would physically say it, and you throw a little bit of alcohol to it, it brings out some of the feelings you have inside already," said Scott Stouffer.

Kortne gets kicked out of the bar, and now she's really fuming. She heads back to her apartment with an old friend, Cody Pruett. Cody's following Kortne to make sure she gets home safe.

"I feel like she didn't want to be there by herself and she knew there were problems with the neighbors, and probably bringing a big strapping fellow back might help the situation," said Wendy.

And she's looking to settle the score with her nosy neighbors.

"She confronts the neighbors -- shouting, screaming, yelling," said Scott Stouffer.

Police are called a second time. Kortne and her neighbor Todd were about to come to blows.

"The police came and they were all outside in the yard, and Kortne was in Todd's face, chest to chest, yelling at each other, and the police came and told them all to go back into their own apartments and to just leave each other alone," said Wendy.

Cody takes Kortne inside to cool down. But Kortne is now on fire.

"Kortne was still upset when she got up into her apartment," said Wendy. "She was stomping on the floor, yelling at the neighbors, and Cody said she was irate, she was so mad at them for calling the police."

Less than an hour later, cops are called again. But this time, to their surprise, officers find nothing but peace and quiet.

"The police came a little bit after 4 and by then all of the apartment lights were off in Kortne's apartment," said Wendy.

"The officers went up to Kortne's apartment and it was quiet, and a determination was made that if the disorderly behavior is not occurring any longer, that we're going to let it go and sleep it off," said David Arnold.

"They had that one chance, one chance," said Scott Stouffer. "In this one case where they could have saved a young girl's life possibly, they don't knock the door down. They know there's already a situation. Why?"

At 7:30 that morning, Cody wakes up. Kortne is nowhere to be found.

"Cody told Scott he woke up at 7:30 and didn't see Kortne, and he left and went to a convenience store, where he texted her," said Wendy.

But Kortne would never receive that text. Sometime in the previous three hours, she went missing.

"Monday morning when I woke up I just had a really uneasy feeling, so as soon as I got up I went straight to her apartment because I hadn't heard from her, no one had heard from her all day Sunday," said Wendy.

What Kortne's mom finds is disturbing, not because anything is wrong -- but because everything is exactly where it should be. Except Kortne.

"Her keys were on the floor where she always threw them, her shoes were kicked off where she would always kick them off," said Wendy. "Her dog met me and I said 'Where's Mommy?' And I knew something was wrong immediately because if she went outside even for a walk, she took the dog with her. If she went anywhere in her car, she took the dog with her, and her car was sitting in the driveway with the windows down.

"The longer the time went on, the more we waited and sat there and waited for her to come back, she didn't come back," said Wendy.

And the longer Kortne's parents wait, the more their panic grows.

"The problem with this case is there's so many suspicions," said Scott. "I mean really. Kortne made some enemies that night."

Did that fight with the neighbor go too far? Did the bar brawl follow Kortne home? Did Kortne's involvement in drugs go deeper than anyone knew? Police and family are stumped.

"We don't have a crime scene. There's no physical evidence in the apartment to suggest that any struggle took place inside the apartment," said Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold. "While we don't know that it's a homicide, we've treated it like it's a homicide from day one. Because those things don't make sense, for her to have left those things behind voluntarily."

"We were looking everywhere. But we couldn't find her," said Wendy Stouffer.

Then, out of the blue, a young woman who claims to be a friend reaches out.

"She had private-messaged me on Facebook telling me her story, and I advised her to contact the detectives or the D.A.'s office to let them know what she thought she knew," said Wendy.

Amanda Ballester thought she knew what happened to Kortne. She tells her story to the cops and then a local news reporter.

"Two people that I'm convinced have done this basically went to her apartment seeking drugs and money that were in there," Ballester says. "They had stole the money, from what I understand, and then killed Kortne, rolled her up into a carpet and drove her to Memorial Lake, weighted her body down, and threw her in the lake and disposed of the body."

Ballester's bombshell claim is the first hint, pointing to where Kortne might be found, a place hidden in the back roads of the Pennsylvania countryside.

Pennsylvania State Police dispatch search teams. They search the lake with sonar equipment and scour the shoreline for clues. But they find nothing. No evidence of a crime. No carpet. No Kortne.

Cops are confused too. They're back to square one, running down every other lead.

What about the couple Kortne battled with at the bar the night she disappeared? Or the neighbors who called the cops on the wild child next door?

"Every single person that we know to have any association with Kortne has been interviewed multiple times to makes sure that we are not missing anything is hidden there," said Arnold.

What about Cody Pruett, the man who kept her out of fights and stayed the night at Kortne's? According to media reports, cops did obtain a search warrant for Pruett's property. He even took a polygraph test and offered his DNA for analysis. After that cops never considered him a suspect or a person of interest.

With every clue leading to a dead end, the theories start stretching beyond her hometown and down some very dark roads.

"We know she had connections with drug dealers," said Arnold. "They are unfortunately all possibilities."

Possibilities are all police have to go on, and they're actively running down every new tip.

All the family of missing flower child Kortne Stouffer has is hope.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for tips that leads to the discovery of Kortne Stouffer. If you have any information, you can submit a tip to Crime Watch Daily or you can call or text our toll-free number at (844) 800-CRIME.

For more information, visit the family's page at Bring Kortne Home and the Kortne Stouffer - Remember Me Facebook page.

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