I am passionate about missing persons cases due to a personal family experience of having someone go missing in my family.
Details About Elaine Park
Elaine Park went missing on January 28, 2017. She was 5’5" tall and weighed 125 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and her hair was waist-length with blond tips when she was last seen. She is of Asian/Korean descent, and was 20-years-old at the time of her disappearance.
She has her ears and nose pierced. She also has several tattoos:
- a dagger and flowers on her right arm
- a rose on her left shoulder
- a cow skull and a moth on her left arm
She was last seen wearing a white sweatshirt and denim shorts, but she may be wearing gray sweatpants. Elaine suffers from depression and is classified as endangered missing.
Elaine was born on September 24, 1996, and she was always known to be a spunky, artistic person. Her parents were divorced, and she lived with her mother, Susan, in La Crescenta, California, just north of Los Angeles. She went to Crescenta Valley High School and was known to make friends easily. Elaine had a large group of people she could hang out with.
After graduating high school, she attended Pierce College in Los Angeles but, at the time of her disappearance, she had dropped out. She had lost her restaurant job around this time as well.
TV and Movie Roles
She was an aspiring actress and loved poetry, art, and musical theater. Before she went missing, Elaine had small roles in several TV shows and movies, including Crazy Stupid Love, Role Models, ER, Mad TV, and Desperate Housewives.
Elaine Park's Boyfriend
Elaine had an on-again, off-again boyfriend whom she was with the night she went missing. His name is Divine (Div) Compere, and he is the son of a successful Hollywood businessman, Shakim Compere. They lived in a gated community in Calabasas, California.
The Night Before She Disappeared
On January 27, 2017, Elaine sent her mother a text message before leaving in an Uber with her then-boyfriend to go see a movie at around 10 pm. The two returned to his home around 1 am and went inside so she could stay the night. Security footage from the driveway confirms this timeline.
Div claims that, around 4 am, Elaine woke up experiencing a panic attack; she was shaking and singing and acting oddly. He claims that he tried to calm her down and get her to stay, but she got dressed and left about two hours later at 6:05 am.
She’s seen on the security footage walking to her car, seemingly not distressed anymore, and leaving the property. After she drove away, the driveway camera stopped recording.
The gated security cameras, which only recorded the vehicles' license plates, showed Elaine's car leaving the community at 7:14 am. Police later claimed that the cameras may not have been updated with the time change, and that it may have actually been 6:14 am, though this was never confirmed.
What Happened During Those Nine Minutes?
Even if it was 6:14, this still leaves about a 9-minute time gap that is unaccounted for. The drive from her boyfriend's house to the gates at the entrance should have only taken a few minutes. Many people believe this time gap is suspiciously long.
For a time, this video was the last known sighting of Elaine. More recently, footage from a gas station on the Pacific Coast Highway surfaced that allegedly shows Elaine's car making a u-turn.
For the next two days, Elaine didn’t answer her mother's or her boyfriend's text messages or phone calls. Her mother tried to call the Glendale Police Department, as it was unusual and out of character for her daughter to not answer her.
Since Elaine was an adult, the police assumed that she just didn’t want to talk to anybody and had run off somewhere. Her mother was told to call back the next day. An official missing person report wasn’t made until Monday, January 30.
The police questioned Elaine's boyfriend, Div, but he was cooperative and they ruled him out. Susan, Elaine’s mother, was not happy about this. She wanted the police to investigate his home and the surrounding area, but no searches had been done.
On February 2, 2017, five days after Elaine went missing, the police found her car. She drove a charcoal gray 2015 Honda Civic, which was found abandoned 20 miles from her boyfriend's house on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. This was a 45-minute drive from his home.
Her car was found with all of her personal belongings still inside, including her backpack, laptop, keys, cell phone, and ID. The keys had been left in the ignition, the battery was dead, and the doors were unlocked.
Once the car was found, the police began their investigation, but they noted that no sign of a struggle or blood was found in the car. They believe Elaine left the car voluntarily. They brought in four bloodhounds, cadaver dogs, drones, ATVs, and a dive team to search the cliffs, shore, and parts of the ocean, but they found no trace of Elaine.
The investigators believed suicide was a strong possibility, but her family firmly disagreed with this.
Reward Offer and a Private Investigator
Elaine’s mother put up a $500,000 reward for information on her daughter, but the offer expired on Elaine’s 21st birthday. This large offer brought in no new leads.
After the police refused to search Elaine's boyfriend's house and essentially told her mother that Elaine most likely committed suicide or ran away to start a new life, Susan hired her own private investigator, Jayden Brant. After conducting his own investigation, Brant also disagreed with the police's suicide theory, and said that foul play was involved in Elaine’s disappearance. Brant presented his investigative findings to the police, but they dismissed them as uncorroborated theories.
Though the police haven't ruled out foul play, they say there is no evidence to prove it.
Current Status of Elaine's Case
Elaine’s family is still looking for her and won’t stop until they get answers. Her mother has set up a reward of $140,000 for information regarding her daughter. They have made a Facebook page, called “Help Find Elaine Park,” which provides updates and information on Elaine's case and other missing person stories. The family still believes she was a victim of foul play.
Elaine's case gained broader attention in 2021 when it became the focus of the true-crime podcast "To Live and Die in LA."
Below are some common theories and speculation about what might have happened to Elaine.
Did She Commit Suicide?
Theory number one is what the police and many others believe: They think Elaine ended her own life. She was known to have bouts of depression, and she had just dropped out of college and gotten laid off from her restaurant job. It’s possible that she and her boyfriend got into an argument, or that she was just in a very bad mindset when she left his house at 6 am.
Proponents of this theory believe that Elaine went to Malibu for a drive and could have just decided the time was right for her. It wasn’t uncommon for her to go to Malibu with friends or by herself to calm down and get away for a little while, so this might have been a safe place for her to end her life.
Was She Abducted?
Theory two is that she was abducted. After leaving her boyfriend's house and driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, she may have had another panic attack while driving and pulled over.
Alternately, she may have simply wanted to stop and look at the ocean to calm herself down from the night's events. Some speculate that an abductor could have seen Elaine's car on the side of the road, taken her, and driven off.
One of the problems with this theory is that, despite it being very early on a Saturday morning, this is a busy highway. It’s hard to imagine that someone could take a young woman from here without anybody noticing.
Was Her Boyfriend Involved?
Theory three is that her boyfriend was involved. A lot of people still believe the cops cleared him far too quickly, and that he could have been involved with her disappearance.
Some believe that after she left the driveway and the camera stopped recording, Div followed her. Or, alternatively, it could have been Div driving her car as it left the gated community. Perhaps he then abandoned it along the highway.
He has never said that there was an argument or a fight, but there is a lot of suspicious time that is unaccounted for. She was at his house for two hours between the time she woke up and when she left. Div claimed that she threw on her clothes and left the house, but what really happened in those two hours?
We Can Only Speculate
I would like to say again that these are just theories and speculation, and nobody knows exactly what happened to Elaine Park.
If you have any information on this case, you can call the tip line at 1-800-551-3080 or the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.
More Resources About Elaine
- Elaine Park | State of California: Department of Justice: Office of the Attorney General
This is Elaine's official missing persons page on the California Department of Justice website.
- Reward offered in case of missing woman—Los Angeles Times
This is a 2017 article that came out six months after Elaine disappeared: "For Susan Park, the last six months have been a tortuous brew of uncertainty and sadness after her daughter went missing in late January."
- "To Live and Die in LA" Returns to Search for Missing Woman
The second season of the podcast "To Live and Die in LA" focused on the 2017 disappearance of Elaine Park, a 20-year-old woman last seen in Calabasas, California.
© 2020 Jade Hassenplug