Mysterious Winona file vanishes, then reappears. The document, sealed as part of the prosecution's ''prior acts'' evidence against the alleged shoplifter, goes missing for a few hours
Winona Ryder
Credit: Winona Ryder: Michael Germana/UPI/Newscom

Add to the puzzlement surrounding the Winona Ryder shoplifting case a new mystery: the case of the disappearing motion. A sealed file, a motion under the prosecution’s recent bid to admit what it says is evidence of Ryder’s ”prior acts” to establish a pattern of illicit behavior, went missing for several hours on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Judge Elden Fox reported the document missing yesterday. It was later found in the Beverly Hills court clerk’s office, a prosecution spokesperson told AP. The contents of the prosecution motion were sealed under the judge’s longstanding order against making public any ”prior acts” evidence against the actress. Court records indicate that she has never before been charged with or convicted of a similar crime to the alleged shoplifting spree last December at Saks Fifth Avenue that is the basis of the current charges, to which Ryder has pleaded innocent.

So what was in the file? Who took it? Those questions seem as mysterious as that of when the trial will actually take place. The date was supposed to be set yesterday, but in yet another postponement (due to Ryder’s lawyer having to appear at another trial), Judge Fox won’t set a date until next Wednesday. ”It is understood that on that date we will be picking a [trial] date or resolving the case,” he said in court. That comment hinted at another mystery, with the phrase ”resolving the case” implying that Ryder and prosecutors may reach a plea deal before the case can go to trial.