NCMEC’s newest oldest case

The NCMEC has profiled the disappearance of Beverly Sharpman from the 1940s. Her listed missing date of September 11, 1949 beats Ricky Jean Bryant by several months, making Beverly the newest oldest case. (The NCMEC also has a 1947 case on there, but it’s a Maryland Center for Missing Children case, not an NCMEC case, so he doesn’t count in my mind.)

However their date of disappearance for Beverly is, I’m pretty sure, wrong. I have it as 1947 and I checked the Philadelphia Daily News article to be sure. If she disappeared in 1949, she would have been over 18, making her ineligible for an NCMEC listing. I have written the NCMEC about this. The date of birth differs from mine too, but I’m prepared to accept theirs.

If Beverly is still alive, she would be 79 or 80 years old today, depending on whether you accept the NCMEC’s date of birth or mine. There’s no real reason to believe she didn’t live for a long time after her disappearance; she could be a grandmother in a nursing home today, or she could have had a long life followed by a natural death. Inquiring minds would like to confirm this, however.

16 thoughts on “NCMEC’s newest oldest case

  1. Wendy September 10, 2010 / 1:31 pm

    These older cases really fascinate me. The possibilities here are endless…

    • Meaghan September 10, 2010 / 1:53 pm

      A thought: died during botched back-alley abortion?

      • Princess Shantae September 10, 2010 / 2:18 pm

        Maybe. But why quit her job and plan to go to Chicago?
        Her parents said she wasn’t dating anybody but don’t they usually say that? She was working and had her own money, there’s no reason she couldn’t of kept a secret like a boyfriend or just a fling.

  2. Princess Shantae September 10, 2010 / 1:56 pm

    Meaghan, the NCMEC does sometimes have cases of people over 18. They had Brooke Wilberger and Elizabeth Campbell.

    • Meaghan September 10, 2010 / 2:26 pm

      Yes, but when they do they have a message underneath saying “this missing person over 18 but under 21 is listed here pursuant to blah blah blah act.” No such message in Beverly’s poster.

  3. Justin September 10, 2010 / 5:21 pm

    the Dorothy Forstein case has always interested me. She was abducted on October 18, 1950 from Philidelphia and her daughter witnessed it.

  4. Princess Shantae September 10, 2010 / 9:02 pm

    You mentioned Ricky Jean Bryant. I looked her up. Her case reminds me a little bit of Delimar Vera’s which was from Philly about 10 or 12 years ago, or more. She was only like two weeks old and her house burnt down. I mean it was totaled, burnt to the ground, andthey said she had died in the fire even though there was no body, everything was burned so bad they couldn’t tell what was what.
    Anyways, five or six years later, Delimar turns up in New Jersey. Turns out a cousin of her mom’s had kidnapped her and burnt the house down. She wasn’t even living all that far away from Delimar’s mother. I can’t remember how they found out about it, maybe somebody tipped them off? Delimar was being called Aaliyah, I think, and this crazy cousin was all the mother she ever knew.

    • Meaghan September 10, 2010 / 10:39 pm

      I remember that case. The real mother happened to run into Delimar at a party, felt some kind of maternal frisson of recognition, surreptitiously snipped some of her hair and convinced someone to run a DNA test on it.

  5. elisabeth September 11, 2010 / 1:12 am

    It’s interesting that Beverly Sharpman took the time to register for classes — it’s almost like she was hedging her bets that she might come back.

    Back alley abortion is one possibility, though it’s mildly odd her body was never found/identified if that’s the case. (Though maybe not — 1947 is before DNA or good dental records.) I’d bet she ran off with a guy, though. Maybe she never got in touch because she knew her family wouldn’t accept him; maybe he was older, or from the “wrong” ethnic group, or already married, which would explain why she never turned up in marriage records. Maybe he left her and she was just flat-out embarrassed to come home as A Ruined Woman.

    Bet her brother would like to know.

    • Meaghan September 11, 2010 / 2:11 am

      And Beverly might like to know that her parents loved her till they died and never stopped looking for her. I think a lot of long-term voluntary missings stay that way because they feel ashamed and think their families would be angry with them and wouldn’t want them back.

  6. Zoe September 11, 2010 / 3:35 am

    Wow, Delimar and her mother do look very alike! What an amazing story. Normally I think you would convince yourself you were mistaken…

  7. Tatertot September 11, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    Maybe Beverly wasn’t sure whether she’d really follow through with her plans to leave town that night, and went through with the high school registration, or she might have feared a guidance counselor would call home if she missed the important appointment to register.

    Her family doesn’t think she had a boyfriend and I believe they had every reason to believe that, simply because if they knew of someone she’d been dating, their need to find her safe would have far outweighed their hesitation at naming him publicly. I’ve always wondered if she hadn’t been dating someone at work, since it sounds like her whereabouts outside of work were generally monitored.

  8. Princess Shantae September 11, 2010 / 2:34 pm

    Maybe something happened to her some time after she went away, not related to her original reason to leave? If she used a fake name she wouldn’t show up in marriage records. It would of been a lot easier to change your id back then than it would be now.
    Another reason she might not of come back or contacted people? Once she turned 18 she knew they couldn’t make her do anything or stay anywhere she didn’t want. So maybe in her mind there was no reason to come back, she started a new life and didn’t want to go back to the old way?

  9. Candice October 3, 2010 / 7:17 pm

    I’ve seen many cases on the NCMEC where the MP is over 18 and they don’t have a message underneath. Like Suzanne Lyall.

    • Meaghan October 4, 2010 / 12:28 am

      Suzanne has a message.

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