Margret Dodd disappeared from Beckley, West Virginia on September 7, 1977 — nearly forty years ago (I won’t quibble over two months). She was 27 years old and was witnessed being dragged, screaming, into someone’s car. James Hendree subsequently demanding a $10k ransom for her safe return. An FBI agent posed as Margret’s dad to meet Hendree for the handoff, and wound up shooting him after an altercation.
Margret’s body was found on Bolt Mountain in 1993, but it wasn’t identified until now. According to this article, her family recognized the clothes and jewelry found with the body, and mitochondrial DNA confirmed the match.
I’m happy for her family. The police are still investigating the case and there might be prosecutions in the future, as it seems unlikely that Hendree acted alone.
This week’s featured missing person is Lucia Chilel Perez, who disappeared from Worthington, Minnesota sometime in late June 2011, possibly June 27. A mother of three, she left with a guy to go looking for work. The man subsequently returned without her. He has a history of violence and gave an explanation for Lucia’s disappearance that turned out to be false. The police are understandably calling him a person of interest.
Susan P. asked me to re-share Elizabeth Jean Acton‘s casefile on the Charley Project Facebook page. I thought I’d do one better and do a Select It Sunday about her.
Unfortunately I really don’t know anything about Elizabeth’s disappearance. The 41-year-old woman was last seen in Montross, Virginia on August 24, 1994. That’s all I know. Wikipedia says that Montross is the county seat of Westmoreland County, but it’s really tiny; the population was 315 people in the last census. It’s in northeastern Virginia, right near the coast.
If anyone can give me some more information about Elizabeth Acton’s case I’d be most grateful.
NamUs has posted a new case which I already had on Charley, that of Latrice Belton. The NamUs casefile has more info, including another photo of Latrice and info about her tattoos. But as ever, the information about the tattoos is kind of ambiguous.
The tattoo section reads thusly:
tattoo right leg “Lebaron” and “Larry Ross”
tattoo right leg – heart
That doesn’t sound confusing, but then I saw this photo of one(?) of Latrice’s tattoos in the photo section. The photo would suggest that the “Lebaron” and the “heart” tattoos are not separate tattoos, but rather components of a single tattoo. You know, since the photo shows a heart with “LeBaron” on it.
Given the text info and the picture I can see as many as three possibilities:
- There are two tattoos, one of a heart with “LeBaron” on it and one reading “Larry Ross”
- There are two tattoos, one of the heart with “LeBaron” on it and one reading “LeBaron and Larry Ross”
- There are three tattoos, one of the heart with “LeBaron” on it, one reading “LeBaron”, and one reading “Larry Ross”
I hate having to do guesswork like this.
This week’s Flashback Friday case is Beatrice Susan Calderon, last seen in San Jose, California on August 17, 1971. She was 33 years old at the time of her disappearance and would be 79 today if she’s still alive.
Unfortunately, I know doodly squat about the circumstances of her case.
Middle-aged married couple William Durrell Patterson, 52, and Margaret M. Patterson, 42, vanished from El Paso, Texas on March 5, 1957. They were last seen by a neighbor who dropped by with some Girl Scout cookies. Margaret looked upset at the time and William didn’t seem to want company. That night there was unspecified “unusual activity” observed at the Patterson home. The next day they were gone, and it looked like they had left in a hurry.
William in particular seems to have been involved in some kind of sketchy things. His own father said he “made his living doing sleight-of-hand tricks” and he had always expected the Pattersons to disappear eventually.
There are some indications that they left of their own accord, the appearance of the house nonwithstanding. Let’s break it down:
- On March 15, the Pattersons’ accountant got a telegram with instructions on how to manage their business in their absence. HOWEVER, the telegram was signed “W.H. Patterson” and not “W.D. Patterson.” The obvious explanations I can think of are (1) William did not really send that telegram or (2) William did send the telegram but messed up his initials on purpose as a duress signal.
- William’s mistress, who lived in Juarez, said she saw him in the early morning hours of March 6 (the day after he and Margaret were seen in El Paso) and he told her he had important things to tell her and “when they come for me, I’ll have to go in a hurry.” HOWEVER, she later recanted this statement. What I’m wondering is: if William had important things to tell her, why not just tell her right then, since they were together and all?
- The couple’s business associates went around telling everyone they were on an extended vacation. No word as to where they were getting this information, but as a result they weren’t reported missing for five months.
- The Pattersons’ lawyer eventually got a letter, supposedly from William, postmarked May 29. It said they were getting out of dodge and would not be returning, and instructing that their property should be divided up. HOWEVER, the selection of heirs was…curious, to say the least, and handwriting experts were not sure that William had actually signed the letter, and for several legal reasons (starting with the fact that Margaret co-owned the couple’s photography business), it had no actual value as a will.
In 1984, a witness went to the police and said he had been hired to clean the Pattersons’ home after they disappeared and he saw blood in the garage, a piece of human scalp stuck to William’s boat propeller, and someone carrying away bloodstained sheets. The witness was an illegal immigrant and he said he didn’t go to the police at the time because he was afraid he’d be deported. I’ve got no idea if there’s any evidence to back up his statement. I’ve watched Forensic Files; I know they have all sorts of gizmos and experts in all kinds of obscure fields of crime scene analysis and it seems like if the house had still been there, they might have found something.
For what it’s worth, Margaret was completely estranged from her family. They hadn’t heard from her in 20 years and they assumed she was dead, which is an odd assumption if you ask me. She was a young healthy woman and she doesn’t appear to have vanished out of their lives into thin air; she became estranged from them because they disapproved of her marriage to William. So why would they assume she was dead?
Now, it’s been 60 years, and both of the Pattersons would be over 100 years old by now, so it’s a safe bet to assume they’re not alive anymore. What I would like to know is: do y’all think they were alive after 1957?
Let’s talk about it.