Sunday, May 8, 1938. After mass, Shirley, Cecilia West and their three children, Dorothea, 11, Allan, 7, and Marjorie, 4, hit the road to Marshburg to celebrate Mother’s Day with a picnic. On the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, the little family meets a couple of friends, Mr and Mrs Lloyd Akerlind. The men get ready for fishing, Cecilia West goes back to the car to rest and her daughters, Dorothea and Marjorie, have fun picking wildflowers. Soon, the two little girls are gathering a pretty bouquet of violets. Dorothea walks away to show it to her mother, without imagining that she will never see her little sister again…

Returning to the place of picking, little Dorothea is surprised not to find Marjorie there. Imagining that she has decided to play hide and seek, as she always did, the little girl goes in search of her. But besides the bouquet of violets that Marjorie had in her hand, Dorothea comes back empty-handed. Quickly, the Wests alert the authorities. Hundreds of men lend a hand to the police to find the missing child. On May 10, a sniffer dog follows the trail of the little girl to a double-locked chalet. But inside, nothing indicates that Marjorie went there.

In one week, 60km2 were combed through by thousands of volunteers. “A line of men, standing side by side, waited impatiently on the Chappel Fork Road until officials gave them the signal to enter the forest. , the Bradford Era newspaper, hailing efforts to find the missing girl. Unfortunately, none of these efforts, nor any of the many leads explored by the investigators, will make it possible to find the trace of the child…

Little Marjorie found at past sixty?

Eighty-four years later, little Marjorie West remains officially missing. A man, a certain Harold Thomas Beck, nevertheless claims to have found her. In her book Finding Marjorie West, the former Mountain Laurel Review editor claims to have located the missing girl through aged portraits of her and her sister. In the early 2000s, the journalist would have been contacted by a woman claiming to have a colleague resembling exactly the cliché of an older Marjorie West: a certain Sylvia Waldrop London. Contacted by Beck, she would have denied any connection with the missing girl, before admitting, a few years later, to have lied. According to Harold Beck, London revealed that she learned from her mother when she was on her deathbed that her father had kidnapped her from a park when she was just a child. In addition, Sylvia would have admitted to remembering the first names Dorothea and Allan. Today, Sylvia Waldrop London’s version has never been proven. Indeed, the latter died on February 27, 2009 of cancer, perhaps taking with her the truth about the disappearance of little Marjorie West…

Marjorie West © DR

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Lara T.
Lara T.

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