Left: Dorothy circa, 1976
Right: Age Progressed to age 45
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 22, 1976
Missing From: Ocala, Marion County, Florida
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 8, 1964
Age: 12 years old
Height and Weight: 4’11” and 100 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Blue eyes, Dorothy’s upper incisor tooth slightly overlaps her upper front tooth, Dorothy was also missing a tooth when she disappeared in 1976, her ears are pierced, she has freckles across her nose, a mole on her knee, her hair was styled in two pigtails at the time of her disappearance, Dorothy also wore gold framed, teardrop shaped glasses at the time of her disappearance, she may use the nicknames “Dee” or “DeeDee”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red short sleeved body suite with a blue floral design and snaps at the crotch area, a button up skirt tucked inside blue jeans, a brown leather belt with a metal buckle, and lime green high tops keds sneakers
NCMEC Number: 601894
Details of Disappearance
Dorothy was last seen in Ocala, Florida on July 22nd 1976. On that day, she left her home in Ocala along with her mother to go to the mall. Dorothy’s mother was known to be taking a driving test at the time. While her mother was taking the test, Dorothy went to the J.M Fields Department Store to exchange a pair of sandals she had recently brought. She also had plans to buy her brother a birthday present.
Dorothy did in fact return the shoes. She was last sighted at the mall at approximately 2:00 pm during that day. She was last seen by a store clerk as she exited the store. Dorothy and her mother both had a designated meeting spot that they planned to meet at when they were done. Dorothy never came to the spot and was never seen or heard from again. Her mother reported her missing immediately.
Authorities believe that Dorothy was abducted by a non family member.
A woman named Cora Mossman came forward and said she had seen a girl matching Dorothy’s description entering a older gray panel van in the Fields store parking lot.
Another witness named Rochelle Flowers came forward and stated that she had seen a young female matching Dorothy’s description 2 hours after she was reported missing. The girl was at a convenience store known as Nubys which was located on the intersection of Highway 40 and State Road 314.
The store was located less then a mile away from the Ocala National Forest. Some accounts state that the girl was by herself and purchased a soda with one dollar and left. A Caucasian male may have been waiting for her outside. Most accounts state she was seen with two unidentified males. The girl appeared frightened and was visibly shaken in the sighting. The girl has not been positively identified as Dorothy and the two males have not been identified either. It’s possible she was only accompanied by one male but media accounts differ from one another.
At the time of her disappearance, Dorothy was an honors student at Marion Middle School, she regularly attended school, and worked at her parents barbecue. She lived with her family which consisted of her and her five older siblings and her two parents in a mobile home in Citra, Florida. Authorities do not believe that Dorothy left on her own accord as she wasn’t having any personal problems or issues at the time. She and her family had recently moved to Florida from Columbus, Ohio to live with her married sister and husband. The family was struggling financially at the time.
Some have speculated that Dorothy’s disappearance may be connected to the Maryland 1975 abduction of the Lyon sisters. The sisters, Shelia and Katherine, both disappeared from the Wheaton Plaza Mall while Easter shopping. This has been a considered possibility since the disappearances were similar. It has not been confirmed that either case is connected and it should also be noted that a man has been charged with the Lyon sisters case.
Investigators have also looked at serial killer Ted Bundy and Lewis Lent for possible involvement in Dorothy’s disappearance but they have both been ruled out. There have been no substantial leads in Dorothy’s disappearance since 1976.
Dorothy’s disappearances remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. Her parents divorced 5 years after her disappearance and her father died in 1991.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Ocala Police Department 352-629-8508
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children