Left and Center: Nyleen circa, 1983
Right: Age Progressed to age 33
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: June 25, 1983
Missing From: Clancy, Jefferson County, Montana
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: September 18, 1978
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3’2″ and 29 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Blue eyes, Nyleen has a small mole above her eyebrow and she has facial dimples on both cheeks, she had a chipped upper left baby tooth at the time of her 1983 disappearance, she has excess hair on her lower back, she is right handed
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A yellow t-shirt and a pair of shorts
NCMEC Number: 601812
Details of Disappearance
Nyleen Kay Marshall was last seen in Clancy, Montana on June 25th 1983. She was with her family during a picnic outing in the Helena National Forest located in the Elkhorn Mountains. The area was located near Clancy which is where she lived at the time. Nyleen was playing with several other children at the time along the banks of Maupin Creek which was reportedly shallow at the time.
Her friends noticed that Nyleen was taking to an unidentified man in a purple jogging suite. He was apparently attempting to get her to play the game “follow the shadow”. He was the last person to be seen with the girl before she vanished. Her friends walked ahead of Nyleen for a brief moment at approximately 4:00 pm and when they turned around, she was gone. Nyleen has never been seen or heard from again.
An extensive search was undertaken in the area that Nyleen disappeared from. Searchers combed the area for 10 days but did not find Nyleen or any trace of her. Her family has been adamant that she was abducted from the area. The man in the jogging suite has not been identified and it’s unknown if he was connected in anyway to her disappearance.
Since the Marshalls believed that Nyleen was abducted, they distributed thousands of posters of her throughout the United States. In the years after Nyleen’s disappearance, there would be many letters and phone calls purportedly from Nyleen’s kidnapper.
On November 27th of 1985, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an anonymous call from an unidentified man. The man would stated that he had Nyleen in his care. Two months after this call came in February of 1986, a New York based organization known as “Child Find of America” received a typewritten letter from the same man who called. The man claimed that he took Nyleen with the intent of raising her as his own child.
He stated that he homeschooled her, had a good investment, and traveled the world with her. He also reportedly called her by her middle name “Kay”. He claimed that he loved her and could not return her to her family. Some of the contents of the letter indicated he was committing acts that are considered sexual abuse towards Nyleen.
The traveling he did with Nyleen would indicate that the many sightings of her around the USA were in fact true. The organization would receive two more letters and another two phone calls from this man. The Federal Bureau of Investigation traced the calls to Madison, Wisconsin and to Edgerton. The letters were also postmarked from the Madison area.
Nyleen’s family was questioned regarding her disappearance when she was initially reported missing. Reports indicate that Nyleen’s stepfather was a person of interest in her disappearance. The reason for him being a person of interest has not been disclosed.
Authorities consider the unidentified man who called and mailed letters to the missing children’s organizations as a possible suspect in Nyleen’s disappearances. They also consider the man in the jogging suite as well.
In June of 1990, authorities received a possible lead in which and unidentified couple who were wanted for child abduction in another part of the United States were the ones who possibly took Nyleen. Nyleen’s uncle reportedly saw the suspect sketch and said he may have seen this couple in the area when the search for her began.
Nyleen’s mother was murdered in July 24th 1995 in Mexico. She was also reportedly sexually assaulted. It’s unknown if her mother’s murder is connected to her disappearance.
Nyleen’s disappearance remains unsolved and she is believed to have been abducted by a non family member.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Jefferson County Sheriffs Office 406-225-4075
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children