Left: Clifford circa 1954 Right: Age Progressed to age 57
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: October 21, 1954 from Verdun, Quebec Canada
Classification: Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: March 30, 1945
Age: 9 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″; 65 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Male, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Clifford has a scar on the back of his hand
Circumstances of Disappearance
Clifford was last seen with a friend, Georgie Grumbly, on October 21st 1954 as the pair walked to school in Verdun, Quebec Canada. They were walking with another friend, Butch, but the two boys stopped to talk about something and told Butch to go ahead of them. They said they would see him at school. They never arrived to school and were never seen or heard from again afterwards.
At 8:00 pm, Cliffords mother, Frances, called Police when he never returned but the police stated they had to wait 48 hours before talking the report. Frances searched the neighborhood and found no sign of her son or George. Authorities initially concluded that the pair ran away from home. Frances did not believe this, however.
Authorities have received statements that the two boys were seen hitchhiking on the day they disappeared. It was speculated that the pair were killed by someone they hitched a ride with. George’s family has expressed the belief that the boys accidentally drowned on the day they disappeared. They have a lake located a mile away from where they lived and the St. Lawrence River as possible places this scenario could have occurred.
Frances believes that Cliffords father, Tex Sherwood, who is also known as “Edward Thorne” abducted Clifford and George. Authorities were able to prove that he was in the West Coast of Canada at the time. She still believes he was the one who took the boys. Her suspicions were confirmed after Tex passed away in 1987. When his daughters were looking through photos, they found photographs of Clifford and he appeared to be older in the photos.
Frances believes these photos were taken between 6 months to a year after his initial disappearance. His daughters stated that Tex would get so angered when they even so much as mentioned his name. He was quoted as destroying and smashing stuff in a fit of rage. He at one point disappeared in 1962 and resurfaced in British Columbia Canada in 1976.
When he was visited by his daughter, Colleen, she found that Tex was using the name “Edward Thorne”. He stated he was using that name so he could get into the military. He claimed that he wanted to serve in World War I but he was only 14 at the time. He claimed that he needed to continue using the name for his VVA Pension. After he died, Frances and Colleen theorized that he used the second identity to create a new one for Clifford after his disappearance.
A relative has also stated that Tex admitted to meeting Clifford years after his disappearance. When Frances contacted the Department of Veteran Affairs to try and obtain Tex’s military records, she was denied that knowledge because she could not prove that Tex and Edward Thorne were the same person. She believed that it was possible information regarding Cliffords whereabouts could be within them.
His military records became public property in 2006 but nothing in relation to Cliffords whereabouts were uncovered when analyzing them. Authorities do not consider Tex to be a suspect in his sons case but the family and many others believe he was ultimately responsible for Cliffords fate.
There was a man who may have been the missing boy. He was issued a drivers license with the name “Edward Clifford Sherwood” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and he had the same date of birth as Clifford which was March 30th 1945. When authorities went to question him, it was found he left town and did not leave a forwarding address.
While many suspect that Tex is responsible in the case, it has also been suggested to authorities that George and Cliffords disappearance could be connected to the disappearance of a female florist who vanished close to when the boys did. The boys worked for her as messengers and they were together shortly before the disappearances occurred. It’s unknown if they are linked.
Georgie and Clifford remain missing. The case remains unsolved and is said to be the oldest missing children’s investigation in Canadian history.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 877-318-3576