Left: Tania circa 1983 Right: Age Progressed to age 33
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: January 20, 1983 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: June 20, 1976
Age: 6 years old
Height and Weight: 3’2″; 45 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female, Blonde hair, Brown eyes, Tania’s ears are pierced, she has a birthmark the size of a quarter on her right temple
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue/white winter coat with a fur trim, a black Harley Davidson t-shirt, white bikini panties, green corduroy pants, and brown boots
Circumstances of Disappearance
Tania Murrell was last seen in Edmonton, Alberta Canada on January 20th 1983. She was last seen after she left her first grade classroom at Grovenor Elementary School at approximately 11:10 am and was heading to her family’s home which was located less then 2 blocks from the school.
Tania’s aunt, Vera Stortz, waited for Tania to arrive but she never did. When Tania never arrived, Vera called Tania’s parents, Vivian and Jack Murrell who both promptly left their jobs to scour the area for Tania. She was never seen or heard from again. Authorities and volunteers search the entire neighborhood and additional areas which included ravines, alleys, and 1,900 square blocks. Despite the searching, no trace of Tania was ever found.
Tania’s parents were both ruled out as suspects in the case in the onset of the investigation because they were both at work when Tania vanished. But they did have habits that included drugs and partying so authorities initially believed that someone who was acquainted with them had something to do with Tania’s disappearance.
The area Tania disappeared in was filled with residing molesters and rapists but no one was ever named a person of interest. Tania’s family believes she is alive and was raised by another family after she was abducted. It’s possible that a woman who couldn’t have children abducted the girl and brainwashed her into thinking she was unwanted by her family.
The theories were thought to be even more so true when a witness reported that they saw a woman dragging an unwilling girl down the sidewalk around the time that Tania disappeared. Despite the lack of suspects, authorities believe that Tania was abducted.
A man that Tania’s parents were friends with is the prime suspect in her case. He was a sexual weirdo who at one point tried to unzip Jacks pants while they were drunk and when authorities gave him a lie detector test, the results were found to be inconclusive.
This individual is also a person of interest in the June 1979 disappearance and death of 9 year old, Kevin Reimer. He vanished after he wandered away from his parents campsite in the Elk Island National Park. His body was found eventually and it was not too far from where he was last seen. The suspect allegedly worked at the park at that time.
The suspect was questioned again in January of 1988, 5 years after Tania’s disappearance. He was questioned by authorities who were about to charge him with Tania’s murder. They gave him a deal of being charged with second degree murder but he cursed them off and said “You Ain’t got a body!”
The suspect is said to be violent and at point while he was in the Murrell station wagon heading to a lake near Edmonton, he turned off the ignition and the car went into a ditch. He also at one point smashed a beer bottle into a mans face while they were playing cards. Vivian was warned by friends to not let this man play with Tania or know her but she stood by the man.
In 1990, Vivian stated she regretted ever letting this man into her family and that she believes the man murdered her daughter. Despite the fact that this man is suspect, he has not been publicly named nor has he been charged with Tania’s kidnapping and murder. He has since died from Cancer in 2016.
At the time of her disappearance, Tania lived with her mother, father, and younger brother. She was a first grader at the time she vanished. Her parents and brother have since passed away but she has a sister who was born after she disappeared and she is currently looking for her long missing sister.
Tania’s case remains unsolved. Her family believes she was abducted and brainwashed afterwards. They believe she was raised by another family and isn’t aware that she is a missing child.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Edmonton Police Service 780-421-3382
NCMEC Number: RCMP8414267