Left: Deborah circa, 1977
Right: Age Progressed to age 52
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 3, 1977
Missing From: Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: October 9, 1963
Age: 13 years old
Height and Weight: 5’1″ and 120 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Deborah was possibly pregnant at the time of her disappearance but there is no evidence to prove this, she has freckles and her nickname is “Debbie”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A royal blue Pop Warner cheerleaders jacket with “Debbie” imprinted on one of the sleeves, a multicolored shirt, and blue jeans
NCMEC Number: 727916
Details of Disappearance
Deborah was last seen in Townsend, Massachusetts on May 3rd 1977. She left a note for her parents where she said that she was to ride her bike from their home to her grandparents campsite in located on Vinton Pond Road in the western area of Townsend. She said she was upset and needed sometime and a place to think.
The campsite was located in close proximity to Pearl Hill State Park and was only 4 miles away from her residence at the time. Deborah said she would return later that day. Deborah also left a note in a friends locker. The note asked her to meet her at the campsite. Deborah also provided a map to the location.
A friend went with Deborah to Turnpike Road in the woods near her grandmothers home. They both parted ways at that point and Deborah continued onwards towards the camp. She was last seen as she reached the top of a hill on Turnpike Road. She never arrived at the camp and was never seen or heard from again. ￼
An extensive search which included over 9,200 people from both New Hampshire and Massachusetts produced no traces of the girl.
Some agencies stated that Deborah was last seen by two boys and that she told them she was running away. This piece of information is not correct since she was last seen by her friend.
Deborahs bicycle which was described as a boy’s brown Takara or Schwinn 10-speed model has never been found. Investigators are unsure of what happened to Deborah between her grandparents camp and her last known location.
Investigators have looked at the possibility that Deborah was abducted by a non family member. Her case is classified as a non family abduction with some agencies but her case is being treated as a missing persons case with foul play suspected. Her family doubts that she was the victim of a stranger abduction.
Deborahs parents believe that their daughter set out to meet someone at a specific location and met with foul play afterwards. Investigators have stated that there are no suspects in Deborah’s case but they believe she a likely deceased.
In November of 2002, investigators received an anonymous letter which told investigators to search Walker Pond for Deborah’s body. Turnpike Road goes right past Walker Pond. By then, Deborah’s case was dormant and cold. Investigators used sonar technology in May of 2003 to search the pond but found nothing.
Investigators received another letter exactly a year later which told them to look closer at a specific section of the pond. This prompted another search in June and July of 2004. The pond was drained in an effort to locate evidence in relation to the case. They were able to find the pieces of two bikes and articles of clothing. These items were sent to a laboratory for testing and were ruled out as belonging to Deborah.
In 2010, another anonymous letter was sent to investigators. This one said to look in a wooded area along Turnpike Road. The search did not produce any evidence relating to her case. The letters were all postmarked from the state of New Hampshire; specifically the Manchester area.
Investigators now believe these letters were likely a hoax. The author never claimed responsibility for her disappearance or named anyone as her killer.
At the time of her disappearance, Deborah lived with her family in the 10 block of Smith Street and was a student at Spaulding Memorial School. There were rumors that Deborah was pregnant at the time of her disappearance but this is another unknown in her case.
Deborah’s case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. Her father has since passed away but her mother and family are still alive and continue to hope her case will be solved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Townsend Police Department 978-597-2242
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children