Left and Right: Jean circa, 1974
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 21, 1974
Missing From: Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: January 15, 1965
Age: 9 years old
Height and Weight: 4’2″ and 55 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Blonde hair, Green eyes, Jean was missing one of her upper front teeth at the time of her 1974 abduction, her nickname is “Jeanie”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark blue shirt with a red trim, a pair of blue shorts, and blue shoes
NCMEC Number: 1327043
Details of Disappearance
Jean or more commonly known as “Jeanie” was apparently abducted from Jacksonville, Florida on July 21st 1974. On that day she left her grandmothers home located on west 19th Street so she could walk to a convenience store known as “Hannah’s Food Store. The store was located on 17th Street and Pearl Street which was just two blocks away from the home.
The clerk at the store confirmed Jean did make it to the store and made her purchase which was a pack of cigarettes. She was getting these for her uncle. She initially forgot the cigarettes at the store and returned to retrieve them. She told the clerk that she was going to use the change from her purchase to go and play pinball at a place known as “The Hangout.”
Jean did go to the hangout but was asked to leave by the manager. He had just cleaned the floors so they were still wet. He told Jean she could come back once the floors were dry. Jean ended up with two friends at a laundromat near the Win-Dixie in Springfield. They were then accosted by a man they did not know on a blue bike.
The man grabbed Jean and pulled her into the bathroom with him. When she came out, Jean was crying and the man placed her on his bicycle and got away with her. Jean’s abductor is described as a Caucasian Male with light colored hair. His hair was styled much like popular singer Elvis Presley.
Jean was never seen or heard from again and her abductor has never been identified. Jean was the first girl to disappear in Jacksonville that summer in a series of abductions. 12 days after Jeans abduction, the Anderson sisters were both abducted from their home in Jacksonville.
The sisters, Mylette and Annette, were left at their home at 6:00 pm when their mother, Elizabeth, and older sister, Donna, left the house to go visit and care for a sick relative. Their father, Jack, was a commercial fisherman at the time his daughters went missing. He was due to go home at 6:00 pm but he was delayed due to boat problems.
Jack called the house at 7:00 pm and spoke to the two girls. When he was on the phone with the girls, he heard the family dog barking in the background but Annette assured him that the dog was barking at birds that were in the front yard. He was still concerned about his two daughters and he called them again at 7:20 pm with no answer.
When Jack arrived home, the girls were gone. The dog was found locked in the back bedroom of the home where there parents slept but there was no sign of what happened to the girls. Jack noticed that the baby doll Mylette loved and carried everywhere with her was also missing. Investigators suspect that both girls were abducted in the 20 minute time span and were taken from the area. There was no sign of a forced entry but the doors of the home were found to be unlocked.
Neighbors of the family reported seeing a white car in the driveway of the home around the time they were abducted but they can’t recall seeing anything out of the ordinary besides that. No one reportedly saw the girls being taken. Donna believes her sisters abductions were planned because they lived in a secluded, single road area. She said the person would’ve had to put the dog in the bedroom since it would’ve attacked anyone who tried to harm Annette.
On September 27th 1974, 12 year old Virginia Suzanne Helm disappeared from the South Side is Jacksonville after leaving her residence to go to a convenience store in order to purchase some soap just a block away. When 45 minutes passed and Virginia still hadn’t returned, her father went out looking for her and then filed a missing persons report on her.
Searches were done and people were interviewed in Virginia’s disappearance. A few witnesses recalled seeing a red compact car in the area at the time of her disappearance. Three days after she went missing, a couple came across the same type of car. The car was said to be a red Volkswagen Bug and it was pulled over to the side of the road known as New Kings Road. This is near the Nassau/Duval Border.
The couple got out of their car to see if the man driving needed help. They noticed a young girl in the backseat of the car. The girl matched Virginia’s description at the time. The girls knees were on the floorboard and her hands were on the seat as if she was trying to get up. Her pupils were dilated and she was looking back and forth rapidly and she appeared to be scared.
When the couple approached this man, he sped off. However, he left behind a bag that had fallen from the vehicle. The bag was collected for processing fingerprints but nothing was found. The bag can be tested for DNA but it’s unknown if this has been attempted yet. Investigators believe this man and his car abducted Virginia and that she was the girl in the backseat.
Just a day prior to Virginia’s abduction on September 26th, her friend, Mary Anne, was approached by a man in red car who told her to get inside or he would kill her. She ran for help instead and the man drove away. It’s possible this was the same individual who kidnapped Virginia. Virginia was described as a quiet child but she had a kind nature.
On October 16th 1974, Rebecca Ann Greene went missing while she walked home from a store that was located 5 blocks away from her residence. A clerk at the store confirmed she did in fact make it to the location but she never made it home. Extensive searches for her turned up no trace of her whereabouts.
Another abduction occurred in the city just a few days after Rebecca was taken. A 7 year old girl was allegedly picked up by a man in a truck. She was left in a wooded area north of Jacksonville bits he a Manges to find her way out by following a power transmission line. She was beaten and sexually assaulted. Police arrested a 25 year old man named Earl Taylor Higginbothom who was charged with sexual battery in the case. It’s unknown if he’s connected to the other abductions.
On October 25th 1974, the body of Virginia was found partially buried in a wooded area near Beachwood and Beach Boulevard. Virginia was the victim of a homicide and was killed by being shot in the head with a .22. She was partially nude as she was only wearing a blouse. Her murder remains unsolved.
Rebecca Greene would remain missing for 3 years until her skeletal remains were discovered washed up on the shore off Fort Georgia Island and in the mouth of the St. John’s River. Her remains were located in the summer of 1977. Rebecca was also 12 years old when she died. Jean and the Anderson sisters remain missing as their bodies have yet to be located.
Investigators have considered the possibility that serial killer Ted Bundy may have been involved in one or more of the cases. He owned a Volkswagen Bug which is the type of car seen in the area where Virginia Helm was kidnapped from and the same car she was allegedly seen in three days later. However, he was known to kill in the state of Washington in 1974.
Investigators have hopes of identifying who was responsible for the murdered girls who have been recovered. They still have the bag that flew out of the car that sped away with Virginia in it. They also took a sample of hair from the skeletal remains of Rebecca Greene to see if they can locate any foreign DNA. Nothing has been announced and no arrests have been made in any of the cases of these missing/murdered girls.
Investigators were initially convinced that the abductions were not connected due to them all occurring in different parts of Jacksonville. They now believe it’s possible all these girls were taken by the same individual(s) and were probably slain afterwards.
At the time of her disappearance, Jean was a student at Love Grove Elementary School and had good grades. While she was feisty and hyperactive, Jean was not in any way a troubled child and was heavily involved in the Brownies. She was originally born in Washington, Minnesota but moved to Florida at some point prior to her disappearance. Jeans abduction remains unsolved and her kidnapper remains unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Jacksonville Police Department 904-630-1157