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  1. #1
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    TN - Marlena Childress, 4, Union City, 16 April 1987

    The Doe Network:
    Case File 170DFTN


    Left and Center: Childress in 1987; Right: Age-progressed image of Childress at age 18 (circa 2001)

    Marlena Danyele Childress
    Missing since April 16, 1987 from Union City, Obion County, Tennessee.
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction



    Vital Statistics Date Of Birth: February 17, 1983
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 4 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0; 38 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown straight hair; blue / hazel eyes.
    Marks, Scars: Pierced ears.
    Clothing: Light purple pants, a purple and white shirt and pink jelly-style shoes.
    <LI>Dentals: She has silver caps on upper and lower front teeth.



    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Childress disappeared while playing in the front yard of her Union City, Tennessee home on April 16, 1987.
    When Childress disappeared, hundreds of people volunteered to search for her. Several weeks later, the search halted abruptly when her mother, Pamela Bailey, confessed to accidentally killing her daughter. She told police she threw the body into the Obion River, but no body was found, and Bailey later recanted the confession.
    In April of 2002, Bailey was charged with stabbing her 12-year-old son in a cemetery. She has pleaded innocent.
    Bailey's son, Casey, said his mother had told him she had a surprise for him and to be home from a friend's house by 7:30 pm the night he was stabbed. Shortly after 8:00, while driving the three miles toward Arnett Cemetery, Bailey told Casey to put a blue handkerchief around his eyes. The stabbing is believed to have occurred between 8:30 and 9:00. Bailey sat her blindfolded son by a cemetery marker with the inscription "son" before she stabbed him in the neck and shoulder with a knife. At that time he felt a cut in the right side of his neck, and was able to kick his mother and run to the nearest house.
    Bailey's son was released from a hospital the day after the stabbing and remains with his father.



    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning Childress' disappearance, please contact:
    Obion County Sheriff's Department
    Captain Stan Murphy
    901-885-5832

    You may remain anonymous when submitting information to any agency.

    NCIC Number:
    M-244548958
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    MSNBC News

    Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index

    Last edited by KateB; 04-08-2015 at 03:32 AM. Reason: update doe network link.

  2. #2
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    Marlena's mother later took an Alford Plea in her son's stabbing -- meaning she pleaded no contest. Don't know what the sentence was, though.

  3. #3
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    This is unbelievable and so cruel and unnecessary.

    I presume 'Mum' had a history of mental illness?

  4. #4
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    Was the mother ever charged with anything in her daughters disappearance? Where was the father? Did the brother notice anything when his sister disappeared?

  5. #5
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    I wonder what on earth has happened to the mother! Is she in a secure unit? Is she roaming the streets? I shudder to think!

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykerladi View Post
    Did the brother notice anything when his sister disappeared?
    I think the brother wasn't born yet at the time Marlena disappeared.

  8. #8
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    Sometimes people do confess to crimes they have not committed. There was a case from the 1980s when a little girl named Michelle Dorr disappeared, and a few days later her father had a nervous breakdown, and said he'd killed her. His confession was believeable, as he and Michelle's mom were involved in a nasty divorce, and the cops had already considered that he might have killed the kid to get back at the mother.

    But Mr. Dorr hadn't killed Michelle. Someone else had. That person was later convicted, and lead the cops to where he'd hidden her body.

    So it's not entirely out of this ballpark that Ms. Bailey had nothing to do with Marlena's disappearance. The attack on her son makes her confession seem more likely, but one could argue that having a missing child would drive most parents crazy, hence her later actions.

  9. #9
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    Good point.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by missacorah View Post
    I wonder what on earth has happened to the mother! Is she in a secure unit? Is she roaming the streets? I shudder to think!
    According to this March 2003 article, she was sentenced to ten years in prison for stabbing her son but she was eligible for parole 13 months later due to precious jail time served - http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5848%2C5679417

    This 1990 article confirms that Pam Bailey was in hospital for stress and depression weeks prior to Marlena's disappearance - http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...hildress&hl=en

    Also, It looks like Marlena's brother Casey posted on the Sitcoms Online Message board and left an email address offering to talk about Marlena and his mother, Pam - http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...d.php?t=218554

    What's interesting though is this post on that Sitcoms Online thread - http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/...97&postcount=2 - there is talk of Marlena's grandparents receiving a threatening phone call telling them to give up the search. Also, the family Marlena was allegedly sighted with in Alabama - a social worker was called to visit them after a complaint of neglect and said a little girl gave her name as Marlena Childress. She recognised her from missing posters but the next day when authorities turned up the family had gone. When they surfaced in Florida two weeks later they claimed it was a different girl the social worker must have seen. How was that allowed to happen? Who were that family? I think they needed to be investigated harder but 20 years have passed.....

    Such a sad story. We can only hope somehow there is a happy ending.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-08-2015 at 03:33 AM. Reason: repair url tag.


  11. #11
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    I checked the Kentucky Department of Corrections - she is no longer a prisoner according to the online lookup system...she should have had to serve out her time considering the crime and the circumstances surrounding the child's dissapearance.

  12. #12
    West Tenn. child missing 25 years, case open

    As the disappearance of Marlena Childress from her Union City home reaches its 25th anniversary, the lead investigator says he thinks about her every day.

    More: http://www.theleafchronicle.com/usat...ticle/39050077



    Girl Missing For Almost 25 Years, Police Still Searching

    This year marked 25 years since Marlena Childress disappeared in what could only be called a very strange case.

    More: http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/Gir...139554368.html

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    MARLENA CHILDRESS from Union City Tennessee is still missing



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