I searched and searched and did not see any posts for little Jerome. I grew up in this area and this case always bothered me.

Jerome Coonon was last seen in his grandparents' backyard in Tamaqua, PA on April 29, 1937 at about 4:45pm. He wandered around the yard, apparently stopped to say hello to a neighbor, and then vanished. The family came outside to bring him in for dinner and he was gone.

Tamaqua is right in the middle of "coal country" and at this time there would have been a bunch of coal mines for a toddler to fall into. There were extensive searches of wooded areas and nearby dams and pools. Nobody ever found out what happened to Jerome.

This article spells Coonon with an "a", but a later article with Jerome's sister in it corrects the spelling to Coonon.


The article above from August 2011 has an interesting interview with Jerome's sister where she describes their family and family life and how their family believes little Jerome was kidnapped.

Then in 2012 on the 75th anniversary of Jerome's disappearance the possible last man to see him alive did an interview with the newspaper. George Fredericks was one of the boys playing basketball near the rear of the residence. This is the neighbor mentioned earlier. Snipped from this article: http://www.tnonline.com/2012/may/04/little-boy-lost

"We were playing basketball, using a peach basket," says Fredericks. "It was Buddy Moyer, Ben Herring and Herbie Schickram. Jerome came out to the back and wanted me to open the gate," he says. Fredericks knew the toddler and family well and occasionally had played with Jerome."I said to him: 'You're not allowed out of the yard. Go back and play in your sandbox.'"
Fredericks says the child returned to the sandbox, playing with a toy truck and shovel, as Fredericks and his buddies played ball for perhaps the next half-hour. It was getting close to supper.
"I heard Mrs. Berry come out and call him. Then she asked me if I'd seen him. She said he was missing. Then they called police. It was (Chief) Nelson Hughes and Sgt. Brecker, and they got a search party. I told them he never came out of the yard; maybe he fell down the toilet," referring to the outhouse to the rear.
Fredericks says Citizens Fire Company responded and checked the outhouse using a long pike hook.
"They tried poking down but couldn't get anything out," he says. The search then spread throughout the town, expanding over days and weeks. But Fredericks believes the answer was in the outhouse and police didn't take him seriously because he was a child of only 10 or 11.
"I felt they didn't want to talk to a kid."
Why is Fredericks revealing his story now? He says he's actually told the story all along but nobody wanted to believe it.

If Jerome fell into the toilet seat opening, why did searchers fail to locate him at the bottom of the outhouse?
Turns out, it wasn't a typical privy, says the man who owns the property.
"The outhouse was built over a spring," explains Scott Konsavage, homeowner since 1987. His relatives, the Betz family, owned the house since 1950 and Konsavage knows the history of the place. He says waters flowed constantly through a natural, subterranean conduit beneath the outhouse and hillside home.
"My grandmother said it was an outhouse that never needed to be flushed," says Konsavage, who showed the TIMES NEWS around his property on Sunday, the 75th anniversary of the child's disappearance.
Essentially, beneath the outhouse was a waterway leading downhill to possibly Pitt Street and eventually into the Wabash Tunnel where a creek flows beneath the community. Such underground waterways are prevalent in Tamaqua, known as the Land of Running Water.
During times of heavy spring rain, as was the case when Jerome disappeared, the mountain spring would become so active it would gurgle up from the ground and flood the rear of the house and the one next door. "Even if there was a drought, the water still ran," says Konsavage.