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Thread: Possible Connections

  1. #226
    While I did not know the Lyons girls personally I was born in Maryland and lived quite close to Wheaton at the time of their disappearance. I was in Kindergarten when they disappeared and remember the fear that swept through our community. Everything changed after they went missing. We were all driven to school, picked up, could not play in the front or side yard...it shaped me into the mother I am today.

    Also, my father was in the National Guard after the Marines and I remember watching the searches for the girls on a Saturday morning and looking for my father, sure that he would be the one who brought them home, safe and sound. But, that never happened.

    God bless them, wherever they are.

  2. #227
    I just joined up today -- specifically for the Caylee Anthony case. I now live in Orlando, but I am from Maryland (Bowie).

    I was surprised to see threads on the Lyon girls. It has been so long. They disappeared in 1975, just after I started dating my husband. My husband has several younger sisters who are blonde and about the same ages as the Lyon girls. Shortly after the disappearance, my father-in-law was pulled over by the police. He was driving with a couple of my sisters-in-law in the car, and the police wanted to be sure they were not the Lyon girls.

    We have never forgotten those girls. It's nice to see that others remember them, too.

  3. #228
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    Bowie, Maryland

    Quote Originally Posted by babiesstolemydingo View Post
    I just joined up today -- specifically for the Caylee Anthony case. I now live in Orlando, but I am from Maryland (Bowie).

    I was surprised to see threads on the Lyon girls. It has been so long. They disappeared in 1975, just after I started dating my husband. My husband has several younger sisters who are blonde and about the same ages as the Lyon girls. Shortly after the disappearance, my father-in-law was pulled over by the police. He was driving with a couple of my sisters-in-law in the car, and the police wanted to be sure they were not the Lyon girls.

    We have never forgotten those girls. It's nice to see that others remember them, too.
    Welcome to Websleuths! I have been to Bowie, MD. many times.

    If you read the thread about "The Tape Recorder Man", you will see that someone fitting his description was seen with a tape recorder talking to girls at the Bowie Shopping Center (as well as other malls) some time prior to the day the Lyon sisters disappeared.

    That is interesting about your father in law being pulled over. What type of car did he drive? Around that time there was a lot of interest in finding a 1968 tan Ford Station Wagon because of a reported possible sighting of the girls in Manassass, VA on 7 April 1975.

  4. #229
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Welcome to Websleuths! I have been to Bowie, MD. many times.

    If you read the thread about "The Tape Recorder Man", you will see that someone fitting his description was seen with a tape recorder talking to girls at the Bowie Shopping Center (as well as other malls) some time prior to the day the Lyon sisters disappeared.

    That is interesting about your father in law being pulled over. What type of car did he drive? Around that time there was a lot of interest in finding a 1968 tan Ford Station Wagon because of a reported possible sighting of the girls in Manassass, VA on 7 April 1975.
    Thanks for the welcome, Richard. I lived in Bowie for most of my life, until I moved to Florida in 1987. It was a great place to grow up, and I really miss Maryland. Interestingly, my father-in-law DID have a Ford station wagon -- a Country Squire. It was a huge, green behemoth. I remember that car because my husband loved it. He even took his driver's license exam in it! After we got married in 1977, he wanted to take it with us. I said no. Ha!

    No wonder my father-in-law got pulled over. Driving a Ford wagon (although the wrong color) in Bowie with two blonde girls in it. If he had had more of his kids (5 girls, 1 boy) in the car, he probably wouldn't have been noticed. Sadly, my father-in-law died in 1991, so I can't ask him about it.

    When I get a bit of time to myself, I am going to read each entry in the threads on the Lyon girls. So happy they are remembered.

  5. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by babiesstolemydingo View Post
    Thanks for the welcome, Richard. I lived in Bowie for most of my life, until I moved to Florida in 1987. It was a great place to grow up, and I really miss Maryland. Interestingly, my father-in-law DID have a Ford station wagon -- a Country Squire. It was a huge, green behemoth. I remember that car because my husband loved it. He even took his driver's license exam in it! After we got married in 1977, he wanted to take it with us. I said no. Ha!

    No wonder my father-in-law got pulled over. Driving a Ford wagon (although the wrong color) in Bowie with two blonde girls in it. If he had had more of his kids (5 girls, 1 boy) in the car, he probably wouldn't have been noticed. Sadly, my father-in-law died in 1991, so I can't ask him about it.

    When I get a bit of time to myself, I am going to read each entry in the threads on the Lyon girls. So happy they are remembered.
    My grandparents lived in Bowie too!! On Keswick Lane...small world

  6. #231
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    Possible but not probable...

    The Wash. Post stated last wk. that an 11 yr. old girl dissapeared while walking to Westfield Shopping Plaza (Wheaton Plaza), about 3:15 PM. on 22Jan09. She lives at Hollow Glen Pl. in Silver Spring, MD. If you look at a map, she may have used some of the route used by the Lyon Girls 34 yrs. ago. The girls' age is similar, the time frame is too, but she was headed toward the plaza, & the Lyon Girls were headed home.

    I doubt seriously if these 2 are connected, but it is something to talk & or think about. What do you all think? Although I haven't seen or heard anything else about this girl, it is possible she's been located, by now.

  7. #232
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    Hey Jeb.......

    That's very interesting.Do you have the child's name? I was thinking that TRM would maybe be too old for that case,but Steven Stayner's abducter,Kenneth Parnell,was 71 and still trying to aquire yet another little boy so ya never know. I wish we knew TRM's real age at the time of the girls abduction.

  8. #233
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    Hi, Motherof5

    I do know that the guy (Fred Coffey), who I think was TRM, was about 30 yrs. old back in Mar75. He ain't kidnapping anyone these days, (thank God) while pulling that 'little life sentence'.

    As for the little missing girl in Wheaton, her name is Jennifer Alicia Zelaya.

  9. #234
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    Thanks Jeb. One can only hope that Mr.Coffey is getting a dose of his own med!

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeb View Post
    The Wash. Post stated last wk. that an 11 yr. old girl dissapeared while walking to Westfield Shopping Plaza (Wheaton Plaza), about 3:15 PM. on 22Jan09. She lives at Hollow Glen Pl. in Silver Spring, MD. If you look at a map, she may have used some of the route used by the Lyon Girls 34 yrs. ago. The girls' age is similar, the time frame is too, but she was headed toward the plaza, & the Lyon Girls were headed home.

    I doubt seriously if these 2 are connected, but it is something to talk & or think about. What do you all think? Although I haven't seen or heard anything else about this girl, it is possible she's been located, by now.
    Jeb, do you know whether there has been any further information about this missing little girl? This news really depressess me. I have been thinking about the Lyon sisters a lot lately and my own childhood in Kensington.

  11. #236
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    To emery,

    I have heard nothing new about the little missing girl in Wheaton. It is always a shame when these things happen, but I still doubt it's connected to the Lyon Girls.

  12. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeb View Post
    I have heard nothing new about the little missing girl in Wheaton. It is always a shame when these things happen, but I still doubt it's connected to the Lyon Girls.
    Jeb, I checked and the Washington Post reported that she was found unharmed a week later. There were no details about where she'd been.

  13. #238
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    Good job emery...about the little missing girl in Wheaton. I never saw a follow-up story on that case, maybe I just overlooked it. Always good to hear a happy ending.

  14. #239
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    Does anyone know???????????

    I have a question about the IBM guy's sighting. I realize that most of us don't believe it but,I believe there is an IBM near the hotel Coffey stayed at. I was wondering if anyone knows if that's the IBM that the witness worked at?

  15. #240
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    IBM witness

    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    I have a question about the IBM guy's sighting. I realize that most of us don't believe it but,I believe there is an IBM near the hotel Coffey stayed at. I was wondering if anyone knows if that's the IBM that the witness worked at?
    I am not sure where the man's IBM office was located. The reported sighting took place in Manassas, Virginia.

  16. #241
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    Wink Thanks Richard........

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I am not sure where the man's IBM office was located. The reported sighting took place in Manassas, Virginia.
    I was just thinking that if the witness worked at the IBM near Coffey's hotel,MAYBE he actually did see this and MAYBE it was Coffey. Now, I knew the sighting was in Manassas and for some reason I completely discounted that. Thank you for snapping me back to reality Richard!!

  17. #242
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    The Manassas Sighting...

    Quote Originally Posted by Motherof5 View Post
    I was just thinking that if the witness worked at the IBM near Coffey's hotel,MAYBE he actually did see this and MAYBE it was Coffey. Now, I knew the sighting was in Manassas and for some reason I completely discounted that. Thank you for snapping me back to reality Richard!!
    There are certainly many possibilities in regard to the story about the Beige/Tan Ford Station Wagon sighting. Nothing was ever resolved about it. The IBM man reported seeing what he thought were two girls tied up in the back of a station wagon, which (he said) was being driven by a man who resembled the sketch of the Tape Recorder Man (TRM) who had been seen talking to Sheila and Kate the day they disappeared.

    A partial plate number DMT-6xx (thought to be a Maryland plate) was reported, the last two digits being obscurred. Police ran all possible numbers and came up with nothing in regard to leads. All plates of that series were tracked down and accounted for.

    Fred Coffey may have been in the Wheaton area at the time that the girls went missing. Police say that he started a job at Vitro on 23 April 1975 and was paid by them through 31 July 1975, although he left the area a few days before the 31st. It is quite possible that he was in the area earlier, but by the time he came to police attention in 1987, many of the records such as Motel billings, gas station receipts, car sales records, etc were no longer in existance and Coffey's presence could not be established with absolute solid evidence.

    You do, however, bring up an interesting possible connection between Mr. Coffey and this Station Wagon sighting. Coffey's home town was Bristol, Virginia. Probably the closest route from the Washington DC area to Bristol would have taken him right by Manassas, VA. on his way to the Skyline Drive.

  18. #243
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    Wendy Lou Stark, abducted and murdered 1982 Montgomery County, MD, closed case

    Could this recently closed case be related to the case of the Missing Lyon Sisters or of Kathy Lynn Beatty?

    The perpetrator of this crime was a repeat offender who had escaped from a Virginia Prison and was living in Kensington, MD in 1981-82. Did he have previous ties to Kensington? More importantly, where was he in 1975?

    ---------------------------------
    Wendy Lou Stark, abducted and murdered 1982 Montgomery County, MD
    Case Closed.

    Wendy Lou Stark was a 20 year old student of the University of Maryland. She worked in Rockville and it is believed that she was on her way to work on April 9, 1982, when she was randomly targeted and abducted from the parking lot of the Hillandale Shopping Center after she made a stop at the Zayre's Store at approximately 4:00 p.m. She was sexually assaulted at an unknown location. At approximately, 9:00 p.m., it appeared that in an attempt to break free from her assailant, she managed to get out of the car in which she was forced as a passenger. While she was trying to enter a home on Mitcher Street just north of Kensington, she was shot and killed.

    In 1982 the technology did not exist for the type of DNA testing that can be conducted today. Recently, Montgomery County Police DNA analysts determined that a 1982 evidence sample was suitable for testing by the improved technology now available. The DNA sample was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and it matched the DNA profile of Gerald Anderson Abernathy who was a convicted offender serving a life sentence for kidnapping and murder in North Carolina. Abernathy died when he was 66 years old of lung cancer in October of 2007 while still in prison.

    In 1983 while in the process of developing a suspect, it was learned that Abernathy had escaped from a Virginia jail in 1981 and was hiding in Kensington, Maryland, at the time of Stark's murder. He left the area the day after the murder and was arrested in Pennsylvania five days later as a fugitive from Virginia and DUI.

    To see photo of Gerald Anderson Abernathy:


  19. #244
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    Richard.........

    That's interesting. Do you know if there was a struggle when she was abducted(was she on foot and accepted a ride or was she snatched from the parking lot against her will?) We need to find out where this guy was in 75.

  20. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Could this recently closed case be related to the case of the Missing Lyon Sisters or of Kathy Lynn Beatty?

    The perpetrator of this crime was a repeat offender who had escaped from a Virginia Prison and was living in Kensington, MD in 1981-82. Did he have previous ties to Kensington? More importantly, where was he in 1975?

    ---------------------------------
    Wendy Lou Stark, abducted and murdered 1982 Montgomery County, MD
    Case Closed.

    Wendy Lou Stark was a 20 year old student of the University of Maryland. She worked in Rockville and it is believed that she was on her way to work on April 9, 1982, when she was randomly targeted and abducted from the parking lot of the Hillandale Shopping Center after she made a stop at the Zayre's Store at approximately 4:00 p.m. She was sexually assaulted at an unknown location. At approximately, 9:00 p.m., it appeared that in an attempt to break free from her assailant, she managed to get out of the car in which she was forced as a passenger. While she was trying to enter a home on Mitcher Street just north of Kensington, she was shot and killed.

    In 1982 the technology did not exist for the type of DNA testing that can be conducted today. Recently, Montgomery County Police DNA analysts determined that a 1982 evidence sample was suitable for testing by the improved technology now available. The DNA sample was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and it matched the DNA profile of Gerald Anderson Abernathy who was a convicted offender serving a life sentence for kidnapping and murder in North Carolina. Abernathy died when he was 66 years old of lung cancer in October of 2007 while still in prison.

    In 1983 while in the process of developing a suspect, it was learned that Abernathy had escaped from a Virginia jail in 1981 and was hiding in Kensington, Maryland, at the time of Stark's murder. He left the area the day after the murder and was arrested in Pennsylvania five days later as a fugitive from Virginia and DUI.

    To see photo of Gerald Anderson Abernathy:



    I remember when this case happened. When Wendy was taken.

    If Abernathy escaped in 1981, when was he sent to jail? What was he serving time for?
    Children don't stop dancing

  21. #246
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    Good job, Richard, as always,

    I'm positive that this boy Abernathy is not the TRM I saw at the plaza 28Feb75. Again I could be wrong, or maybe he fits into the case another way. That's just my 2 cents worth.

  22. #247
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    Virginia records on Abernathy...

    Quote Originally Posted by SharetheLight View Post
    I remember when this case happened. When Wendy was taken.
    If Abernathy escaped in 1981, when was he sent to jail? What was he serving time for?
    I contacted Virginia's Department of Corrections and asked these very questions today. They got back to me with a very prompt reply. Unfortunatly the reply was that they do not have ready access to records from the 1970's and 80's.

    They suggested that I search newspaper microfilms for the information, and recommended some libraries and archives for the state of Virginia.

    I was able to determine that this Abernathy character was serving a life sentence for an abduction, rape, and murder committed in North Carolina in 1993. So clearly he is a serial killer.

    How many others were there before and after the death of Wendy Lou Stark?

  23. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I contacted Virginia's Department of Corrections and asked these very questions today. They got back to me with a very prompt reply. Unfortunatly the reply was that they do not have ready access to records from the 1970's and 80's.

    They suggested that I search newspaper microfilms for the information, and recommended some libraries and archives for the state of Virginia.

    I was able to determine that this Abernathy character was serving a life sentence for an abduction, rape, and murder committed in North Carolina in 1993. So clearly he is a serial killer.

    How many others were there before and after the death of Wendy Lou Stark?
    I think I read that Abernathy committed a similar crime in 1973. It may have been this crime he was serving time on when he escaped in 1981, he killed Wendy Stark in 1982, went back to jail soon after for warrants from VA, he likely served much more time for escape so he may not have had a lot of "out" time to commit too many more crimes. Clearly he was out in 1993, but when did he get released after going back to jail in 1982, and what year was he charged with the 1993 case? I suppose even if he was out for only one year, which I suspect it was probably longer, he could do some serious damage in a years time.
    I need to go back and find that 1973 case again to see the details.
    Children don't stop dancing

  24. #249
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    Question.........

    The girls shared a paper route with brother Jay, was everyone on thier route interviewed?

  25. #250
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    Do we have anymore info on Abernathy? Like his confinement dates?
    Children don't stop dancing

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