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CA CA - Elizabeth Ernstein, 14, Redlands, 18 March 1968

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Gina_M, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    I found this case in the newspaper archives, and can't find any indication that she was ever found. Here's a summary of the facts:

    Name: Elizabeth Lurene Ernstein
    Nickname: Liz
    Born: May 22, 1953 in Columbus, Ohio
    Hair: Brown, medium length and straight
    Eyes: Brown
    Height: 5'5"
    Weight: 105 pounds
    Date of disappearance: March 18, 1968
    Age at time of disappearance: 14
    Clothing and Jewelry: Blue dress with white flowers, tennis shoes, dark olive corduroy reversible coat (tan raincoat material on the other side), small gold chain around the neck with a pendant gold and blue star

    Circumstances of disappearance:

    Elizabeth attended school at Moore Junior High School in Redlands, California on the day of her disappearance. At 3:40 p.m. she began her walk home, a two-mile route through blossoming orange groves. She never arrived home.

    There are no clues as to what happened to Elizabeth, other than a report from a Redlands businessman who was driving through the area. He thought he saw a girl resembling Elizabeth walking toward the corner of the street on which she lived.

    Her parents, Norman and Ruth Ernstein, posted a $5,000 reward for information regarding Elizabeth's whereabouts. They also wrote to 10,000 newspapers across the country in order to publicize the story of Elizabeth's disappearance.

    Elizabeth was one of five Ernstein children. A son was lost to polio in 1952.
     
  2. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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  3. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    I think she was probably located. This is just a guess. But a lot of times there's press attention when a person goes missing, and nothing when they get found. If it wasn't for the NCMEC's "found missing person" email notification service, half the time I wouldn't know, and I know more about this sort of thing than just about anybody.
     
  4. Stella

    Stella Member

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    The last mention I can find of her from Google news archives was in the Nashua Reporter dated Jan. 1, 1969. She still hadn't been found. Surely some paper would have reported it if she had eventually turned up.
     
  5. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    Yeah, that's why I'm still wondering about this one. I found several other missing persons reports in the newspaper archives, and in all the other cases, was able to find a followup story where the person had either been found alive or found deceased. For this one, I couldn't find anything. Elizabeth's parents made such an effort to get her story in the papers, sending it to 10,000 newspapers across the country. They were upstanding members of the community - father was a chemical engineer at Lockheed, mother was a psychiatric social worker. I would think that there would have been some followup on her story.
     
  6. Jeff_E

    Jeff_E New Member

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    I was watching a program about the murder of a child by a child, and the impact on the families. It got me thinking about my sister who we lost so many years ago, and I wondered if there was anything on the internet. Needless to say, I was surprised to see anything since this disappearance dropped off the radar by late 1969.
    No, Gina, we never found her body or any evidence of her running away. This was 1968, and in California, the hippie movement was in full swing. Some teenagers were running away from their parents--for a weekend, or forever. But that she was abducted, raped, and killed--this just hardly ever happened back then. So my parents stuck hopefully to the idea that she ran away. They hired a private detective who worked for us full time for 2 years. On weekends they tirelessly interviewed her friends and family, anyone for a clue. My mother went to "psychics", and my father even checked with Nasa and the airforce for UFO's. Friends and many volunteers helped put an ad in every newspaper in the United States. My parents quickly ran out of funds. Many volunteers stepped forward and donated money for the ads, for retaining the detective, and for a reward which finally reached 20,000 which was a lot of money back then. Meanwhile, the sheriff's and the Redland's police did all they could to rule out abduction. On quite a few weekends, the search and rescue team and hundreds! of volunteers combed the orange groves and surrounding countryside.

    The only evidence that was ever found was a bra, no blood, her size and washed in the same detergent. No dna tests back then, and I've no idea what happened to the bra.

    One good thing that happened from the ads was that many runaway girls were found.

    We held a memorial for her in the early 90's.
     
  7. phenolred

    phenolred New Member

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    Jeff thanks so much for updating us about your sister. Im glad you found us here.....SO, has your sister not been put on the NCMEC website? This is such a sad story. But it has me thinking about my "pet case" Jock & Jane Doe. Their familes have never found out what happended to them. Maybe they think they ran off to be hippies they were found in 1976. I wonder Gina with your newspaper archive abilites could you maybe help me look for a guy or girl that went missing in 1976/
     
  8. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    Unfortunately, a lot of times there's no follow up when missing people are located, even if the family publicized the case a lot. If Elizabeth was found alive and had run away from home, for example, her family might have wanted to protect her privacy and wouldn't want articles in the papers.

    There was a case from a few years ago, a young college student who disappeared and got several articles in the local press. Well, he was located alive (he had run away) and there were no articles about that. In fact, I didn't know he'd been found until the young man himself emailed me asking to be removed from the Charley Project.

    Can someone call the law enforcement agency and ask if she's still listed as missing in their files?
     
  9. phenolred

    phenolred New Member

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    Jeff E her brother above says she was never found. Could he get her put on the Charley Project and Doenetwork etc
     
  10. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    Jeff, thanks for joining us, and I'm sorry to hear that your sister's disappearance is still unsolved. As phenolred said, you can have Elizabeth listed with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as the Charley Project and the Doe Network websites. I have seen articles about older cases being solved with the help of modern technology and communication. If you're unsure of the procedure of having her listed, I know there are several people on here who can help you.

    Phenolred, I will check the newspaper archives for any potential matches for Jock and Jane Doe. They add new papers all the time so there's always a possibility of finding something helpful in there!
     
  11. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Doe Network Hot Case 1241. Could this be Elizabeth? Same hair color, eye color and weight. Height off by only 3 inches. Redlands and San Bernadino very close to each other. Clothes not the same but that is to be expected after 10 years. Possibility?
     
  12. Julessleuther

    Julessleuther Well-Known Member

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  13. miss u daddy

    miss u daddy Barack the Vote!

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    I went to Moore as well and never heard this story. I still live in Redlands. I'll see what I can find out.
     
  14. kpdx

    kpdx Jane Doe was discovered Aug. 14, 1977 outside of E

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    any new information on this case?

    i don't see her up on doe or charley yet, and was wondering...now would be a good time as i know ca is going through UID exhumations for dna extraction...
     
  15. James G

    James G New Member

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    Hi Jeff,

    I just stumbled by accident on this site after Googling your sister Elizabeth's name.

    I was her boy friend at the time of her disappearance. You may remember me. I went with her and your mother and a friend of your mom's up to the mountains not very long before Elizabeth disappeared. One of her brothers went along but I am not sure of his name. It seems to me I remember the name of the boy being Jeff but I'm not positive of that. I know that he was about 10 or so. We had a picnic and a good visit. I remember what she said to me as we walked around. I even remember the conversation in the car going up and coming back. Do you have any memory of this?

    Also, only a short time (maybe a week) before she disappeared, Elizabeth called my family and told them that she needed to meet me and tell me something very important. She wanted to meet me in front of Redlands Community Hospital, but I went there and waited for Elizabeth for over an hour, and she never showed up.

    I'd especially like to know if Elizabeth's older sister is still alive. Also is your mother still alive? I'd like to know where the orange groves were located where she was last seen. Are there still orange groves there or have they been replaced by houses and streets? Where was the bra found?

    It would be great to be able to talk with you. I live not very far from Redlands. I always think of her when I drive on the freeway near where she and your family lived at that time.

    Here's my facebook link:
    http://www.connect.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home

    My Space:

    http://www.myspace.com/arthurkingharrington

    I hope to hear from you soon. James G
     
  16. Centerice

    Centerice Member

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    Googling the name, I found the following website which has a copy of the letter and picture that Elizabeths parents sent to various newspapers across the country.

    http://sau.stparchive.com/Archive/SAU/SAU12121968p02.php

    Reading the posts on this thread, I hope that James and Jeff were able to get in touch at some point.
     
  17. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    When I saw Elizabeth's photo, I knew she looked like a UID that I had seen before. It took a while of looking, but this is who I was thinking of.

    http://doenetwork.org/cases/21ufmd.html

    Unfortunately, the only way that this could be Elizabeth is if they severely underestimated the Jane Doe's age. Elizabeth would have been 52 in 2005. IMO, there's NO WAY that they would goof the age estimate by that much.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. lp4hire

    lp4hire New Member

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    Jeff, Please contact me at bhunter@sbcsd.org, I have some questions for you.

    Deputy R. Hunter
    Deputy Coroner Investigator
    San Bernardinon County Sheriff-Coroner
     
  19. James G

    James G New Member

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    It's been three years or so since I first posted my message about my friend Elizabeth Ernstein. I'm surprised that since then, I haven't heard a word from her brother, Jeff. I hope he comes back to this website and reads my messages and makes contact with me. My e-mail address: pwrintheblood@yahoo.com/ I also hope to hear from Gina M. I would like to get some information from her about the case. One thing I neglected to say in my previous message is that Elizabeth was last seen about the time I left on a hitch-hiking trip to New York. I left sometime around the the first week of March 1968, and I notice that she disappeared March 18. As I said, I didn't know until the early summer of 1969 that she had disappeared. It may be just coincidence that she disappeared around the time I left, but at this point it's impossible to know for sure. I am wondering if it has ever been established whether the girl the businessman saw was actually Elizabeth. I would like to find out from Jeff where the bra was found. I hope the police kept it. If they did, maybe they could test it for DNA to see if it belonged to Elizabeth. I contacted the Redlands police department about Elizabeth a few months ago, and I was told that the case is still "open," but the detective wouldn't tell me anything. I do hope Elizabeth ran away and simply didn't want her family to know where she was or what she was doing, but the girl I knew wouldn't have run away at that time. But then I don't know what was happening in her family, and I do know that she expressed fear of an older sister. I don't know why she was afraid of her sister. She never told me why, except that I remember she said that her sister had once been in a mental hospital-- I think Patton State Hospital. Whether this was true, I don't know, but it is what she told me, and I had no reason not to believe her. She told me this during a phone conversation when she was explaining to me why she couldn't call me more often. She said her sister "wouldn't let" her. She said her sister thought I was "too old" for Elizabeth, since I was almost 20 and Elizabeth was 14. Looking back on it now, I can see why Elizabeth's sister thought I was too old for her, but at the time, I didn't understand why the sister objected to my being Elizabeth's friend and talking on the phone with her. Elizabeth's mom seemed OK with her talking to me and being with me when there was supervision, so it seemed strange to me that a sister was keeping Elizabeth from contacting me. Again, though, I have no idea if any of this has any relationship to her disappearance. Could it be that she was so afraid of her sister and so upset at what was going on at home that she decided on the spur of the moment to run away when the opportunity presented itself? I hope so, but then the Elizabeth Ernstein I knew was a caring, thoughtful, loving person, and I'm certain she would have eventually made contact with someone to let them know she was all right.
     
  20. James G

    James G New Member

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    Thank you, Centerice, for your post about Elizabeth. Sorry to say, Jeff and I haven't made contact yet. I do hope he comes back to this website and reads my messages. I've tried to find a phone number for him, but so far, no luck.
     

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