CA - Stephen Packard, 18, Westport, June 1974

Discussion in 'Mendocino County' started by burblestein, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Stephen Locke Packard
    “Voluntarily”? Missing since June 1974
    NamUS MP # 14448
    Santa Maria Police Dept Case # 2012R02963
    SMPD also identifies the case as Incident #LPD120403002963, and as FCN # 5121605400174
    Date of Birth: 6 June 1956
    Place of birth: Provincetown MA
    Reported home address: 621 Commercial Street
    Stephen has also been identified as a New Jersey resident.

    Stephen was born while his father served as an ensign in the Coast Guard; assigned duty station was apparently Fort Lauderdale FL at the time of the birth. Anne was visiting her home town of Rhinebeck NY when Stephen arrived.

    Stephen is a white male, 6 feet 3 inches tall, 180 pounds, brown eyes, strawberry blond hair below his ears. Photos of him show a fit brawny young man. He had a freshly healed fracture of the right hand; he had broken it about 6 months before his hitchhiking trip.

    Stephen was hiking and hitchhiking the Pacific Coast in June 1974. He and Linda Lovell were traveling northward to Spokane WA for the World's Fair, with the aim of ending their trip in Missoula MT by the Fourth of July. Stephen was last seen on his 18[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday, 6 June 1974. On 10 June, he called home from Stinson Beach CA. He also mailed post cards from there.

    A $20 American Express traveler's check of Stephen's was cashed in Mendocino County's Westport CA store on 20 June 1974. Stephen had $800 in traveler's checks, but that was the only one negotiated.

    When Linda Lovell's mother reported her missing on 15 July 1974 in Missoula MT, it became apparent Stephen was also missing. On 15 August 1974, Stephen's godfather reported him missing to the Marin County Sheriff's Office (Stinson Beach is in Marin County).

    Sources:
    Santa Maria Police Department (Santa Barbara County CA) Missing Persons Report

    Poughkeepsie NY Journal, 17 June 1956: https://www.newspapers.com/image/115056601

    The Charley Project: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/p/packard_stephen.html

    Contact person given for this case is:
    Detective Supervisor Meredith Lobur,cell phone 617-780-0825, land line 508-487-1212. Emailmlobur@provincetown-ma.gov.U.S. Mail: Providence MA PD, 26 Shankpainter Road, Provincetown MA02657. Provincetown PD website: http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/Directory.aspx?did=27

    However, the Santa Maria CA PD insists they have an active investigation. Their contact person is Det. Michael Sawyer, available at 805-928-3781 extension 291.
     
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  3. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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  4. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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  5. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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  6. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    I have yet to find anything linking Stephen to New Jersey except a single declarative statement.
     
  7. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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  8. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Time to re-examine the official timeline. It becomes apparent that Stephen was last seen on 10 June 1974, when he set out to hitchhike with Linda. That means he couldn't be in Stinson Beach CA calling home on the 10th. However, the mention of the accident to CP's boyfriend on the 14th obviously had to have taken place four days AFTER Stephen's departure, not four days BEFORE.

    And the New Jersey connection is confirmed--his mother lived there.
     
  9. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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    The day/date in the article for his departure isn't accurate either so in addition to the other error (sister's boyfriend's accident), I'm thinking this may not be the best source with which the official timeline is evaluated. In 1974, June 10th was a Monday, not a Saturday. I tried to look at the original article to see if the problem was with the transcription, but it requires a subscription.
     
  10. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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    Burblestein, any ideas as to why Santa Maria PD is investigating? It's hours away from where they were last seen.

    Also, if the June 10th date of the call home from Stinson Beach is accurate, that would have been a Monday and one day after the famous annual Dipsea Race which ends in Stinson Beach. I would think there would have been many people from surrounding areas in town watching the race and celebrating. Not sure what if anything that means in terms of their disappearance, though.
     
  11. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    I'm semi-local to this, being in Mendocino County, but hadn't thought of the Dipsea Race. It is worth taking into consideration. A quick Google shows finishers back to 1996, but not beyond. Just a quick thought that maybe Stephen was an entry.

    As reported in Linda's thread, her mother moved to Santa Maria. Spokane LE then handed it off to SMPD.

    These two cases are jurisdictional nightmares, plagued by belated reports. The irony of this all, to the best of my knowledge, MCSO doesn't claim jurisdiction.
     
  12. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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    Thanks for the info about Linda's mother moving to Santa Maria. I missed that in her thread. I also missed your location as "Emerald Triangle" so of course you're familiar with the Dipsea. Oops!

    Perhaps Stephen did run in the Dipsea. According to his mother in the NY Times article, he was an all-state lacrosse player so the Dipsea might have been something he'd do. I'm also intrigued by the thought that they were in Stinson Beach on June 10th and then Stephen's check gets cashed in Westport on June 20th. So what were they doing for those 10 days and with whom were they doing it? It makes me wonder if they did hang out with some local folks who might have information. The time period is really a problem, though. I haven't seen any newspaper accounts of their disappearance and so anyone that might have met them and spent time with them wouldn't have known that Stephen and Linda never reached their intended destination. Frustrating.
     
  13. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Coleraine, I pulled a pretty complete search before posting, including the local MSM. That's why I was so surprised you came up with the Times article.

    I have been re-reading that article, and two things strike me. As you noted, Mom puts his departure on a Saturday, the 10th; nearest "hit" to that is the 8th. Further on, she puts his departure 4 days after the 14th--but the 18th is a Tuesday. Besides, that gives only two days for his traveler's check to show up in Westport.

    She also claims something no one else does--that Stephen mailed a postcard from Westport. I find that interesting because the general tale is that an American Express Traveler's Check of his was cashed there; however, the payee was not identified.

    So far, it is not only the case that we have not traced Stephen to that Bermuda Triangle of Mendocino County, darling little Westport. We have yet to definitively place him in Stinson Beach.
     
  14. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    So I just emailed the Dipsea organizers...wish me luck.
     
  15. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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    Good luck!

    Quick question: in your previous post you state: "We have yet to definitively place him in Stinson Beach." But in the first post of this thread you note: "On 10 June, he called home from Stinson Beach CA. He also mailed post cards from there." Is this information from the Santa Maria PD missing person report, and if so, isn't that definitive information that Stephen was in Stinson Beach during this time even if the actual date is still in question? Someone from his family must have provided that info to the PD, right?
     
  16. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    The Santa Maria PD report is dated 4 April 2012--almost 38 years after the disappearance. I think we need to find some older sources closer to the disappearance.

    I pulled the SMPD report from my files. It does not give a date for the post cards mailed from Stinson Beach. That date must be from one of the other sources I found. All in links above.

    I became tentative about Stephen being in Stinson Beach because of the confusion in dates that we thrashed out above. More importantly, his mother places him in Westport when she claims he mailed a postcard from there.

    BTW, have you noted that Santa Maria is in Santa Barbara County, Stinson Beach in Marin County, and Westport in Mendocino County? Nor are those the only jurisdictional issues. I am still sorting out the various jurisdictions where missing persons reports were filed.
     
  17. Coleraine

    Coleraine Member

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    I hadn't noted that 3 counties were involved. I'm hoping that you are able to get in touch with Linda's uncle from his post on the missingin site and he'll provide clarity at the very least on the dates/locations the family is aware of.

    The fact that the couple supposedly stopped in Stinson Beach and contacted relatives from there intrigues me. Why Stinson Beach? And I continue to wonder about the age difference and how a MT woman meets and begins a relationship with a 17-18 year old in NJ. Just thinking aloud with no reason to believe it might have relevance re: their disappearance, but I wonder if they were fans of the Grateful Dead. The Dead played in NY, NJ, and PA in Sept. 1973, and they also played at the Oakland Coliseum on June 8. 1974. Jerry Garcia lived in Stinson Beach in 1974. Just a thought.
     
  18. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Today I sent off an inquiry letter to the Marin County Sheriff's Office asking for Stephen's Missing Person Report.
     
  19. ohthatkatgirl

    ohthatkatgirl New Member

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    Did anything ever come of this?
     
  20. burblestein

    burblestein Active Member

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    Unfortunately not.
     
  21. ohthatkatgirl

    ohthatkatgirl New Member

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    I figured as much. Thanks for trying anyway.
     

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