MA MA - Helen Cheever Skea, 41, Beverly, 1962

Discussion in '1960's Missing' started by mysterymom7, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    I've recently learned a family story from my aunt. Apparently, my great grandmother's niece, Helen Cheever, married John S Skea (who passed away in 1988), and had 2 daughters (Paula Skea may be one of the daughter's names since her name was in a deceased family member's address book, the other name is unknown) by 1954, when they attended Helen's parent's Golden Anniversary party in Maine. Our family members were told that Helen left her husband and children one day and never came back. There was no note, no whispers she was leaving... one day just left the house and never came back. Helen's father spent the rest of his life searching for her. My great grandmother had altzheimer's in the end, and when my aunt went to visit, my great grandmother would say, "Oh, Helen! You came back!" By that, my description of her is vague. Around 5'4"-5'6", dark brown hair, most likely blue or green eyes, and a thin-medium build. Her last known address was 55 Essex St, Beverly, MA, in 1960. She was 39. The next address I have is 1963, and only lists John at that address. I have a suspicion she didn't just leave her 2 daughters without so much as a goodbye.

    I've been trying to find mention of her disappearance in a newspaper, but have been unsuccessful. If anyone can help with that, I would greatly appreciate it!
     
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  3. deca

    deca New Member

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    Very interesting. Is there speculation that the husband was an abuser? Or was there another boyfriend out there? What does your family think?

    There is a similar case in my husband's family tree. A man left his family and kids without warning to "go to the store". He came back 25 years later when he got sick of his new family. That is all we know- you would think there would be more details, though. I don't often hear of women doing that, so I fear your relative met with something sinister.
     
  4. Robin Hood

    Robin Hood New Member

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  5. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    My aunt said everyone just believed she left on her own. My extended family didn't ask questions or "pry in someone else's business". As a mother, I have a hard time believing she just left. She wasn't on drugs or anything. My aunt thinks it was a sinister ending. I don't know how her husband was. I would love to ask the daughters what they've been told or if they knew anything.
     
  6. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    Had you looked for it in Maine or Massachusetts? I find it strange that a mother just disappeared without so much as a newspaper clipping.
     
  7. deca

    deca New Member

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    I wonder if you can file a missing persons report (or I guess her kids in this case). She might still be alive. I have heard of people doing that years later. That way, LE can look up and see if any reports were filed back then?
     
  8. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    I wonder if her children were told their mother just left. They may not be aware that their mother disappeared under suspicious circumstances. I've confirmed their father has passed, so they wouldn't be able to question him.
     
  9. deca

    deca New Member

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    It sounds like you don't know Helen's children. Does anybody in your extended family know them?
    I think maybe the first step would be from them to call LE and file a missing persons report. The worst that could happen would be that LE would turn them away.

    I really can't be of any help- I don't know what else to do since there is nothing else to go on.
     
  10. Robin Hood

    Robin Hood New Member

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    I had a quick look in both. I even went in other states to see if there was anything. No luck.
     
  11. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    My aunt who knew (at least) one of her children just passed away a few weeks ago. That's how I got the first name from my aunt's address book. I tried looking at it from the angle of the property and sent an email to a previous owner. I'm sure my best bet is getting in touch with one of the children. Most of my extended family has passed.
     
  12. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    I found the names of Helen's daughters... Betty and Eleanor. John's mother's name was Elizabeth, so Betty may be short for Elizabeth.
     
  13. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    Once I had their names I was able to get their married names. Sadly, the oldest daughter's husband passed away in 2007. In his obituary, it had her maiden name along with her sister's married name and both their children's names. I was able to find the oldest daughter's daughter on FB, and sent her a message. I'll update if any information comes out of it. Thanks for the help!
     
  14. deca

    deca New Member

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    Best of luck to you and your family.
     
  15. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    After speaking with her daughter, I've come to find out that she left with a neighbor to Florida in the summer of 1962. The man came back, but Helen didn't.
     
  16. deca

    deca New Member

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    Whoa! that opens up a whole new string of stuff...

    1. she rode with man simply to get a ride to FL, something happens so she never contacts family.
    2. neighbor killed her
    3. This whole story was made up by someone

    So, I wonder where this story came from? Did the daughter get this from her father? Did she personally see her mom leave? Did the neighbor talk to her?
    I wonder if there is any way to find the neighbor's name?
     
  17. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    Your first sentence was exactly my reaction. She remembered his last name, Merritt (if memory serves me). She said she confronted the neighbor, which brought me to the question, "Did you confirm that he brought her to Florida?" She did get that confirmation. At the time, she had just had her first child (only a couple weeks old), and took custody of her 13 year old sister since their father was an alcoholic. She was preoccupied with that, and didn't believe her mother met a tragic fate. She also explained that she had sought out help from the police, but because she was an adult, and by all accounts left of her own free will, they wouldn't help or classify her as missing. The only way they could get information would be to hire a PI, and without the funds it wasn't a financially responsible option. I have one picture of her mom, but at the time of the picture, she was about 20 years younger than when she went missing. I hope to meet with her daughter in the coming weeks and hopefully get a more recent picture of her mom. The daughter lives about an hour and a half away from me.
     
  18. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    I'd also like to talk to the sister who was living at home at the time her mom left.
     
  19. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    Ralph Millett was the name of the neighbor (In Beverly, MA). I asked if she remembered where he said they went in Florida, but she couldn't remember. She said he came back about 2 weeks after bringing her down and said, "She left me." I asked if she could speak to her sister and find out if she physically saw her mother leave, if she took her belongings with her, and what her gut feeling is.
     
  20. deca

    deca New Member

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    So RM (neighbor who took Helen down to FL) thought that they were going to have a relationship down there, but when they arrived she left him?
     
  21. mysterymom7

    mysterymom7 Former Member

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    I believe that was the case.
     

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