MI MI - Kathy Wilcox, 15, Otsego, 17 July 1972

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Kathy Sue Wilcox, 15, Missing 12 July 1972 from Otsego, MI


Kathy Wilcox

(Photo at Link)

Missing from: Otsego, Mich.
Birth: Dec. 25, 1956
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 130 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Gray

Kathy Wilcox was last seen on July 12, 1972, around Otsego, Mich. To date, Ms. Wilcox has not been located. She was 15 years old at the time of her disappearance and would be 52 years old today.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Allegan County Cold Case members Det. Bruce Beckman of the Otsego Police Department at (269) 692-6111, Det. Pat Oreilly at (269) 673-0500 ext. 4263 or Det. Tpr. Scott Ernstes of the Michigan State Police Wayland Post at (269) 792-2213 ext. 346.

Information may also be sent via e-mail to silentobserver@allegancounty.org or sheriff@allegancounty.org.

Source:

Michigan State Police Official Website

LINK:

http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123-1589_31786_32000---,00.html
 
Kathy Sue Wilcox, 15, Missing since July 12, 1972 from Otsego, MI

Kathy Sue Wilcox
Missing since July 12, 1972 from Otsego, Allegan County, Michigan.
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Date Of Birth: December 25, 1956
Age at Time of Disappearance: 15 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4" (163 cm); 130 lbs (59 kg)
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown, shoulder length hair; gray eyes.
Marks, Scars: Healed, multiple leg fractures. Right or left index finger has a hooked fingernail. Broken toes late 60's early 70's, may not show in post x-rays.
Clothing: Last seen wearing blue jeans and a purple shirt.
Dentals: Never had been to the dentist. Unknown level of dental health/decay.
DNA: Available

Circumstances of Disappearance

Wilcox was last seen leaving her home on July 12, 1972 to go for a walk. She never returned home and has not been heard from since.

Investigators
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Otsego Police Department
269-692-6111

Email: police.dept@ci.otsego.mi.us

Or

Allegan County Cold Cases
Detective Bruce Beckman
269-692-6111

Detective Pat Oreilly
269-673-0500 ext. 4263
Or
D/Tpr. Scott Ernstes
269-792-2213

Email: sheriff@allegancounty.org

NCMEC #: NCMC604875

Case Number: 626-72

NCIC Number: M-709542472


Please refer to these numbers when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
NamUs
The Doe Network: Case File 1367DFM

LINK:

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1367dfmi.html
 
KATHY SUE WILCOX

Photo and Age Progression to 46 years at link below
Case Type: Endangered Missing

DOB: Dec 25, 1956
Missing Date: Jul 12, 1972
Age Now: 53
Missing City: OTSEGO
Missing State : MI
Missing Country: United States

Sex: Female
Race: White
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Gray

Case Number: NCMC604875

Circumstances: Kathy was last seen leaving her home on July 12, 1972 to go for a walk. She never returned home and has not been heard from since.

Source:

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

LINK:

http://www.missingkids.com/missingk...NCMC&seqNum=1&caseLang=en_US&searchLang=en_US
 
I am new to this board so bear with me please. I too am from this little town that Kathy is missing from. I am only 29 years and just this year am finding out about her. I am sad that being from here I never heard a word of it. I started asking around ( my parents, their friends, my old teachers, I even joined a class group from that time on facebook) about her, NO ONE but just 2 people seems to remember this girl or hearing of this girl going missing. I don't understand how this happens in a small town, when everyone knows everyone's buisness. I feel so sad for this girl that by the way it seems she has just been forgotten. One would think that the family would run a story in our small local newspaper but nothing. I can't find news articles, or new storys anywhere.
 
Have you tried asking people who would have been in the same grade she was in?Surely you would think that someone would remember more about her,but it doesn't seem that way.I've tried to find more out about this case too and came up with nothing.Does she still have family there?The picture of her looks so sad,makes you wonder if she was happy or not at home.Could she have run away or possibly abducted?So many questions.Her whole life summed up in one sentence "went for a walk and never returned".How sad.
 
Poor Kathy,

Here is Charley Project's account of her case:

Not much different, than Doe Network's for information, except the reconstruction picture says it is more current than Doe Network's (2010 vs. 2003):

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/wilcox_kathy.html

My concern is that we have a girl who has (had) some serious injuries at some point in her life, and it also says she had never seen a dentist. Early suspicions might be did she run away from a physically abusive home? And how did the family act, and react towards her disappearance? Was Kathy's case treated seriously be LE at the time? Or was she just treated as a "runaway?" Are Kathy's parents and/or other relatives still living? What was her home-life like? Earlier indications may suggest things were not good. But we need more evidence, Thanks for posting!

Satch
 
NamUs MP # 1832 eye color green
DNA Status: Sample submitted - Tests complete

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Eye Color: Green

Michigan State Police Kathy Wilcox
Have you seen me? Anyone with information is asked to contact the Allegan County Cold Case Team at (269) 692-6111

Missing from: Otsego, Mich.
Birth: Dec. 25, 1956
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 130 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Gray


Kathy's photo is shown age-progressed to 54 years. She was last seen leaving her home on July 17, 1972 to go for a walk. She never returned home and has not been heard from since.
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Here is the information from the link mentioned above by Lins1983:

---------------------------------------

Unidentified White Female
Located on August 21, 1973 in Altamonte Springs, Seminole County, Florida.
Cause of death was homicide


Vital Statistics


  • Estimated age: 15- 21 years old
  • Approximate Height and Weight: 5'5"- 5'7"; slender build (circa 110 lbs).
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Approximately shoulder-length, light brown hair. Possibly crooked teeth. She appears to be a young runaway.
  • Dentals: Loose teeth found during screenings of surrounding soil.
  • Clothing: None located
  • DNA: Available at University of North Texas.
  • AKA: Authorities refer to her as "Ginger"

Case History
This unidentified female is believed to have been a victim of Joseph "Crazy Joe" Spaziano, a member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang in 1973. The victim was located in a dump in Altamonte Springs, Florida on August 21, 1973. She was underneath the body of Laura Harbers, a homicide which Spaziano was charged with in the mid-1970's.
Spaziano avoided the death penalty in Harberts' case, as a key witness for the prosecution recanted his testimony which would have implicated Spaziano in the crime. His first-degree murder conviction was overturned in 1998 and Spaziano pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of second-degree murder. He is currently serving a life sentence in a Florida prison for the rape and mutilation of a teenage girl from Orlando, Florida.
A witness said that in the spring of 1973, she saw Spaziano at Daytona Beach with a young girl riding on the back of his motorcycle. The girl asked her to hold her purse for safekeeping. The girl didn't pick up her purse after the motorcycle ride. Five days later Spaziano showed up at her door and demanded the purse. She turned it over, but not before peeking inside for the identification. She told Police that she remembered only that the girl was from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Investigators
If you have any information concerning this victim's identity, please contact:
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
Detective Jaynes
407-665-6610



All information may be submitted on an anonymous basis. Agency Case Number:
1973-1322

Source Information:
Seminole County Sheriff's Office
American Bar Association
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
The height, weight, and general description could fit, and Kathy's age (15) is at the lower end of the estimate.

The link also includes photos of a bust made of the unidentified girl.

The biggest problem in making a match would be proving that the biker was in Michigan in 1972, or that Kathy was in Florida in 1973. A year long descrepancy.

I do not know if Kathy had an ID card, certainly not a drivers license, and if she did, it would probably state her address as Otsego, not Ann Arbor.

But all in all, an intriguing possibility.
 
Poor Kathy,

Here is Charley Project's account of her case:

Not much different, than Doe Network's for information, except the reconstruction picture says it is more current than Doe Network's (2010 vs. 2003):

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/wilcox_kathy.html

My concern is that we have a girl who has (had) some serious injuries at some point in her life, and it also says she had never seen a dentist. Early suspicions might be did she run away from a physically abusive home? And how did the family act, and react towards her disappearance? Was Kathy's case treated seriously be LE at the time? Or was she just treated as a "runaway?" Are Kathy's parents and/or other relatives still living? What was her home-life like? Earlier indications may suggest things were not good. But we need more evidence, Thanks for posting!

Satch


Some links for Kathy-

Delayed Justice David Schock - Murder, “cold” cases, and mayhem - This website is intended to deal with murder, brutality, corruption and hatred—all falling under what we call acts of injustice. We tell the stories of open and unsolved homicides–what are called “cold” cases. We also memorialize those whose lives have been taken from them in hope that somebody will come forward to tell the truth. So far our efforts center on Michigan.
“Somebody knows somethin’. Somebody ALWAYS knows somethin’.”


According to her sister; she walked away from the house after a very horrible argument with their stepmother.

Find Kathy Sue Wilcox FB group Kathy has been missing since July 1972, I say enough is enough let's bring her home. Please I urge anyone with any kind of information to come forward. If there is anything anyone don't feel comfortable publishing on this page, feel free to private message me on Facebook

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The teeth and lack of dental care bothered me immediately. Add to that the broken toes, broken legs, it doesn't sit right with me.

I'm guessing she went to Otsego High School? Or maybe a private/parochial school? For determing her rising grade, she has a "tricky" birthday- Dec. 25, 1956. She was 15.5 yrs old when she went missing on Jul 12, 1972. She could have been a rising sophomore OR junior. If she was a rising sophomore, did she finish freshman year in a high school or junior high? Would like to see if she appears in any yearbook photos.
 
The teeth and lack of dental care bothered me immediately. Add to that the broken toes, broken legs, it doesn't sit right with me.

I'm guessing she went to Otsego High School? Or maybe a private/parochial school? For determing her rising grade, she has a "tricky" birthday- Dec. 25, 1956. She was 15.5 yrs old when she went missing on Jul 12, 1972. She could have been a rising sophomore OR junior. If she was a rising sophomore, did she finish freshman year in a high school or junior high? Would like to see if she appears in any yearbook photos.

Lack of dental care was common back then. I never saw a dentist until I was 11. By then my teeth were pretty bad.

Multiple leg fractures could mean she fell off of her bike & had a break where each bar is; happened to me; 2 on my lower leg, almost at the ankle; one was really high up; had a full cast for 2+ months


1972 Otsego High School Comet yearbook; grade 9. Carl cleaned the scan up; added color to the 2nd one

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CLUES SOUGHT IN OTSEGO TEEN'S 1972 DISAPPEARANCE
April 28, 2014 - 10:25

Kathy Sue Wilcox is the longest missing person case in Allegan County
By:
Daniel Pepper, Interim Editor
Among Allegan County’s missing people, Kathy Sue Wilcox—last seen in Otsego in 1972—has been gone the longest.
Wilcox, then 15, apparently ran away from home after an argument and has not been heard from by her family since.

“We assumed that she was angry and would just walk around the block and come home—that kind of thing,” said Karen Ortegel, her sister.
But it didn’t happen and it’s now 42 years since anyone is known to have seen her.

The police investigation at the time didn’t find her. According to records, officers talked to a few people who’d seen Wilcox around town near that time, but no trace of her was located.

In 2011, a Hamilton-area woman, Shannon Froeber, noticed the name Kathy Sue Wilcox on a state missing persons web site.

“I was in shock, because the whole time I was in school I’d gone to Otsego and I’d never heard anything about her,” Froeber said.

She eventually decided to create a Facebook page to get people talking and try to encourage any information to come out by spreading Wilcox’s face and story.

“I just couldn’t believe a person can just walk out of her home and just not be seen,” Froeber said.

Initially, Froeber left a few comments on web sites, trying to encourage television stations to pick up the story and asking for information.

One of those comments led Ortegel—who now lives in Montana—who said she often does Google searches on her sisters name, to Froeber and they talked back and forth.

“For some reason, she’s been inspired to pick up this cause and she’s doing it,” Ortegel said. “As far as I believe she has no personal gain, she’s just been inspired to do it.

She said Froeber had asked her if it was okay to create the Facebook page.

“I think this is the first time ever there’s been any interest in promoting awareness,” Ortegel said.

David Schock, who runs the website Delayed Justice, also spent time communicating with her, Ortegel said, and helped her come up with a way to deal with her feelings about her sister.

“His website is so full of hope,” Ortegel said.

She always assumed her sister had run away and started a new life somewhere.

“I’ve always had the great hope that she’s out there somewhere,” Ortegel said. “I always shut out the fact of allowing myself to think otherwise.

“Maybe that sounds unrealistic, but I didn’t have any other answers and I couldn’t think otherwise.”

Recently, she has come to think much more about the possibility her sister is dead. The first time it really hit her was when she went to give a DNA sample to join ones given by her brother and her late father so law enforcement could have all three on file.

“It was hard to sit there for a few minutes and realize that I’m not doing this to prove that she’s alive, this would be to verify remains,” Ortegel said. “As that awareness was washing over me, tears came to my eyes. I held it together until the end; he asked me a question and I just started crying.

“I got out to my car and I just was sobbing. I had an awareness that I had to look at that as a possibility. It was really hard, because it was the first time I thought that might be a possibility.”

Still, she says that isn’t all she thinks.

"I have great hope, period," Ortegel said. “I still have great hope, even though I have that awareness, I still have great hope.

“Hope remains. I’ve always said that. I want to hold onto that hope. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I have hope for today.”

She hopes someone will come forward and tell what they know.

“I believe with all my heart that somebody knows something and that’s my great hope,” Ortegel said. “It’s my great hope that somebody will find it within themselves to come forward. “

Det. Bruce Beckman is the contact at the Otsego Police Department who has charge of the case. He agreed with Froeber that it didn’t seem well-known in town.

“I started in (19)77 and I had no idea about this until someone mentioned in 1993,” Beckman said.

The main steps taken recently on the case have been to get DNA for the database. Beckman was part of a countywide cold case team a few years ago which solved several decade-or-older murder cases. He said they’d started to look into Wilcox’s disappearance right around the end of the team, when funding ran out.

Doing much reinvestigating, he said, was also complicated because some of people named as possibly seeing Wilcox after she left home or being seen with her are out of town.

“There may be a possibility of interviewing a few different people, but they aren’t in this state,” he said. “It’s a matter of sending someone to talk to them.”

Beckman said he’d spoken to a woman recently who’d called because she thought she was Kathy Sue Wilcox, but the details she gave didn’t match anything and it became clear she couldn’t be but thought she resembled an age-progressed photo.

He said it certainly couldn’t hurt to have the case publicized again.

Froeber said she wants to accomplish getting it talked about again, as a way of maybe finding out what happened.

“I just thought, this is the least I can do, as far as post her picture and do something to raise awareness,” she said.
 
I've always thought that this Jane Doe found in 1990 in New Jersey looked a lot like Kathy but not sure how the timing would work if this was here...
 

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