MT MT - Robyn Pettinato, 14, Whitefish, 5 July 1975

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by Richard, May 3, 2008.

  1. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Robyn Ann Pettinato
    Missing since July 5, 1975 from Whitefish, Flathead County, Montana
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: November 12, 1960
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 14 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'0"; 100 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. brown hair; blue eyes.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Robyn was last seen in Whitefish, Montana on July 5, 1975.

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

    Whitefish Police Department
    406-863-2420

    Source Information:
    Montana Department of Justice
    The Doe Network: Case File 2554DFMT

    LINK:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2554dfmt.html
     
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  3. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    I did find an old article about the case in NewspaperArchive but it didn't really say anything. Just that the girl was missing and presumed to have run away.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    I was wondering if she might have been a run away who made it to the Maryland and Pennsylvania area. Just about the time of her disappearance there was a series of young girls of her general age and description who went missing in those states.

    Does anyone know more about her case or her family? Did she have contacts in the eastern US?
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Missing Person Details

    Name: PETTINATO, ROBYN ANN
    Aliases:
    Gender: FEMALE
    Date of Birth: 11/12/1960
    Race: WHITE
    Hair Color: BROWN
    Eye Color: BLUE
    Height: 5' 0''
    Weight: 100 LBS.

    Incident Information

    Date of Last Contact: 07/05/1975
    Age Now: 47 YEARS
    Other Reported Dates of Birth:
    Investigating Agency: WHITEFISH POLICE DEPARTMENT, (406) 863-2420

    If you have information about this individual, contact your local law enforcement agency or the Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse, (406) 444-1526.

    Source:

    Missing Person Details - Montana Department of Justice

    LINK:

    http://doj.mt.gov/enforcement/missingpersons/searchdetail.aspx?RecordKey=898
     
  6. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    I don't know, Maryland and Pennsylvania are pretty far away from Montana. I know absolutely nothing about this girl or her family, I'm afraid.

    Wikipedia says Whitefish is a small town, population 5,000, and known as a resort area. It's not clear whether it was a resort 30 years ago though. In any case, Montana is such a rural and rugged place I wonder if maybe the girl just didn't have some kind of accident, like a fall, and was simply never found. There is so little information to base a theory on that pretty much anything is possible.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    I could not find much about Robyn's immediate family or the circumstances of her disappearance, but I did locate the following obituary for a man who was probably her uncle. The article is rather lengthly and contains a lot of interesting information, but does not mention Robyn. I have shortened it for this posting, but the entire obit can be read on the link below.

    It would appear that Robyn's family lived in the Whitefish, Montana area for quite a long time.


    Frank A. Pettinato May 19, 1921 - May 15, 2004

    MISSOULA - On May 19, 1921, Frank A. Pettinato was born in Whitefish to Carmello and Rafaella Pettinato who immigrated from southern Italy in the early 1900s. Frank had six brothers and one sister. ...

    Frank died at home attended by his family. He is survived by his wife of nearly 58 years; children Donald of Tampa, Fla., Loretta and husband Scott of Huson; brothers Rudy and Virgil and their spouses as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Yolanda and brothers Joe, Russell, Bert and Romolo....

    LINK:

    http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2004/05/20/obits/obits4.txt
     
  8. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    In partial answer to my own question, I looked up the name Pettinato and found that almost a third of people by that name live in Pennsylvania. The Social Securtiy Death Index lists 90 out of 317 Pettinatos in PA.

    There are only a few listed as living or having lived in Maryland, but some of them lived in Kensington, MD not far from two of the cases mentioned earlier. Sheila and Katherine LYON disappeared from Wheaton Plaza on 25 March 1975, and Kathy Lynn Beatty was abducted only four miles north of there on 24 July 1975. The Lyon Sisters are still missing. Kathy Lynn Beatty was brutally beaten and left for dead. She died 12 days later.

    You are right about there not being enough information just yet to form a theory as to her case. Wish there was more to go on.
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Robyn is said to have gone missing some time after 5 July 1975. Her age and description is very close to that of other girls who went missing from the Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey area that year.

    Here is a summary of cases involving the disappearance of children from March thru August 1975:

    Sheila, 12, and Katherine, 10, Lyon went missing 25 March 1975, from Wheaton, MD

    Steven Anderson,17, and David Williams, 12, went missing 7 April 1975 from New Lisbon, NJ

    Wendy Eaton, 15, went missing 17 May 1975 from Media, PA

    Edna Christine Thorne, 15, went missing 24 June 1975 from Philadelphia, PA

    Tracy Anne King, 14, went missing 18 July 1975 from Littlestown, PA

    Kathy Lynn Beatty, 14, was abducted, sexually assaulted, and bludgeoned on 24 July 1975, Aspen Hill, MD. She died 12 days later.

    Carolyn Majane, 15, went missing Friday, 22 August 1975, from Moorestown, NJ. Her body was found in 1985, buried in a remote area.



    LINK to Websleuths discussion about these cases and the missing Lyon Sisters:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35049&page=9
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    bumping case up...
     
  11. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    On July 31st, 1973, 11 year-old Karen Tyler and 9 year-old Jessica Wesphal of Marion, MT, disappeared in the area of Bitterroot Lake. They were last seen by an area minister, talking to a young man in a pick-up truck.
    In November of 1976, the remains of the two girls were found by hunters, some two miles from where they were last seen.
    In July of 1977, a local man, K. Randall Bachman, was arrested for their murders.

    Marion is 30 miles from Whitefish.

    I have a list of some 12 girls and young women who were reported as missing in MT in '73, '74, and '75. At least 5 were confirmed murdered.
     
  12. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Here are a few missing persons cases from Montana. Unfortunately, not much information is available on them. What others do you know of?
    --------------------------------------

    Frances Collier Ewalt
    Missing since August 20, 1975 from Rosebud County, Montana
    Classification: Missing


    Vital Statistics
    • Date Of Birth: April 25, 1949
    • Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
    • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6"; 165 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Red/auburn hair; blue eyes.
    • AKA: Frances Mary Collier

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Frances was last seen on August 20, 1975 in Rosebud County, MT.



    Investigators

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Rosebud County Sheriff's Office
    406-346-2715



    Source Information:
    MT DOJ

    Doenetwork

    LINK:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2552dfmt.html


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

    Nancy Lynn Kirkpatrick
    Missing since April 21, 1976 from Columbia Falls, Flathead County, Montana
    Classification: Endangered Missing


    Vital Statistics
    • Date Of Birth: January 25, 1960
    • Age at Time of Disappearance: 16 years old
    • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'1"-5'2"; 90-96 lbs.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; brown eyes.
    • Marks, Scars: Scars on her right shoulder and beneath her arm, between elbow and shoulder.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Nancy Kirkpatrick was last seen in Columbia Falls, MT on April 21, 1976.


    Investigators

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

    Flathead County Sheriff's Office
    406-758-5585
    OR
    Whitefish Police Department
    406-863-2420



    NCMEC #: NCMC602231
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
    Source Information:
    My Space Page
    News Paper Archive
    MT DOJ
    NCMEC

    Doenetwork

    LINK:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2452dfmt.html


     
  13. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    I also have Nancy Kirkpatrick on the list...

    Karen Olson, 16, from Billings (September of '75)--Karen, who the news article described as "retarded", left home to seek work in a nearby town. She was never seen again.

    Clobhin McGinness, 5, from Missoula (February '74)--disappeared from her home following a sexual assault on another 5 year-old girl less than three blocks from the McGinness' residence.

    Susan Jaeger 7, from a camp ground near Manhattan (July '73)---was taken during the night from her tent while the family was camping. Her remains were found months later. David Meirhofer confessed to her murder, as well as the murder of Sandra Smallegan, 19. Meirhofer killed himself in prison (after confessing to two addtional murders of boys in the late '60s).

    Vinette (or Binette) Barkham, 15, from her home in Belgrade (July '74).

    Peggy Harstad, 22, of Forsyth (July 4th, 1974)--her abandoned car was located near Forsyth. Two hitchhikers, Robert Nank and Dewey Coleman, who were making their way across Montana, confessed to the rape and murder of Peggy in October of '74. They admitted they "thought about" committing other murders.

    Susann Bell, 15, from Whitehall (November '75)---disappeared on her way home from school.

    Becky Lira, 15, disappeared from her home in Butte (June '75).

    Kathy Guerrrera, 16, disappeared from her home in Missoula (August '74).

    It's very possible that some of these girls were runaways, and that they later returned home. I just was unable to find anything further on them.
     
  14. forthelost

    forthelost I hear the angels call my name, and I am Winterbor

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  15. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    While it seems that there were several abductors/killers of young women and girls operating in Montana during the mid 1970's, It is also very likely that some of these cases are related.

    It is hard to make a concrete connection between cases when the victim is missing and there are no physical clues available. But it just is too much of a "coincidence" when two or more young girls go missing from the same area, about the same time, and their discriptions are so similar.
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    It is possible that some of the missing and murdered girls mentioned in the previous posts could have been victims of Ted Bundy. In the 1974-1975 time frame, he was doing quite a lot of traveling and killing in the northwest. While most of his known or suspected victims were in Washington State, Utah, and Colorado --- He was also suspected of killing in Idaho and Montana by some LE.
     
  17. Montanagal09

    Montanagal09 New Member

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    First time poster here. I ran across this thread while searching for word of Robin, who was a friend of mine. After all these years, I'm still haunted by this, as I know many of my classmates were also. It's comforting to know that she's not completely forgotten.

    Yes, Robin disappeared without a trace, and beyond those brief little newspaper mentions, it wasn't really ever mentioned again, and it didn't seem like anybody tried all that hard to find her. There were no flyers posted around as there had been when the girls in Marion went missing. No reward offered.

    Very doubtful she tried to travel back east to visit relatives on her own. Her friends knew she had a turbulent relationship with her parents. Did she really run away, never to return? If she did, I pray she made it somewhere safe. It seems so unthinkable that she wouldn't have contacted anyone all these years. She had friends, loved ones, a very active life only she knew the extent of. Sisters and brothers that she adored.

    Chances are she didn't make it much further than her own back yard, though not a sign of her was ever seen again. Her family seems to consider her dead. Closest thing she ever got to a public memorial (aside from the tree planted in her memory by the Class of '79) that I know of was a passing mention in her dad's obit when he died in 1998. It does state that she preceded him in death.

    --------------------------------
    Romolo I. Pettinato
    Romolo I. Pettinato, 74, passed away Thursday, Sept. 24, 1998, at Brendan House after an extended illness.

    He was born Aug. 21, 1924, at the family home in Whitefish, to Carmello and Raffeala Pettinato. Romolo's early years were spent in the Flathead Valley at Essex, where he attended elementary school. He often remarked that many of his teachers did not like children very much, but he was proud that he never received a "lickin'" in all his school days.

    As a young man, Romolo enjoyed fishing, going to school dances and singing in the school choir. One of his vivid memories was presenting the Easter Cantata to a school assembly when 150 students walked out! Romolo graduated in 1942 from Flathead County High School.

    In May 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was assigned to the 13th Engineer Battalion Company C. He served in World War II in the Pacific Theater. During his training in Wyoming, he met Esther Schwartzkopf and they were married in 1945.

    After being discharged in 1946, Romolo and Esther settled in Essex, where he was employed by the Great Northern Railroad as a machinist. Romolo became a locomotive fireman and brakeman and moved his family to Whitefish in 1960. He retired from the Burlington Northern in 1988 and remained in Whitefish until moving to Kalispell in 1994.

    He was preceded in death by his wife, Esther; a daughter, Robin, who was declared missing in 1975; two brothers, Joseph and Bert; and one sister, Yolanda. Romolo was affectionately known as "Rom" or "Fat" to his friends and family, who liked to call him a Jack-of-all-trades. His children truly believed he could fix anything and tested this belief many times in various projects and generally maintaining many houses.

    To his grandchildren, he gave his attention and time; he was never too busy to play a game of cards or go to the playground. Mostly, Romolo will be remembered by his children for the gift of his infinite patience and quiet wisdom. He was more than a father; he was a "dad," giving the gift of time as well as talent. Rom's philosophy of life was good food, good friends and solid family. This is the lasting legacy he has loving left his children.

    --"The Daily Inter Lake"; Kalispell, MT; September 27, 1998

    Full obit at: http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.montana.counties.flathead/854/mb.ashx
     
  18. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Thank you for your post and comments. I would have to concur that given the very limited information in this case, it would be hard to conclude that Robin traveled all the way across the country. But it remains a possibility.

    Do you know if she had close relatives in Maryland or Pennsylvania?
     
  19. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Bumping case up. It has been 35 years since Robyn disappeared. Has anyone seen any anniversary articles about her?
     
  20. amber1

    amber1 New Member

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    wish their was more info about her
     
  21. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    37 year anniversary

    Today marks 37 years since Robyn went missing.
     

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