NC NC - Denise Porch, 21, Charlotte, 31 July 1975

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by Richard, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Could these two cases be related? Both women are of similar descriptions and sizes, both were last seen near Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina. Each disappeared without a trace, Pricilla Blevins on 1 January 1975 and Denise Porch on 31 July 1975.

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    Pricilla A. Blevins
    Missing since January 1, 1975 from Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
    Classification: Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: March 29, 1948
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'5"; 130 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; brown eyes.
    The Doe Network: Case File 492DFNC

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Blevins was last seen on Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 1, 1975.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department 704-353-1000
    NCIC Number: M-401092191

    Source Information:
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/492dfnc.html

    ---------------------------------------------------
    Denise Porch
    Missing since July 31, 1975 from Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: March 25, 1954
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 21 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6"; 145 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Long blonde hair; blue eyes.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Porch disappeared from her job as manager of the Yorktown Apartments at 254 Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 31, 1975. She was last seen showing a man around the Yorktown Apartments. There were no signs of a struggle in Porch`s apartment. The television was on, and she left her car and a pocketbook.
    She is believed to have been abducted at gunpoint or knife point during the day. Police mounted a widely publicized search for Porch. Eventually, the leads trailed off. On September 16, 1982, she was declared legally dead.
    Larry Gene Bell who was executed in 1996 for murdering two South Carolina girls remain a suspect in her disappearance. Although police have no evidence linking Bell to Porch, they find it noteworthy that Bell was living at 5009 Cherrycrest Ln., about 300 yards from the apartments, about the time she was abducted.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department 704-353-1000
    NCIC Number: M-003952302

    Source Information:
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/708dfnc.html
     
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  3. TimNC

    TimNC New Member

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    Richard, I believe these two cases are connected, since the two women looked very similar and disappeared within about 100 yards of each other. I haven't been able to find out any further details about Pricilla Blevins' disappearance; I looked at old copies of the Charlotte Observer and there wasn't even a mention of it...perhaps it wasn't reported or she was suspected of leaving on her own? There were daily newspaper updates on Porch, but none of them mentioned Blevins at the time. The only real suspect is the late Larry Gene Bell, executed in 1998 for killing to girls (one of whom looked very much like these two women). Some online info says he lived a few hundred yards away on Cherrycrest lane at the time, but the distance is actually about a mile. I've been to this old apartment building, and there is a pond right behind it, maybe 1 acre in size- I doubt it was ever searched, as Bell was not a suspect until years after the disappearances.
    I used to live two blocks from where these women vanished. There was an article in the Observer this summer marking the 30th anniversary of Porch's disappearance, which you can find easily by googling her name. It's possible,I that Bell did it- he abducted the two SC girls by just driving up and snatching them. However, he phoned the families of those girls several times, even telling them where he had left one or both of the bodies. A different M.O., but that could have changed. Porch's sister lives in Denton, NC and is still actively following the case. There's a detail about that in the Observer article I mentioned. Their mother passed away a few years ago.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Denise Porch
    Missing since July 31, 1975 from Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
    Classification: Endangered Missing
    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: March 25, 1954
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 21 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6"; 145 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Long blonde hair; blue eyes.

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Porch disappeared from her job as manager of the Yorktown Apartments at 254 Tyvola Road in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 31, 1975.

    Porch had moved to Charlotte from Denton, about 60 miles northeast of the city, after marrying the man she'd dated since they met as teens in Myrtle Beach. The two lived at the Yorktown Apartments off Tyvola Road.

    She worked as a resident manager there, showing available units during the day.
    She was last seen showing a man around the Yorktown Apartments. There were no signs of a struggle in Porch`s apartment. The television was on, and the air conditioning left running. Her purse lay on a table and her Camaro was parked outside. The only things missing from her home were the keys to the vacant apartments and a log of available units that she showed prospective tenants. When her husband came home from work around 8 p.m., her usual note hung on the door: She'd left to show an apartment.

    She is believed to have been abducted at gunpoint or knife point during the day. Police mounted a widely publicized search for Porch. Eventually, the leads trailed off. On September 16, 1982, she was declared legally dead.

    A former electrician who lived about 300 yards from her apartment complex -- and who was later convicted of killing two S.C. women -- never confessed to her abduction. He was executed in South Carolina's electric chair.

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

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
    Detective J.L. Tuttle
    704-336-3949

    Agency Case Number: 75-88325
    NCIC Number: M-003952302
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
    The Charlotte Observer
    The Doe Network: Case File 708DFNC


    LINK:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/708dfnc.html
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Note that Pricilla Blevins disappeared from a Tyvola Road Address exactly seven months earlier. Could these two cases be linked? Pricilla's thread:
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44673
     
  6. ROSYRAINDROPS

    ROSYRAINDROPS Former Member

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    I'm wondering why, since Pricilla Blevens' case was filed in 2000, that there isn't more information as to what she was doing at the time of her disappearance, where she was, where she worked, etc.. usually nowadays, these cases are more thorough, but then again, maybe they just don't know. Also wondering who the suspect was that was given the death sentence in the Porch case and if he is also a suspect in the Blevens case.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    No suspect was ever charged in either case. At this time, I do not have any more information than what is posted. I have wondered at the possibility of these two having been abducted by the same person, due to the circumstances, and proximity in time and geography.

    It is possible that the Electrician mentioned might have murdered one or both of these women, but it is equally possible that someone else was responsible. It would be interesting to know who the person was and what his record and MO was.
     
  8. ROSYRAINDROPS

    ROSYRAINDROPS Former Member

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  9. ROSYRAINDROPS

    ROSYRAINDROPS Former Member

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    According to Mapquest, the distance between these two addresses on Tyvola Road is 1.33 miles, and is a three minute trip. hmmmm
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Larry Gene Bell was a Serial Killer who was convicted of murdering two girls in 1985. He was suspected of having killed others, and he is the "electrician" mentioned in earlier posts here. He was eventually executed by Electrocution (ironically appropriate for him).

    --------------------------------------------------
    The following information on Bell comes from the legal Opinion of the presiding Circuit Judge Russell in his denial of Bell's appeal to his death sentence:

    Quote
    Larry Gene Bell, awaiting execution in South Carolina for kidnap- ping and brutally murdering Sharon Faye Smith, appeals the district court's denial of his final petition for writ of habeas corpus. The ques- tion before this Court, is whether any of Bell's numerous "eleventh- hour" complaints warrant habeas relief. The district court concluded that Bell's challenges to his conviction and death sentence were meritless. We affirm.
    I. On Friday, May 31, 1985, at approximately 3:15 p.m., while most of her friends and classmates were packing for their high school grad- uation trip, seventeen-year-old Sharon Faye Smith ("Shari") was abducted from the driveway of her Lexington County, South Carolina home. Discovering Shari's car--unattended and still running-- Shari's father started searching for her. When his efforts failed, Mr. Smith contacted the police. State officials and local F.B.I. agents soon initiated a massive manhunt for Shari, which lasted until her body was found on June 5, 1985.

    While Shari was still missing, someone identifying himself as Shari's abductor made the first in a series of harassing phone calls to the Smiths. Because the caller knew details that would have been known to only Shari or her kidnapper, the Smiths made notes of the calls. Authorities eventually traced and recorded all later calls. During the first conversation, the abductor told Shari's family they would be receiving a letter from Shari. State officials intercepted her letter, enti- tled "Last Will and Testament," from the mail. Apparently, her abductor had Shari draft it shortly before her death.

    On June 5, 1985 the caller--later identified as Bell--provided directions leading to Shari's body. Unfortunately, by the time Shari's body was located, the pathologist could not ascertain either the cause of her death or whether or not she had been sexually assaulted. The pathologist believed, however, that Shari either suffocated or died from dehydra- tion (resulting from a rare form of diabetes from which Shari suf- fered). Following the discovery of Shari's body, Bell made harassing phone calls to the Smiths for the next three weeks. During these calls, Bell callously depicted how he abducted Shari at gun point, raped and sodomized her, wrapped her head in duct tape, and suffocated her. He even malevolently discussed Shari's funeral arrangements with Shari's sister.

    In one call, Bell identified the location of the body of ten-year-old Debra May Helmick, a little girl he kidnapped exactly two weeks after he kidnapped Shari.
    Authorities finally arrested Bell on June 27, 1985. They tracked him down through an anonymous tip and by raising a telephone number imprinted on the paper on which Shari wrote her "Last Will & Testament." Evidence later found in his parent's home and in the house where Bell was housesitting confirmed Bell's involvement in Shari's disappearance and murder.

    In February 1986, Larry Gene Bell was convicted of murdering and kidnapping Shari. The jury recommended the death sentence and the trial judge imposed the sentence in accordance with the jury's find- ings. Bell's conviction and sentence were affirmed by the South Caro- lina Supreme Court. State v. Bell , 360 S.E.2d 706 (S.C. 1987), cert. denied , 484 U.S. 1020 (1988). A petition for rehearing was denied on September 15, 1987.... see link for more...

    Source Information:
    FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code

    Link:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=4th&navby=case&no=944016p
     
  11. LisainWV

    LisainWV New Member

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    Denise and Pricilla were both blonds. I wonder what color Shari's was?
     
  12. ROSYRAINDROPS

    ROSYRAINDROPS Former Member

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    ..And from the same document, I guess he had kidnapped and killed another...

    In one call, Bell identified the location of the body of

    ten-year-old Debra May Helmick, a little girl he kidnapped exactly

    two weeks after he kidnapped Shari.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
    July 31, 2005
    Edition: ONE-THREE
    Section: METRO
    Page: 1B

    MISSING, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
    DENISE PORCH, GONE FOR 30 YEARS TODAY, AMONG UNSOLVED CASES
    Author: KYTJA WEIR, STAFF WRITER - STAFF WRITER MELISSA MANWARE AND OBSERVER ARCHIVES CONTRIBUTED.

    Even after 30 years, Diane Hill still calls police whenever she hears about bones found at a construction site or remains located in the woods.

    She hopes they will provide answers about her sister, missing since July 31, 1975.

    "It's a mystery. That's just what it is," said Hill, who lives in the Davidson County town where they grew up. "I'd like to know who did it. I'd like to find her body. I'd like for someone to come forward."

    The disappearance of 21-year-old Denise Porch from south Charlotte is one of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's oldest cases, handed down to new detectives after the chief investigator died.

    Police have long suspected foul play. Her family and friends would prefer to let today's anniversary pass, and won't hold a memorial of any kind.

    Each year, thousands of people are reported missing in Mecklenburg County. Only a handful of those each year involve criminal activity, police said. And most people are found quickly.

    But earlier this summer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police began getting help with the cases that aren't so easily resolved. Six reserve officers - volunteers trained as police officers - are reviewing cases such as that of Denise Porch, whose family still searches for answers.

    Porch disappeared from her south Charlotte apartment around 3 p.m. The TV was left on and the air conditioning left running. Her purse lay on a table and her Camaro was parked outside.

    Porch had moved to Charlotte from Denton, about 60 miles northeast of the city, after marrying the man she'd dated since they met as teens in Myrtle Beach.

    The two lived at the Yorktown Apartments off Tyvola Road. She worked as a resident manager there, showing available units during the day, while Rodney Dean Porch worked in insurance.

    Denise Porch seemed happy before she disappeared, her family and friends said. She'd just come back from a beach vacation to celebrate her first wedding anniversary. She and her husband had just seen popular rock group Three Dog Night play in concert. They had tickets to see Seals & Crofts the coming weekend.

    On July 31, neighbors saw the blonde around the apartments. But something happened in a span of about 11 minutes that Thursday afternoon.

    The only things missing from her home were the keys to the vacant apartments and a log of available units that she showed prospective tenants. When her husband came home from work around 8 p.m., her usual note hung on the door: She'd left to show an apartment.

    Family, friends, the governor and even strangers pledged rewards totaling nearly $10,000. The family employed psychics and private detectives. Police developed leads and theories.

    No solid answers turned up.

    A sketch of a possible suspect turned out to be an Observer employee who stopped by the complex that day to see a friend. He was cleared.

    A Rowan County man who was arrested after seeking a $50,000 ransom wasn't involved in her disappearance, investigators said. He just wanted money.

    A former electrician who lived about 300 yards from her apartment complex - and who was later convicted of killing two S.C. women - never confessed to her abduction. He was executed in South Carolina's electric chair.

    Not forgotten

    Porch's family filed a court order to have her declared dead in 1982.

    That was the hardest thing her mother, Joyce Newsom, had ever done, Hill said. Their mother still hoped that her youngest was alive. Newsom died in 1997, without answers.

    There is no gravestone or marker for Porch.

    "It's just hard to put something in the ground when there isn't anything in it," Hill said.

    Nothing is planned to mark today's anniversary.

    "We try to just let this day pass. It is always in our mind and our hearts, but there is little we can do or say," Hill said.

    But people hold on to memories of Porch in their own way.

    Nearly every day, Gale Varner said, she still thinks of the woman who served as her maid of honor. In high school, the two used to double date, cruise around Denton in their Ford Falcons and sunbathe.

    "I wonder how she'd have been in later years," Varner said. "What her kids looked like. How she aged."

    Her own daughter is now older than Porch when she disappeared. Varner said her son-in-law calls her "Safety Bob" to tease her about her protectiveness over her family.

    "I'm just really overcautious, I guess," Varner said. "But when you lose someone like that, it changes your whole life."

    The apartments where Porch lived remain standing, with a peeling sign showing the Yorktown name. But many potential witnesses have moved or died.

    "I guess someday we'll know," Varner said. "When we get to heaven, hopefully."

    J.L. Tuttle, the detective now in charge of the case, acknowledges that the case becomes harder with each passing year.

    But it remains open. And Porch's older sister plans to keep calling to check on the case. "I will always be interested as long as I'm here," Hill said. ...

    Source Information:
    Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Bumping this case up. Is it possible that there might be similar disappearances around that same time which might be linked to one or both of these?
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Bumping case up...
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    bumping...
     
  17. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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  18. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Bump it has been 35 yrs today that Denise has been missing.
     
  19. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Due to recent interest in these cases, I am bumping it up. Several years ago, I started this thread in a topic area other than Cold Cases. Recently, a lot of cold missing cases were moved to this part of the forum and so this thread, as well as separate threads for both Denise Porch and Pricilla Blevins are together.
     
  20. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Bumping again due to recent continued interest.
     
  21. Seifsister

    Seifsister New Member

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    Their was also a thrid woman missing out of Charlotte in 1984 name Sandee Elaine Cornett. The person is suspected of killing her and Denise Pourch and dumping them in the same place. He was arrested not long after Sandee went missing and was put to death in Electric Chair in South Carolina for killing 2 girls their. His name was Larry Gene Bell. Their may be a connection with Pricilla A. Blevins but I do not think their is for sure. He admitted at one time or another of killing Denise and Sandee. Their are a few article on Googles archives you can read about this.
     

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