OK OK - Joan Croft, 4, Woodward, 9 April 1947

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by MaryLiz, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    JOAN GAY CROFT, AGE 4, ENDANGERED MISSING 4/9/1947 FROM OK

    Vital statistics:
    Age at time of disappearance: 4 years old
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female, blonde hair, blue eyes

    On April 9, 1947 a giant tornado ripped through the town of Woodward. It traveled on the ground for 221 miles at a speed of 46 miles per hour, smashing, without warning, everything in its path. It has been described as one of the 10 most destructive tornadoes of all time, killing 185 people and injuring 720.

    Joan Gay's mother was killed by the giant storm, and her father, H.O. Croft, was critically injured. He was transferred to an Oklahoma City hospital. Joan Gay, with a splinter through her leg, and her sister, were found to have less life-threatening injuries than others seeking care, and were ushered to the hospital basement to wait as more critical injuries were treated.

    Her sister, four years older, reported that two men dressed in khaki work clothes came into the basement and carried Joan Gay away. Apparently due to the turmoil of the night, no one paid any attention to the little girl's protests. For a time it was thought perhaps the child was taken elsewhere for medical treatment. But as days passed following the disaster and damage was assessed and residents accounted for, Joan Gay did not surface on hospital lists or with any family members. The incident received nationwide attention, but Joan Gay never was found.

    From the Doe Network
    Case File #2557DFOK

    SOURCE OF INFORMATION: ENID NEWS, THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN

    No other contact numbers or information.

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/2557dfok.html
     
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  3. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

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    I think I saw a TV show about her once, Unsolved Mysteries or something. I wonder why no LE seem to be investigating her case.
     
  4. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    Quite a strange case, I gotta find more details about this...
     
  5. AmandaBrown23

    AmandaBrown23 Im just living among all the madness

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    I just found this yesterday and it intrigues me so much. I put it up on missing children. I cannot believe she hasnt been found yet.
     
  6. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    I thought it was very strange. The way the disappearance is worded, it almost seems like it began and ended that night in the hallway of the hospital. It's very odd, like meggilyweggily said, that no LE seemed to be investigating. And there is no family member contact information listed. Even if her sister who was 4 years older is no longer alive, you would think that someone in her family would be searching. I'm going to look in Newspaper Archives too and see if I can find out more about it.
     
  7. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    Amanda, I'm sorry..I saw you put it on the missing children forum earlier this evening. I should have done a search before putting it in the cold case forum.

    :doh:
     
  8. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    Her cousin was interviewed in 2002:


    Marvella Parks also has her memories of April 9.
    She was 14.
    "It made a chain reaction thing," Parks said. "One day Woodward is a quiet little town where everybody knew everybody. The next day your neighbors are gone, their homes are gone and you look for members of your family and you don't know where they are."
    Parks acknowledges the tragedy and vents her grief by decorating the graves of the three unidentified girls that Stecher buried.

    She also carries a hope that her cousin, Joan Gay Croft, the only person not accounted for after the tornado, will be found.
    Croft, who was 4 years old in 1947, was seen after the tornado, with injuries that were not considered life threatening.
    Her disappearance from Woodward's hospital in the chaos following the killer storm has been profiled on Unsolved Mysteries.
    "I can never give closure to Joan Gay unless I know for sure," Parks said of the girl she last saw with a sliver of wood in her leg. Joan Gay would be 59 now. If it's meant to be it's going to be, but I will never give up hope of finding her."

    http://www.news-star.com/stories/042102/New_50.shtml

    Also, Steve Huff has a blog about it. There are some interesting posts in the comments section - one person who believes she may be Joan, and one who believes Joan was her former roommate:

    http://www.stevenhuff.net/archives/21
     
  9. WholeLottaRosie

    WholeLottaRosie Dancing on a moonbeam!

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  10. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid New Member

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    This is a very haunting case. I remember seeing it on "Unsolved Mysteries" many years ago. It's interesting how the older sister, Jerry, who I assume was eight years old at the time (since she is listed as four years older than four-year-old Joan) is basically the only witness to who took her sister. She describes the men who took Joan were dressed in khaki clothing. I wonder if she used the term "khaki"? If so, it sounds like a description of what could have been rescue workers such as people with the National Guard, or whatever the equivalent would have been in Oklahoma in 1947, who would have been on the scene assisting with the tornado's aftermath. Could it also been an eight-year-old's version of what is now referred to as "scrubs" or what those working in a hospital wear? I thought of that since the children were being sheltered in a hospital. On the other hand, maybe it was just some kind of work clothing that rescue workers had quickly gotten into as they rushed to assist followng the storm.

    It seems that it could have just been a case of mistaken identity by people who were searching for a child missing in the storm and Joan Gay resembled one they thought was theirs. Then, when they realized the error, they were afraid to bring her back. You want to believe it was not the work of child abuctors doing such a deed under those conditions, but I'm sure stranger things have happened.
     
  11. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Definitely a haunting case. Its elements almost seem to be out of ancient mythology: child survives a harrowing storm which claims many lives, including that of a parent, and then is whisked away to a land unknown, taken under cover of disruption and darkness. One almost expects the River Styx to make an appearance.

    Many of us who grew up in "tornado alley" country have known about this case for a very long time. And it never fails to deliver a chill, to read about it all over again. I had meant for months to search WS to see if this case had a thread (I was reminded of it again this spring, when the tornado sirens sounded here in my OK town) and thanks, Cambria, for having made one.

    I lean toward the "abductors took advantage of the situation" theory, and tend to think that Joan Gay is alive and well somewhere, having been raised by a family who wanted a child.
     
  12. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    You're welcome, wfgodot. I actually forgot about this case. I agree with you... I think she was abducted by someone who wanted a child and definitely took advantage of the situation.

    Thanks to you, too, Cincinnati Kid for bumping the case up.
     
  13. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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  14. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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  15. mnegri1973

    mnegri1973 Member

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    Have they ever done DNA testing on the 3 little unknown girls? I would think that the family of little Joan would want their DNA checked against the little girl who had blond hair and was estimated to be about 3 or 4. Just to be positive that that little one is not Joan.
     
  16. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    65 years and six days after Joan Gay Croft disappeared in the aftermath of the deadly tornado, another tornado - initial reports call it "massive" - struck Woodward OK this morning just after midnight. Four are confirmed dead, including two children, at this hour. Daylight may bring the discovery of more victims.
     
  17. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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    Thanks for this post; I have family in the southern part of Woodward. I haven't heard from any family members yet so I hope that is a good thing. The thing I don't miss about home is the tornados.
     
  18. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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  19. Jacie Estes

    Jacie Estes Medical Marijuana Advocate

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  20. ctaylor

    ctaylor Active Member

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    Another interesting article on this case, with the author saying he had emails sent in 1999 from someone claiming to be Joan...

    http://newsok.com/where-is-mystery-woman-connected-to-1947-woodward-tornado/article/3666941

     
  21. Natasha (Tash) Simp

    Natasha (Tash) Simp Former Member

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    I know that some have suggested that Joan couldn't have been taken to be a child for a childless couple as it was two men that abducted her and stealing a very young child to raise as your own was usually done by women... but why couldn't a woman have hired these men? Men "rescue workers" would raise less suspicion than a strange woman.
     

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