PA PA - Lauren Pico Jackson, 5, Spring City, 4 Oct 1988

Discussion in '1980's Missing' started by smile22, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. smile22

    smile22 Live Laugh Love

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    does anyone know anything about this case i saw it on unsolved and pulled up her doe flyer.. and nothing new was listed on doe. was she ever found? did they have any solid leads
     
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  3. lisag

    lisag Former Member

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    Seeing that she is still listed with the Doe Network, Charlie Project and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, I do not think she has ever been found.
     
  4. Paradise

    Paradise Member

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    I don't think she's ever been found. She looks like such a pretty girl, I wish she would turn up or at least some clues about what happened.

    Here's her doenetwork page...
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/270dfpa.html
     
  5. Gen Toll

    Gen Toll New Member

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    Lauren is my cousin and no, she has not been found yet nor is there any recent information on the case. We're all still waiting and praying.
     
  6. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    In June of 2006, I came up with the idea of writing a series of articles on cold cases in and around Phoenixville. Three came to mind, the still unsolved 1954 murder of Marguerite Keota, the murder of a Boy Scout in East Pikeland in the 1970s and the 1988 disappearance of Lauren Jackson in East Vincent Township.
    Being the most recent of the three, I opted to start working first on Lauren's story. Although it began as the first in a series of three different cases, it began to take on a life of its own.
    I started my quest for information by poring through dozens, if not hundreds, of old newspaper articles, and for anyone who has ever done so in the offices of The Phoenix, you understand it's a grimy, dusty job. I don't think I stopped sneezing for a week.
    Many of those articles were written by Lynn Berry, who up until last year was the editor of the Moscow Times in Russia, and provided me with the basic information I needed to be able to start a search.
    The first person I was able to find, with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was Retired Agent David Richter, the lead investigator on Lauren's case. Agent Richter - who now has a PI business in West Chester (Cloud, Feheery and Richter) - was most helpful in providing me with background information about the case and about the family.
    My goals were to find Lauren's father, Mickey - which I did - and find her mother, Christina - which I did not.

    http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17773522&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17918&rfi=6
     
  7. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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  8. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    From the Phoenixville News article:
    Anybody know what the story is behind this barn? I'd never heard anything like this before.
     
  9. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    She was just 100 feet away from her front door when she disappeared in October of 1988, and in the nearly 19 years since, not a single trace of Lauren Maria Pico Jackson has been found.
    On Oct. 4, 1988, the tiny 5-year-old girl, clad in a white long-sleeved shirt with a California Raisin on the front and iron-stained pants, had been playing with another child, digging in the dirt with spoons. When her mother, Christina O'Donnell, went to check on her - she was gone.
    Christina called the police, who organized search teams. Less than two hours later, more than 50 men from four police departments and six fire departments fanned out across the area to begin looking for the brown-haired, brown-eyed little girl who lived in the Park Springs apartment complex in East Vincent Township.
    Even as the search teams were preparing their plan of action, then-Sgt. James Cote of the East Vincent Police Department said there was an influx of calls from people offering assistance in the hunt for Lauren.
    "There were a lot of areas that needed to be searched," Cote said. "Every Dumpster, every parked car, ponds in the area had to be checked."

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17777257&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  10. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    By 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1988, hundreds of volunteers had offered their help in the search for little Lauren Jackson, who had been missing from her home for 12 hours.
    The last time anyone had seen the 5-year-old girl was around 7:30 p.m. the night before, when she was playing with another child in the Park Springs apartment complex in East Vincent Township where she lived. Lauren's mother, Christina O'Donnell, had called police around 9:15 p.m. to report Lauren missing.
    People were turning out in droves to help search for Lauren over an eight-mile radius surrounding the apartment complex. The search area stretched from the defunct Pennhurst State Hospital in Spring City to an abandoned garage at the intersection of routes 23 and 724 in East Pikeland.
    Several former patients from the state hospital had moved into Park Springs after the facility was shut down.
    In checking all possible leads, the Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue (GPSAR) team took their dogs to the grounds of the former state-run mental facility, which also houses the Southeast Pa. Veterans Center. Their mission was to check the utility tunnels beneath the buildings.
    Irvin Lichtenstein is the founder of GPSAR and is a member of, among other emergency service organizations, the International Society of Professional Trackers. Lauren's case was the first emergency call for GPSAR, and Lichtenstein was among those who came to aid in the search.
    Initially, GPSAR responded to the parking lot of the abandoned garage at routes 23 and 724 around 3 a.m. on Oct. 5. Members spent the wee hours of the morning jumping from location to location searching for Lauren.
    "The search shifted to what is now the ... Veterans home," Lichtenstein wrote in an August 2006 e-mail to The Phoenix. "Crews checked and sealed the utility tunnels and sewers under the complex; we checked the surface and there were boats in the river."
    The search continued, as it would for the next two weeks, sun up to sun down, with hundreds of people from various organizations, as well as individuals, who volunteered to join the search. Many people who were not able to assist in the hunt for Lauren provided coffee and refreshments for search teams.
    After days of searches by hundreds of people, Philadelphia psychic Valerie Morrison provided what many hoped might be a pivotal break in the case.
    The psychic claimed to have had a vision of where the little girl had been just days before. The description Morrison provided of the location she "saw" matched what investigators discovered on the property of John French.
    Morrison spoke of seeing a red barn, something orange and a sequence of numbers. She also heard dogs barking.

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17781519&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  11. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    When Lauren Jackson was reported missing from her East Vincent Township home on Oct. 4, 1988, several Philadelphia-area news outlets, including KYW-1060 AM radio, picked up her story.
    David Richter, an agent with the Newtown Square office of the FBI, was in the midst of a trial in Philadelphia and heard the news of Lauren's disappearance broadcast on the radio.
    "I heard about it on KYW, and I talked to the boss in Newtown Square and told him what I had heard," Richter said in an interview last week. "He then sent some other agents to see if they could assist."
    East Vincent Township police officers had been working together with neighboring police departments, firefighters, Chester County Detectives and other volunteers in the hunt for little Lauren.
    The search for the 5-year-old girl had been ongoing since the previous Wednesday, when her mother, Christina O'Donnell, had reported her missing. Police said Lauren had been digging in the dirt with spoons in front of the home of another child in the Park Springs Apartment Complex in East Vincent Township.
    Christina and her eldest daughter, Diana Severns, were located by The Phoenix for the first time on Tuesday, following exhaustive efforts.
    Both women said on Tuesday that Lauren was not prone to wandering away alone, as neighbors had told police in the past.
    Christina said Lauren had been reprimanded two weeks before she went missing for walking to a nearby store with older children in the development.
    "That was the first time she had ever done that, but she wasn't by herself, she was with older girls," she said.
    Diana said Lauren would not have willingly gone with someone she did not know.
    "She was outgoing, she was friendly - she was like me," Diana said. "They say she may have gotten into a car with a stranger, but she wouldn't have done that."
    Using Lauren's bed sheets as a guide, search dogs had followed her scent along Route 724 near the Vincent Motel - where it seemed to end. Information provided by a Philadelphia psychic led search teams to a barn about a mile from Lauren's home in Park Springs.
    Several local dive teams, including Spring Ford Rescue and the Spring City and Phoenixville fire departments, volunteered time and equipment to search 19 area ponds, creeks and other bodies of water for the little girl.
    Even the National Guard out of Spring City aided in the hunt for the little girl, but nothing turned up.
    On Monday, Oct. 10, 1988, Richter was officially assigned to the Jackson case and jumped in with both feet.

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17787035&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  12. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    By December 1989, Lauren Jackson had been missing for more than two years, and her case began receiving national attention.
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) began distributing Lauren's photo on mailers that went out across the country. Tips began coming in, all were investigated, but none were fruitful.
    In January 1991, "America's Most Wanted" aired a 30-second spot about Lauren's case and featured a sculpture of the little girl, created by nationally-known artist Frank Bender, who has done similar work on cases such as Philadelphia's "Boy in the Box."
    Lauren's case was shown at the end of the episode with a brief synopsis of facts surrounding her disappearance and her physical description.
    The month after the episode aired, James Cote left his position as chief of the East Vincent Township Police Department, and William Demski, a former Philadelphia police officer, was hired as the new chief.
    In May of 1991, Lauren's father, Michael "Mickey" Jackson, received a tip that his daughter could possibly have been in Florida.
    According to Cote, Mickey contacted him and requested he fly to Florida to check out the information. Although he was no longer involved in law enforcement, Cote said he consulted with the FBI, and he and Mickey got on a plane.
    While in Florida, the two looked at a neighborhood, some residences and a school where Lauren may have been enrolled, but - as was becoming the theme of the case - the leads turned up nothing.
    Lauren's mother Christina O'Donnell said that she never understood the purpose of the Florida trip.
    "They were trying to pin something on me because I had relatives in Florida, because I grew up there," she said on Wednesday. "They're cousins, and I haven't even spoken to them in years. I don't even think they knew what happened with Lauren then."
    Mickey has said repeatedly - including on national television - that he believes Christina was involved in Lauren's disappearance. "I know she did it to get back at me," he said last week.
    Christina scoffed at the notion that she would have harmed and/or given Lauren away for spite.
    "That's my child," she said on Wednesday. "I could care less about (Mickey)."

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17793066&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  13. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    Investigators, members of the search parties and local residents alike say they have all been haunted by Lauren Jackson's disappearance almost two decades ago.
    Some feel guilt at not being able to find the little girl, and her mother and father both feel guilt for not protecting her, but it is Lauren's older sister who feels exceptionally culpable.
    Diana Severns was 12 when Lauren went missing.
    Her baby sister's disappearance has taken a heavy toll on her, and for the last 19 years, she has been racked with guilt over that night.
    On Oct. 4, 1988, Diana left her house to take care of a neighbor's children in another part of the complex. As she was going out the door, she said, Lauren begged to come along.
    "I feel so guilty because she wanted to come with me, and you know, I didn't want my little sister hanging around," Diana said on Wednesday. "You know how big sisters and little sisters are."
    Shortly after Diana left, Lauren disappeared.
    "I haven't dealt with it this whole time because I don't know how to," Diana said.
    She staunchly maintains that Lauren would not have wandered off by herself.
    "Lauren wouldn't have done that," Diana said. "Someone took her. Someone out there knows something."

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17798858&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  14. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    Lauren Maria Pico Jackson was born to Christina O'Donnell and Michael "Mickey" Jackson, on Sept. 27, 1988, in Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.
    She was born premature and had a host of birth defects and problems, one of which was hydroencephalitis, or fluid on the brain.
    "The doctors told me not to have a lot of hope for her." Christina said.
    Among the problems Lauren had were a club foot, a double hernia and a cleft palate, according to Diana Severns, Lauren's older sister. She had casts on her legs from the age of one month, and every Sunday, Christina said she had to soak the casts off so they could be replaced on Monday.
    Christina said that, when Lauren began walking, she had to buy two left shoes for the little girl. Doctors also tried to correct Lauren's problems with the use of metal braces.
    At the age of seven months, the baby girl underwent the first of many surgeries to correct the double hernia. At age 2, Lauren - who Christina said was so tiny she was still wearing infant layette gowns - began having the surgeries to correct both her club foot and cleft palate.
    Lauren was also born with eye problems, which doctors tried to correct by having the little girl wear child-sized glasses fitted with rubber hooks to keep them on her face. She needed four surgeries on her right eye, but she disappeared before they were scheduled.
    Christina said Lauren's brain function was affected by the hydroencephalitis, but that did not stop her from being "the happiest little thing."

    http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17798861&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=15
     
  15. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    Lauren's mother Christina O'Donnell said there is not a day that goes by that she doesn't think about, or talk to her missing daughter.
    Michael "Mickey" Jackson, Lauren's father, said the same.
    "I can't believe so much time has gone by," he said. "It's been almost 19 years, it doesn't feel like it."
    Mickey and Christina have not spoken to each other since the night Lauren disappeared, but they share the feeling, the hope, that someday, their daughter will return to them.
    Each has an idea of what may have happened. Mickey feels Christina is responsible - something she has adamantly denied - and Christina feels it was a random abduction.
    Investigators do not know what happened, and in 19 years, no one has come forward with any promising leads.
    For years after Lauren's disappearance, Mickey called the East Vincent Police Department daily.
    Sgt. Thomas Goggin, who is the head of the Phoenixville Police Department's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, was working for the East Vincent Township Police Department around the time of Lauren's disappearance.
    "What will always stand out in my mind is Mickey Jackson calling almost every day at 4 p.m.," Goggin said in an interview last week. "You could sense the pain in his voice when he called and asked for the chief."
    Mickey also stayed in touch with the FBI in Newtown Square.
    "I called them every single day for eight or nine months until the point when I got into an argument with the secretary of the FBI in Newtown Square who used to get tired of me calling every day," Mickey said.
    While Mickey took an active role in the investigation, Christina stayed quiet, brooding to herself about Lauren's disappearance. It severely affected both she and her older daughter Diana Severns, and, as Christina describes it, they sunk "into a slow downward spiral."
    Christina wrote about Lauren and her disappearance in the following handwritten letter, which she provided exclusively to The Phoenix on Wednesday.

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17804868&BRD=1673&PAG=461&dept_id=17915&rfi=6
     
  16. Rle7

    Rle7 New Member

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    bumping...
     
  17. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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  18. Julespa

    Julespa New Member

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    I lived and still live very close to where Lauren disappeared in 1988. I contacted Dateline to see if they could do a story on her disappearance. I think of her everytime I drive past her apartment complex (Park Springs) the area has changed a lot since then, a new gas station/covenience store a CVS pharmacy but the general area that she disappeared from remains strangely untouched. Maybe if there is enough interest generated in her case they will reopen it. I would gladly be of service to research the area. I couldn't when she first vanished because I am not much older than her.
     
  19. Julespa

    Julespa New Member

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    Lauren Maria Pico Jackson
    Date of Birth - 9/26/83
    Date Missing - 10/4/88
    Missing from - Spring City, Pennsylvania
    L.E.A. - East Vincent Twp. Police Dept.
    Contact - Chief William Demski
    Telephone Number - (610)933-0115

    ID Info - NCIC #M-365019748. Lauren is a white female, 2'8" tall, weighs 34 pounds, has curly brown hair and hazel eyes. She has double hernia scars on lower abdomen and surgery scars inside mouth from cleft palate. Last seen wearing white Reebok sneakers with pink laces, white socks, white long sleeve pullover shirt with a California Raisin on the front and black knit pants with an iron stain on the back.

    Circumstances - Lauren had been playing with other children in the vicinity of her residence when she came up missing on 10/4/88 in Spring City, PA. An extensive search of the area produced no clues to Lauren's whereabouts.
     
  20. Julespa

    Julespa New Member

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    I am a newbie so I hope it is ok to post a reply to my own thread. :)
    I just wanted to post this thread to try and keep this case alive. It will be 20 years since she disappeared this October. For now I still live near where she did (will be moving away soon) but I wanted to get opinions on something I thought up last night while I couldn't sleep after reading about Tawni (Maricopa Jane). I was tempted to make fliers to hang around town, with maybe the help of the police. I am a graphic designer but I do not have web design experience. I would like to make fliers that just list the day she disappeared, 10/4/88 and underneath say something like "Do you remember this day?" and then have a website made up by someone that has all of her information. I was thinking that if the flier was vague that maybe people would be interested in what it was all about (kind of like the commericials the drug companies use nowadays) and visit the website and read about her. Only thing is I have no idea where to start. Would anyone have any insight? Thanks :)
     
  21. StealthTheory

    StealthTheory New Member

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    From all her surgery scars I wonder if she had any disablities.
     

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