WI WI - Ricky Jean Bryant, 4, Mauston, 19 Dec 1949

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by PonderingThings, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    [SIZE=-1]http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1756dfwi.html[/SIZE]

    Ricky Jean Bryant
    Missing since December 19, 1949 from Mauston, Juneau County, Wisconsin
    Classification: Lost, Injured, Missing

    Vital Statistics

    * Date Of Birth: November 9, 1945
    * Age at Time of Disappearance: 4 years old
    * Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 3'4" (102 cm); 40 lbs (18 kg)
    * Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; hazel eyes.
    * AKA: Jeannie

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    On December 19, 1949, a fire broke out at the child's house. She was last seen in the front yard while the fire was being put out. When the fire was extinguished, Ricky was no longer in the yard. She has not been seen or heard from since.
     
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  3. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/news/index.php?ntid=73603&ntpid=1

    Missing for far too long
    By Tim Damos

    Fifty-six years after a house fire was presumed to have taken the life of 4-year-old Ricky Jean Bryant, three of the girl's siblings are searching for the truth regarding the strange circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

    Sharon (Bryant) Mattson of Baraboo says she and her siblings think a house fire was an excuse to quell suspicions about a child born out of wedlock, and that Ricky Jean Bryant is still alive somewhere.

    On the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 19, 1949, a fire broke out at the Bryant family farm-home about 3 miles northeast of Mauston.

    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ricky Jean Bryant (also known as Jeannie) was last seen in the yard during the fire.

    After the fire consumed the home, "Jeannie was nowhere to be found," said Liz (Bryant) Wiley, younger sister of Jeannie, who now lives in Washington state.

    Wiley was 18 months old at the time, but she describes the events based on accounts she has heard from others over the years.

    Wiley said her brother, Forrest Bryant (who was 5 at the time), was instructed by his grandmother to watch over her and Jeannie in the yard while the fire was blazing. "Then somebody pulled up in an expensive car," she said.

    According to her brother, a woman got out of the car and told him to run to a neighbor's house to get help. However, instead of sending him to a house that was relatively close, she sent him to a house further down the road.

    When he returned, Liz was still there, but the woman, the car and Jeannie were gone.

    Most news accounts of the fire inferred Jeannie had perished in the fire. An article in the (ital) New Lisbon Times said particles which may have been human bones were taken to Madison the day after the fire, but a report in the (ital) Mauston Star a week later said the state crime lab came back with a "negative" response. The Bryants never obtained solid evidence that Jeannie died.

    Grandmother couldn't find her

    Jeannie's parents, Raymond and Opal Bryant, were not home at the time and the childrens' grandparents, Casper and Helen Halverson, looked after them.

    Helen Halverson's description of events given to the media days after the fire differs from Wiley's, but still raises questions about the child's fate.

    Halverson told reporters she escorted Forrest and Liz out of the house as the fire broke out, but assumed Jeannie was still inside and she searched almost the entire house begging Jeannie to answer her.

    "I don't know how she could possibly have been in there. It's a mystery," one newspaper quoted her as saying.

    After exhausting her search for Jeannie, Halverson propped a l
    adder up against the second-story window and climbed up to rescue her husband, who was handicapped.

    Siblings begin to search

    Wiley said after the fire, Jeannie's name was not to be spoken in their family. The only time Jeannie was mentioned was at Christmas when they put the star on their tree. "They told us she was a star in heaven," Wiley said.

    In 1959 the Bryant family split up as Wiley went to live with her mother, Opal Bryant, out west.

    Wiley's older sister, Sharon (Bryant) Mattson of Baraboo, is the only sibling remaining in the area.

    Though the exact events of the day are hazy, Mattson - who was 7 years old at the time - remembers watching the house burn from a schoolhouse nearby. "The teacher had to hold me down in my seat to keep me from running home," she said.

    Mattson and Wiley said some years later, during conversations with her brother Forrest, they realized something was not right with the stories they had been given surrounding Jeannie's death. "Eventually the stories just didn't jive," Wiley said.

    They said the neighbor who came back to the fire with Forrest has since told them suspicious information about that day. "She said when she arrived, she went in the house to look for Jeannie. While she was in there, my grandmother told her 'Don't worry about the girl, she's with a relative,'" Wiley said.

    Mattson said later her mother would sometimes come back to the Midwest for visits and then disappear for days without telling anyone where she was going. She and Wiley believe their mother had been secretly visiting Jeannie over the years.

    Case reopened

    Last year, Wiley and Mattson returned to Mauston to look for clues about Jeannie's disappearance.

    After meeting with a law enforcement officer at a local restaurant, Wiley and Mattson gave their story to the Juneau County Sheriff's Department, which filed a report about Jeannie's disappearance.

    Last February, Jeannie's case was officially opened with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


    With the aid of old pictures of Jeannie, NCMEC was able to create a composite sketch of what Jeannie may look like today.

    Though Jeannie's case was reopened with NCMEC, Wiley said the case has been frozen because of a flurry of new cases stemming from the recent hurricane season.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Bumping case up. Has anyone heard any more about this strange case?
     
  5. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    Could this have anything to do with Georgia Tann, or is 1949 too late and Wisconsin too far away? The big fancy car reminded me of how Georgia Tann worked.
     
  6. Al_B

    Al_B Sometimes you just have to wonder why people are s

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    if not that baby broker(and she was famous with who she dealt with) maybe another baby broker?
     
  7. diamondgirl

    diamondgirl New Member

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    Kinda curious ,though, that the kidnapper didn't take the 18 month old.
     
  8. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily New Member

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    Being a big fan of Occam's Razor, I think this kid probably simply died in the fire. But anything's possible, I suppose, and I don't blame her family for not giving up.
     
  9. Teresa Larson

    Teresa Larson New Member

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    If she did die in the fire they would have found her bones. A fire has to be very hot to cremate a person....much hotter than a house fire.
     
  10. fox1950

    fox1950 New Member

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    I agree. I remember my father telling the story of a girl who died in a fire around 1930. It was in the country and there was no running water to put out the fire so I would assume the fire burned for hours. Of course there was no fire department to come to the fire either. Bones were found after the fire went out. I just don't think it is possible for someone to burn completely up in a fire.
     
  11. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

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    The next question then is, did anyone look for bones, or did they move straight to demolishing the remains of the house? If they used heavy equipment then the remains could have disappeared.
     
  12. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    This case is almost 58 years old. It seems very strange and I tend to agree with Jeannie's siblings that something's not right here. I wonder if the mother is deceased now and that is why the siblings are coming forward.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    RICKY JEAN BRYANT
    Case Type: Lost, Injured, Missing
    Vital Statistics
    DOB: Nov 9, 1945
    Missing Date: Dec 19, 1949
    Age at disappearance: 4 years old
    Missing City: MAUSTON
    Missing State : WI
    Missing Country: United States
    Sex: Female
    Race: White
    Height: 3'4" (102 cm)
    Weight: 40 lbs (18 kg)
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Case Number: NCMC1007456

    Circumstances:

    On December 19, 1949, a fire broke out at the child's house. She was last seen in the front yard while the fire was being put out. When the fire was extinguished, Ricky was no longer in the yard. She has not been seen or heard from since. Ricky may go by the nickname Jeannie.

    Link below contains a photo of Ricky Jean Bryant at 4 years old and age progressed to 60.

    Source:
    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

    LINK:

    http://www.missingkids.com/missingk...NCMC&seqNum=1&caseLang=en_US&searchLang=en_US
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    It has now been 60 years since little Ricky Jean Bryant went missing.
     
  15. Laura_Bean

    Laura_Bean New Member

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    I still say this case is eerily similar to the Sodder case that is also up here on websleuths. It just seems like that same eerie feeling as with the other case.
     
  16. CastlesBurning

    CastlesBurning New Member

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    If the events that unfolded did indeed occur because of Jeannie's legitimacy, or lack thereof, why would someone wait four years to do something? IMO the feelings around such a situation, be they anger, shame, whatever, would be strongest right after the child's birth, maybe a year later. By the time she's four, everything should've settled. Did someone maybe come out of the woodwork, blackmailing the parents, or threatening their existence in some way?
     
  17. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    http://host.madison.com/mobile/article_565e45b1-c765-5869-a130-f911017c2e04.html


    Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 12:00 am

    I'm inclinded to believe she perished in the fire. JMHO.
     
  18. momtolil

    momtolil New Member

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    My question is regarding Jeannie's legitimacy. She was possibly illegitimate, but none of the others were? Did the other siblings have different fathers, even the 18 month old? Was the mother recently remarried! Or maybe Jeannie was the result of an affair? Could the girls real father wanted her and planned a fire as a distraction to take the child?

    If it was random then I would think the abductor would also take the younger child as well.
     
  19. Lilachaze

    Lilachaze New Member

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    I agree, it's very similar.
     
  20. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Former Member

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  21. kellibella

    kellibella New Member

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    Such an interesting case. Strikingly similar to the Sodder case, I totally agree with the PP's who also pointed it out.
     

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