Details of Disappearance Brenda was last seen in Woodbridge, Virginia on March 4, 1974. She lived there with her parents and four younger siblings. According to her mother, she stole $100 from her father's wallet before she went to school. She didn't return home from school that day and has never been heard from again.
An employee at the local Greyhound bus station reported a young girl bought a bus ticket on the afternoon Brenda disappeared, but the witness couldn't remember whether the girl was Brenda, whether she actually boarded the bus, and where that bus was headed to. Brenda had reportedly spoken about wanting to run away to Florida. Two girls in her class at school did run away, but when they were found and brought home, Brenda wasn't with them.
Brenda's younger sister Lisa, who was seven years old in 1974, describes their father as an alcoholic who physically abused his children and may have sexually abused Brenda. She said their mother told contradictory stories about the circumstances of Brenda's disappearance, and she thinks it's possible Brenda did not run away and that her parents knew more about her case than they said.
Lisa's two older sisters, who were close to Brenda's age, recall little about the time Brenda disappeared. Lisa stated that after she went missing, the family never spoke of her again, and their parents didn't keep any of her belongings. Brenda's father died in 1985 and her mother in 2015.
It's possible that Brenda did run away, but it would be highly unusual for a runaway to be missing for this long without resurfacing or contacting loved ones. Lisa still hopes for answers in Brenda's case.
- Prince William County Sheriff's Office
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 26, 2018; details of disappearance updated.