Details of Disappearance Deborah was last seen in Townsend, Massachusetts on May 3, 1977. Deborah left a note for her parents, saying she was going to ride her bicycle from their home in the 10 block of Smith Street to her grandparents' campsite in on Vinton Pond Road in West Townsend, near Pearl Hill State Park, about four miles from her own home. She said she would return later that day. After her disappearance, police found an undelivered letter in Deborah's locker. It was written to a friend and stated that Deborah was upset and wanted to talk to her, and gave directions to her grandparents' home.
A friend accompanied Deborah as far as Turnpike Road in the woods near her grandmother's residence, then turned back while Deborah continued onward. She was last seen cresting a hill on Turnpike Road, westbound. She has never been heard from again. Deborah's bicycle, a boy's brown Takara or Schwinn 10-speed model, has never been recovered.
In May 2003 investigators searched Walker Pond for evidence relating to Deborah's case but found nothing. The pond is about half a mile from where Deborah was last seen. Police searched again in June and July 2004 and found a piece of clothing, two buttons, and the remnants of two bicycles, all of which they sent for testing in a forensics laboratory. The bicycles were later both determined to be unrelated to Deborah's case, and the fabric produced no leads either. An anonymous writer sent two letters which told police to look in the pond. After a month, authorities stopped looking in the pond, but stated that they plan to search in the area around it for clues in Deborah's case.
There is speculation that Deborah was pregnant at the time of her disappearance, but no evidence to support this theory. Deborah's parents believe she was going to a specific destination to meet someone, not her grandparents, and possibly ran into foul play afterwards. Her family still lives in the area and hopes she may yet be found. Deborah was a student at Spaulding Memorial School at the time of her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved. Some agencies classify it as a non-family abduction.
- Townsend Police Department
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 8, 2016; age-progression updated.