Mary Jane Vangilder

Vangilder, circa 1945

  • Missing Since 02/14/1945
  • Missing From Plymouth, Ohio
  • Classification Missing
  • Date of Birth 11/19/1911 (107)
  • Age 33 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'11 - 5'5, 115 - 150 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Vangilder has freckles across the bridge of her nose, and she may have scars on her shoulder from when she was struck by an airplane propeller. Her maiden name is Croft.

Details of Disappearance

Vangilder was born in West Virginia and married in 1929, when she was seventeen years old. The couple had five children before they separated in 1943 and Vangilder moved to Plymouth, Ohio. She took a job as a forklift operator at the Wilkins Army Air Force Depot in Shelby, Ohio. She didn't have her own vehicle and got rides to and from work with coworkers.

During the separation, Vangilder maintained contact with her children by mail, sending them letters, clothes and war bonds. In 1945, she wrote to her children asking them to send her war bonds back to Plymouth. They did so. A few weeks later, she mailed them her last war bond with no note. All contact with her family abruptly stopped after that.

Vangilder filed for divorce on February 14, 1945. She apparently quit her job in Shelby about a month after that. Her divorce was granted in November 1945, but by then she had disappeared. She has never been heard from again.

Since 1945, Vangilder's family has occasionally investigated her disappearance and still hopes to learn her fate. She was reported missing to the Shelby Police Department in 2018, seventy-three years after her family last heard from her. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Shelby Police Department 419-347-2242

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 26, 2018; distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.