Mary Jean McLaughlin

Mary, circa 1965

  • Missing Since 06/01/1965
  • Missing From Lake Odessa, Michigan
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 06/13/1938 (81)
  • Age 38 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5 - 5'7, 150 - 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Mary may wear eyeglasses. Her maiden name is Beatty, and she may use the last name Blair.

Details of Disappearance

Mary was last seen in Lake Odessa, Michigan sometime in the second half of 1965. Her oldest son, Donald McLaughlin, who was eight years old at the time, recalls that his mother visited him at school and told him she was going away for awhile but would eventually return.

Mary apparently traveled to her sister's home in Muskegon, Michigan afterward, and left a photograph there. She disappeared afterwards and has never been heard from again. She was possibly driving a dark blue Ford Falcon or Mercury Comet at the time of her disappearance. Donald filed a missing persons report for his mother in 2002, thirty-seven years later.

Donald and some of Mary's neighbors stated that she was having marital problems in 1965. Donald described Mary's husband, his father Carlon Arden McLaughlin, as a violent man. Carlon and Mary fought frequently and it was alleged that Mary had extramarital affairs. Carlon moved to Mississippi after his wife's disappearance.

Mary has five children. She lived with several foster families, including Carlon's parents, from the age of eight until her marriage. She is a 1957 graduate of Lakewood High School. There has been no activity on her Social Security number since around the time she vanished, and identity and public record checks have turned up nothing either.

Donald believes his mother left of her own accord, but was murdered sometime afterwards. Investigators believe Mary either died long ago, or changed her identity so completely that she cannot be found. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Lake Odessa Police Department 616-374-8844
  • Michigan State Police 616-527-3600

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 25, 2013; date of birth added.