Details of Disappearance Patricia was last seen in Swanzey, New Hampshire sometime in 1976. She lived with her father and stepmother, John and Judith Wood, and four older step-siblings at the time.
Patricia's father and stepmother told her biological mother she'd been killed in a car accident, and told others that Patricia was with her mother. Neither of these stories was true, and her disappearance wasn't reported until 1987.
On August 20, 1987, the police confronted Judith about her stepdaughter's disappearance; they weren't able to speak to John. The next day, John and Judith committed suicide together at their home. They left a note, but it didn't provide any answers as to Patricia's whereabouts.
Prior to her disappearance, the child was treated several times for injuries, had to be hospitalized at least once, and doctors reported suspected child abuse. Patricia was placed in foster care for several months, then returned to her family, and the state child protective services closed their file on her.
Patricia's step-siblings remembered that their mother frequently disciplined her. The youngest one told his father, and later the police, that his mother and stepfather drowned Patricia in the bathtub and buried her in the backyard.
Authorities dug up the Wood family's backyard and also checked local mine shafts, but found nothing of interest. Patricia is considered missing under extremely suspicious circumstances; her case remains unsolved.
- New Hampshire Cold Case Unit
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 16, 2013; casefile added.