Edward F. Fonder III

Above: Edward, circa 1993


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 25, 1993 from Springfield, Pennsylvania
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: July 13, 1913
  • Age: 80 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9 - 5'10, 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, blue/green eyes. Edward wore a full beard at the time of his 1993 disappearance.
  • Medical Conditions: Just prior to his disappearance, Edward had surgery on his heart valves. He needs medication for his heart condition and would be unable to survive for more than ten days without it. His medicine was left behind. Fonder requires the use of a cane to walk.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Edward was last seen at his family's 11-acre property in the 3100 block of Winding Road in Springfield, Pennsylvania on the morning of August 25, 1993. His daughter, Mary Jane Fonder, fixed breakfast at 7:00 a.m., then went back to bed. She heard Edward get up, go to the kitchen, open and shut the refrigerator, then leave the house. She assumed he was getting the newspaper. She fell asleep then and when she woke up, Edward was gone and the newspaper had not been brought in. Mary searched for him before reporting his disappearance at 11:00 a.m.

    Mary lived alone with Edward at the time of his disappearance. Their relationship was troubled and they often argued. Mary described her father as temperamental and stated he had been acting with hostility towards her and avoiding her in the weeks prior to his disappearance. She said his eating and sleeping habits changed and he spent long periods of time outside. The anniversary of Edward's wife's death was on September 7 and he was troubled by this. They had been married for 55 years and he was very upset when she died.

    An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of Edward. Bloodhounds tracked his scent only as far as the driveway before it was lost. He left behind all his belongings, including his medication, but did take his antique rosewood walking cane. His wallet was located in Allentown, Pennsylvania in May 1994; someone dropped it in a mailbox there. The wallet's contents were intact, but it had been wiped clean of fingerprints.

    Fonder's children claim they were targeted by the police and harassed, but investigators deny that the children were ever serious suspects in his disappearance. In April 2008, Mary was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of Rhonda L. Smith, a member of her church, who was shot in the head in January. Edward's disappearance received additional media attention after his daughter's arrest.

    Edward is a retired machinist. He formerly lived in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His hobbies include horticulture, trains, airplanes and playing musical instruments. His case remains unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Springfield Township Police


    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    WPVI 6
    The Intelligencer
    The Morning Call
    The Philadelphia Inquirer


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 23, 2008; casefile added.

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