Details of Disappearance
Tracy's mother's live-in boyfriend, Paul W. Greenwald, dropped her off at Bensalem High School in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania on the morning of March 7, 1983. She was a ninth-grader at the time. She was suspended from school and wasn't allowed to attend classes again until her mother met with the principal, but she had kept this a secret from her family.
After she was dropped off, Tracy tried to get her friends to skip school with her but they would not. She disappeared afterwards and has never been heard from again. She was initially considered to be a runaway. There were several possible sightings of her in the local area after she vanished, but none of them were substantiated and police believe they may have been of a girl who only resembled her.
Tracy had run away from home on one previous occasion, after an argument with her mother. She was only gone for one night, however. Prior to her disappearance, Tracy told a friend she might be pregnant. Authorities don't know if she was in fact pregnant or who the father of the baby could be, although Tracy's friend stated she had dated two boys.
Tracy's mother, Jean Louise Byrd, disappeared seven months after Tracy was last seen. Jean's body was located on October 18, 1983 in Blackbird State Forest in New Castle County, Delaware. She had been strangled. Jean had last been seen 11 days prior in her son's apartment complex in Bensalem Township.
She had stopped seeing Greenwald before her disappearance. They had had a troubled relationship and once, in 1980, Greenwald kidnapped her at knifepoint. In November 1984, Greenwald was charged with first-degree murder in Jean's death. He admitted to the killing and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Greenwald took his own life in his prison cell before he was sentenced in March 1986. He overdosed on some medication. He was never connected with Tracy's disappearance, and it is not known if he was involved.
The runaway theory is now considered an unlikely explanation for Tracy's disappearance; she was close to her mother and her loved ones believe she would have returned home for Jean's funeral if she had been able to.
Greenwald was long considered a suspect in Tracy's disappearance, but investigators no longer believe he was involved. Police have another suspect, a Bucks County, Pennsylvania man, but he has not been publicly named. Tracy's case remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected.