Into Thin Air

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It has been a busy year and in the background of all of today’s noise has run the continued search for Marjorie West. Seventy-five years later there is still a hole in the fabric of the family, never mended, it has remained, unsolved. It is an unimaginable feeling for families with missing children, there they had been, warm and sweet, tangible. After the event they remain, like a mirage that cannot be touched, even seventy-five years down the road, frozen in time.

I spoke with a Pennsylvania state trooper early last summer about Marjorie’s disappearance. I was contacted by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and told that if a police case could be found or one opened that they would enter Marjorie into the Center’s database back in November of 2010. So I called and talked to the state trooper. He in turn contacted my mother, took pictures and a cheek swipe for DNA and started the paperwork trail. No amount of hunting turned up any old police files anywhere, so it was a matter of starting from scratch.

A case was started and by July, Marjorie was listed with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. From here she would be given a case worker and listed with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. By August she had her case worker at the NCMEC. I spoke with him yesterday, to fill him in on what I have heard over the years about the family. I gave him mom’s number to call and talk to for more information.

My grandfather searched for weeks, long after the man hunt was called off, returning home late into the night. Three small children sat on the porch steps waiting for him, but they knew each night, from the slope of his shoulders, he didn’t find the little girl with the bouncing red curls. Yesterday I ran across an ad being run in Europe that best represented the feeling of the family. The video showed the doors of an elevator. On the door was a life size image of a little girl. As the door opened, sliding back out of sight, the little girl appeared to disappear into thin air.

Poster – National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Listing – National Center for Missing and Exploited Children



  1. I have just learned of this story. How sad.
    Was Unsolved Mysteries ever contacted to run this
    story? A LOT of people watch that show.

  2. Two cousins of Marjorie’s died this year: Phyllis Covert Erwin and Jack Covert. Another cousin, June Covert Giles, turns 92 in June. Our family has been told that there has been a new book published on Marjorie West.

  3. The story does not mention anything about Lloyd’s wife? Where was she in all of this?

  4. It’s not a new book, but my article that appeared in Narratively and the Guardian. I talked to Jack just before he passed away. He was funny and smart and I was sorry to see the next week that he passed. I hoped, with my story, to get more clues, but did not. I wish someone got more answers.

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