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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.
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. He was never connected with Tracy's disappearance, however, and it is not known if he was involved. Greenwald committed suicide in his prison cell before he was sentenced in March 1986. He overdosed on some medication.
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 opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd. Foul play is suspected.