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Timothy disappeared with his sister, Julie and their mother, Leslie, from Katonah, New York at 1:30 p.m. on February 5, 1977. Leslie picked up the children at their father's home on Grandview Avenue, and drove away in a white 1974 300-series Ford Maverick with a green roof and the New York license plate number 636-WNA. They have never been heard from again. Leslie was separated from the children's father, Timothy Sr., and living with her mother in White Plains, New York, but she and Timothy Sr. had an amicable relationship. Timothy Sr. wasn't concerned when Leslie didn't return that evening because he assumed she and the children had spent the night in White Plains. He reported them missing at 6:00 p.m. on February 6.
Authorities have ruled out Timothy Sr. as a suspect in Leslie, Julie and Timothy Jr.'s cases; he cooperated fully with the investigation and also hired a private investigator and spent considerable time and money trying to locate his family himself. He has since left the state of New York. There were no indications that Leslie had planned to walk out of her life; she hadn't taken any clothing or personal belongings with her and didn't withdraw any substantial sum of money from her bank account prior to her disappearance. Her mother died in 1994; in her obituary, it says Leslie survived her.
The circumstances of the Guthrie family's disappearance are unclear, and their vehicle has never been recovered. Their cases remain unsolved.