Catherine Ruth Malcolmson
Catherine, approximately 1985; Age at the time of disappearance: -progression to Age at the time of disappearance: 50 (approximately 2019)
Date reported missing : 08/13/1985
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Non-Family Abduction
Gender : Female
DOB : 04/17/1969 (52)
Age at the time of disappearance: 16 years old
Height / Weight : 5'4 - 5'5, 110 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A short-sleeved striped shirt, blue jeans, two bEthnicity : lets and a silver ring. Carrying a gray pocketbook.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Catherine's hair had been bleached blonde prior to her 1985 disappearance. She has a chicken pox scar on her forehead, a mole on her left cheek and a dimple on her right cheek. Her ears are pierced. Catherine's nickname is Cathy.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Catherine was last seen riding her Murray bicycle in her hometown of Stow, Massachusetts. She headed to her part-time job as a supermarket cashier at the IGA store two miles away, on Route 62 in Hudson, Massachusetts. She was reportedly in good spirits; her brother had just graduated high school and there was going to be a celebration later. She has never been heard from again.
Catherine's case was first classified as a runaway, but authorities later admitted that she had probably not left of her own accord. She left her first paycheck behind at her workplace. Her family never believed she ran away.
Her bicycle was located in 1987, nearly two years after her disappearance. A motorist located the bicycle in a wooded area along Gleasondale Road off of Route 62, about 500 yards past the Stow town line. The man did not know whose bicycle it was and gave it to a friend, who suspected it belonged to Catherine and contacted police.
Searches of the location were delayed several times due to inclement weather, and no evidence related to Catherine's whereabouts was discovered.
Authorities believe Catherine's case may be connected to the 1985 abduction and murder of Sarah Pryor, who vanished from the same Massachusetts area two months after Catherine's disappearance.┬áJohn Robert Whirty has been considered the prime suspect in both girls' cases. He served seventeen months in a Texas prison for the 1967 murder of a fifteen-year-old girl. After being released from prison he moved to Massachusetts.
Records from Whirty's job place him in the area at the time Catherine disappeared, but there has never been any evidence to link him to her or Pryor's case. Whirty is currently incarcerated in Texas for parole violation, which stems from the kidnapping and assault of a Newton, Massachusetts woman which occurred three months after Catherine's disappearance and one month after Pryor's murder.
Foul play is suspected in Catherine's case due to the circumstances involved. Seven years after her disappearance, her family held a memorial service for her and erected a tombstone at the family burial plot in Dover, New Hampshire.
Other information and links : ncy
Stow Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
Child Protection Education of America
The Boston Globe
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2ľ5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
California Attorney General's Office
Child Seek Network
The Worcester Telegram and Gazette
October 12, 2004. March 22, 2020; Age at the time of disappearance: -progression updated.