New investigation aims to shed light on missing person case 75 years later
Grandchildren still searching for answers
SHELBY, Ohio (WTVG) - Whatever happened to Mary Jane? It’s a question that has haunted one family for decades.
Now, a new investigation aims to shed light on a missing person case dating back to 1945.
Mary Jane (Croft) VanGilder moved from Fairmont, West Virginia, to Plymouth, Ohio, during World War II. She left behind five children, sending them war bonds she earned from her job as a civilian forklift operator at the Wilkins Air Force Depot in Shelby.
In 1945, Mary Jane filed for divorce, quit her job, and was never heard from again.
Misty James, who lives in Georgia, and Mindy Wilson, who lives in South Carolina, never met their grandmother. Now, they are hoping new technology could help solve a mystery dating back 75 years.
“You know, initially I thought that Mary Jane could be a Jane Doe somewhere,” said Det. Adam Turner, a graduate of the University of Toledo now with the Shelby Police Department.
Detective Turner has taken up the case, requesting files from the FBI, including letters from former director J. Edgar Hoover.
Detective Turner has also started a search for a DNA match. So far, two Jane Doe bodies have been exhumed, one near Dayton and another in Indiana. Detective Turner is still awaiting lab results before potentially moving forward with the exhumation of two other Jane Does.
“If it’s not her, it’s somebody else and there’s going to be a missing person’s case that is solved because of this case,” said Det. Turner.
If you have any information or if you think you may recognize the woman in the above photos, you can contact the police department in Shelby by clicking here.
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