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NJ MARGARET FOX: Missing from Burlington, NJ - 24 June 1974 - Age 14

Discussion in 'Missing 1900 to 1979' started by Akoya, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


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  2. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  3. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member


    NJ cold case: FBI releases audio file in 14-year-old babysitter's 1974 disappearance

    BURLINGTON CITY – A ransom phone call to the family of a missing Burlington City girl still baffles law enforcement. So after 45 years — and aided by recent technical advances — the FBI released Monday an audio tape of a call demanding $10,000 for the return of missing 14-year-old Margaret Fox and making a vague threat against her life.

    Investigators hope the public may recognize the voice and help the FBI determine if the caller was from the abductor or a prankster. The FBI released the tape at Burlington City Hall. At the same time the agency announced a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the abductor and also unveiled a new missing persons poster with her school picture and updated pictures of what she would look like in later years.

    Margaret Ellen Fox disappeared on June 24, 1974, after she boarded a morning bus on her way to what she believed was a babysitting job in Mount Holly. Burlington City Police Department Chief John Fine called the missing person's case "an open wound on our community."

    "We have never stopped investigating this case along with Burlington City police and Burlington County and we hope this renewed effort will produce results that might give Margaret Fox’s family some sense of closure," Joseph Denahan. FBI assistant special agent-in-charge of the Newark office said at a joint press conference Monday with other law enforcement agencies.

    Denahan said recent technological advances enabled the FBI to enhance the quality of a ransom demand made by telephone to the Fox home so it could be released to the public in hopes someone recognizes the caller's voice.

    The caller says, “$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping.” Margaret's mother answered that call on June 28, but the caller never contacted the Fox family again, according to the FBI.

    County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said the caller could have been the person who abducted the girl or could have been someone looking for an opportunity for financial gain.

    Courier-Post archives shed some light on the investigation over the years.

    Police thought they might have been be able to solve the case in 1992 when a girl's body was found in the Atlantic Highlands in Monmouth County. But no dental records were available.

    Fox had placed a local newspaper ad seeking babysitting jobs the week before she went missing.

    She subsequently received a call from a John Marshall at a payphone in front of a Route 38 supermarket in Mount Holly. The caller asked her to babysit his 5-year-old son, leaving a return phone number that ended up being for the payphone. Investigators at that time did not believe a legitimate person seeking a babysitter would have given a payphone as their callback number.

    Fox made arrangements to meet the man's wife at the corner of High and Mill streets in Mount Holly on June 24, 1974. The teen was told the wife would be driving a red Volkswagen.

    Fox was the daughter of David Fox and his wife of 224 Penn St. She had four brothers.

    Police did not think Fox ran away but was abducted and likely murdered. Fox had just completed eighth grade at St. Paul's School in Burlington City, Police determined that a state prison inmate who confessed to murdering Fox could not have been involved because he was confined to a hospital the day she disappeared.

    The FBI urged anyone with information about her after June 24, 1974, to call the FBI’s Newark office at 973-792-3000 or Burlington City Police Department at 609-386-0262, extension 211.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

  5. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member



    The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the subject(s) responsible for the disappearance of Margaret Ellen Fox.

    At the time of her disappearance, two of Margaret's top front right teeth were missing and she wore eyeglasses. She was last seen wearing jeans with a yellow patch on the knee, a blue blouse, a white and black checkered jacket, and brown sandals with a heel strap. She was also wearing a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone, and a gold charm bracelet with a blue stone. Margaret was carrying an eyeglass case with a Huckleberry Hound design on it.

    Margaret Ellen Fox was last seen on June 24, 1974, after travelling by bus to meet with a man who called himself "John Marshall" and had advertised for a babysitting job. Margaret was planning to go by bus to Mill and Main Streets in Mount Holly, New Jersey, to have an interview with this man about babysitting his young son. The man's phone number was later traced to a pay phone in a local supermarket. Margaret was seen getting on the bus in Burlington, New Jersey, at approximately 8:40 a.m. en route to Mt. Holly, but she has never been heard from again.
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  6. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

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  7. Mysteries1974

    Mysteries1974 Well-Known Member

    Margaret Ellen Fox
    • [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]
    Margaret, circa 1974; Age-progression to age 56 (circa 2016)

    • Missing Since: 06/24/1974
    • Missing From: Burlington, New Jersey
    • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
    • Date of Birth: 02/04/1960 (59)
    • Age: 14 years old
    • Height and Weight: 5'2 - 5'3, 105 pounds
    • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light blue long-sleeved floral-patterned blouse which was squared at the top and flared at the waist, a black and white or blue and white checkered waist-length jacket, a size 34B brassiere, maroon flared jeans with a yellow patch on one knee, brown sandals with a heel strap, a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone on it, and a gold charm bracelet with a round blue stone. Carrying a brown bag and an eyeglass case with the Huckleberry Hound design.
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Margaret has freckles. At the time of her disappearance, two of her top front right teeth were missing. She wears eyeglasses with hexagonal lenses, gold wire frames and broken-off temple and nose pieces.
    Details of Disappearance
    Margaret was last seen in Burlington, New Jersey on June 24, 1974. She was planning to go to High and west Broad Streets in Mount Holly, New Jersey to have an interview with a man who called himself John Marshall.

    Margaret's younger sister accompanied her to the bus stop and saw her get on. Witnesses reported seeing her near Mill and High Streets after she got off the bus in Mount Holly, but she has never been heard from again.

    Margaret had advertised for a babysitting job, and "Marshall" responded to the ad on June 19. He told her he needed a babysitter for the following weekend, but he postponed meeting her several times. Finally he said he would meet her in a red Volkswagen. He gave Margaret a telephone number to reach him; the number was traced to a public phone booth at a supermarket in Lumberton, New Jersey.

    In the hours after Margaret was reported missing, police started recording all phone calls placed to her residence. Once was from a man who demanded $10,000 for Margaret's safe return. He stated, "$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter's life is the buttered topping." This caller has never been identified. You can listen the call here on the FBI website.

    Margaret has never been heard from again and "John Marshall" has never been identified. Several other parents in the area complained that someone had attempted to lure their daughters with fake job offers. A suspect's 1976 confession to involvement in her disappearance was widely publicized, but turned out to be a hoax.

    Margaret took piano lessons in 1974 and she liked to ride horses. She graduated from St. Paul's Grammar School in Burlington two weeks before she vanished. Her parents are now deceased, but her siblings are still alive, and some still live in the Burlington area. Her case remains unsolved.
    Investigating Agency
    Source Information
    Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 25, 2019; details of disappearance updated.
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  8. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    From article above, "Marshall postponed meeting Fox several times, but eventually made an appointment with her for June 24. Fox boarded a bus that day as her younger sister watched, heading to meet the man"

    In further reading throughout other articles, it states that she had 4 brothers, there are no mentions of her having a sister, other than in this article.
    Kimster likes this.
  9. Mysteries1974

    Mysteries1974 Well-Known Member

    Her sister is the one who apparently walked her to the bus to meet this “John Marshall”.
    KareBear likes this.
  10. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    What happened to Margaret Fox when she stepped off that bus in Mount Holly?
    BURLINGTON CITY — Margaret Fox got on a bus at High and Broad streets, excited by the prospects of her first baby-sitting job.

    Within hours the 14-year-old would be gone, leaving little trace and fewer clues in a mystery that has haunted authorities, her family, and the community that has never forgotten the little girl who boarded that bus on June 24, 1974, never to return home.

    Margaret's disappearance 43 years ago has weighed heavily on the minds of those who spent years investigating it, chasing down dead-end leads and possible suspects.

    Despite the decades that have passed, law enforcement is again looking into her case, hoping that another review of the evidence and a fresh set of eyes will provide answers that have eluded them for so long: What happened to Margaret Fox when she stepped off that bus in Mount Holly?

    The disappearance

    Joe Fox was the last person in his family to see his older sister alive. Then 11 years old, he walked her to the bus stop and watched her get on the bus.

    He remembered Margaret as a tomboy who held her own with him and their older brothers. They went sledding and ice skating in the winter, and spent summers in Seaside or in their backyard pool.

    Joe Fox said the family was close, but as a teenager Margaret, like so many girls her age, wanted to find her niche.

    "You know, she was struggling with four brothers and everything and trying to find her identity," he said at his home in Bordentown City. "And that's what she wanted, you know, was to go baby-sitting and make money so she could buy clothes and do stuff."

    Margaret, who had just graduated from eighth grade at St. Paul School in Burlington City, got the job after her cousin turned it down because it was out of town. Margaret was hired on June 19 by a man who called himself John Marshall.

    The man offered Margaret $40 a week, plus bus fare, to watch his 5-year-old son from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. She was to start on June 21. He would pick her up in his red Volkswagen at the bus stop at High and Mill streets in his hometown of Mount Holly. Either Marshall or his wife would bring her home by 2 or 2:30 p.m.

    But Margaret did not start her job on June 21. Marshall called the day before and spoke to her father, David, saying there was a death in the family. She would instead start a few days later, on a Monday morning.

    Joe Fox said his parents were always protective of their children, and when David Fox had the opportunity to speak with Marshall, he did what he could to get a read on the man.

    He paid attention when he spoke to Marshall one day when Margaret could not come to the phone, and he and his wife, Mary, asked their daughter to call them from Marshall's house that Monday morning to tell them she had arrived safely.

    "We guarded them, too closely maybe. She used to say we protected her too much," David Fox told the Burlington County Times in a 1975 story. "As I think back, it didn't seem like we did anything wrong in letting her go. It was daylight."

    And it was the 1970s — a time before real-life crime shows and news programs filled the television with cautionary tales, missing children's faces were on milk cartons, Amber alerts and online sex offender registries. Margaret didn't set out with a smartphone and a sense of danger.

    She took her bathing suit to swim in Marshall's pool and her Huckleberry Hound glasses case.

    Joe Fox said there was no concern when he walked his sister those few blocks from their home on Penn Street to the bus stop. When he watched her board the Transport of New Jersey's 8:40 a.m. bus, he could never have guessed what was to come, and he certainly didn't think she planned to leave home for good.

    "She was excited. There was definitely (not) even an inkling she was running away," he said. "It just wasn't what was happening."

    Margaret's parents became uneasy later in the morning, though.

    When she did not call home as instructed, David and Mary Fox tried to reach their daughter at the number Marshall had given. She did not answer. The number connected them not to Marshall's home, but to a pay phone outside the A&P grocery store on Route 38 in Lumberton.

    Later that afternoon, panic had set in, Joe Fox remembered. Margaret had left notes by the phone detailing not only information relevant to the job offer, but also a note saying that either Marshall or his wife would bring her home by 2 or 2:30.

    Within hours, David Fox and a friend from Eastampton's police force were in Mount Holly searching for Margaret. Neighbors wasted no time organizing their own search.

    Investigators established early on that Margaret did not appear to have run away, and retired Lt. Jack McBride still insists that she was too close with her parents to hurt them by cutting off contact.

    "I can't imagine what has happened to her ... a child her age ... we are heartbroken," David Fox said about a month after his daughter's disappearance, a time when he searched daily for his little girl, taking to busy corridors around Burlington County and its back roads handing out photos of Margaret and talking to strangers in search of answers.

    "This is a tough apple to swallow. She's a nice girl ... really don't like to brag, but she is a wonderful person," he said.

    Joe Fox said his parents always believed Margaret would come home one day. But he admitted that the disappearance, and the lack of answers, left his parents "broken."

    "You know, my dad — I tell you, give him a lot of faith," he said. "He never gave up. He went to church every morning."

    David and Mary Fox died without knowing what happened to their daughter, but not for a lack of trying. Joe Fox said his father searched for Margaret for years on his own time.

    "I have a feeling that in my search she will break out and I will be there at the right time and place," the father said in August 1974.

    According to Dalesio, David Fox turned even the everyday task of getting from place to place into an opportunity to find Margaret.

    "He had pictures and posters on his car windows, looking for her," he said. "And everywhere he drove, he was always looking for his daughter."

    The investigation
    Burlington City police records show that David Fox filed a missing persons report as soon as he was able, shortly after midnight June 25.

    Leonard Burr, a retired city detective lieutenant, was called in early for his shift and was immediately assigned to Margaret's case.

    Burr still vividly remembers that day. He boarded the bus Margaret had taken and retraced her 20-minute ride, interviewing the five or six people who rode between Burlington City and Mount Holly.

    Two women remembered her, and said she exited the bus at her scheduled downtown stop at High and Mill streets.

    One woman sat behind Margaret, and told detectives that when her baby son pulled her long, dark brown hair, the girl turned around to smile and chat, according to police records.

    She described a petite girl with blue eyes and "many freckles."

    "Her eyes were like smiley eyes," the woman recalled. "Like someone that was happy."

    *Snip *

    When Dalesio volunteered, Fine finally had someone who could devote the time just to work analytically on the case, putting together a timeline and the fact patterns.

    Fine said the National Coalition for Missing and Exploited Children is also an asset, working diligently to bring opportunities for DNA testing to law enforcement's attention. Margaret's DNA is tested against those of unidentified persons with similar descriptions.

    Dalesio wants to talk with the state police and FBI, which still has important evidence such as Margaret's diaries and a recording of the ransom call. He has not yet spoken to any of Margaret's family, former classmates or friends.

    For Joe Fox, his big sister is never far from his thoughts. He's grateful that investigators continue to try to find answers, and he said that while growing up city officers often would contact his family with updates and answer their questions.

    They don't reach out as often these days, nor does he contact them. But he still wants to know what happened to his sister, definitively, not to seek revenge against a perpetrator, but rather for closure.

    He once believed, as his parents did, that Margaret would come back, but that has changed over the years. Four decades is a long time.

    "I think if she was going to, you know ... a cousin kind of felt her spirit and stuff like that," Fox said. "I think whoever did it is burning in hell, I truly believe that."

    Dalesio finds himself striving to remain optimistic instead of suspecting the worst.
    But he also acknowledged the darker implications of the fact that Margaret never re-established contact with her family, even online under an assumed name. She's never used her Social Security number or her date of birth. She never sent an unmarked postcard just to say that she was OK.

    "To remain an optimist, I want to believe she's alive and just put everything behind her, and just left her family and started a new life. And, you know, she's happy somewhere and she's thrived and succeeded," Dalesio said. "But the realist in me, the police officer in me, says she never left Mount Holly."

  11. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    The previous article states that,
    "Joe Fox was the last person in his family to see his older sister alive. Then 11 years old, he walked her to the bus stop and watched her get on the bus."

    See what I mean? :detective:
    Bad reporting from someone or another:dunno:
  12. Mysteries1974

    Mysteries1974 Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, thank you KareBear:);)
    KareBear likes this.
  13. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Dulce Maria Alavez joins 9 others from Philly area on FBI list of high-profile missing-person cases

    When the FBI put Dulce Maria Alavez on its “Most Wanted” list of missing or kidnapped people this week, the 5-year-old Bridgeton, N.J., girl joined nine others from around the Philadelphia region whose disappearances have baffled investigators for years.

    The FBI list includes about 90 people in total.

    Margaret Ellen Fox was 15 when she got on a bus in her hometown of Burlington City to go to Mount Holly for an interview in response to an ad for a babysitter. It was about 8:40 a.m. on June 24, 1974, and Margaret has not been heard from since.

    The FBI says the phone number of the man she was going to see for the interview, who called himself John Marshall, was traced to a payphone at a local supermarket.

    Margaret wore glasses and her two front teeth were missing when she disappeared. When she left home, she was wearing a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone, and a gold charm bracelet with a blue stone. She was carrying an eyeglass case with a Huckleberry Hound design.

    She would be 59 if still alive.



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