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NJ MELISSA McGUINN: Missing from Trenton, NJ - March 1988 - Age 7 mos.

Discussion in 'Missing 1980 to 1989' started by Kimster, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Melissa Diane McGuinn was just 7 months old when she disappeared from her Trenton, New Jersey, home. More than 26 years have passed, but her mother remains convinced that her only daughter is out there somewhere.

    “I’ve always felt in my heart that she is out there,” Becky McGuinn House said. “It’s not just a whimsy feeling. It’s a strong feeling. I feel she is alive.”

    In March 1988, House and her husband Robert McGuinn shared a row house in Trenton with another couple – Wanda Reed and her partner – who had an infant son. The two young mothers grew close. They shared housekeeping chores and fell into a routine of watching each other’s babies.

    “Every morning [Wanda] would come in my room,” House said. “She would get Melissa, and she would take her downstairs and play with her in the living room.”

    So House was not concerned on the morning of March 6, 1988, when Wanda took baby Melissa downstairs while House got dressed. But minutes later, when House said she heard a commotion downstairs, she became alarmed. According to Trenton police reports, a neighbor came running up the stairs and asked where Melissa was. House says she felt, “like somebody had ripped my heart out.”


    There is a video at the link of Melissa's mom walking through the home where she lived when Melissa was kidnapped. I can't believe they haven't been able to make an arrest in this case! :angry:

    Melissa could very well be alive. :praying:
  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

  3. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

  4. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

  5. MissyMoo

    MissyMoo Bronze Member

  6. TripleA

    TripleA Zoo Keeper

    I feel that it is very possible that Melissa is still alive. I wonder if a huge campaign may bring up some new leads. I have lived in NY most of my life and I have only seen her picture on crime boards.
    Looking4you and Steve like this.
  7. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    NamUs MP # 6381
    Melissa McGuinn
    Mercer County, New Jersey
    0 year old white female

    Case Report - NamUs MP # 6381

    Case Information
    Status Missing
    First name Melissa
    Middle name Diane
    Last name McGuinn
    NCMEC number 708328
    Date last seen March 06, 1988 00:00
    Date entered 04/15/2010
    Age last seen 0 to 0 years old
    Age now 29 years old
    Race White
    Sex Female
    Height (inches) 28.0
    Weight (pounds) 16.0

    City Trenton
    State New Jersey
    Zip code 08611
    County Mercer
    The photo on the right is a composite drawing of what Melissa may look like at age 17. She was last seen in the company of a woman who was living with her parents. The woman is mentally incompetent and gave conflicting reports about Melissa. Melissa was last seen wearing white flowered quilted overalls, a dark pink hooded-sweater, and pink socks.

    Hair color Blond/Strawberry
    Left eye color Blue
    Right eye color Blue

    White flowered quilted overalls, pink sweater with hood

    Status: Dental information / charting is currently not available

    Status: Sample submitted - Tests complete

    Fingerprint Information
    Status: Fingerprint information is currently not available

    Investigating Agency
    Title Detective
    First name Brian
    Last name Egan
    Phone 609-989-4151
    Case number P80662358
    Date reported
    Jurisdiction Local
    Agency Trenton Police Department
    Address 1 225 North Clinton Avenue
    Address 2
    City Trenton
    State New Jersey
    Zip code 08069

    Title Detective
    First name Paul
    Last name Sciortino
    Phone 609-306-4437, ext 2895
    Case number
    Date reported
    Jurisdiction State
    Agency New Jersey State Police
    Address 1 Missing Persons & Child Exploitation Unit
    Address 2 P.O. Box 7068
    City Trenton
    State New Jersey
    Zip code 08628
    KareBear likes this.
  8. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

  9. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    The photo on the right is a composite drawing of what Melissa may look like at age 17. (03/19/2004)

    Looking4you likes this.
  10. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Melissa's photo is a composite drawing of what she may lookk like at age 24. (12/01/2011)

    Looking4you likes this.
  11. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    The photo on the right is a composite image of what Melissa may look like at age 28. (AP completed 01/05/2016)

    Looking4you likes this.
  12. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    The Doe Network:
    Case File 341DFNJ

    Left: McGuinn in 1988; Right: Age-progressed image of McGuinn at age 16 (circa 2004)

    Melissa Diane McGuinn
    Missing since March 6, 1988 from Trenton, New Jersey.
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction

    Vital Statistics

      • Date Of Birth: August 3, 1987
      • Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 months old
      • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 2'4; 16 pounds
      • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; blue eyes.
      • Marks, Scars: McGuinn has a pigmentation mark on her right triceps.
      • Clothing: McGuinn was last seen wearing white-flowered quilted overalls; a dark pink hooded sweater; and pink socks.

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Melissa was abducted from her home in the 600 block of Lamberton Street.

    She was last seen in the company of a woman who was living with her parents. The woman is mentally incompetent and gave conflicting reports about Melissa. She said she took the child and threw her into the river in a fit of jealousy.

    She also told investigators infant slipped from her lap at Riverview Executive Park, and at one point said the baby was snatched by a kidnapper -- a black male who just walked up to the woman and grabbed the baby. She constantly changed her story.

    The neighbor, who has the mentality of a 4-or 5-year-old, was charged with kidnapping. She was later ruled to be incompetent to stand trial and the kidnapping charge against her was dropped in December 1989.

    Though Trenton police and divers searched the Delaware River, the child's body was never found.


    If you have any information concerning McGuinn's whereabouts, please contact:
    Trenton Police Department
    Missing Persons Unit

    You may remain anonymous when submitting information.

    Agency Case Number: P80662358

    NCIC Number: M289626497

    NCMEC Number: NCMC708328
    Looking4you likes this.
  13. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Becky and Robert McGuinn kindly took in a special needs woman, to help teach her how to take care of her young son. March 7, 1988 Wanda Reed vanished out the back door with the McGuinn's 7 month old daughter Melissa. 8 minutes later Wanda returned alone. Melissa was never seen again.

    A summary of the story of Melissa McGuinn


    In early 1987 Robert Mcguinn moved with his pregnant wife Becky, and his co-worker Robert Ashley and co-worker's partner Wanda Reed, to 637 Lamberton St, Trenton, New Jersey. The two men had found work, and the company moved them into a complex together with their families.

    August 3, 1987 baby Melissa Diane McGuinn was born. 5 months later, Wanda gave birth to a son.

    The McGuinn's could tell Wanda was behind developmentally, and thought she had some sort of learning disability. Becky was happy to help teach Wanda how to be a first time mother.


    March 5, 1988 Baby Melissa was now 7 months old. She was crawling, and pulling herself up to try and walk on her own. Melissa was a very smart little girl, who was already speaking several words. "Up" "Down" "Hi" "Mum" "Da(dad)" "Ya(yes)"
    Wanda's baby boy was now 2 months old, and seemed to be doing well with Becky's coaching on how to raise the boy.

    The night of March 5, the Melissa and Wanda and both of their families went to a party just down the street from their house. At the party there was another young boy, just a couple years older than Melissa. He liked playing with Melissa, and trying to teach her how to walk.
    This little boy found Wanda's sleeping 2 month old baby understandably boring. Wanda was offended that this little boy did not find her son as fun as Melissa.

    March 6, 1988 The McGuinn's friend Larry had laid a sleeping bag on their floor the night before. Becky discovered in the morning that the sleeping bag made it nearly impossible to open the front door.
    Becky went about getting ready for the day, when Wanda asked to take Melissa and her own son down to the day room. It was a daily routine and Becky permitted it.

    Becky was getting ready for the day when she heard a struggle down stairs. It was her neighbors and Wanda struggling to get the front door open because the sleeping bag was in the way.

    Becky saw Wanda standing there with a neighbor....without Melissa.

    Side street where Wanda was seen walking with Melissa

    Several neighbors had seen Wanda with Melissa, but by the time this neighbor met with her, Wanda was alone. "Where's Melissa?!" The neighbor asked in panic. "She was with Wanda." Becky replied. Wanda swatted her hand and scoffed, "Huh uh, that baby gone."
    What Wanda answered would turn Robert and Becky's happy world upside down.
    "A black man pushed me down and grabbed her, then ran away."
    Word would spread quickly, that the little blue eyed blonde 7 month old had been kidnapped. But the McGuinn's heart ache would only worsen when Wanda was taken in for questioning. Her story kept changing.
    "I sold her for drug money to a black man in a red car." "I was mad that people liked Melissa more at the party, so I threw her into the Delaware River." "She was in my lap sitting by a creek. She leaned over and fell in and drowned." "I traded her for drugs to the neighbor lady."
    Each story was investigated, and none of them seemed to pan out. No one saw a red car, the walk to the river and creek took much longer than the time Wanda was gone, and the neighbor lady was questioned several times and police could find no blame on her. The only thing that seems possible, is either that Melissa was stashed away somewhere in the neighborhood, or Wanda had a planned meeting with someone who quickly got away with the baby.
    Wanda Reed was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Every time she was asked what happened to Melissa, her story changed. Psychologists were brought in, and it was then Robert and Becky found out just how wrong they were about the woman who lived with them.

    It was determined Wanda was at the mental level of a 4 to 5 year old. She would say what ever she thought made the investigators happy. Also, Wanda's infant son was NOT her first child. Wanda had two children in the past. One was taken from her custody after the child was scalded with hot water. The other was taken after Wanda threw the child against a window, which broke the glass and cut the child.
    Psychics would call with different visions of where Melissa was, and even those tips were investigated, but still, there was no sign of where on earth baby Melissa McGuinn was.

    Composite of Melissa at age 16

    7 grueling weeks passed, with no clue where Melissa had gone. Becky sank into such a deep depression, that she became suicidal and had to be hospitalized. During her hospital stay, she found out that she had been pregnant since shortly before Melissa's kidnapping.
    Becky would go the entire pregnancy with no sign of the whereabouts of her baby girl. Becky would give birth to a son, still not knowing where her daughter was. Becky's son would graduate high school, never knowing his older sister.

    Because of the psychologists diagnosis of Wanda, she was deemed unfit to stand trial. Shortly after, all charges were dropped, and Wanda became a free woman. Her infant son was adopted by a family in Texas, and she and her husband broke up, and Wanda moved out of state...a free woman.


    In 2008, Robert McGuinn would go to his grave, never seeing his daughter again. He never stopped missing her.

    In 2012 a woman in the Netherlands contacted Melissa's mom saying she was their daughter. She shared detailed information about the case and even described the outfit Melissa was wearing and claimed she still had the outfit. Mom, Becky, had a DNA test done. Results came back negative.
    "When we got the results, I told myself I had been dealing with this for 25years, I could deal with it if it wasn't her. But then when I heard negative...I couldn't deal with it. I fell apart."

    After the experience with the Netherlands woman, the Cold Cases unit took over the investigation. They took new DNA samples from Melissa's family, and made a composite sketch of what Melissa may look like at 25, from Becky, and from Robert's daughter from another marriage.

  14. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  15. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Common-law husband Robert Ashley
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  16. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  17. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Melissa's Parents



    After 26 years, former Trenton woman returns to the city, clinging to the hope her missing daughter is still alive | NJ.com



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  18. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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  19. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


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  20. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

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