The rules of dating my daughter
How free children should be to roam, and how cautious parents should be about young children’s activities, is a debate that still rages today. The girls, Dorothea and Marjorie, wanted to pick wildflowers.* * * n Sunday, May 8, 1938, the West family – father Shirley; mother Cecilia; and children Dorothea, 11, Allan, 7, and Marjorie – attended church in Bradford, a small city 90 minutes south of Buffalo, New York, and 90 minutes east of Titusville, Pennsylvania, the site of the country’s first oil boom in 1859. Shirley warned them to watch for rattlesnakes behind the boulder nearby. Dorothea headed to the car to deliver them to their mother. The family drove to the nearest phone seven miles away to contact police in the town of Kane.He ate his evening meal at home and then returned.” Police began circulating a poster describing Marjorie’s “curley” red hair, freckles, red Shirley Temple hat, and patent leather shoes. Foote told the Associated Press that West’s disappearance probably began with her liking to “play hide and seek.” A detail of four police searched the area for five months.Cecilia West stayed at home so as not to miss a phone call. * * * nakes and “she bears” were not the only dangers in the woods.The boys ran, but when the group stopped, Eddie was gone.Thirteen miles away, in the town of Ludlow, Michael Steffan, seven, fished with a friend.
They traversed the tangled underbrush alongside police with bloodhounds, World War I veterans, Cornplanter Indians, coal miners, and assorted others who’d responded to the local mayor’s call for 1,000 volunteers.
To this day she is the subject of one of the oldest unsolved cases recorded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Her search was one of the largest for a child since the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping six years earlier.
After the much-publicized Adam Walsh abduction, parents became more fearful about where their children went and who they were with, and government agencies instituted safety programs including taking fingerprints of kids to keep on file.
More recently, the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” about a fictional 12-year-old named Will Byers who’s snatched into another dimension, prompted renewed discussion about the idyllic times when children roamed free and parents rarely worried.