Ontario resident Noreen Anne Greenley was only 13 when she went missing on September 14, 1963. A $1,000 reward was issued for her return, but search efforts were unsuccessful — nothing led to her retrieval.
Exactly 60 years after her disappearance, on September 14, 2023, police requested the public’s help to locate Greenley once again after new information and theories emerged.
The young girl was last seen in black jeans, running shoes, a white blouse, and a peachy pink sweater.
Police said she had left her residence with just 70¢ in her purse and taken a bus to Bowmanville to go bowling. After that, she went to a friend’s house located in the Waverly Street and King Street area. Just 30 minutes before midnight, she left to catch the bus home.
Greenley never made it on the return bus.
Bowmanville Police Department
Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) took over the case in the 1990s. Six decades later, new information has emerged, forcing them to reopen the missing person’s file.
On Thursday, DRPS published a release asking for the public’s assistance to find Greenley and held a press conference to update the public.
This time, the investigation is taking a different angle than the involvement of serious foul play, like kidnapping or murder.
According to Detective Sargeant Brad Corner, Greenley’s father informed police early on that the 13-year-old left home voluntarily because she was pregnant. Still, police could not dig into this further because he died soon after.
“One of the challenges was that Mr. Greenley passed away shortly after providing that information,” Corner said. “It was difficult to follow that up with anything concrete.”
Law enforcement officials say it is believed that Greenley went to Oshawa, where she stayed for two weeks, after which she travelled to Whitby, staying there for about three weeks with a couple named Gary and Mary Benson.
“[Greenley] and another girl then crossed Lake Ontario in a 40-foot cabin cruiser called the ‘Mary Bell’ owned by a man named ‘Franko.’ This boat travelled from Oshawa across the lake to Rochester,” reads the police release.
“It is believed that Greenley settled into a motel or cabin in Syracuse, New York. Information was received that she was pregnant at that time, and she later gave birth to a baby boy.”
Greenley’s younger sister, Shelley, has been actively looking for her and was at the press conference.
“[Her disappearance] turned my mother into an alcoholic. My dad had a brain aneurysm when I was seven. He died searching for her,” a teary-eyed Shelley said in a video interview 10 years ago. “We all got put into care, and we got separated.”
DRPS is now looking to verify the existence of the Bensons and Franko. They say several phone numbers that were of interest in this investigation have been identified, but the owners of these numbers are unknown.
“If any of these phone numbers are familiar to you, please contact police,” DRPS said, quoting the following numbers:
A dedicated tip line has been set up for the missing person at 1-888-579-1520. Extension: 5444. Tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.