Shirley Jane Rose was only 9 years-old.
In 1975, she was not aware that drugs were a big business in her hometown. She was free to romp and play and go to school and walk from her grandmother’s home on West Avenue to her house a few blocks away on Scenic. A witness reported seeing someone in a 1969-1970 blue Chevrolet pull up behind Shirley on the street. Some have said it was a 72 Ford Torino but either have yet to be confirmed. Later, she was supposedly spotted again on the same street, and the car had left the scene. At 6:45 p.m. on October 17, the pretty grade schooler who was known for her sweet disposition was picked off the street just a block from her home
Her wholesome face, a carbon copy of actress Kristy McNichol from the popular ‘70s television show Family, became well known to Springfieldian’s as the search for her abductor or abductors began.
A few months later, a caretaker at McDaniel Lake, found the little girl’s grave. Shirley Jane’s family had provided the description of their missing child and the fact that she had been last seen wearing a favorite embroidered shirt. Animals had unearthed part of a skeleton wearing that same blouse. A vibrant young elementary student was simply folded and discarded like a milk carton in the trash. Her case remains unsolved till this day.
Springfield Police Department