TOWNSEND (CBS) – The investigation in a baffling missing persons case is pushing forward in Townsend. This year will mark 37 years since 13-year-old Deborah Anne Quimby was last seen riding her bike along Route 119. “It was May 3rd, 1977 and I got a call to go to her house,” said Police Chief Erving Marshall. At the time, Marshall was a new officer, on the force only two weeks. “It’s a very personal case for me,” he said.
Quimby had left two notes that day. One was to her parents, saying she was going to her Grandfather’s camp on Vinton Pond and that she’d call. The Chief says she never did. Another note to a friend had a map of how to get to the camp. Those notes are just part of the evidence now in a shelf full of binders. Marshall thinks about their contents daily. “Every day. Every day, yep,” he said as he began to choke up.
Through the years, he’s received three anonymous letters. One in 2004 led to an extensive search of Walker Pond along Turnpike Road. “We got a couple of remnants up there. An old bicycle frame and some remnants of clothing,” he explained. But tests revealed they did not belong to Quimby.
Another letter in 2010 led to a foot search, but still no clues. “I just remember a warm fun-loving little girl who has missed out on so much,” Deborah’s mother Anne Quimby told WBZ in June of 2004. Her father Richard “Jake” Quimby, has since passed away. “Before he passed away, I wrote him a letter,” Chief Marshall said. He wanted him to know he’d keep trying to find answers for the family.
At least once a month, Marshall meets with two volunteer investigators with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “We’ve been doing some re-interviewing and doing some polygraphs and I traveled to Oregon and I traveled to New York last year,” he said.
The Chief will not say who’s been interviewed so far, but he did say, there have been recent inconsistencies in stories. So, possibly as soon as next month, even more interviews will be done. “Continuing our interviews and we know who we are going to interview,” he said. Marshall is hopeful this will be the year. “It’s been a long time. It’s been 37 years. That’s a long time,” he said. “Obviously I’d like to see the case resolved before I leave my post here,” he said.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Deborah Anne Quimby, call Townsend Police at 978-597-6214.