Disappearance of Patricia Spencer and Pamela Hobley
Patricia Spencer and Pamela Hobley were two American teenagers who went missing on Halloween, Friday, October 31, 1969 in Oscoda, Iosco County, Michigan after presumably committing truancy together, as they had both been seen walking in each other's company shortly before. The pair were aged 16 and 15, respectively, and "were not considered friends" at the time they disappeared. Their bodies were never recovered, yet it is believed by authorities that both of their lives had ended with homicide.
Picture of Spencer and age progression (right) to indicate her appearance at age 60.
Patricia Ann Spencer
January 10, 1953
|Disappeared||October 31, 1969 (aged 16)|
Oscoda, Iosco County, Michigan, U.S.
|Status||Missing for 50 years, 2 months and 18 days|
|Height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
Patricia Ann "Patty" Spencer was 16 at the time she went missing, born on January 10, 1953. She was estimated to be between 5'3"-5'4" tall and weighed between 120 and 145 pounds. Her eyes were blue, her hair was brownish-blond, and she wore glasses, although she didn't have them on October 31. When last seen, she wore a brown pullover with a matching skirt and a pair of high-heeled shoes. A jacket with a "gray and green plaid" design and a necklace decorated with a peace sign was also in her possession. She had at least one known scar, due to a dog attack on one of her legs.
Picture of Hobley and age progression (right) to indicate her appearance at age 57.
Pamela Sue Hobley
May 24, 1954
|Disappeared||October 31, 1969 (aged 15)|
Oscoda, Iosco County, Michigan, U.S.
|Status||Missing for 50 years, 2 months and 18 days|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
Pamela Sue "Pam" Hobley was fifteen and was born on May 24, 1954. Her hair and eyes were brown, and she was between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 110 to 115 pounds. She had "distinctive marks," namely two scars, one near her nose and the other by her mouth, although some sources state the latter was a birthmark. Hobley wore a white imitation fur coat edged with brown, a plaid skirt, a shirt of an unspecified color, high-heeled shoes, and white socks. It is known that Hobley had been engaged in activities of which her family did not approve. Rumors also have circulated that she, along with Spencer, may have "experimented with drugs and alcohol." Hobley had apparently accepted a marriage proposal prior to her disappearance.
Hobley told her mother and three sisters that she planned to return home after attending her high school's homecoming football game and a Halloween party. When she was absent after her family returned from trick-or-treating, her fiancé informed her mother that she had not arrived at the party. Hobley's mother then called other parents and learned that Spencer never arrived at the party either. Eventually, their absence became a missing person investigation and police requested information from the community for assistance in discovering their whereabouts. For the first week of the investigation it was speculated that they were runaways with the intent to travel to Flint, Michigan. Hobley's sister, Mary Buehrle, expressed her doubts that this was a case of such nature, citing the positive events that had taken place in the time before the girls went missing. Both girls were reportedly "close to their families" and did not bring their purses, identification or extra clothing when they left, indicating that they did not disappear voluntarily.
Initial reports stated the girls were last seen walking together away from Oscoda High School. However, a witness later stated that he picked them up as they were walking along River Road, and dropped them off in downtown Oscoda. Police cite further undisclosed information to indicate the girls were downtown that day. Investigators suspect that the girls continued hitchhiking and were abducted by "two or more" assailants and eventually murdered, though very few leads were ever uncovered, leading to a cold case. A link to the unidentified Oakland County Child Killer has been explored, though this seems unlikely. Hobley's family posted a $1,000 reward for any information to locate Pamela or to bring any possible murderer to police custody.
In 1985, police were told that the two were murdered by "two area men" and buried near a barn, noted to be a popular location for teenage parties. Decades later, the local chief of police directed an investigation of this suggestion and a search of the area, with aid of cadaver dogs, which turned up no detectable evidence that human remains were at the scene. It is unknown if the man that owned the property at the time has been considered a person of interest. Other places that were known to be frequented by teenagers were also searched to no avail.
A man, now deceased, claimed to have transported Hobley and Spencer on the day they disappeared, yet this particular lead is no longer considered credible. A different individual later told police he had given the girls a ride to a gas station not far from where they were last seen. He claimed he had been questioned in the past about this issue, yet this was allegedly never recorded for future investigation, and is now believed to be the last time both subjects were seen.
Mary Buehrle has continued to show support for the case, most notably at a state event known as "Missing in Michigan," where family members of missing Michigan residents rally alongside law enforcement and share details of such cases. The pair have both been entered into national databases, such as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the NamUs and The Doe Network to gain awareness, tips and the latter, possible matches with unidentified individuals. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children used a technique known as age progression to illustrate an estimated likeness of how the pair could look if they were still alive, Spencer's showing a target age of sixty and Hobley's at fifty-seven.
Hobley's dental charting and both subject's DNA profiles were successfully obtained and would be used to compare against unidentified decedents. Neither of the girls have fingerprints on file and Spencer's dental records are also unavailable. As they neglected to carry any form of identification, physical data such as dental records and DNA would be needed to identify their bodies, if they were to be found. A new detective was assigned to the case in 2010 and proceeded to interview witnesses again in hopes to uncover new information about the case. In 2013, police released a statement indicating they had a person of interest in the case, although they still needed additional information for the case to continue.
- Donaghue, Erin (31 October 2014). "Halloween mystery: Where are girls who vanished 45 years ago?". 48 Crimesider. CBS News. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Pamela Hobley and Patricia Spencer: Teens missing since 1969". Missing Persons of America. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Case File: Patricia Spencer & 3081DFMI". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Case File: Pamela Sue Hobley & 3080DFMI". doenetwork.org. The Doe Network. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- Hughes, Paul (16 October 2012). "FBI Summary for Media" (PDF). Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "NamUs MP # 11478". findthemissing.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "NamUs MP # 11479". findthemissing.org. National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Patricia Ann Spencer". The Charley Project. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Patricia Spencer". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Mid-Michigan Girls go Missing on Halloween, 1969". ABC News 12. ABC. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Boyle, Louise (31 October 2014). "New appeal in hunt for teenage girls who vanished without a trace on their way to a Halloween party 45 years ago". The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Nelson, Holly (13 July 2011). "Local News". Oscoda Press.
- "Pamela Sue Hobley". The Charley Project. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Pamela Hobley". missingkids.org. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- "Pamela Hobley & Patricia Spencer". Whereabouts Still Unknown. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Pamela Sue Hobley". North American Missing Persons Network. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Nelson, Holly (10 March 2011). "Old barn site searched for bodies of missing girls". Oscoda Press.
- "Pamela Sue Hobley" (PDF). therucksack.tripod.com/. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Hicks, Mark (23 May 2013). "Oscoda teen's disappearance leaves hole in sister's heart". The Detroit News. Retrieved 9 September 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Park, Jane (16 May 2015). "Michigan State Police host families of missing in efforts to solve cases". ABC News 7. Scripps Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Pamela Sue Hobley". National Missing Person Directory. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- "Patricia Spencer". National Missing Person Directory. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Nelson, Holly (30 October 2013). "Police: 1969 cold case grows hotter but more is needed". Oscoda Press. Retrieved 9 September 2015. (subscription required)