Melanie Melanson

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Melanie Melanson
Melanie Jo Melanson

(1974-11-01)November 1, 1974
DisappearedOctober 27, 1989 (aged 14)
Some woods off of Montvale Avenue, near the Stoneham/Woburn line
StatusMissing for 29 years, 10 months and 24 days
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Weight105 lb (48 kg)
  • John Melanson (father)
  • Irene Melanson (mother)

Melanie Jo Melanson (born November 1, 1974)[1] is a missing teenager from Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. She vanished while at a party on October 27, 1989; at first, investigators believed she fled to Florida.[2] However, subsequent investigations by both authorities and a private investigator have turned up no leads.[3][4]


Age progressed photo of Melanie to 36 years old (2010)

Melanson was a freshman in high school, and looking forward to a change of schools.[5] She had run away from home before, because of her parents' constant fighting and substance-abuse issues.[6] At the time of her disappearance, she was living with her grandmother yet maintained contact with her parents. She was asked to attend a party on the evening of October 27, 1989.[1]

On the day of her disappearance, Melanson and a friend left school early and decided to go home. That night, she told her grandmother she was going to have a sleepover at a friend's house (the friend was also her next-door neighbor). Melanson used the story to cover her attendance at the party.[7] The party was held in a patch of woods near an industrial park; Melanson was the youngest guest there. She went with a group of five male friends. The party did not end until early the next morning; no one who knew Melanson saw or heard her returning from the party.

During the afternoon of October 28, after Melanie's family discovered she'd been at the party, they frantically called almost every attendee they could reach. They learned nothing of Melanson's whereabouts. Finally, they reported her missing.

The police determined that she was last seen with two boys she'd known.[2] They gave conflicting stories of what might have happened to her.[8] Police said each boy claimed the other was the last one who had been with Melanson. One of the boys also said he'd seen her at the very head of a trail in the early-morning hours of October 28.


The Woburn Police Department originally thought that Melanson had run off to Florida, as she'd run away before.[2] They organized a massive search to find the teenager, using everything from cadaver dogs to helicopters, and there were substantial digs as well.[9][10] None of the searches were successful, and no clues to Melanson's disappearance were found. There have been no arrests in the case.[11] In August 1992, an anonymous caller suggested police should search a pond near the party site; although police followed up, nothing was found.[1]


In the spring of 2009, authorities announced a renewed push on the case and offered a $5,000 reward for information to solve it.[9] In 2012, a doctor hired in the case has used a new science method called Decomposition Odor Analysis (DOA) to help find Melanie.[12]

Police now believe Melanson was a victim of foul play.[13][14][15] Her grandmother and parents are now deceased.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Good, Meaghan Elizabeth. "The Charley Project: Melanie Jo Melanson". Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  2. ^ a b c BLAIS, PATRICK. "Authorities not giving up search for Melanie Melanson". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  3. ^ "Private investigator probing disappearance of 14-year-old in 1989 has 'several new leads'". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  4. ^ "COLD CASE SPOTLIGHT: Melanie Melanson - NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  5. ^ "The Doe Network: Case File 1405DFMA". Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  6. ^ "Breakthrough in cold case after anonymous tip leads investigators to search state park for remains of girl missing since 1989". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  7. ^ News, A. B. C. (2009-11-02). "Cops Renew Push to Find Missing Girl". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  8. ^ Facts, Unbelievable. "10 Intriguing Disappearance Cases that Remained Unsolved". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  9. ^ a b "Soil Samples, Cadaver Dogs Help Revive Case Of Teen Missing 23 Years". HuffPost Canada. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  10. ^ "One of Melanie Melanson's Family Members Reportedly Present at Woburn Search". Woburn, MA Patch. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  11. ^ CBS Boston (2015-10-28), Family Seeks Answers 26 Years After Woburn Teen's Disappearance, YouTube video, retrieved 2016-11-19
  12. ^ michele mcphee (2012-06-27), Melanie Melanson Body Search Continues, retrieved 2016-11-19
  13. ^ "Cops Still Seek Leads In Cold Case Of Teen Who Vanished From A Party 26 Years Ago - CrimeFeed". CrimeFeed. 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  14. ^ "The Doe Network: Case File 1405DFMA". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  15. ^ "Over 25 Years Later, Case for Missing Woburn Teen Reopened". Woburn, MA Patch. 2015-08-14. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  16. ^ "Private investigator probing disappearance of 14-year-old in 1989 has 'several new leads'". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-11.