The Independent-Record from Helena, Montana on July 28, 1985 · 19
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The Independent-Record from Helena, Montana · 19

Helena, Montana
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 28, 1985
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The Independent Record, Helena, Mont., Sunday, July 28, 1985 1C Caution can save lives t s By ERIC WILLIAMS IR Staff Writer The leads keep coming in. Sometimes in bunches. Sometimes at a Sometimes the leads concerning Nyleen Marshall are viable. Some times they are hoaxes. But still they are leads, and they help Kim and Nancy Marshall, Nyleen's parents, keep what Nancy calls "that golden thread of hope that they might see their little girl again. They have come to firmly believe their daughter was abducted. When Nyleen vanished during an outing late in June, 1983, the consensus of the first searchers combing the thick Elkhorns underbrush was that her body soon would be found. But even in those first hours, in back of their minds, Kim and Nancy both suspected foul play. And despite a massive search, with more than 200 people looking for nearly two weeks, Nyleen was never found. SEARCHERS METICULOUSLY combed the area around Maupin Creek east of Alhambra an area much larger than a scared, tired, barefoot four-year-old could wander. Dogs sought her scent without success. Not even a helicopter with a heat-sensing device could find any sign. And the possibility that Nyleen had been kidnapped came to seem more and more real. Today, in a large part because of leads they have received, Kim and Nancy are more sure than ever that their daughter was abducted. A number of the leads appear to be related, which seemingly adds to their credibility. The Marshalls have learned that when Nyleen disappeared there apparently was a strange man seen standing near her. AS SEARCHERS WERE still combing the woods five days after Nyleen disappeared, a child came forward with that information. A strange man had stepped out from behind a tree a few feet from Nyleen only a moment before she vanished, the child said. The next day, another child gave the same account. The Marshalls said the two children had not talked to each other. The man, dressed in a jogging suit, apparently talked to the two children for a moment. One ignored him, while the other ran away, frightened. Nyleen, meanwhile, was seen 1 4 r I fc ,!! $ I I J 1 J I 1 Nyleen, left, with her brother and siste: i olden thread. I r i M i An intense search for Nyleen continues. Nancy and Kim Marshall sit behind various posters and business envelopes that have carried Nyleen's picture nationwide. (Staff photo by Gene Fischer) near the man one instant, and the next they were both gone. Nancy said one of the children recollected that Nyleen had said she "had to follow the shadow." Kim and Nancy believe their daughter was taken by "the shadow." f r X OHI IlLXElSftr THE MARSHALLS have faith in the children's story, partly because they came up with similar accounts without collaborating, but also because the account fits in with other tips they have received. About nine months after Nyleen vanished, the Marshalls brought in Dr. John Watkins to hypnotize seven people who were near the Clancy girl when she disappeared. Watkins is a University of Mon Siblings N. ancy and Kim Marshall knew the pain their six-year-old son Nathan was feeling, but he kept it locked inside. It wasn't until a month after little Nyleen vanished that the boy finally admitted: "Mom, my heart feels like it wants to cry." It took nearly a year before the tears finally came. Coping with the disappearance of a four-year-old daughter was terrible enough for the Marshalls, but dealing with the silent grief of her brother and sister was yet another anguish to bear. Nancy Marshall recalled the day, a month after Nyleen's disappearance, that she watched from Nyleen Marshall's family believes she is alive, they won't give up the search tana psychology professor who is often called on to testify at trials, the Hillside Strangler case in Washington and California being an example. Although some of the people didn't respond to hypnosis, Kim and Nancy said enough information was gathered to back up the story that a stranger had indeed beer, near Nyleen. More importantly, they said, a harbor a the kitchen window as her troubled boy ambled around out in the yard where he and his sister used to play. Nathan stood by the swingset. He gave a swing one push, then let his arms droop as the empty swing slowly swung to a halt. He walked over to Nyleen's tricycle, lightly touched the seat and started toward, the house. NANCY COULD SEE the hurt in his eyes. She said to herself, "Now's my chance." Nancy hoped that now, at last, Nathan's pent-up emotions might come out. It was then, as Nathan walked into the house, that he told his mother that his heart felt "like it police composite artist from Great Falls sitting in on the hypnosis sessions was able to draw a picture of the man. Kim and Nancy contend that the drawing closely resembles a man wanted for child molesting and grand larceny in other states. In fact, the drawing wove a strange web of possible connections with child crime. Mainly through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, other tips surface regarding Nyleen that strengthen the Marshall's belief that the man did take their daughter. There were similarities in the composite drawing to a man suspected of being involved in child trafficking. There also were: Similarities in the drawing to a man wanted in connection with a child pornography ring. Similarities in the drawing to a suspect wanted in connection with another girl being abducted and later murdered. Later, a picture of a girl closely resembling Nyleen was found with other pictures in a place where a suspect had apparently been. The girl seemed to have been beaten. The National Center for Missing and exploited Children has not made an official identification that the girl is Nyleen, but they told Kim and Nancy that of the thousands of children on their lists, it looks more like their daughter than anyone else. Also, a car was reported seen carrying a girl believed to be Nyleen, but could not be stopped. The license number was traced and led searchers back to a town where a suspect in another abduction case had spent time. ALL OF THESE LEADS are sketchy, and Kim and Nancy are the first to admit it. But the evidence seems to be linked, and could lead to one man. Officials at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children evidently believe that the chances of Nyleen being alive are strong. . They told Kim and Nancy that Nyleen is one of 35 priority cases they are working on. More than 200,000 children are officially reported missing each year. Kim said "we are very, very fortunate" that the center has tabbed Nyleen. Largely through the organization's efforts, he said, Nyleen's picture has been seen on grocery sacks, milk cartons and billboards all across the country. Kim and Nancy even got a letter from a man from Florida who wanted to help. The envelope caught their immediate attention, because Nyleen's picture was printed on the outside. (More on HOPE, page 8C) silent grief wants to cry." "Why Nathan?" "Well, you know, I really miss Nyleen. I really love her and I want to play with her. Do you think we'll ever find her?" Nancy held out her arms to her son. "You just come on up here and let your heart cry." "I can't." he told her. "My dad needs me." Kim and Nancy Marshall, recalling the incident recently, said they realize people may tire of stories how parents like themselves live through horror of losing a child. But they said too little attention has been given to a missing child's siblings. Nathan's other sister, Noreen, There is no way to com pletely protect your children from abduction and abuse, and still let them lead normal, vigorous lives. Still, there are steps both parents and children can take to reduce the chances of crimes against children. For parents Talk with your kids. Explain to your kids that you are always concerned for their safety. Teach your children never to get into a car or go into a house without your permission. Don't leave your child alone in a public place or unattended in a car, even for a moment, -v.. . Make sure your home is a place where your child truly feels comfortable in discussing sensitive matters. Make certain your children know their home address, telephone number and area code. Listen when your children tell you they do not want to be with someone; there may be a reason. Listen carefully to your children's fears. Nyleen Marshall's parents have these additional tips for parents. , ' . Teach your children a code word. Abductors often play on kids' fears by rushing up to them and telling them that a parent has been In an accident, luring the children to come with them. Unless the person includes the code word, teach your children not to go with any person. Have your children's photographs updated every six months. This can be a big help in locating them if they are missing. ... "Keep a lock of your child-'shair. Hair can be as important as fingerprints in identifying people. If you can afford it, have your children videotaped. This can help show their mannerisms and quirks, as well as their identifying marks. Keep track of those identifying marks, moles, scars and the like. You may see your child every day and not realize the marks are even there. Contact your dentist to see if he can implant a micro chip in your child's tooth, contain ing his name, address etc. Know who your teenage girls are babysitting for and don't let strangers pick them up. Make sure you let your children tell you when they are going somewhere and have them check in when they return. Emphasize that you don't distrust them, you are simply concerned for their safety. Tips for kids - Talk with your parents. Always stay near and keep your parents in sight in a pub lic place. If you are separated from your parents in a store, ask a clerk for help. (More on TIPS, page 8C) was only 22 months old when Nyleen disappeared. Nancy said No-reen's reaction was nearly the opposite of Nathan's. SOON AFTER THE two-week search for Nyleen was over, Noreen cried constantly and couldn't sleep or eat. And when Kim and Nancy were -able to get her to sleep, her nap would come to a screaming halt: "I want my Nyleen. I want my Nyleen." Nyleen and Noreen had loved to play with dolls together, but once her sister wa.s gone, Noreen didn't touch a doll .m a year. Today, she still won't pick up a (Morr on SIBLINGS, page HO

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