On July 18, 1944, nine-year-old Richard David Marlow vanished without a trace near his Beta Street home in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario. He was last seen riding his older sister’s bicycle up and down the street. The bicycle itself was left in the yard.
A few members of Richard’s family were at the movies that evening. Richard had been the night before, so he stayed home with one of his younger brothers. Gertrude, his mother, Richard’s sister, and his other younger brother went to the show. Their father, John was in the military and stationed out of town. Richard’s two older brothers were fighting in Belgium as World War II raged on.
Prior to his disappearance, Richard’s brother was inside the home keeping an eye on him. However, he did not witness Richard’s disappearance or abduction.
Police were called and a massive search began. However, Richard was never found.
Richard was considered very shy and nicknamed Pee Wee because of his small size. He was around 4′ tall and weighed 50 pounds, and could have easily passed for a child younger than nine.
Ten years after her son vanished, the pain of losing him weighed heavily on Gertrude. She passed away in 1954 at the age of 56. John joined her in 1973 at the age of 80. The burial plot next to theirs is empty, waiting for the day Richard’s remains are placed there.
Richard’s niece, Gayle Dykeman, was able to get Richard’s case put into the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) missing person database and MissingKids.ca. Gayle’s mother, Aileen, is Richard’s sister.
Richard’s family is still hopeful that one day he will return home.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I do believe Richard was abducted. He was a very shy boy, so I don’t think he would have willingly gotten into a stranger’s car. So, he either knew the person who took him or the person grabbed him and forced him into a vehicle. However, that would have caused some sort of a commotion, I would imagine, so you would think there would have been witnesses to it, like Richard’s brother. Not one person witnessed the boy’s disappearance. He literally vanished into thin air. I could not find any reports of sightings of the boy after he went missing or of any suspicious people on Beta Street at that time.
Even though there isn’t a lot of info on this case, I had to post it on my site. There is just something about Richard that made me write about it. I can’t imagine being nine years old and completely taken away from my family forever. I wonder if he’s still alive out there somewhere. Maybe someone raised him as his or her own child. I’d like to think that’s what happened to him, but I know how evil this world has always been.
For his family’s sake, I hope one day Richard is finally laid to rest next to his parents.