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 bike 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.
Before his disappearance, Richard’s brother was inside the home, watching him. However, he did not witness Richard’s disappearance or abduction.
The family called the police, and a massive search began, but they never found Richard.
Richard was considered very shy and nicknamed Pee Wee because of his small size. He was around 4′ tall, weighed 50 pounds, and could have 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, got Richard’s case 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 he will return home one day.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I do believe someone abducted Richard. He was timid, 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 abductor grabbed him and forced him into a vehicle. However, that would have caused some 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 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 much 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 their child. I want 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 Richard is eventually laid to rest next to his parents one day.