The Disappearance of Phyllis Lorain Powell in 1963

powell_phyllisOn January 11, 1963, five-year-old Phyllis Lorain Powell stopped by the home of Lewis and Bernice Vinson, located at 310 Ashe Street in Woodland, North Carolina, at around 11:00 a.m. to watch some television.

Approximately 30 minutes later, she was seen by a neighbor skipping down Ashe Street toward Route 35/Linden Street.

By 12:00 p.m., Phyllis had disappeared without a trace.

Despite a massive search, she was never found. The only clue found were several little footprints along a ditch near where Phyllis was last seen. A pair of Phyllis’ shoes fit the tracks perfectly, according to the newspaper below.  Was Phyllis abducted here?



The town of Woodland is very small. Ashe Street appears to have just a few homes on it today, so I’m assuming it was like this back then. If that were the case, mostly residents would have been on that road.

Click to enlarge

Did a local resident kidnap Phyllis? If so, what did he or she do with her? Murder her? Raise her elsewhere?

Could she still be alive today, unaware of who she really is?

Or was she kidnapped by a sexual predator and murdered? That’s what I think happened to her. This reminds me a bit of the opening scene in the film, A Time to Kill. The little girl is walking by herself down a country road when two drunk white males happen upon her. They throw beer cans at her, knocking her to the ground where they rape and attempt to kill her.

Did something similar to this happen to Phyllis? Did a predator see her walking alone and take advantage of the perfect opportunity awaiting him?

We may never know what really happened. So much time has passed, and whoever took her is probably dead.

All we can do is hope she is found so her surviving family members have peace and closure.

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Author: truecrimediva

True crime blogger