Corsicana Daily Sun Newspaper - Monday,
May 30, 1977 - Identity of child still mystery
The badly decomposed body found Sunday on Chambers Creek by two fishermen is
no longer believed to be that of a Dallas youngster missing since
Valentine's Day, according to Navarro County Sheriff Jerry Shelton.
Investigators had first thought that the skeletal remains found in shallow
water along the creek to be that of seven year old Ladena McCoy, who
disappeared while on her way to school in Dallas Feb. 14.
But the Forensic Laboratory in Dallas reported to Shelton about 11 a.m.
today that the body is not that of the missing girl. Law enforcement
officers in Dallas, despite a massive effort, have been unable to locate a
clue to the girl's whereabouts since her disappearance three months ago.
Navarro County deputies, after learning the news, began immediate plans for
a careful search of the area where the body was found yesterday in an
attempt to discover a clue to the identity of the body.
The basic assumption that the body was that of the Dallas girl rested on
clothing found on the body and on the approximate age of the body, four to
seven years of age. Dallas investigators had only those clothing samples on
which to base an identification.
According to Deputy Sheriff Grady McCall, Jessie Gomez and James Moore were
fishing around noon on Chambers Creek Sunday, about a mile south of where
the E. 5th slab crosses the creek, when they found the body. The two men
walked out to the road and flagged down a passing deputy to report the
Members of the Corsicana Emergency Corps were employed to remove the body,
which was done about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, McCall said.
Investigators say the body is missing one foot, and had apparently been in
the water about two months before being discovered. Deputies speculated this
morning that the body had not drifted "too far" from where it was placed in
the water to where it was discovered Sunday.
Deputies now theorize that the child was a victim of abuse, and radio and
teletype bulletins have been dispatched to all state law enforcement
agencies seeking information about any missing four year old child.
Investigators were preparing to search using deputies on foot and in boats
along the creek where the body was discovered.
Newspaper Clipping 1a -
Corsicana Daily Sun Newspaper -
Wednesday, June 1, 1977 - Body that of white girl age two-four
The report from the Dallas Medical Examiners office has determined that the
body found in Chambers Creek Sunday was that of a white female between the
ages of two and four, according to Deputy Sheriff Gary Patterson.
Patterson said the report added that the girl could not be older than four
years of age. He said that further results of lab tests are pending.
The deputy explained that inquires were beginning to come in from not only
Texas but also from around the country concerning the body. Patterson said
law enforcement people in San Bernadino, Calif. have inquired along with the
Galveston Police Department.
Corsicana Daily Sun - Thursday, June 9,
1977 - No new evidence in girl's identity
No new evidence has turned up as Sheriff's deputies continue to search for
the identity of the badly decomposed body of a four-year-old girl found May
29 in Chambers Creek east of Corsicana, according to Deputy Sheriff Joetta
The body was found by two fishermen buried in debris in the creek about five
miles east of Corsicana. Sheriff's Deputies Grady McCall and Bob Rehders,
who are conducting the investigation, said at the time that the body had
been in the water anywhere from two to four months.
The body was at first thought to be that of missing Dallas youngster, Ladina
McCoy, but the Dallas Medical Examiners office ruled out that possibility
early in the investigation.
Deputies are baffled about the identity of the body. Leads from around the
country have not been fruitful and no child of that age has been reported in
The day following the discovery Sheriff Jerry Shelton, deputies and a group
of reserve deputies searched the banks of Chambers Creek but did not find
any evidence that would aid in identifying the body.
Deputies theorize that the child may have been a victim of child abuse which
they say may account for no one coming forth to identify the body.
Corsicana Daily Sun Newspaper -
Sunday, June 19, 1977 - 'Unnamed Baby Girl" leaves many questions.
Who was she, the little girl whose skeleton was found in Chambers Creek here
three weeks ago?
Was she a happy child? Did she have a puppy or a kitty to play with? Had she
already learned her letters and her numbers?
No one knows, and we're beginning to doubt that anyone will ever know.
Little is known, not the cause of her death, not even the color of her hair.
What is known? Only that she was a little girl and that she was between two
and six years old, probably around four.
She was dressed in maroon pants and in a white blouse with red animals on
it. Lawmen think she was probably four because the blouse is a size four. It
came from Montgomery Ward's.
How could a little girl remain unidentified for several weeks, maybe even
for several months since there was no way of telling how long the body had
been in the waters?
Investigating deputy sheriffs say: - She could have been a victim of severe
child abuse. That would account for why no one has come to identify and
She could also have been the child of a poor transient family who died and
whose parents did not have money for burial. That would also account for no
-Or, according to Deputy Bob Rehders, she could have been "flat out
murdered." The longer she remains unidentified, the less chance there is of
identifying her. But Rehders says there's still a chance that information
circulating on the child by the Navarro County Sheriff's Department hasn't
been matched up with all the missing children reports throughout the U.S.
Which answer is most likely? Your guess is as good as the lawmen's. They
don't have a thing to work on.
If the child wasn't wanted in life, she may not be wanted in death either.
Today she's in the "cooler" of the Dallas County medical examiner's office.
She'll remain there until all possibility of identification is exhausted -
at least another month.
Then she'll be buried as "Unnamed Baby Girl" either by Dallas or Navarro
County, whichever will accept the burial expense. Navarro is more likely
since she was found here.
She'll get a simple funeral and be laid to rest with no answers, but a whole
lot of questions, surviving her.
Thanks so much for posting these. I hope to find
all of the articles eventually. Its very sad that this was never solved. I
wish I knew who to call at the NCSO to see about reopening. We have
advanced so much since 1977 and I feel her identity could be known if
someone would just look at this case again.
Other children in Dallas went missing that same
Text of an article from the November 11th, 1977
Brownsville (TX) Brownsville Herald
Girl Believed Slain By Family Friend
Dallas (APJ—The family of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found Saturday
near Lake Ray Hubbard believe Barbara Marsh was abducted and slain by a
family friend — but they don't know which one. "We think it was a good
friend mentally gone wrong who done this because Barbara wouldn't have gone
with a stranger." said Betty Latham, the slain girl's sister." But Mother
cautioned her a lot." Barbara was last seen Friday night as she played
basketball near her East Dallas home. Some 12 hours later two fishermen
stumbled upon her body — from afar they said it looked like a mannequin. The
body had apparently been in the water nine or ten hours and officials said
evidence at the scene indicated the young girl had been drowned while
The death marked the third apparent abduction-slaying of young Dallas-area
girls since February. The apartment complex Barbara's family lives in is
some six blocks from the spot where Ladina McCoy was last seen in February.
Seven year-old Ladina's body was found four months later near a Southwest
In September a 12-year-old Denton girl disappeared after her mother left her
with the family washing chores at an area laundromat. Suzie Mages was last
seen talking with an unidentified man at a Denton fast food restaurant. Her
body was found two weeks later in an Oak Cliff gravel pit. Investigators say
the similarities in the three cases are disturbing, but they are not sure if
the deaths are related. Friends and family remember Barbara as a loner who
was often the target of her second grade classmates taunts. "She didn't have
any close friends. She had friends, but the kids made fun of her, so she
always played alone,"
Mrs. Latham said. And those hours of solitary play were often spent with her
well-worn basketball. That ball, found abandoned near where she was playing
Friday, tipped investigators that she had been abducted.
Barbara Marsh's mother, Carrie, was arrested for her murder. She was
convicted. In May, when this unidentified little girl was first found, it
was thought she may have in fact been Ladina McCoy. However, the
clothing she was wearing did not match, and Ladina was described as "large
for her age".
The similiarities in the cases, in that several young girls were all killed
and later found in bodies of water are notable.