Mystery books were my favorite thing to read as a kid, but they usually ended with answers and a big reveal of the guilty party. This mystery is more like the beginning of a ghost story you’d hear around a camp fire. But that’s actually perfect, since this took place at a camp anyway.
Like most small towns, Salisbury is quiet and reflective of a simpler time. Colonial style architecture and a community atmosphere are some of its fine points. In the time this mystery took place, the population just barely exceeded 3,000.
It was a different time.
For women, narrow expectations existed outside of marriage. They attended garden parties and formed sisterhoods. But for Constance "Connie" Smith, she was just not fitting in. In fact, she had just gotten in a physical fight with a group of girls that resulted in a bloody nose.
But she was only ten years old.
Too young to be out on her own. And yet the camp counselors let her wander off after the fight. She claimed she was going to return an ice pack to the nurse's office, but the ice pack was found in her bunk and she never saw the nurse. Instead, she headed down Indian Mountain Road.
She was wandering Route 44.
It would have been a low traffic summers day, like this photo of a roadside motel in 1950s Connecticut shows. Witnesses placed her as far away from camp as half a mile, picking daisies and asking for directions to Lakeville. But no one reported seeing her actually getting in to anyone's car. In fact, no one reported seeing her ever again.
They thought it was the work of William Henry Redmond.
The carnival trucking serial killer who had taken the life of an 8 year old girl a year prior. But authorities were unable to verify he had passed through Connecticut. He was only ever convicted of one murder, but he was a prime suspect in four.
It was the summer of the Washington, DC UFO Incident.
In fact, Connie went missing just a few days before the incident. She had come and gone just as strangely as the objects in the sky. She may have gone with them. She may be in hiding. But nobody knows because the case was never solved. All we know is that a few days before her disappearance, Connie told her mother she loved camp and wished she could stay even longer. But I don't think she intended to never come home again.