The case of this little girl is one of the most bizarre, traceless disappearances of people that happen almost in front of other people, in a matter of moments, and when the service dogs cannot take the trail of the disappeared at all
Researchers of anomalous phenomena consider such cases to be evidence of a person falling into a "crevice" or "portal" between the worlds, which opened only for a moment and then "slammed".
Paranoid people have a version that a complex abduction takes place here, when the kidnapper watches his victim for a long time and intently, waiting for the moment when she will be left unattended. At the same time, he calculates everything so carefully that he leaves no evidence.
More sensible people blame everything on accidents, coincidences, poor police work, negligence in the investigation, etc.
June 25, 1983 began as a bright and cheerful day for 4-year-old Neilin Kay Marshall … She traveled with her family and family friends to a popular picnic and tourist site in the Helena National Forest, near Helena, Montana (USA).
All this big company came here on the occasion of an event hosted by Neilin's stepfather. He was a member of the local Radio City Radio Club and announced this day as a family outing day. Thus, along with the Neilin family, there were many other families with children on the site.
The air was filled with the laughter of children playing in the clearing, and the adults were also having a great time with snacks and chatter. The whole day had passed so safely and the families had already begun to prepare little by little to leave for their homes when something strange happened.
Around 4:00 pm, a group of children, along with little Neilin, played near a tiny, shallow stream that ran at the edge of the picnic clearing. Among them were two older brothers and sister Neilin, who were told to look after the baby.
At some point, they went a little ahead and Neilin ran after them. They managed to notice how she was following them, and then literally a few moments later they turned back again, but the girl was no longer visible.
At first, the children decided that Neilin was playing hide and seek, or that she was about to jump out of a bush or from behind a tree and try to scare them. But the girl did not show up and this alarmed Neylin's brothers and sister. They called other children and everyone began to look for the baby, but she fell through the earth as if through the earth.
As soon as the brothers and sister Neilin realized that they had been unable to find their younger sister for too long, they got really scared and ran to the clearing to their parents. After their story, all the adults were alerted and all went to search the nearest thickets. to find the child.
They searched every meter around the picnic clearing and even went further into the forest, but found no sign of Neilin. The stream was so shallow that even a 4-year-old child could not drown in it, however, the stream was carefully examined.
Nileen was running barefoot at the time of her disappearance, so it was believed that she could not go far into the forest, and if she left, the traces of her bare feet would be visible on the ground. But when they began to search the forest, not even a single trace was found.
When the girl's disappearance was reported to the police, huge crowds of volunteers, police volunteers, rangers, officers with dogs and others quickly went out to search for her in the forest. It was one of the largest search operations in the state's history.
The search area gradually became wider and wider, and it soon became clear that a 4-year-old barefoot girl could hardly have gone SO far on her own, without leaving a trace. There was a version of the abduction.
Among the search teams was an officer with a dog named Duke, who was considered one of the best bloodhounds in the United States and helped find many missing people during her career. When Duke was allowed to go to the place near the stream, where the girl was last seen, Duke sniffed a little and at first even seemed to be on the trail, but after a couple of meters he lost him and never found him again.
The search operation lasted for 10 days, during which a huge piece of forest around the picnic clearing was carefully checked. And when Neilin was already recognized as most likely dead, two unexpected eyewitnesses appeared.
Two of the children who were playing by the stream when Neilin disappeared said they were approached by a stranger in a tracksuit. This man scared one of them with something very much, so the child ran away, but the second child stayed and he heard the stranger ask him to "Follow the shadow."
These testimonies sounded very strange and it was not clear how to relate to them. Whether that stranger had anything to do with the kidnapping of the girl and what his phrase about the shadow meant was never found out.
The police tried to get a description of that man from the children and a portrait was even drawn from them, but this thread did not lead to anything. After that, the police began to believe that there was no abduction and that Neilin simply went very far into the forest and probably died there.
Later, other versions were put forward, including the police began to interrogate Neilin's own father, suspecting that he could have kidnapped his daughter, but no evidence was found against him.
Neilin's family tried desperately to find her, paying for her photos to appear on milk cartons. They also offered rewards to those who know where Neilin is now or what happened to her.
Two years later, the story of the disappeared girl resurfaced in the news. On November 27, 1985, a strange man called the National Center for Missing Children and said that he had kidnapped the girl. And two months after that, an eerie letter from an anonymous person came to the post office in Madison, Wisconsin:
In it, someone described that he picked up little Neilin Kay on the road near the park between Helena and Boulder, that the girl was scared and cried, and he hugged her and consoled her, and then brought her home. Since then, he allegedly keeps the girl in his house or takes her with him on trips around the country.
He wrote that the girl had grown up, that he took care of her, fed her well and did not abuse her, but secretly every morning he gave her a "medicine" from his sperm. In general, the letter was written as if it was written by a pedophile with a perverse fantasy.
Then the mysterious stranger sent several more such letters and tried to call the police and even Neilin's parents. However, it was not possible to find him, let alone detain him, he simply stopped calling at one point and never called again and did not write anything else. It remains unknown whether it was just a "troll", a madman or a real kidnapper.
At the same time, several reports of the observation of a girl similar to Neilin were received from various eyewitnesses these days, but none of them was confirmed. Then a letter was sent from another anonymous author, where he claimed to have killed Neilin and hid her body in an old mine. It was specified in detail what kind of mine. The mine was thoroughly searched, finding nothing there.
When Neilin's story was shown on TV in British Columbia, Canada in 1990 on the television show Unsolved Mysteries, someone called the studio who said he knew the girl and that she was at his school.
Curiously, when the police arrived at this school and found the specified girl, they identified her as a certain Monica Bonilla, who was abducted in California in 1982. What was it, a strange coincidence or a mysterious game of a mysterious villain with the authorities?
In 1991, a man named Richard James Wilson claimed that he killed Neilin Marshall and even pointed out where he hid her body. However, the police in that place did not find anything and the confessing soon retracted his words.
In 1998, a pregnant girl, who looked 18-19 years old, was admitted to the hospital in Helena. She behaved strangely and said that she almost did not remember her childhood, and outwardly she was vaguely similar to the missing Neylin, if she had matured. She had a blood test that was compared to Neilin's blood samples, and they showed that the woman was not Neilin.
Since then, nothing new has appeared in this strange case. The disappearance of Neilin Marshall still causes a lot of controversy among researchers. How could a little girl be kidnapped in such a busy place as a picnic clearing, unnoticed by other children and adults? Why none of the service dogs, not even the famous Duke, were able to take Neilin's trail near the stream? Was she kidnapped and killed, or is she still alive and in captivity?