Tolland Task Force

Tolland County Cold Case Formed To Probe Disappearance Of Three Girls Decades Ago

Decades ago, three girls went missing in the same area of eastern Connecticut. Debbie Spickler, 13, vanished in 1968 while she was on her way to a swimming pool in Vernon. Janice Pockett, 7, disappeared while riding her bicycle near Tolland in 1973. Lisa White, 13, was last seen walking near a park in Vernon in 1974.

A new group, called the Tolland County Cold Case Task Force, was formed in order to further investigate the disappearance of the three girls. The task force is made up of local police, a few investigators from the state, and the FBI. Michael Foley, the detective who spent years investigating the girls’ cases, has also been hired as a consultant.

The task force’s goal is to determine if the three disappearances are connected and if the investigations should include other missing cases from the same Connecticut area. According to CBS Connecticut, a female skeleton was found in Vernon last March and investigators are trying to determine if it has anything to do with the disappearances.

The skeleton is said to be that of a woman in her 40s or 50s. Chief State Attorney Kevin Kane said that they will be doing their best to solve the cases.

“We have to care about our people; we especially have to care about little girls who are lost and their families. We owe it to them to do our best and take another crack at these cases.”

Vernon Police Lt. William Meier said “extensive investigations have been conducted already” and thousands of supporting documents and police reports have already been perused. However, with the modern advances in technology and changes in procedures, they are hoping to find something new that will lead to clues that will solve the cases. Tolland State Attorney Matthew Gedansky said that the cases have similarities and with all of the resources available and a new approach, they are hoping to finally solve these cases that have been open for decades.

NY Daily News reports that Charles Pierce, a carnival worker who was convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl in 1969, already confessed to killing Janice Pockett. However, when authorities searched the area where he said he dumped Pockett’s body, they found nothing. Pierce was never convicted of the crime.

The state is now offering a reward of $150,000 to the person who can provide crucial information or evidence that can lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who is responsible for the disappearance of the three girls.

[Image via NY Daily News]