Real Name: Nyleen Kay Marshall
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Clancy, Montana
Date: June 25, 1983
Date of Birth: September 18, 1978
Weight: 29 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female with brown hair and blue eyes. Nyleen had a chipped lower baby tooth at the time of her disappearance.
Details: On June 25, 1983, four-year-old Nyleen Kay Marshall vanished while on a trip to the Elkhorn Mountains with her mother Nancy and stepfather Kim. That day, they and several other families traveled to a picnic area in the Helena National Forest. At around 4pm, Nyleen and several other children went playing along the banks of a shallow creek. Some of them noticed her talking to an unidentified man in a purple jogging suit. He tried to get her to play "Follow the Shadow". He was the last person to be seen with her before she vanished.
For ten days, searchers combed the area where Nyleen was last seen. However, there was no evidence found to determine what happened to her. Her parents were certain that she had been abducted, so they distributed thousands of missing persons fliers across the country.
On November 27, 1985, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an anonymous call from a man who claimed that he had Nyleen. Two months later, an organization called "Child Find of America" received a typewritten letter from him. He claimed that he was raising her as his own child and that he now called her "Kay". He also claimed that he loved her and did not plan on returning her to her parents. Although he claimed that he was taking care of her, he also mentioned committing acts that are considered child sexual abuse.
Over the next six months, Child Find of America received two more letters and another two phone calls from the man. They came from Madison, Wisconsin; the FBI was able to trace some of the calls to specific phone booths there and in Edgerton. However, once those booths were located, the calls from them subsequently stopped. The letters were also postmarked from the Madison area. The man indicated that he has traveled with Nyleen to several different locations in the country; this matches the alleged sightings of her throughout the country.
In June 1990, authorities received another lead in this case. Nyleen's uncle saw two composites for a man and woman wanted for child abduction in another part of the country. He believes he saw them on the first day of the search for her.
To date, no trace of Nyleen or her alleged abductor have been found.
Suspects: Nyleen was last seen talking to a man in a purple jogging suit. He has never been identified and is considered a prime suspect in this case.
The man that has contacted several missing persons agencies is considered a possible suspect. He claims that he lives off of substantial investments and that he and Nyleen travel frequently. He allegedly traveled with her to San Francisco, New York City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Great Britain. He has sent letters and made phone calls from Madison and Edgerton, Wisconsin. He claims that his parents and younger sister were killed in a car accident when the latter was nine.
An unidentified man and woman wanted for a separate child abduction are considered possible suspects. Nyleen's uncle believes that he saw them on the first day of the search for her.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has also indicated that Nyleen's stepfather was a person of interest in this case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 21, 1990 episode. It was also briefly featured after the end of the movie Adam.
Results: Unsolved. After the broadcast, a viewer contacted the telecenter, believing that one of his students was Nyleen. However, when police went to her house, it was discovered that she was actually another missing child, Monica Bonilla. She had been abducted by her father several years earlier. Shortly after the discovery, she was reunited with her mother.
In August 1991, forty-two-year-old Richard James Wilson confessed to killing Nyleen and another woman. He had a 1984 conviction in Helena for sexually assaulting a minor. He also had a history of mental illness. He was held in jail for a week but was released after authorities stated they did not have enough evidence to charge him. It is not known if he is still considered a suspect in the case.
In 1995, Nancy was found dead in a Mexico City hotel room. At first, authorities ruled her death a suicide. However, the status of the case was later changed to "undetermined/under investigation". Kim, along with other family and friends, believe she was raped and murdered. It is not believed that her death had anything to do with Nyleen's disappearance.
In 1998, investigators looked into the possibility that a nineteen-year-old Oklahoma woman calling herself "Helena" was Nyleen. She was taken to a New Orleans hospital to give birth. She was evasive when the staff asked questions about her past. One of the them later saw a re-airing of the broadcast and suspected that she may have been Nyleen. She remembered little of her childhood and believed that her mother's name was Nyleen. She agreed to have her blood tested and compared to that of Nyleen's parents. It is not known what the test results revealed; however, it is believed that she was not a match.
Sadly, Nyleen's disappearance remains a mystery. If she is still alive, she would now be in her forties.
- Nyleen Marshall on Wikipedia
- Nyleen Marshall on the Charley Project
- Nyleen Marshall on the Doe Network
- Nyleen Marshall on the NCMEC
- Search party finds no trace of missing 4-year-old girl - June 28, 1983
- Survival of girl in doubt - June 29, 1983
- Search for missing girl unsuccessful - June 30, 1983
- 4-year-old still missing - July 1, 1983
- Search for girl is ended Monday - July 5, 1983
- Searcher wants to resume hunt for 4-year-old girl - July 7, 1983
- Movie on missing kids gets ringing response - October 11, 1983
- Search for Nyleen will go on - October 12, 1983
- Hope: A golden thread - July 28, 1985
- Nyleen Marshall's family still hopes - June 25, 1987
- Anonymous man says he has missing girl - November 23, 1990
- Nyleen Marshall TV episode locates a missing girl - February 7, 1991
- TV show turns up second missing girl - February 8, 1991
- Kidnapper, victim, once in Madison - August 20, 1991
- Where is Nyleen? - June 28, 1998
- Family recalls search for missing girl 15 years ago - June 29, 1998
- Hope rekindled as officer tries to solve case of missing girl - June 29, 1998
- Nyleen Marshall, 4, disappears on family outing - January 6, 2017
- Cold Case: What happened to Nyleen Marshall? - February 7, 2017
- Nyleen Marshall: Statistic or Sadistic - February 25, 2020
- Nyleen Marshall on Montana Mysteries
- Nancy Marshall on Find a Grave