Disappearance of city girl, 12, puzzles police

December 18, 1991|By Roger Twigg

The Baltimore police have assigned as many as a dozen detectives to find leads in the disappearance 18 days ago of a 12-year-old West Baltimore girl.

Melody McKoy was last seen when she went to sleep the night of Saturday, Nov. 30, at the apartment of a friend in a Fremont Avenue high-rise. When the friend's family awoke the next morning, Melody was gone. No one saw her leave and no one has seen her in public since, according to Sgt. Robert L. Dean, supervisor of the Police Department's missing persons unit.

"We haven't found a trace of her," Sergeant Dean said yesterday. "And we can't find any evidence of foul play."

Melody is 5 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds. She was last seen wearing red Reebok tennis shoes, a waist-length sky blue coat with puffy sleeves, blue jeans and a blue sweat shirt.

According to Sergeant Dean, she had left her home in the 300 block of North Mount Street on Thanksgiving Day to visit a friend on Lombard Street. The following evening, she walked to another friend's at the Poe Homes on Saratoga Street and stayed overnight. That Saturday, she went to visit her friend on Fremont Avenue to spend the night there.

When the family awoke Sunday morning, Melody was gone. She had left her coat behind and taken one belonging to a teen-age boy living at the apartment.

When Melody did not appear the next Monday at Harlem Park Middle School, where she attends sixth grade, her mother, Shirliene McKoy, searched the neighborhood and then reported her missing Dec. 3.

"This is a total shock to everyone," Sergeant Dean said. "She has excellent attendance and reasonable grades." He said one of his biggest problems has been trying to find a reason Melody would leave home and not contact any friends or relatives.

Nearly 5,000 people were reported missing in Baltimore this year, about 60 percent of them juveniles. The vast majority of them were quickly found, the police said.

Since Dec. 1, there have been eight 12-year-old children reported missing in Baltimore. But only Melody remains missing.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the missing persons unit at 396-2334.

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