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Missing since August 1944 from Bolton, Great Manchester, England, UK
Age at disappearance: 6
Hair: medium-blond, halflong
WAT case #: ukF001
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Circumstances of disappearance
Sheila's case has remained a mystery for almost 60 years. She disappeared as she made the short journey from St James' Primary School to her home on Macdonald Avenue. She was last seen riding on the crossbar of a bike with a man who had befriended her.
Detectives excavated the garden of a house that belonged to a 20-year-old man, Richard Ryan, who was later convicted of rape. He lived at the property in Barton Road, which was on the route between Sheila's school and home. Police re-opened the investigation after a witness, who was a young child at the time, came forward to say he had seen a man digging a hole in the back garden of a nearby house at midnight. The neighbour, who is now in his 70s, said it had preyed on his mind, but he had not wanted to lead police on a "wild goose chase".
It was said that Sheila had probably been killed by someone she knew. She was so timid and soft she would not have gone with a stranger.
No trace of Sheila has ever been found despite a massive search by special constables, air raid wardens and neighbours.
If you have ANY information on this person's whereabouts, no matter how trivial, please contact:
Greater Manchester Police
+44 (0) 161 872 5050
postal address: P.O. Box 22,
The information you provide could be vital in solving this case. You may remain anonymous when submitting information to most agencies