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Police investigating if 13-year-old Ontario girl intentionally left home 60 years ago

A new investigative avenue in a six-decade cold case suggests a 13-year-old girl from Bowmanville intentionally left home while pregnant and travelled south of the border.

“We understand if this information proves to be true, Noreen Greenley may have left her home 60 years ago, with no intention of returning,” Det. Sgt. Brad Corner, of Durham Regional Police, told reporters during a Sept. 14 news conference.

This information has never been released to the public, but it has been in the hands of police since 1968 when Greenley’s father came forward with the details.

Police released the information on Thursday – marking exactly 60 years since Greenley disappeared.


The 13-year-old went missing after a night of bowling with friends in Bowmanville on Sept. 14, 1963.

Noreen was supposed to get on a bus home that night, but never did.

Police previously investigated the possibility that she was abducted and buried in the trunk of a car, however an extensive excavation of an area off Highway 57 in 2018 found no evidence to support that theory.

Now, investigators said they believe that the teen travelled to Oshawa and stayed there for two weeks before continuing on to Whitby where she stayed for approximately three weeks with a couple named Mary and Gary Benson.

“There are reports of two girls staying in Oshawa, one pregnant and afraid to go home,” Corner said.

With another girl, it is believed that Noreen crossed Lake Ontario in a 40-foot cabin cruiser called the "Mary Bell" owned by a man named “Franko,” he said.

The pair arrived in Rochester and it’s believed that Noreen settled into a motel or cabin in Syracuse, New York.

“(She) was believed to be pregnant at that time and gave birth to a baby boy,” Corner said.


Through the investigation, several phone numbers were uncovered. However, the owners of these phone numbers have not been identified. Police are asking the public to come forward if the following phone numbers are familiar:

  • 781-1373
  • 925-3654
  • 745-9145

Investigators said they were only recently able to corroborate the information that Noreen’s father told police 55 years ago through a Bowmanville police constable’s recovered memo book entries.

Durham Regional Police release sketches of what Noreen Greenley might look like after going missing 60 years ago (DRPS). “I think one of the challenges was that Mr. Greenley, he passed away shortly after providing that information. It was difficult to follow that up with anything concrete,” Corner said.

Durham police took over the cold case in 1995 after Bowmanville police passed it onto the Ontario Provincial Police.

At Thursday’s news conference, Noreen’s niece Mandy Jones said that her family is often asked if they believe her aunt is dead.

Durham Regional Police hold a news conference on Sept. 14, 2023, exactly 60 years after Noreen Greenley disappeared."We always say 'Yes, that's what our gut instinct tells us — but it's in all of our hearts and hopes that she is still alive,” she said.

"But we believe in this case, it is solvable. We have the hope that we will be able to bring Noreen home.” Top Stories

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