Story from the newsdurhamregion.com site from June 4th, 2005:http://newsdurhamregion.com/article/32284'Mom, I'll never stop searching for Noreen'
Bowmanville girl disappeared more than 40 years ago
Jun 04, 2005 - 12:00 AM
By Myno Van Dyke
BOWMANVILLE - Joyce Greenley remembers the day her older sister Noreen disappeared.
"I was 10 at the time. I remember getting on a bus and then going to look for Noreen with the other people. We walked through the woods, people brought us food. They were very good to us," she said.
It was Saturday, Sept. 14, 1963, that the Bowmanville teen vanished and, despite the efforts of police and the community, Noreen Greenley was never found. Members of her family, though, have refused to give up their search for answers.
"Mom would always set a place at the dinner table for Noreen. Every year we would celebrate Noreen's birthday. I promised my mom on her death bed in 1992, 'Mom, I'll never ever stop searching for Noreen.'"
Bonnie Wilkins, whose family had once owned a farm neighbouring the Greenleys' on Waverley Road just south of King Street was Noreen's best friend, and the last person to see the 13-year-old on the night she disappeared.
"We were at the Liberty Bowl on Baseline Road in Bowmanville that night," Bonnie Wilkins recalled. "My new boyfriend, Gary Woolner (now her husband), Noreen and I bowled for a while and then we walked through town. We stopped at a restaurant and then went over to my house at Hwy. 2 and Waverley. My parents were out for the evening. I wanted Noreen to go home so I could spend some time with my boyfriend."
Around 11 p.m., Noreen walked the 20 metres or so over to the north side of Hwy. 2. She stood under the streetlight, waiting for the Burley bus. After about 10 minutes, she returned to the Wilkins house complaining that it was cold and that the bus had not arrived. Bonnie offered her a coat but Noreen refused it and went back outside to wait for the bus, which went down Hwy. 2 every hour or so. That was the last time Bonnie saw her best friend.
"She was just a little girl," Bonnie added. "She was not into boys, she was more into baseball. She might have hitch-hiked, because we had hitch-hiked together once. She would never run away. She loved her little brothers and sisters. She was a mother to them and looked after all their needs."
At 3 a.m., Noreen's father, Harvey, reported his daughter missing to the Bowmanville Police Department. Constables John Bird and Les Ricard took the report. The bus driver, Ivan Bulmer, was interviewed and he confirmed that he did not pick anyone up at the intersection when the bus passed through shortly after 11:30 p.m.
As the days passed, a number of large search parties were organized to try to find the missing teen. On Sept. 17, almost 400 people took part in the search. Many were from Mr. Greenley's place of work, Duplate of Canada in Oshawa. Duplate sent its own large trucks over to Bowmanville to transport the volunteers. Neighbours, friends, family and even an entire shift from the Goodyear Plant in Bowmanville participated, helping to search the entire area north of Hwy. 401 to the Third Concession of Darlington, including the entire Town of Bowmanville and the area between Martin Road and Maple Grove. Bowmanville Police sent out a Missing Person poster with a reward of $1,000 for information. Nothing. Noreen Anne Greenley had vanished into thin air.
Noreen was born May 16, 1950. The original Missing Person Report indicates she was a very neat girl who had a great interest in learning. She loved to cook, bake and sew. She loved children and was very easy-going. She liked swimming, ice-skating and baseball. She liked to sing and her favourite songs were "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Lemon Tree."
Mark Greenley, one of Noreen's four brothers, said his sister's disappearance had a devastating effect on the whole family.
".... We are all victims, one way or another. It's not even about arresting anyone anymore. If we could give the guy amnesty, we would. We just want to find where she is and properly put her to rest."
The officer who is now assigned to the case is Durham Regional Police Detective Chuck Nash, who was himself raised in Bowmanville.
"I remember this case when I was growing up. My Dad would tell me about it every time we drove by the intersection of Waverley and Hwy. 2," he said.
The small file folder that once contained evidence related to Noreen's case has now grown to two banker's boxes full of documents.
"These boxes are not in a basement collecting dust," Det. Nash said. "They are at my feet, under my desk, and every time I get an opportunity, I go through it."
Anyone with any information pertaining to the disappearance of Noreen Anne Greenley, can contact Det. Nash at 905-579-1520 ext. 5402 or call Durham Region Crime Stoppers at 905-436-8477.
Myno Van Dyke is a retired Durham Regional Police officer, who spent some of his policing career working in Bowmanville.