Friday, July 31, 2009

Kidnaping note baffles officers

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Tuesday, July 30, 1929

Police and sheriff’s officers today found themselves practically at a standstill in their efforts to trace the author of a mysterious note tossed Monday afternoon from a passing automobile on the Saline Road west of Ypsilanti by a woman who indicated that she was being kidnapped.

The note printed in pencil in a manner which led officers to believe that it had been done under a handicap, possibly in concealment, such as beneath a coat or other garment to avoid detection, said: “Dear Girls: I am being kidnapped. Look for the number 64-109 (Michigan). My name is Patsy Rym.” The word “Mother” had originally been printed in the salutation, but the work “Girls” substituted. The paper on which the note was penciled was folded several times and on the outside was written in several places: “Look at this—please hurry.”

Theodore Clark, 15 year old son of Willis Clark, residing on the Saline Road, was working on an automobile at his home as a machine which he described as a closed car, passed going west and a woman’s arm appeared for a moment out of a window, dropping the note into the road. The youth and his sister, Dorothy, 13 rushed out to examine the paper and at once Deputy Sheriff Fred Babcock was called.

Patrolman Cay Rankin, also a deputy sheriff, telephoned officers at Clinton and Tipton to be on the lookout for the machine bearing the license number described, while Deputy Babcock went to the Clark home and obtained the note.

Records of the license bureau of the secretary of state’s office reveal that the license mentioned in the note was issued to a roadster owned by Wilfred LaSonde, 1340 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit, which conflicts with the Clark’s youth statement that the machine from which the note was thrown was a closed car, leading officers to believe that the plates had been transferred from one machine to the other as a protective measure by the kidnappers.

Another theory is tha the whole thing may be someone’s idea of a joke, although that belief is not being credited until further efforts are made to determine facts pertaining to the license plates. Detroit police, when informed of the matter, could furnish local officers with no information concerning reports fo missing persons, which might fit the case, and officers at Tipton and Clinton reported no signs of the machine passing.

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