In the night Evelyn vanished without a trace, she had compromised to babysit the daughter of a teacher from a local college, a twenty month baby. All had been arranged by Evelyn’s father, Richard, and professor Rasmussen, the father of the child.
Then night turned into nightmare, after her father phoned her several times, but Evelyn never answered. Worried, Richard decided to drive to the Rasmussen residence, to check on his daughter. When he arrived, he found the place severely disrupted: furniture had been moved, and his daughter’s belongings, along with another objects, were scattered all over the place. Her shoes were found in different rooms throughout the house, and her glasses had been broken. After searching for his daughter in every room of the house – that were all inexplicably locked, except for one –, Richard undisclosed evidence of a possible home invasion, since he eventually found an opened window without the screen. After looking by the window, he saw a stepladder – that apparently belonged to the owner of the house –, outside the residence, placed right under the window, revealing that this was probably the place by which a possible intruder had entered the house. But for his desperation, Evelyn was nowhere to be found. Blood stains were found in and outside the house.
Immediately thereafter, Richard alerted the police, that started an investigative searching operation. Police initially used dogs to pick up her trail, that abruptly ended after two streets, leading police to believe that she was probably forced to enter into an automobile. After questioning residents in the neighborhood, police discovered that a vehicle had rounded up the location several times before, in a very suspect behavior. One local individual testified to the police two days after the abduction that while he was driving his car, he was almost hit by a Buick over the speed limit. He said that a man was driving the vehicle, while another one was in the backseat with a girl, but he didn’t think anything suspicious was going on. A few days later, bloody clothes were found, that were probably Evelyn’s outfit.
Soon after her disappearance, a massive task force was launched to search for Evelyn. One thousand men, that ranged from volunteers to members of the national guard, aided by a pronounced contingent of the United States Air Force, had engaged in a committed effort to find the missing teenager, but unfortunately, without any solid results. A meticulous search had been made in literally every car in the county, with police particularly highlighting the need to verify blood stains in the seats of every vehicle. Graves recently sealed in cemeteries were opened, to disclose the possibility of her body being concealed in someone else’s coffin, to no avail. In the end of the first semester of the next year, police conducted hundreds of polygraph tests in college students, to possibly find a suspect, but the experience was deeply negative.
Notorious American murderer Ed Gein has been considered a suspect in the case, as he was nearby the location at the time. Nevertheless, he was cleared of all charges, as he had been a primary suspect in another disappearance, upon which emerged evidence that clearly proved he was not involved.
Evelyn Hartley has never been forgotten, but as time went by, the case grew cold. She has never been seen again, and investigation concerning her possible fate or whereabouts proved to be fruitless. Evelyn Hartley is officially missing for sixty three years. Both her parents are now deceased.