Top Ten Missing Cold Cases: The Charley Project


There has been a recent influx in the media concerning girls missing from the Washington, D.C. area. With this recent coverage, this time more than ever we may have an opportunity to look at some cold cases that are still remaining active in the area. 

Nothing can be more troubling to a family to not know what the fate of their loved one is: children, siblings or parents. Every life has value- and you may have the key to solving these mysteries.

These cases appear from The Charley Project. This is an amazing tribute and digital file cabinet- that is a labor of love. The Charley Project profiles approximately 9,500 "cold case" missing people from the United States. It does not actively investigate cases; it is a publicity forum for missing people who are often neglected by the press and forgotten all too soon. A person must have been missing for at least one year to be listed- and in many cases this is the only site you can still find information on the individual. It attempts to catalog as much information as possible about as many cases as it can into a database as a publicity/investigative aid for the public and law enforcement to help solve cases. It utilizes books, other law enforcement databases and news outlets to compile the "casefile" listed.

Charley was the nickname of Charles Brewster Ross, who was abducted from his home in Germantown, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1874, when he was just four years old. His family spent the rest of their lives looking for him in a search that extended over the world  and gained international attention. His was by no means the first kidnapping in the United States, but it was one of the first highly publicized ones. Sadly, the search was unsuccessful; Charley would remain forever missing. There is no evidence to his fate and his story was lost to history until this website was created. The site was created in honor of Charley so that his memory, and the memories of all other long-missing people in this country, would not be forgotten.

1. Agnes Banwell. Purcellville, Virginia.

In July of 1994, Banwell suffered from short-term memory loss and disappeared in the Purcellville area after her dogs tracked her scent up a rural form road, over a bicycle path to another road before the trail was lost in a rural farming area. Banwell wasn't happy about moving from New York, but it was that or a nursing home. She may have been trying to return to her home state.

2. Donald Ray Billings. Marion, Virginia.

In 1997, on Valentine's Day, Billings was involved in an automobile accident while driving his sister's car. He stated he was fine, according to the other party involved,and he walked away from the crash towards Mitchell Valley. He was never seen again- and the weather conditions were icy and cold on this day. He may have hitched a ride with a truck drive between Bristol and Roanoke, Virginia.

3. Barbara Jean Dreher. Washington, D.C. 

Barbara Jean Dreher was last seen in August of 1984. She dropped off her two younger sons to her adult daughter' home. She said she was going to pick up money and return shortly- she never returned. She reported missing nine days later by family members. When her car was recovered sometime later- a ski mask, gloves and rope were found inside it. Foul play is suspected in this case.

4. Hattie E. Jackson. Washington, D.C.

This six year old child has been missing since 1961. She had visited the Rock Creek Park to play; a police officer told her and some friends not to play in the water because it was polluted. An unidentified man was sitting nearby and offered to take the children to another location where they could swim. The children turned him down and returned to playing. A short time later, Hattie disappeared and no one noticed when she left. Several witnesses reported seeing two young men helping Hattie into a dull older model car with dark-colored license plates near the Park.

5. Bobby Eugene Adams. Charleston, West Virginia.

Bobby Adams was working as a cab driver for C & H in 1991. His last fare was a Caucasian man in his forties with blonde hair. His cab was found later, covered in blood. Foul play is suspected.

6. Kimberly Sue Jones. Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Kimberly Sue Jones was last seen in her apartment in the Pinewood Village apartment complex in Parkersburg, West Virginia at 11 pm in February 2009. On the day of her disappearance, she spent the day with her daughter and her ex-boyfriend Jack Crone and his wife. The father of her child stated he dropped her off at the apartment building and drove away. 

7. Sharon Ivy Jones. Norfolk, Virginia.

In 2002, Sharon Ivy Jones was last seen in Norfolk, Virginia. Jones went to a friend's wedding, then a dance party afterwards. She was last seen driving her red Toyota at three in the morning on September 22. Later, she never arrived to pick up her daughter from the child's father. Her car was later found though to be parked in her assigned spot of her apartment. There were signs of disturbance in the apartment. Foul play is suspected.

8. Isabel Marie Makielski-Rivera. Culpeper, Virginia.

This eight year old child has been missing since 2011 from Culpeper, Virginia. Isabel and her brother has been missing since 2011, they were abducted by their non-custodial mother, Maria Rivera-Estevez. They were last suspected to be residing in the capital of the Dominican Republic- Santo Domingo.

9. Ann Marie Shaw Godbey. Manassas, Virginia.

in Manassas, Virginia, Ann Marie was last seen in 1995. Her ex-boyfriend, and the father of her children, stated that she dropped the children off to his home that December. He then said she left to visit relatives in the Philippines. Her ex-boyfriend was later arrested for another murder unrelated. His wife stated that he also confessed to Ann Marie's murder at this time and her body was buried in Fairfax, Virginia. 

10. George Stanley Burdynski Jr. Brentwood, Maryland.

In 1993, George left his house on a bike to meet an adult friend (he was ten years old at the time). The man stated he never arrived despite witnesses stating he was seen by the man's mother's home. One lead in this case was connected to two suspects that were suspected to be involved in child exploitation ring in the mid-Atlantic United States. Authorities believed that these two suspects had sexually abused two of George's friends the weekend prior. 


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