Gill family still searching for girl 45 years later - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gill family still searching for girl 45 years later

Posted: Updated: March 3, 2011 10:56 AM CST

By Holly Brantley - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - "I was abducted when I was about three years old in the 1960s. I'm in my 50s now, and I'm trying to find my family," begins Marie Murphy, a woman from Massachusetts. She was kidnapped, but eventually escaped her captors and is searching for who she truly is.

Little did Elizabeth Ann Gill's family know, it was a story echoed by so many women that could be Beth.

The little girl they called 'Bethy' disappeared from the front yard of her home at 324 South Lorimier in Cape Girardeau in 1965.

Now as they search, the Gill family has found new hope as more and more women reach out to them who would be about Beth's age with stories of survival and confusion about who they really are.

"Meeting me and others like me have let them know there are children out there who want to go home," said Murphy.

Murphy is one of seven women who have contacted the Gill family.  Murphy says she was taken from her family as a toddler.  She says she won't stop searching until she finds her true identity.

"We just want other families and children to know they aren't the only ones," said Murphy.

"I had no idea there were so many people out there looking for their families," said Jeannie Hinck, Beth Gill's sister.

She and another sister, Martha Hamilton, are waiting to get DNA tests back on four women from across the country. They say physical similarities and life circumstances lead them to believe there's the possibility one of them could be Beth.

"If one of the women that we've done DNA with turned out to be Elizabeth it would be a dream come true," said Hamilton. Marie is one of three already ruled out. The other two include a woman named Elizabeth Bento from Rhode Island. Besides an uncanny resemblance to baby pictures and aged progressions of Beth and other family members, Bento was told her original name was the same as Beth's: Elizabeth Ann.

Another woman, Monica from Oklahoma also showed an amazing resemblance.

"We feel that even if we don't bring Elizabeth Gill home maybe someone else will find their family," said Hamilton.

They say the mutual search for answers is a tool they use to work together to break down barriers along the pathway home.

"All of these people are somebody's child," said Murphy. "Who's children are they?"

"There is not one national data base you can use to go in and easily search for people who are abducted or a missing person," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says there needs to be an easier outlet for those searching. If Beth is out there she may not know her real name or where she's from. That's why Murphy feels searching families need to provide lots of additional information including anything at all the child might remember about their life. As for the Gill sisters, they encourage anyone with questions about who they are not to be afraid to search for answers.

"We really believe Elizabeth is still alive and still out there," said Hamilton. 

For more information contact the Gill Family at

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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