Police to provide update on girl missing from Bowmanville since 1963


Published September 11, 2023 at 1:53 pm

Noreen Greenley was 13 years old when she vanished in 1963. - via Facebook.

Durham Regional Police are hosting a press conference to mark the 60th anniversary of the disappearance of 13-year-old Noreen Greenley.

According to an informational website by Greenley’s family, Greenley was out bowling at the Liberty Bowl on Baseline Rd. on the evening of Sept. 14, 1963. She was joined by two friends, Bonnie Wilkins and her boyfriend Gary Woolner. After the game, the trio headed to Sam’s Restaurant for dinner and then returned to Wilkins’ home.

Wilkins later reported she and Woolner wanted some time alone and Greenley left to catch the 11:30 p.m. bus. However, she returned to the Wilkins home a short time later. She left the home a second time and was never seen again.

A neighbour reported seeing a Ford Prefect or similar car in the area driven by a man in a fedora. Greenley’s sister Joyce encountered the same car later racing past the girl’s home. She reported she heard a scream from inside the car.

In the wake of Greenley’s disappearance, more than 400 volunteers came out to search for her alongside sweeping Bowmanville Police action. (Durham Regional Police was not formed until 1974.) Volunteers searched the area around Greenley’s home for eight days ultimately finding no trace of the girl.

However, Greenly’s family has never given up the search. Police have continued to release appeals for information every few years. Hopes were raised in 2018 when a man came forward to report their father had confessed to killing Greenly and hiding her body in a buried car.

This new lead prompted an excavation near Hwy. 57 and Concession Rd. 8. Police dug two long trenches through the area in search of the vehicle but did not turn up any evidence. In the wake of the search, Durham police faced criticism of their methods from forensic anthropologist Renee Willmon of the Cold Case Society as reported by the CBC.

Police have announced a press conference to discuss the case will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14 the 60th anniversary of Greenly’s disappearance. They have not indicated what new information, if any, they may disclose.

Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation can call police at 1-888-579-1520, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or reach the Greenley family on Facebook.

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