The search for a girl who vanished in the Pennsylvania woods in 1938 captivated people across the US. Some are still looking

On a damp Thursday morning in May 1938, hundreds of workers from western Pennsylvania oilfields, given the day off to look for a missing girl, walked through the Allegheny Forest at arm’s length. They traversed the tangled underbrush alongside police with bloodhounds, veterans of the first world war, Cornplanter Indians, coalminers and assorted others who had responded to the local mayor’s call for 1,000 volunteers. They killed rattlesnakes and were careful not to drop a foot down into one of the hundreds of oil wells dug during the area’s petroleum boom in the 1870s.

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