The Strange Disappearance Of Dorothy Francis, The New York City Heiress Who Vanished While Shopping On Fifth Avenue

But, by December 12, 1910, young Dorothy’s life would forever be changed– and it all started with an afternoon trip through New York City.

That day, the 25-year-old wore a tailored blue serge coat paired with a skirt and black velvet ornate hat. The socialite also carried a sizeable fox muff during her walk in the city in hopes of keeping her hands warm during the freezing New York winter.

Before leaving home, Dorothy reportedly told her mother that she planned to pick out a gown for her sister’s coming-out gala. And even though her mother, Mary, offered to join Dorothy, she declined.

So, Dorothy proceeded to walk from her home on East 79th Street to the Park and Tilford store, which was at 5th Avenue and 27th Street, to begin her shopping. The young woman did have a bank account of her own and several accounts at various stores.

Thus, beginning at the Park and Tilford store, Dorothy charged a box of chocolates to her account. Then, after traveling to Brentano’s Book Store, she purchased a novel by Emily Calvin Blake entitled “Engaged Girl Sketches.”

Finally, Dorothy left the bookstore at about 2:00 p.m. and happened to run into a friend, Gladys King. According to Gladys, as well as other acquaintances whom Dorothy had passed by that day, the young woman appeared cheerful and carefree. Plus, after speaking to Gladys, Dorothy revealed that she would be taking a walk through Central Park.

So, the two women eventually said their goodbyes and parted ways. But Dorothy Arnold was never seen again.

That night, the Arnold family had planned a dinner– but Dorothy, who was usually punctual, never showed up. This alarmed Francis and Mary, who began phoning their daughter’s friends in hopes of learning her whereabouts.

None of Dorothy’s friends had any information, though, so the Arnold family began to wait. Then, after two days passed and their daughter never returned, Francis and Mary knew something had gone wrong.

Now, the Arnold family did not want to make Dorothy’s disappearance a public spectacle. So, in the beginning, they were quite secretive about their missing daughter– enlisting a friend of the family, as well as the Pinkerton Detective Agency, to conduct discreet investigations.

The family friend and attorney, John S. Keith, found nothing to be out of the ordinary inside Dorothy’s bedroom. In fact, all of her belongings had been left behind.

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