October 27, 1989, started off like a normal day for 14-year-old Melanie Jo Melanson.
She went to Woburn High School in Massachusetts, where she was just a freshman. Then, after school, Melanie and a friend walked to her grandmother’s house in the afternoon.
Upon arriving there, she reportedly told her grandmother that she would be sleeping over at her friend’s house– who lived next door.
But this wound up being a cover story. In reality, Melanie had planned to go to a party that evening on the outskirts of town.
The party took place in a wooded region behind an industrial park and was attended by approximately 12 other high school students–all of them older than Melanie.
The gathering did not last very long, though, and reportedly began to fizzle out at approximately 10:30 p.m. At that point, attendees began to head out of the woods– leaving Melanie with two older male students.
The boys– James and Eugene– were the last known individuals who saw the 14-year-old alive that evening.
In later statements to the police, James claimed that he left the party and offered all of the attendees a ride home– including Melanie. While multiple people accepted that offer, though, the 14-year-old apparently declined and opted to stay back at the party with Eugene.
According to Eugene’s statement, though, he and Melanie actually parted ways at the top of a walking path in the industrial park.
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