Can you imagine how it must feel to think your child is going off to run a quick errand and then never see them again?
That horrifying experience happened to the stepfather of Sherry Lynn Marler, the 12-year-old Alabama girl who went missing after leaving his side for a few moments to grab a soda from a gas station almost 40 years ago.
In 1984, the year she went missing, Sherry was a cheerful girl who lived with her mom, Betty, and stepfather, Ray, on a farm outside the small town of Greenville, Alabama. She was a bright young girl who was quite savvy on the farm and enjoyed helping out.
On the morning of June 6th, 1984, Sherry accompanied Ray to run some errands in Greenville. Once they arrived, Ray had to go to the First National Bank in Greenville around 9:30 am.
Sherry had allegedly asked to get something to drink, which was when he gave her a dollar to buy a soda from a vending machine at the Chevron gas station across the street from the bank and told her to meet him by the car.
Sherry took her dollar and walked off. Little did Ray know that would be the last time he’d see her.
Ray allegedly waited near his car for a while after finishing his business with the bank and began panicking when he realized Sherry hadn’t returned. About a half hour later, Ray called the police to report Sherry missing.
Authorities quickly conducted thorough land and air searches as they looked for Sherry. Fairly early in the investigation, they began looking at Ray for involvement in her disappearance, as they knew he was one of the last people to see Sherry before she vanished.
However, authorities eventually dropped Ray and Sherry’s biological father as suspects, as no signs pointed to them having anything to do with her disappearance.