Unsolved Canadian
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Unsolved Canadian

Whatever Happened to Richard Marlow?

Image courtesy of missingkids.ca

76 years ago, 9-year-old Richard Marlow was riding his sister’s bicycle in front of his Etobicoke home.

He has not been seen since

Richard “Pee Wee” Marlow was born February 9, 1935. The son of John and Gertrude Marlow, he was described as have a small stature for his age, standing at 3' 8" and earning him the nickname “Pee Wee”. He had blond hair, blue eyes and a scar on his right temple by his hairline.

By 1944, Richard’s father was serving in the military out of town, while two of his older brothers were fighting for the Allies in Belgium.

Although he was shy, Gertrude told the Toronto Star in 1947 that Richard, in the third grade at the time of his disappearance, was “getting along nicely…he was always the first away to school in the morning. He didn’t want to be late. He was very quiet and would not go into a dark room and wouldn’t talk to strangers at all.”

Richard’s family, courtesy of the Toronto Police Service

The night of February night, most of the Marlow family had gone to see a movie. Richard had seen the picture the night before and opted to stay home with his older brother Gerald. Richard went outside to ride his sister’s bicycle, wearing a dark blue windbreaker, long blue pants, a striped jersey, grey cotton stockings with a yellow band around the top, an aluminum ring with the initials “K.L: on it, along with the same little blue hat he always had on.

While Gerald his brother from inside, in an instant little Richard was gone. His sister’s bicycle remained in the front yard

An extensive search was conducted for Richard. His father came home from the military to help. Police and militia were involved in the search, scouring the Etobicoke Creek, never finding any evidence. Psychics offered to help the family for a cost too steep for them to afford.

Over the next couple of years, various sightings of Richard would be reported from coast to coast in Canada and the United States. His parents would visit the morgue whenever an unidentified body was found, hoping to at least identify their son. They never did.

Over the years Richard’s family continued to search for answers as to what happened that fateful February evening.

Gertrude continued searching for her son for the rest of her life, contacting police agencies and even the FBI for help, and sent out flyers with her son’s face hoping for some kind of lead in the case.

However, their efforts were unsuccessful and no new clues about Richard’s whereabouts appeared. Regardless, every Christmas the family would place a gift for Richard under the tree and light a candle in their window for him, hoping one day he would come home.

Gertrude Marlow died 10 years after her son’s disappearance at the age of 56. John Marlow died at the age of 80 in 1973.

As of August 2019, none of Richard’s siblings were alive. Thankfully, before this Toronto police had gathered DNA samples for the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains.

Richard Marlow, courtesy of the Toronto Police Service

Although decades have passed and his immediate family has passed on, the nieces and nephews Richard never met continue to search for him today.

After retiring from the University of Toronto, Gayle Dykeman, the daughter of Richard’s only sister Aileen, took the reins in the search for her uncle.

After reading about the OPP’s Missing Persons and Unidentified Bodies Unit, she spent hours sifting through the online database searching for clues.

She eventually entered his case into missingkids.ca, along withe the OPP missing persons database.

Despite being the oldest missing person case in Ontario, the search for Richard Marlow continues.

According to case worker Jessica Huzyk, the search has been focused on senior citizens. The Toronto Police have released a video of Richard and his family, hoping it may help to spark some long forgotten memory

If you have any information about the disappearance of Richard Marlow, please contact the Toronto Police Service at 416–8080–2222, or call 1–866-KID-TIPS (543–8477), or visit missingkids.ca

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Sydney Ingram

Sydney Ingram

Former journalism student, writer, broke world traveller.