DNA test shows no match for Cape Girardeau girl who vanished in 1965

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
A composite image of what Elizabeth Gill might look like today. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Martha Hamilton was disappointed when she found out the DNA test results turned out negative for a woman she thought might be her sister, who has been missing since 1965, but she wasn't discouraged.

Her search might help others find their missing family members.

Elizabeth Gill, then 2, disappeared from the yard of the family's home on South Lorimier Street in Cape Girardeau in 1965.

Hamilton is searching for her long-lost sister and attended a TeamHOPE meeting in Dallas over the weekend to connect with families and volunteers searching for missing people. TeamHOPE is a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

A recently discovered old police report could provide clues for Hamilton or other missing children's families, Hamilton said.

Elizabeth Gill is shown here in a photograph taken before she went missing. (Southeast Missourian archive photo)

"A positive connection came in between some people who had to do with the last woman we conducted a DNA test on and my sister," Hamilton said. "There was an old police report from 1965 that [Cape Girardeau detective] Jim Smith was able to locate. It came from a town in the Midwest. It was the same town that the person we did DNA test on grew up in. We're trying to find out why there is a connection."

Investigators used the police report to gather information on a group of "gypsy travelers" who might have snatched Gill from the yard and disappeared with her. The travelers were staying at a nearby hotel and family members twice saw them beckon to Elizabeth to come to their car. They had ordered an automobile part to be picked up from a local dealership, but they never showed up.

Cape Girardeau police are following up on any leads they can find, chief Carl Kinnison said.

"We've just been trying to follow up on anything that appears. You realize, the more the word gets out, babies have been abducted, the more chances there are that somebody could hear the story of someone who had been in a similar circumstance and see a picture and say, 'Hm, that looks like me,'" Kinnison said.

Hamilton said there were oddities in the Midwest woman's birth and adoption records that gave Hamilton hope that she had found Gill, but the DNA proved the woman was not her sister.

"Even though it was not a match, the circumstances, timing, age and incident report all tie together," Hamilton said. "There seems to be some kind of link there."

jgamm@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

324 S. Lorimier St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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