@@ 52 Years After Mom Vanished, Woman Places An Ad That Changes Everything


    When Linda Johnson saw a picture of her long-lost mother in a “missing persons” feature, memories came back rushing to her head. She decided to do some digging of her own to see if she could finally solve the 52-year mystery. But what she discovered only left her with more heartbreaking questions.

    CBC News

    Lucy Ann Carvell was born in Alaska in 1935. As a girl and then as a young woman, she moved around a lot — until she met a Canadian man named Marvin Johnson. The couple married and moved to a suburb in Surrey, British Columbia, where they started a family. But there would be no happily ever after for them.

    Vanished Without A Trace

    CBC News

    Lucy and Marvin had two children, Linda and Daniel. On the surface, they were just like any other young family. But something dark was brewing underneath. One day in September 1961, 25-year-old Lucy vanished. Though her children were too young to understand what was happening, Marvin’s behavior did raise some questions.

    Suspicious Circumstances

    CBC News

    Oddly, Marvin didn’t report Lucy’s disappearance to the police until four years after the fact. Naturally, investigators were suspicious and treated the case as a homicide with Marvin as the prime suspect. They questioned neighbors and friends of the family and even excavated their home’s yard. But without a body, the case fell apart. Marvin was never charged, and the trail went cold. It seemed like Lucy was destined to be forgotten.

    Holding On To The Memories

    CBC News

    Marvin eventually remarried and forbade his children to ever speak of their mother. Their memories of her gradually faded away.  “All I was left with were two little pictures… and one bigger one. That is all I knew of my mother,” Linda told the Canadian Post. To make matters worse, tragedy seemed to follow the family.

    More Tragedy In The Family

    CBC News

    Linda’s brother Daniel drowned when he was 20 years old. All she had left was her father — at least until the 1990s, when he, too, passed away. Linda did her best to move on with her life and put the past behind her. She had long since given up the notion of seeing her mother again. Decades later, though, that spark would reignite.

    Renewed Interest

    CBC News

    In 2013, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ran an initiative called “Missing of the Month,” which attempted to highlight cold missing person cases dating all the way back to the 1950s. On the June issue, Linda’s mom was featured. When she saw it, Linda’s curiosity was stoked, and she became resolved to find the truth. She had no idea where it would take her.

    Following The Clues

    CBC News

    Linda’s investigation took her to the civil registry’s office, where she located her parents’ marriage certificate. On it, she found two new pieces of information whose trail she could follow: her grandparents’ names and her mother’s former residence. Armed with these clues, she decided to take out a peculiar ad.

    A Last-Ditch Effort

    CBC News

    Lucy and Marvin’s marriage certificate informed Linda that her mother had lived in the Yukon territory previous to marrying her father. Linda took out an ad in the classified section of the Yukon News. “I am looking for my relatives,” it read. “My grandparents’ names are Margaret and Andrew Carvell. My mother’s name is Lucy Ann Carvell. She was born October 14, 1935, in Skagway.” It was a Hail Mary, but it worked.

    An Unexpected Call

    CBC News

    Not long after the ad was published, the Mounted Police received a phone call from Whitehorse, Yukon. “[A woman] called and claimed that she had seen the picture of the missing person in the free newspapers, and said the missing person we were looking for was actually her mother,” said RCMP spokesman Corporal Bert Paquet. Linda was about to receive a bombshell.

    Her Mother Was Alive

    Facebook/Rhonda Glenn

    The woman who made contact was named Rhonda Glenn and turned out to be Linda’s half-sister. But that wasn’t all. Rhonda informed Linda that her mother, Lucy, was still alive. This entire time, Linda was convinced her mother had been murdered. Now she had to grapple with a whole new reality.

    A Whole Separate Life

    CBC News

    Linda learned that Lucy had moved back to Alaska, where she began a new life. She remarried and moved to Yukon, where she had four other children. Linda was happy to know her mother was alive, but one question remained: why did she leave? Rhonda gave her Lucy’s phone number, and she readied herself for the fateful call.

    Relief, Not Anger

    CBC News

    “I cried when we spoke for the first time,” recalled Linda. “I called her ‘Mom.’ I almost didn’t know what to say.” Realizing she was not angry with her mother, she decided to fly to Yukon to see her in person — and meet the family she never knew she had.

    The Long-Overdue Reunion

    CBC News

    At the airport, Linda and Lucy immediately recognized each other. “It was, like, surreal because I could see my face in her face and her eyes in my eyes,” said Linda. But they couldn’t avoid the painful conversation. “She told me that my dad was really abusive to her and that he was running around with other women,” revealed Linda. That didn’t explain why she left her children, though.

    The Heartbreaking Truth

    CBC News

    Lucy told Linda that, one day, her husband kicked her out of their house. She tried to go back for her children, but Marvin blocked her from doing so. She felt she had no choice but to leave. Linda spent a full week in Yukon, full of tears and emotional conversations. She was determined to make up for the lost time.

    She Has A Family Again

    CBC News

    After her week in Yukon, Linda considered moving there to spend time with her 77-year-old mother. She was also thrilled to finally have a family again — and they were thrilled to have her, too. “[I] always wanted an older sister. I am just happy Linda knows her mother is alive now,” commented Rhonda. “I feel so badly for her, for what she missed.”

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