Real Name: Unidentified Adult Female and Three Children
Nicknames: Allenstown Four
Location: Allenstown, New Hampshire
Date: November 1985-May 2000
Details: On November 10, 1985, a hunter came across a tipped-over 55-gallon drum and trash near Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire. Inside the drum, he found the remains of an adult woman (23-33 years old) and a little girl (5-11 years old) wrapped in plastic.
The New Hampshire State Police immediately checked missing people cases from the 70s and 80s but were unable to identify the bodies. In 1986, the New Hampshire State Police believed the case would finally be solved when they suspected two missing people named Grace Reapp and her five-year-old daughter Gracie as the unidentified bodies found a year earlier, but dental records proved the unidentified remains found in the 55-gallon drum were not those of Grace or her daughter Gracie Reapp.
Over the years New Hampshire State Police received hundreds of leads and distributed composite drawings of the victims throughout the Northeast and Quebec, Canada. Several people in the town of Allenstown said the unidentified adult woman resembled someone who had left town with several children a few years earlier, but this proved to be a dead end once again when the woman was found alive in Arizona with the children.
New Hampshire State Police received yet another lead about a mother and daughter who had vanished from a Maine Indian reservation. The descriptions and time of their disappearance seemed a perfect match, but the mother and daughter were quickly located alive in another town in Maine.
Without any solid leads, investigators started to check several of the elementary schools in the state of New Hampshire and almost every medical record of missing persons from Cape Cod, New Hampshire to California. Their efforts proved futile in the end.
In 2000, the case took another turn when it was assigned to a New Hampshire state trooper. The officer returned to the area where the bodies were discovered in the 55-gallon drum and stumbled upon yet another 55-gallon drum! Two bodies were found inside that drum; both of them were young female children. DNA determined that the remains of the two little girls found in 2000 were linked to the adult woman found in 1985. The remains found in 2000 were that of a white female child (1-3 years old) and another white female child (2-4 years old).
The New Hampshire Cold Case Unit continues are still trying to identify the remains found in 1985 and 2000. There are no current suspects in this case and the identification of all the female victims is still unknown.
Suspects: In 2000, New Hampshire State Police looked at serial killer John Edward Robinson as a suspect in this case; his M.O. matched, but he was ruled out.
There have been theories that this crime was the work of a serial killer or an organized crime member. Some believe the killer was someone local or who knew the area well because it was not close to any main highways. One possible theory is that the victims could have been killed by a boyfriend or husband.
Extra Notes: This case has yet to be featured on Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. New DNA tests have since revealed the middle child is not biologically related to any of the others in this case.
- The Bear Brook Remains on wikipedia
- Allentown Victims
- Oak Hill research
- Local new story on this case
- Doe Network info on one of the girls
- Facebook page on this case