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Real Name: Marlena Danyele Childress
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Union City, Tennessee
Date: April 16, 1987
Date of Birth: February 17, 1983
Weight: 38 pounds
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue/hazel eyes
Details: On April 16, 1987, four-year-old Marlena Childress vanished while playing in front of her Union City, Tennessee home. Two months after she vanished, her mother, Pamela Bailey, told police investigators that she had hit her and unintentionally killed her. She claimed that she later dumped her body into the Obion River. However, she recanted her confession a few weeks later. She was later charged with second degree murder in her daugher's case, but the charges were later dropped. Then, several reported sightings of Marlena began occuring throughout the United States. One sighting occured at a hair salon in which two women came in with a girl and boy. The girl continued to cry and say, "I want my mommy!", and the older woman then told her, "Be a good girl, Marlena, and we'll take you to the movies" and a few days later, one of the hair stylists saw her photo in the paper and recognized her as the one. In summer 1987, she was believed to be in Anniston, Alabama, with a family that harbored other people's children. One of them told a social worker that she was Marlena, and two days later they vanished. Two weeks later, they were located, but she was not with them. Several more sightings of a girl who may have been Marlena occured within the next three years, one of which was at a supermaket. A woman lost track of her son and later found him in the toy aisle, talking to a young girl, who was soon taken away with an unidentifed woman. They later identified her as Marlena. The latest sighting of her was in Nevada in the summer of 1990. However, none of these sightings have been confirmed and she still remains missing.
Suspects: Pamela Bailey is a suspect in her daugher's disappearance. The women with Marlena in the many sightings have never been idenified, but may be her abductors.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 5, 1990 episode.
Results: Unresolved. In 2002, Pamela Bailey was arrested for stabbing her twelve-year-old son in a cemetery. He survived, and she was charged with attempted murder. She pleaded no contest, and was sent to prison. Marlena's case was reopened after Pam's arrest. Police now believe that she was probably responsible for her daugher's disappearance, although she has never been charged, nor has Marlena ever been located.
- Marlena's Case on the Charley Project
- Girl Missing For Almost 25 Years, Police Still Searching
- Pamela Bailey Offender Information