Craun family

Hilda Craun and her children in 1948

Real Name: Unrevealed
Case: Lost Siblings
Location: Annawan, Illinois
Date: December 1948


Details: Frank and Hilda Craun and their seven young children were a poor family that lived on the outskirts of Annawan, Illinois; their home had no plumbing or heating, and every night, the children crammed into a single bed for warmth. In December 1948, Hilda and the children were evicted from their home; the deputies realized that the family had nowhere to go, so they took pity on them. The deputies took them to the only available shelter in town: the Henry County Jail. The children were free to roam throughout the jail, but for unknown reasons, Frank was not allowed to visit his family.

Raymond Craun, who was eight at the time, remembered that the jail was a fun place because the guards allowed them to do whatever they wanted. Marie Craun, who was four at the time, had less happier memories than her brother. She remembered her mother washing her in a tub at the jail; she felt uncomfortable because the guards would sometimes walk past her.
Two weeks passed; then, on December 17, 1948, the family's story was publicized in a local newspaper. Several readers wanted to help the family. A social worker agreed to take the children to live at foster homes for the holidays. Marie and her sister Frances were upset and did not want to go with the social worker, but they had no choice. The sisters never saw their mother again; Marie and Frances were both placed in separate foster homes and were later adopted. Marie does not believe that her mother consented to giving them away.
On Christmas Day, the children were given candy bars for their presents. Within a month, Raymond and his brothers Clarence and Leonard would be placed in children's homes. The fates of Frank and Hilda Craun remains a mystery; Marie was told that they had been banished from the state of Illinois. Marie and Frances, who was renamed June, were adopted by neighboring families. For unknown reasons, the families insisted on keeping the sisters apart.
In 1966, Marie learned from a mutual friend that Raymond was living in a nearby community; the two were soon reunited. In 1993, they were able to locate another sister, Carol. Now, Carol, Marie, and Raymond are searching for the rest of their siblings.

Craun family reunited

Craun children reunited

Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the December 22, 1993 episode.
Results: Solved. An obituary stated that Hilda passed away in 1977. After the case aired on Unsolved Mysteries, five siblings were located: Betty Jane, Frances, Clarence, Leonard, and Dan.
On July 9, 1994, the Craun children were reunited at Raymond's house in Texas. At the time of the original update, one sibling, Florence, remained missing. However, she has since been located.
Sadly, Marie passed away in 2015.

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