“There’s a killer out there walking around who did something this horrific,” Strelzin said.
Allenstown was a different kind of town back in 1985, police Chief Shawn Mulholland said.
“We used to have a lot of transient neighborhoods — very low-income mobile home parks — that we don’t have anymore,” Mulholland said, noting the town’s population has dropped by 700 to about 4,300 today. “Our crime rate used to be very high. It’s gone down considerably.”
When the bodies were discovered investigators checked with elementary schools across the state to see if any children had failed to return to school. They reviewed records of who had camped in nearby Bear Brook State Park in the previous years and studied missing person reports nationwide.
Investigators believe the four were killed sometime between 1977 and 1985. They are not saying how they were killed.
Strelzin said it seems staggering to many that four people could go missing and go unnoticed. “But they were discovered in 1985, and could have gone missing before,” he stressed. “There was no internet. No smartphones. No 24-hour news like you have now.”
“Put yourself back in time and you can easily imagine it,” he said.
Bob Lowery, head of the national center’s missing children division, said the three children are among the approximately 3,500 children missing long-term that the center is investigating.
“This one’s going to be tough, but we’ll never give up hope and never stop trying,” Lowery said. “Someone’s got to be looking for them. We work with families who, for 50 or 60 years, are still looking for children.”