Cold case investigation continues, family remembers missing girl
Case dates to 1947
Investigators working at a scene in Janesville that could be connected to the case of a girl who went missing in 1947 are done for the day. The search will continue Tuesday morning just after 8 a.m.
A K9 unit detected human remains at the site, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office, but no remains have been found.
Deputies said they received a tip last week about a 66-year-old case of a missing 8-year-old girl named Georgia Jean Weckler from Jefferson County. She was last seen May 1, 1947 after being dropped off by a neighbor after school at her home on Highway 12 outside of Fort Atkinson.
The driver said Weckler wanted to go into the woods to pick flowers for a May basket. The driver saw the girl get the mail from the mailbox and was never seen after that.
Laverne Weckler was 12 when his younger sister Georgia went missing. Now in his late 70s, word of a new lead brought the memories flooding back.
From his kitchen table the headlines look up at Weckler. There are newspapers that carry news of leads in his sister’s abduction but over the years, as 8-year-old Georgia’s case turned cold, Weckler stopped thinking about a resolution. So even after a detective came to his door Monday, he didn’t believe it would be the end.
“Well, I suppose it could be, but I just don’t feel that it’s going to be,” said Weckler.
Dawn Weckler remembers the beginning of the case just as well as her husband.
She was a young girl in 1947, when investigators focused on a dark car.
“I remember when we would walk to school and a car would go by. We would run into the ditch,” said Dawn Weckler.
Dawn said Laverne hasn’t looked at the case history a relative put together for them. He said he doesn’t need to.
“I don’t know if I’ve forgotten anything but I think from that first day I remember everything that took place,” said Laverne Weckler.
“I’m finding it’s emotional for me right now to have it brought up and so I’m hoping that it is going to be ended,” said Dawn Weckler.
After 66 years of waiting, the couple hopes Tuesday’s headlines will bring closure.
“It would be nice in Laverne’s lifetime, ours, his sister’s, to have that,” said Dawn Weckler.
Capt. Todd Christiansen with the Rock County Sheriff’s Office said officials have worked on two of 46 grids. Rock County detectives are looking to get equipment to help them.
“It could take days. It’s quite a big area and we have to sift through the dirt that’s plotted out. There’s numerous plots that we have to go through and individually sift the dirt,” said Christiansen.
"Everybody's been talking about her for years and years," said Barbara Fisher, a longtime Janesville resident. Fisher claimed her husband and sister-in-law went to school with Weckler for a short time.
She said the story has been around for years.
"Everybody's been haunted forever and ever," said Fisher.
However, years later, investigators are challenged with digging and sifting through 66 years of built-up ground in an effort to find remains.
"The woods have been here forever, who knows if somebody did something," said Fisher.
Law enforcement officials have gotten leads through the years, but this is the first in-depth investigation off a verified tip.
The Janesville Police Department is assisting with Monday's investigation at the corner of East Rotamer and Wright roads.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin K9 SOS Search and Rescue and the Wisconsin Department of Justice are at the scene.
Investigators said they will also talk again with the man who tipped them off to the site, who they described only as an older Rock County resident.
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