Seven-and-a-half-year-old Michelle Wedge had been riding her bike near her home on Moncton’s Dominion Street.
It was a summer evening, July 2, 1975. A time when kids roamed much more freely than they do today, going home only when the streetlights came on.
The grey bicycle with its blue and cream-coloured seat were found at the corner of John and Dominion streets. The little girl was gone.
Initial interviews with friends and neighbors determined that Wedge had last been seen at around 21:10, about 40 minutes after her brother recalled having heard her exiting the house to play outside.
Someone had seen her riding her Mustang-style bicycle north on Dominion Street, near the intersection with John Street, just a few houses away from her home. Another individual reported seeing the same thing at about the same time. Still another seemed to recall seeing a young girl getting into a car at that corner that night.
This case began as an abduction case, because of the testimony of two girls, who said that they had seen Michelle get into a car with a man, who had earlier tried to coax them into his vehicle. The girls gave a detailed description of this suspect, helped produce a composite sketch, and a Canada wide warrant was issued for the suspect. The suspect was described as follows:
Male, mid to late twenties, thick black hair and eyebrows, dark complexion, 2 inch scar on right side of face, thin mustache with full beard, dark, thick rimmed glasses. Speaks with a strange voice. Suspect drives a small, dark green car, with a black interior. (source: Telegraph-Journal)
In the July 11 newspaper article, Moncton police were expressing doubts about the statements of these two witnesses. They had indeed found a suspect matching the witnesses’ description, and had questioned him, but then released him. The article suggested that the RCMP did not completely dismiss the statements of the two girls, but given that the RCMP website simply lists Michelle as a missing person suggests that they did not regain any confidence in their claims, over the course of their investigation.
Also, the suspect described by the girls is of such conspicuous characteristics, it is hard to imagine anyone matching that description evading detection for long, with a Canada wide warrant out for his arrest. Nevertheless, the other witnesses did corroborate the bit about the suspected vehicle being small and dark green in color.
Although it’s been over 45 years since since she disappeared, the RCMP believe it’s a case that can still be solved. If someone somewhere thinks of something, please contact the RCMP or Crimestoppers.