On June 24, 1974, 14-year-old Margaret Fox left her New Jersey home to go to a babysitting job. That was the last time she was ever seen.
The girl’s family received a ransom call asking for $10,000 in exchange for Fox’s safe return, but the money was not paid, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Now decades years later, police are still working to solve her case.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released audio of the ransom call on Monday, the 45th anniversary of her disappearance.
Burlington City Police Chief John Fine said in a statement:
“The disappearance of Margaret Fox has haunted this community for decades. As many local residents and police officers would tell you, they would hear the message every week at the end of church services to pray for a safe return of Margaret Fox. As chief of Police, I want to bring closure to this case and bring home an answer to the Fox family and community.”
There is now a $25,000 reward for “information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of whoever is responsible for Margaret’s disappearance,” according to the statement.
Margaret Ellen Fox was last seen in Burlington, NJ, on June 24, 1974, after travelling by bus to meet with a man who called himself "John Marshall" and had advertised for a babysitting job. The #FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for info: https://t.co/LRg0q7xKzm pic.twitter.com/AOm6SpDIYq
— FBI Most Wanted (@FBIMostWanted) June 24, 2019
A man can be heard in the haunting audio requesting payment from the family. He says:
“$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping.”
At the end of the call, Fox’s mother asks, “Who is this?”
On the day Fox disappeared, she was going to meet a man in Mount Holly who claimed he needed a babysitter for his son.
He’d seen a babysitting ad in the newspaper and contacted one of Fox’s friends. Her friend wasn’t allowed to take the job so Fox agreed to meet the man.
The teen’s brother saw her board the bus to Mount Holly and witnesses saw her get off near the corner where she was going to meet the man for an interview.
The man’s call to Fox was traced to a phone booth in Lumberton, police said. He was never identified.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in the statement:
“Margaret Fox was loved dearly by her family and friends. To this day, her disappearance continues to cause great sorrow. If someone out there possesses information that could assist the investigators working to solve this mystery, I urge you to come forward.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Burlington City Police Department at (609) 386-0262, extension 211 or the FBI Newark Field Office at (973) 792-3000.