For more than 40 years the families of Debra Spickler, Janice Pockett and Lisa White have grasped for any clues related to the disappearance of the three girls who vanished decades ago.
After many leads perhaps the most promising came just last month. But today, after their hopes were elevated once more, they learned this was not the key to their mystery.
Life hasn’t been the same for Aprille Falletti since 1974, the year her sister Lisa went missing.
“It was tough growing up because I was 10 when my sister disappeared and I didn’t really know what was going on,” Falletti said.
Lisa was 13 when she vanished, just one year after 7-year-old Janice Pockett went missing in 1973, and not long after 13-year-old Debra Pickler disappeared. All young girls and all gone from the same area.
Clues came through the years, the most recent of which where skeletal remains located in mid-March at Vernon’s old town dump.
“After all these years, you know, you want to stop hoping and let it go but you can’t, it’s with you forever,” Falletti said.
What made this find especially hopeful for Falletti was that her and Lisa had grown up just a block away from this site where the remains were found. So for Falletti it felt like all the pieces fit together.
Both Falletti and Mary Engelbrecht, the sister of Janice Pockett, waited on edge.
“The wait was just horrible… it was horrible, you know? Just waiting for every time the phone rang,” Falletti said.
A few weeks ago the call finally cam, but it wasn’t what Falletti wanted so badly. The remains were not Lisa’s. Tuesday, police announced they don’t match any of the three missing girls.
“I just kept wishing and hoping and praying,” Falletti said. “It was right around the time of my birthday – it was coming up where they were getting closer and it was all I wanted for my birthday and… I didn’t get it.”
“I have to admit I am disappointed,” Engelbrecht said in an email to Fox CT. “I will never give up hope that my sister`s disappearance can be solved!’
Meanwhile, Falletti says she shares that resolve, to keeping looking out for Lisa no matter how many years go by.
“I wish it had been Lisa and I could bring her home but I just hope that some family gets something out of this,” she said. “I wouldn’t say good news, but just something out of it. If it can’t be me, I wish it for somebody else.”
Vernon police say they will continue to work on identifying who these remains belong to. In the meantime Falletti and Engelbrecht have become friends, going through their journey together.