Reward and New Information Offered on the Anniversary of a Burlington County Cold Case
Margaret Ellen Fox was 14 when she boarded a bus in Burlington City, headed for Mount Holly, on June 24, 1974, and disappeared. Margaret left home to go to a babysitting job. Her family has not seen or heard from her since. Today, on the 45th anniversary of her disappearance, the FBI is announcing a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of whoever is responsible for Margaret’s disappearance.
An audio recording (below) from the hours after Margaret’s disappearance is being released in an effort to find her abductor. Phone calls were being recorded at the Fox home in the hours after Margaret was reported missing. One call purports to be from a man claiming he had Margaret in his custody and who demands money for her return. On the portion of the call that was recorded, the caller says, “$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping.” Additionally, FBI’s forensic lab in Quantico, Virginia, created an age-progressed photo of Margaret that is in circulation on posters seeking information.
Margaret Fox left her Burlington City home the morning of June 24, 1974 and took the 8:40 a.m. bus to Mount Holly, New Jersey, for a babysitting job. She was hired by a person who was responding to an ad in the newspaper. The prospective employer told Margaret he would pick her up in Mount Holly at the corner of Mill and High Streets. Witnesses reported seeing a young girl matching her description getting off a bus that day near Mill and High Streets in Mount Holly. The phone call from the prospective employer was traced to a phone booth at a supermarket in Lumberton, New Jersey.
Over the years, the FBI and the Burlington City Police Department have reevaluated the case and the leads that were developed during the original investigation in an effort to find Margaret.
“The FBI has a long memory,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joseph Denahan. “The community we serve has our solemn promise that we will pursue all viable options in the interest of delivering justice. We realize that in missing persons cases, especially those involving children, there is a loved one or family at the other end enduring heartache every day because there is no conclusion. We hope this renewed effort will produce results that might give Margaret Fox’s family some sense of closure.”
“The disappearance of Margaret Fox has haunted this community for decades,” said Burlington City Police Chief John Fine. “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."
“Margaret Fox was loved dearly by her family and friends,” said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. “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.”
Margaret Fox has brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a light blue, long-sleeved, floral-patterned blouse that was squared at the top and flared at the waist; a black and white or blue and white checkered waist-length jacket; maroon flared jeans with a yellow patch on one knee; brown sandals with a heel strap; a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone on it; and a gold charm bracelet with a round blue stone. She was carrying a brown bag and an eyeglass case with the Huckleberry Hound design.
Anyone with information as to her whereabouts after June 24, 1974, is asked to call the FBI Newark Field Office at (973) 792-3000 or Burlington City Police Department at (609) 386-0262, extension 211.