Mystery in the Mountains: The Disappearance of Nancy Erickson

New England

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Person database, there are more than 600,000 people reported missing.

One of those missing persons is a woman who disappeared nearly fifty years ago and her family is looking for answers.

It’s not unusual for someone to come to the police with a report of a missing person where that be a friend or a loved one, but for Brattleboro Police Detective Lieutenant Jeremy Evans, this missing person’s report he received this year was different.

“In May of this year, Michael came to the station to ask if we had found his sister,” said Brattleboro Police Department Det. Lt. Jeremy Evans.

Det. Lt. Evans recalls the time Michael Erickson came to Brattleboro to ask about his sister Nancy.

Erickson told him no one had heard from or seen her since the Fall of 1973, 48 years ago, when she checked out of a halfway house.

“We have her through the Fall of 1973 here in Brattleboro in Vermont in the Windham County area, but definitely in Brattleboro up until October of 1973 and then… nothing,” said Det. Lt. Evans.

Nancy Erickson was around 22 years old when she disappeared… following an auto theft arrest in Bellows Falls.

She came from Tampa, Florida, but how and why she landed in Vermont is part of the mystery her family wants to solve.

“We have no idea why she went to Brattleboro,” said Nancy’s Brother, Michael Erickson. “Why she ended up there.”

Some background on Nancy’s life may provide some answers.

Nancy Erickson is one of four children… two brothers, one sister.

The four were born on Long Island and moved to Elmira, New York when their parents separated.

Nancy and her older brother Michael went off to college after graduating high school in Elmira.

“She went on to Corning Community College where she got her RN degree,” said Michael Erickson. “I got married and went right on to Wilmore, Kentucky Asbury Theological Seminary.”

Their mother, Rose Marie remarried and moved to Tampa with the two younger children, Sandy and Kevin. Sandy recalled when Nancy moved in with them.

“After she graduated she came to Florida and was living with us and she was an RN at Tampa General Hospital,” said Nancy’s Sister, Sandy Eslick.

The siblings said they immediately noticed a change in their sister.

“She was giving a man who had a heart attack or something,” said Michael Erickson. “She was giving him chest compressions and she was doing it for some time and he died and she took that really quite hard.”

Kevin said Nancy would come home from work sad and mentally drained.

“When Nancy was working at the hospital I know that she would come home a lot of times very very depressed,” said Nancy’s Brother, Kevin Erickson. “I think her job was absolutely impacting her kinda mentally.”

Sandy said at one point, she had her sister admitted to the hospital for her well-being.

“She came home and I was the only one home and she came into our room and she started packing her big duffel bag and I said ‘what are you doing?’ and she said ‘I’m leaving.’,” said Eslick.

That’s where the trail leads to Vermont when their mother got a call from The Bellows Falls Police.

“My mother got a call that she was up in Vermont and she had gotten arrested for taking somebody’s car,” said Eslick.

According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Nancy Erickson was charged with stealing a car in Putney in October of 1973.

In the article, Nancy told police she only had six cents to her name and that the car she was driving ran out of gas. She said that she was on her way to visit friends in White River Junction, but her siblings have no idea who she would be visiting.

“I don’t know it was just like…. like she disappeared,” Eslick said.

Erickson could have faced two years in jail, but instead, the district judge placed her on probation for up to two months as well as placing her in a halfway house in Brattleboro…the last place she was seen.

“My mom and I went and bought a couple of outfits and we shipped them to her up to the halfway house. It was like… I don’t know… a week later, a month later those packages came back,” said Eslick. “I guess my mother tried to call to find out what was going on and that’s when we found out that she walked out.”

The last thing family members received was Nancy’s W-2 Forums from the Brattleboro Retreat where she worked.

After that… nothing.

“I don’t know… it seems a little odd,” said Det. Lt. Evans.

When her father died in 1985, Nancy received a share of the estate and to this day that money remains unclaimed.

“He just may have got 1500 or two thousand dollars apiece for each of us kids and Nancy never collected that,” said Michael Erickson.

Their mother passed a year later, still not knowing where her daughter may be and the family is still trying to figure that out.

“Maybe she was just passing through,” Michael Erickson said. “I don’t know.”

After nearly five decades the Erickson siblings are ready to find answers to these questions.

If you have any information on Nancy Erickson’s whereabouts please contact Detective Lieutenant Jeremy Evans with Brattleboro Police at 802- 257-7950 and if you would like to remain anonymous you can do so by calling the anonymous tip line at…(802) 251-8188.

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