Parents weep for missing daughter on anniversary of disappearance
November 22, 2009
GRAND JUNCTION – A northwest Colorado couple say they still weep at the memory of their missing daughter, who was last seen 30 years ago this weekend when she was 15.
Marie Blee went to a dance on Nov. 21, 1979, when the family lived in Hayden. Witnesses reported she then went to a party, but she never returned home.
No trace of her has been found and no suspect has been charged.
Her parents, Paul and Mona Blee, who now live in Grand Junction, say they think about her every day.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Mona Blee, 76.
Paul Blee, 72, said they often feel they can’t grieve for any other loss.
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“We think about our parents, we don’t have any tears there,” he said. “We talk about Marie, and they start falling. [It’s] because of the not knowing, I guess.”
Moffat County Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg has said the case was handled poorly at first. Marie was first considered a runaway, so crucial witnesses weren’t interviewed.
The FBI and local agencies reopened the case in 1999, interviewing more than 50 people, looking in landfills, digging up a yard and consulting with a psychic.
Three suspects were identified, but they denied knowing anything about the disappearance.
In 2002, the Blees joined hundreds of volunteers searching for a missing Grand Junction woman, Jennifer Blagg, and her 6-year-old daughter, Abby.
Jennifer Blagg’s body was found in a landfill but Abby is missing and presumed dead.
Michael Blagg was convicted in 2004 of first-degree murder in his wife’s death and sentenced to life without parole.