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35 years later, Lyons sisters still missing

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Local,Nation,Maryland,Crime,Alana Goodman

The disappearance of the Lyon sisters is a 35-year-old mystery that Montgomery County police still hope to solve.

On March 25, 1975, 12-year-old Sheila Lyon and 10-year-old Katherine Lyon vanished from the Wheaton Plaza Shopping Center. Their disappearance gripped the Washington area for the months of April and May 1975, as massive search parties conducted frenzied searches of vacant lots and waterways. On May 23, 1975, Maryland Lt. Gov. Blair Lee called in the National Guard to scour a Montgomery County forest for any trace of the two girls.

All the searches were unsuccessful.

On the day they went missing, Sheila and Katherine walked the half-mile trip from their home in Kensington to the Wheaton shopping mall. They told their mother they were planning to see the Easter exhibits at the shopping center, have lunch at the Orange Bowl restaurant, and that they would be back home by 4 p.m. When the girls did not return by 7 p.m., their mother called the police.

Witnesses later told investigators that they saw Sheila and Katherine talking to a middle-aged man in a brown suit outside of the Orange Bowl at around 1 p.m. The man apparently held a briefcase, as well as a microphone attached to a tape recorder. The two girls were seen speaking into the microphone.

At around 2 p.m., the girls' brother spotted the two of them eating pizza together inside the restaurant. Later that day, a friend saw the girls walking down the road toward their house at some point between 2:30 and 3 p.m. That was the last confirmed sighting of the young sisters.

The girls' father was a well-known radio host on WMAL, and the search for the missing sisters became a media sensation. Investigators looked into several possible suspects, most notably convicted child-strangler Fred Howard Coffey Jr. and convicted murderer Raymond Rudolph Mileski Sr.

However, the case remains unsolved.

Both sisters have blond hair and blue eyes. Sheila wore glasses at the time of her disappearance. If they are still alive today, Sheila would be 48 and Katherine would be 46.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Montgomery County Police Department at 240-773-5070.

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