In 1983, a 4-year-old girl was lured away by a strange man who taunted her parents with disturbing calls and letters.

Fatim Hemraj
Nyleen Kay MarshallPhoto byMorbidology

4-year-old Nyleen Kay Marshall lived in Montana with her adoptive father, Kim, her mother Nancy, and her two siblings; 6-year-old Nathan and 2-year-old Noreen. Nyleen's biological father, Bill, was not involved in her life. The Marshalls were an all-American Mormon family.

Kim Marshall was a member of the Capital City Radio Club and the Marshalls were invited to attend a ham radio operator's picnic in the nearby Elkhorn Mountains on June 25, 1983, along with several other families. Nyleen played with the other children along Maupin Creek while the parents socialized.

A 13-year-old girl was told to watch over Nyleen. It was around 4 pm when she told Nyleen to stay in the same spot and took off. When the girl returned a couple of minutes later, Nyleen was gone.

Some of the other children reported that an unfamiliar man in a purple jogging suit had been talking to Nyleen. A 6-year-old boy said that Nyleen told him, "That man wants me to follow the shadow." It is theorized that the strange man lured Nyleen away by telling her to play the shadow game with him. Her scent abruptly came to an end, solidifying the theory that she had in fact been taken.

A sketch of the man seen talking with NyleenPhoto byFandom

What ensued was an intense search aided by over 2,800 volunteers. Local authorities utilized scent-sniffing dogs, helicopters, and infrared heat sensors but there was no sign of Nyleen and it was called off after 10 days. Her face was on milk cartons and billboards and several sightings of Nyleen were reported from all over the world, but nearly 40 years later, she had never been located.

In November 1985, the Marshalls received the first of three phone calls from the man presumed to have been responsible. He said he traveled the world with Nyleen funded by his investment income and the places he mentioned matched the reported sightings. There was also a mention of S/A.

The last call was placed on May 9, 1986; they stopped after they were traced to payphones in Madison and Edgerton, Wisconsin. The man also sent 3 letters outlining the same details to NCMEC and Child Find of America, postmarked from Madison. The individual has never been identified.

I picked “KAY” up on the road in the Elkhorn Park area between Helena and Boulder...I decided that I would keep her and love her. I took her home with me. I have a nice investment income and I can work at home so I care for her myself all the time. I teach her at home and she likes to go with me when I travel. She would gladly recount to you trips to San Francisco, New York, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago, Puerto Rico and Canada. We were even in Britain for a month last year and she loved it. Nobody questions passports...Her hair is short and curly now and she has really grown. She is about 45 inches and around 50 pounds. She has all four of her permanent upper and two of her lower incisors at this time. She takes a bath and brushes her teeth every day...She is a sweet little girl and it is because of how much I have grown to love her that I realize how much her family must miss her. But she has adjusted and seems happy. She trusts me and isn’t afraid. We play alot and she laughs when we clown around. She smiles and acts coy when I tease her...I love her and I have her. I just can’t let her go.

Nyleen was last seen wearing a yellow t-shirt and shorts. She was barefoot. She has dimples and a mole above her left eyebrow. Nyleen is left-handed. Today, she would be 44.

If you have any information, contact Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 406-225-4075.

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