What happened to three young sunbathers who disappeared at Indiana Dunes State Park 57 years in the past?



“She was my massive sister and I cherished being along with her,” Janice Morandi informed Dateline. “I cherished her dearly.”

On July 2, 1966, Janice’s older sister, 19-year-old Patricia Blough, had been with two buddies, 19-year-old Renee Bruhl and 21-year-old Ann Miller. The three young ladies vanished at Indiana Dunes State Park — by no means to be seen once more.

Janice informed Dateline that the Blough siblings grew up in Westchester, Illinois. “It wasn’t a really pleased childhood,” Janice stated. “All I had was my sister.”

Solely two years aside — Janice stated the 2 have been inseparable. “She was an exquisite particular person,” Janice stated. “I needed to be along with her on a regular basis.”

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Regardless of their shut bond, Janice stated the sisters’ childhood was removed from good. “There was no love at all,” Janice recalled. “I don’t ever bear in mind my dad and mom kissing me or telling me they love me or holding me on their lap.”

Janice informed Dateline that due to their tough childhood, the ladies would typically attempt to discover a approach to escape. They discovered solace in horses. “We’d stroll, I imply, most likely 25 miles to get to a horse farm,” Janice stated. “We’d do something to be round horses.”

Janice stated Patricia was ultimately in a position to purchase a horse of her personal. “She purchased a racehorse, and he raced his first race and he received,” Janice recalled. “She [was] crying and crying.”

As Patricia bought older, although, the sisters’ enjoyable occasions collectively slowly started to dwindle as Patricia started hanging out with buddies her personal age. “She began getting actual distant from me,” Janice stated. “Which harm me so much.”

Two of these buddies have been Renee Bruhl and Ann Miller. “She went to college with [Renee] and Ann she met after college,” Janice stated. She informed Dateline that her sister and Ann rode horses at the identical steady.

In accordance to Janice, the three buddies have been hanging out collectively that Fourth of July weekend of 1966. “I noticed her the day earlier than,” Janice stated. “She was nonetheless dwelling at residence, however she was coming in at all hours of the day and night time.”

However on the night time of Saturday, July 2, 1966, Patricia by no means got here residence.

The Indiana State Police Division is investigating the disappearance of the three young ladies. Public Data Officer Captain Ron Galaviz informed Dateline in an e mail that Patricia Blough, Ann Miller, and Renee Bruhl have been final seen at Indiana Dunes State Park that July 2, “sunning themselves, swimming, and speaking.”

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In accordance to Capt. Galaviz, “they have been final seen boarding a Tri-Maran-type boat.” It was described as being white with a turquoise inside and round 16 to 18 toes lengthy. He informed Dateline that officers imagine the “boat was occupied by one white male, well-tanned, with darkish wavy hair, carrying a seashore jacket,” who appeared to be 20 to 22 years previous. 

Galaviz stated that varied gadgets belonging to the ladies have been discovered on the seashore, together with their clothes, blankets, and different private results.

Quite a few searches have been performed for the ladies. “The complete seashore was searched together with the grounds north of the marsh space,” Galaviz wrote. “All cabins on the grounds have been searched together with the paths.” However the ladies have been by no means discovered.

Janice informed Dateline the searches have been intense. “My father was within the Civil Air Patrol and he’d take the airplane and fly forwards and backwards,” she stated.

“I used to be sort of getting sick about it, too, as a result of I knew it was a waste of time,” Janice informed Dateline. She stated she knew nearly instantly that her sister was lifeless. Particularly after she mirrored on an interplay she had with Patricia simply someday earlier than her disappearance. “She wasn’t regular,” Janice stated. “She seemed scared.”

In accordance to Janice, that wasn’t the one odd encounter she had along with her sister. She stated she had a troubling dialog with Patricia shortly earlier than she disappeared. “She began crying. She by no means cried,” Janice stated. “She stated, ‘I’m in horrible hassle.’”

Janice informed Dateline she knew Patricia was courting a married man, so she requested her if she was pregnant. Her response was, “I want it was that straightforward,” Janice stated.

In June 1987, 20 years after the ladies disappeared, the Chicago Tribune printed an article on the case. In accordance to the article, one of many different ladies was suspected of being pregnant.

“The rumor was possibly they have been performing abortions and, , to do an abortion on water,” Janice stated. “Perhaps one thing went incorrect they usually had to kill all of them.”

Captain Galaviz informed Dateline that the concept of abortions being carried out on the boat was investigated however “nothing was substantiated.” 

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Janice additionally recalled that Renee Bruhl was having marital issues at the time, which led many to imagine that the ladies merely ran away. “She was in a really sad marriage,” Janice stated. In accordance to the Chicago Tribune, officers discovered an unmailed letter in Renee’s purse addressed to her husband, suggesting she needed to go away him.

Captain Galaviz informed Dateline that the letter present in Renee’s purse talks about how their marriage “was on powerful occasions” and that she “was uncertain of his love for her.” In accordance to Galaviz, police investigated the opportunity of Renee operating away however he stated “nothing substantiates this idea.”

In accordance to the Chicago Tribune, investigators at the time got here up with a number of concepts of what could have happened to the three young ladies. Comparable to, “they have been concerned in a horrible boating accident that left no bodily hint of anybody aboard” or that “they have been victims of an abduction that turned to homicide aboard the boat,” the article stated.

In accordance to Capt. Galaviz, police researched the opportunity of a boating accident, “nonetheless, no boating accidents have been reported or noticed.”

“Police did examine the concept of a potential abduction. No suspects have been ever developed in Indiana,” Galaviz stated in a follow-up e mail. “There was a suspect in Chicago, nonetheless that lead by no means supplied any benefit or additional investigation.”

One other idea Janice talked about, is that her sister could have been killed over her racehorse. “She solely paid $1,500 for him,” Janice stated, including that the unique homeowners have been mad that they offered Patricia the horse after it began successful, and “she wouldn’t promote it again.”

Captain Galaviz informed Dateline in a follow-up e mail that officers did examine a potential connection between Patricia’s racehorse and the disappearance of the three ladies, however famous they have been “not in a position to discover any leads or relevance” between the racehorse and the disappearances. He stated that throughout the investigation, they did uncover that “there was one race in query that the jockey of Patricia’s horse could have pulled the horse again in order that it didn’t win the precise race.” The jockey was questioned and fired, Galaviz wrote.

Janice informed Dateline she doesn’t know what to imagine about her sister’s disappearance. She additionally stated she doesn’t know if the reality will ever come to gentle. “I all the time thought it could get solved after my mom handed,” Janice stated. “However they’re nonetheless engaged on the case.”

Captain Galaviz informed Dateline that there aren’t any suspects or individuals of curiosity within the case, however even 57 years later, they’re nonetheless “following up on any leads that could be reported to the company.”

Regardless of the shortage of closure, Janice stated one factor she’s sure of, is that her sister can be pleased with her and the way far she’s come from their childhood. “If she might see my life now — I stay on an attractive property. We don’t have any horses anymore.” Janice informed Dateline. “However she would have cherished my husband: I ended up marrying a horse physician.”

Patricia Blough and Renee Bruhl can be 75 years previous this 12 months. Ann Miller can be 77.

Anybody with data on the disappearances of Patricia Blough, Renee Bruhl, and Ann Miller is requested to contact the Westchester Police Division at (708) 345-0060.


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