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Man Says he witnessed 1974 disappearance of Ft. Worth Girls 
KXAS NBC5 Scott Gordon Apr 13, 2001

FORT WORTH, Apr. 13 - A possible break in an almost 30-year old mystery. A man says he is a witness to the disappearance of three girls from a Fort Worth shopping mall in 1974.

"I saw three girls 26 years ago and I maintain it to this day..."

It may be 26 years ago now, but Bill Hutchins says he knows what he saw. He said, "I've got it burned in here."

Hutchins, now retired in the piney forest of East Texas, was a Fort Worth police officer himself back in the 1960s. He left the department to work security for Sears.

He says he clearly remembers December 23, 1974, the night 9-year-old Julie Mosely, 17-year old Rachel Trlica and 14-year-old Renee Wilson disappeared from the mall, their car still full of Christmas presents.

At about 11:30 p.m., he says he had a run-in on the parking lot with a young mall security guard who was driving a pickup truck.

"I saw three girls sitting in the front seat with him. A young girl next to him, a little older to her, and then the older and largest girl against the passenger door,"Hutchins said. At that point, he said, the girls appeared to be with him willingly. "When I apologized for my language, they laughed, you know, everybody was happy. We just exchanged a few comments, then he rolled up his window and drove off," Hutchins said. When he saw news reports about the missing girls a day or two later, he said he called the detective working on the case.

He said, "I talked to his secretary, gave her my name, what I had seen, everything like that, and let it go at that, and I never heard back from them ...." He said at the time, he figured the mystery was solved. "I didn't see anything more about it in the paper so I just let it slide," Hutchins said.
He said he's talked to a few reporters over the years about what he saw, but until just a few weeks ago, never talked to the police.

He said, "Nobody ever bothered to talk to me, until now!"

Police tell NBC 5 detectives have tracked down the security guard Hutchins says he saw, and say that he denies ever being with the girls that night.

Detectives consider it a solid lead, but also say they are focusing on not one, but as many as five different suspects.

 

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