Tales from the Morgue: Kidnapped, Part 3

2010-08-21T00:00:00Z 2011-06-03T18:36:51Z Tales from the Morgue: Kidnapped, Part 3Johanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star
August 21, 2010 12:00 am  • 

There were few clues in the kidnapping case of June Robles — at least few that didn't turn out to be false leads. Then came the news that two suspects had been arrested. But where was June?

It was reported April 28, 1934, that two men were arrested in Phoenix for questioning in connection with the abduction. Billy Miller, of Tucson, had told police of two men who drove to Roskruge school the day before June Robles was kidnaped and asked him which doorway led to the primary department.

Meanwhile, police officers were discouraged by the lack of leads:

"I never worked on a case in which we had so little authentic information," C. A. Wollard, chief of police stated yesterday. "We have run down clue after clue which has faded into nothing. Many of them have appeared good leads, none of them has produced tangible results."

His statement came in a discussion of wild rumors and wilder speculations published in Tucson and put on the wires all over the country. Wollard did not deny that his men and the sheriff's office group are still working on information which may lead to definite information about the criminals. Much was hoped for today and the future in the investigation of the case. On the other hand, newspaper solutions of the crime had no place in the work of the officers.

Colby S. Farrar, undersheriff, stated definitely that he was sincere in his announcement that the major offensive had been called off at the request of the family. Officers came and went on various missions, presumably connected with the case, but the massed movement of armed forces through and around the city was definitely stopped.

 

The men arrested in Phoenix fit the general description given by Billy Miller, but it wasn't yet known of they were the men Miller had talked to at the school.

The next day, the Star reported that a woman had been arrested after giving a false report, which sent hunters to the area around Fort Huachuca, chasing yet another false lead.

From the Arizona Daily Star, April 29, 1934:

 

HUACHUCA POSSES CALLED OFF
__________

WOMAN HELD AFTER GIVING FALSE REPORT
__________

Greatest and Most Quickly Organized Man Hunt In Years Is Formed in Mountain and Canyon in Response to Hoax
__________

APACHE SCOUTS, SOLDIERS AID SEARCH
__________

Deputies From Three Counties, Customs Officers Rushed to Secluded Spot, Give Several Hours Time; Are Disappointed
__________

BISBEE, Ariz., April 28 — AP — Eva Coleman, Negro woman operator of a restaurant near the Fort Huachuca military reservation, was placed under technical arrest tonight in connection with false information which caused a widespread man hunt in that district for the abductors of June Robles.


__________

In a day featured by a hoax which set federal, state and county officers at work over the entire southern Arizona area, little progress was reported yesterday in the June Robles kidnaping case.

The almost total lack of developments was broken by a report that a mystery car was carrying the kidnaped girl into the southern part of the state, possibly across the border, with the search finally concentrating in the Huachuca mountains. In speed of action, mass movement of peace officers over a wide area and quick and total discrediting of the report, yesterday's hoax has never been equalled in the memory of the men working on the case here. ...

Investigation of one of the many false leads which occupied a major part of the officers' attention created more than the usual excitement yesterday afternoon. Reports of a car seen near White City, near Ft. Huachuca, in which two men and a little girl were riding sent officers from all over southern Arizona to the spot to investigate.

 

Alas, as convincing as the woman's story was, it began to fall apart bit by bit. The search was well under way with the help of Apache Indian trackers, deputies, border patrolmen and volunteers searching for five hours when it was called off. Tired and discouraged searchers returned home and, once again, June's parents were given disappointing news.

 

Next: Reward offers withdrawn and June's father asks for proof of life.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Tales from the Morgue is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library - also known as News and Research Services - for 18 years before becoming an online content producer for StarNet. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@azstarnet.com.

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