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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turney

Sherry Lynn Marler

Today I am discussing one of the most infamous and puzzling missing child cases from Alabama. 12-year-old Sherry Lynn Marler.

Just after the start of summer break in 1984, one morning, Sherry tags along with her stepfather Ray to run some errands. He needs to fix a combine and check on some crops before making the about 30-minute drive into the town center of Greenville to go to the bank.

While I know I would have certainly skipped this trip in favor of sleeping in, Sherry was excited to come along. She LOVES farming. And she looked forward to summer break for days just like this, days where she could be out in the fields checking on the crops, seeing what was new in the feed shop on main street, and I’m sure a million other tasks farmers have to complete to keep their farms up and running.

All of this to say, Sherry was excited to be hanging out with Ray, continuing to learn what it takes to run farms like he does. After fixing the combine and checking on some crops, they make the drive into town. There, Ray parks his truck behind a furniture store, leaves a dollar for Sherry to grab a Coke from the vending machine across the street, and walks into the bank. 15 minutes later, Ray walks back to the truck, and Sherry is gone.


4, ABC News. “Cold Case: Berkeley County Sheriff's Office Reshares Photo of Missing Child from 1984.” WCIV, WCIV, 29 Aug. 2018,

Benn, Alvin. “Disappearance of 12-Year-Old Girl Continues to Baffle Authorities.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 8 Oct. 1984.

Berman, Michelle. “Family Hopes Show Will Help Find Teenager.” Birmingham Post-Herald, 24 Apr. 1986.

Berman, Michelle. “Missing Girl Is Still Talk of Town Two Years Later.” Birmingham Post-Herald, 23 Apr. 1986.

Berman, Michelle. “Sherry Still Missing after TV Show.” Birmingham Post-Hearld, 7 May 1986.

“Betty Stringfellow.” The Surviving Parents Coalition: Betty Stringfellow,

Bonvillian, Crystal. “Still Missing.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 12 Sept. 2004.

Buryle, Rebecca. “Search Goes on for Ala. Missing.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 18 Feb. 2015.

Burylo, Rebecca. “Remembering Lost Children.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 29 Mar. 2015.

Burylo, Rebecca. “Search Continues for 170 Missing Persons in Alabama.” Ledger-Enquirer, 22 Feb. 2015.

Facebook, Cindy Severns Galloway,

“Foul Play Feared in Girl's Disappearance .” The Montgomery Advertiser, 16 July 1984.

“Greenville Girl Last Seen Wednesday .” The Montgomery Advertiser, 8 June 1984.

“Information Received.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 28 Apr. 1986.

McNamara, Brooks. “Greenville Girl Featured on Special.” The Montgomery Advertiser, 22 Apr. 1986.

“Mother of Missing Child Still Seeking Answers.” The Selma Times-Journal, 26 Oct. 2013.

“Police Receive Several Leads on Sherry.” Birmingham Post-Herald, 25 Apr. 1986.

“Sherry Lynn Marler.” The Charley Project,


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