Case of the Month: Tracy Lynn Davenport (March 19, 1967 – April 27, 1973 date missing).
This cold case caught my daughter’s eye when she was going through the papers before tossing it into the recycling bin. She saw the ad from MissingKids.com with the picture of a smiling six-year-old Tracy.
She checked the date from which Tracy went missing and looked at me. “This should go on your blog.” So here it is as case of the month for June 2015.
Tracy Lynn Davenport from San Rafael, Marin County, CA, was reported missing on April 27, 1973. She had just turned six years old on March 19. There is very little to find online except for the repeated posting of the case details and an article from the Contra Costa Times. It describes how in 2009, police was finally able to drop a rumor from their check list. Tracy was rumored to be buried on motel property.
At the time that she disappeared, Tracy lived with her grandma and unknown relatives in a motel. I have not been able to find any information about her parents other than that they were separated. Whether grandma was Tracy’s legal guardian and who the other relatives were, I do not know.
From the motel, Tracy walked alone to and from school. How long had she been doing that? Was that her routine or was this one day an exception? All we know is that on April 27, she did walk alone. Tracy never arrived at school and never came back to the motel. The next day, her family reported her missing.
I wish that we all had been more alert. A six-year-old child does not show up at school? She should have been reported absent by her teacher to the school administration. That should have triggered a call to the motel. However, maybe that was not the routine in 1973. If it was, we could check the motel telephone records (if they still exist) to see at what time that call came in. I also don’t know whether we had a mandatory 24-hour waiting time before missing persons could be reported in 1973.
In 2009, police, assisted by the fire department, searched the crawl space near the motel pool but they did not find any human remains. The only other lead they ever had came from a witness who reported a black or dark green car that was slowing following Tracy on the day that she went missing. I have not been able to find more details.
Peculiar is the detail in Tracy’s NamUs file that mentions “burn scars located on her lower hip and stomach.” It would be interesting to know how a six-year-old got these scars. There is DNA so if an unidentified child’s remains are found we can compare to see if it is Tracy.
This is what worries me:
- her height and weight do not seem to correspond with the average height and weight for a six year old. I googled it and the average height would be around 42-44 inches and the average weight about 45-50lbs. Tracy is listed as 4’6” (52 inches) and 60lbs. Was she really six years old? 52 inches sounds more like an 8 year old.
- Her exact age and height are important. If unidentified children’s remains have been dismissed as hers before the authorities had her DNA, there is the possibility that Tracy is somewhere buried as a Jane Doe.
I cannot see in NamUs when exactly they entered the DNA. It just says “sample submitted – tests complete.” I assume that they have familial DNA. Just a thought. The averages for height and weight may not be correct and of course, all kids are different. Maybe the listed height and weight were Tracy’s correct details.
Some say Tracy’s case was mishandled because of her race. Others say that according to 1973 standard procedure, police did what they could. But of course, if you knew Tracy or if you are a missing person advocate you always feel that what was done was not enough. That is simply because the heart doesn’t want to accept that a door is closing. That is a natural emotion. So let’s start by getting Tracy’s case back in the spotlights by sharing it on social media and in the blogosphere!
In the series “Case of the Month” I highlight old cold cases. These posts are not an in-depth analysis and often more information can be found online and in newspaper archives.
The goal of these posts is to get the cases back in the spotlights, to get people talking again, and if anything to make sure that we do not forget the victims. Just because their cases are cold does not mean that we can forget about them.
If you have any thoughts about Tracy Lynn Davenport’s case I urge you to post them on your own social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Every time we mention her name online we enhance her digital footprint.
We must make sure that Tracy keeps her web presence if we ever wish to find answers. You can help by linking to or sharing this post. If you do, the post will show up in new news feeds, reach new people, and networks with new connections. And who knows, we may reach someone who can help advance this case.
Thank you for remembering Tracy with me.