A Fourth of July sleepover turned into a holiday that would forever haunt a Kansas family. It was on July 3, 1978, when Beverly Ann Ward had a friend stay the night at her single-story home. The 13-year-old from Junction City was sleeping in the same room with her friend laying nearby in another bed, but somehow, Beverly went missing that evening and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
If you go looking for the home where Beverly Ann Ward disappeared from, you’ll find that it’s been torn down. However, Junction City police have kept the young teen’s case open as it’s a mystery that has haunted the city for decades. It was early in the morning on July 4 when Beverly’s family members awoke to witness an incident happening across the street. There were reportedly four people in the home at the time, and when Beverly’s relatives and her friend went outside to watch the commotion, they all noticed that Beverly Ann Ward wasn’t with them.
After they couldn’t find her, police were called to inspect the scene. There, investigators found that a screen from a bedroom window was missing. It was found about ten feet away from the house and was reportedly cut from the frame. Authorities speculate that somewhere between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., Beverly Ann Ward was kidnapped out of her own bed. All of her personal items, including $12 she was saving up for a kid’s camp, was left behind. Her bags were reportedly packed and ready for her to camp trip the next day. She is not considered to be a runaway.
In 1978, Junction City had a reputation as a transient area where people didn’t live for long. They used it as a community to pass through or to temporarily reside. There were a few suspects questioned in connection to Beverly’s disappearance, two of whom were seen in a vehicle by neighbors, but it wasn’t around the time that the 13-year-old went missing. A third person who was in the area was also named as a person of interest, but no evidence could tie the suspect to the case.
It was only in these last few years that the Junction City Police Department asked the FBI for help in this cold case. “Several Detectives over the years have looked at the [Beverly Ann Ward] case,” Police Capt. Trish Giordano said back in 2018. “When I took over investigations, I made it one of my goals to see if anything more could be done to try and solve the case.”
Authorities have ruled out Beverly’s relatives are suspects.
At the time of her disappearance, Beverly Ann Ward stood 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet tall and weighed approximately 54 to 60 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Beverly was born with an extra bone (partial finger), has moles on face, and a mark on her chest. She was last seen wearing a green nightgown and blue underwear. Beverly would be 55-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Junction City Police Department at (785) 762-5912 or their local authorities.
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