The Doe Network:
Case File 170DFTN

1 2 Age-Progression
Left and Center: Childress in 1987; Right: Age-progressed image of Childress at age 23 (circa 2006)

Marlena Danyele Childress
Missing since April 16, 1987 from Union City, Obion County, Tennessee.
Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Vital Statistics

  • Date Of Birth: February 17, 1983
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 4 years old
  • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0; 38 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown straight hair; blue / hazel eyes.
  • Marks, Scars: Pierced ears.
  • Clothing: Light purple pants, a purple and white shirt and pink jelly-style shoes.
  • Dentals: She has silver caps on upper and lower front teeth.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Childress disappeared while playing in the front yard of her Union City, Tennessee home on April 16, 1987.
When Childress disappeared, hundreds of people volunteered to search for her. Several weeks later, the search halted abruptly when her mother, Pamela Bailey, confessed to accidentally killing her daughter. She told police she threw the body into the Obion River, but no body was found, and Bailey later recanted the confession.
In April of 2002, Bailey was charged with stabbing her 12-year-old son in a cemetery. She has pleaded innocent.
Bailey's son, Casey, said his mother had told him she had a surprise for him and to be home from a friend's house by 7:30 pm the night he was stabbed. Shortly after 8:00, while driving the three miles toward Arnett Cemetery, Bailey told Casey to put a blue handkerchief around his eyes. The stabbing is believed to have occurred between 8:30 and 9:00. Bailey sat her blindfolded son by a cemetery marker with the inscription "son" before she stabbed him in the neck and shoulder with a knife. At that time he felt a cut in the right side of his neck, and was able to kick his mother and run to the nearest house.
Bailey's son was released from a hospital the day after the stabbing and remains with his father.

If you have any information concerning Childress' disappearance, please contact:
Obion County Sheriff's Department
Captain Stan Murphy

You may remain anonymous when submitting information to any agency.

NCMEC #: NCMC600739

NCIC Number:
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

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