The Doe Network:
Case File 1784DFVT


Paula Jean Welden
Missing since December 1, 1946 from Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

  • Date Of Birth: October 19, 1928
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 18 years old
  • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'5"; 122 lbs.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair, worn in a long bob; blue eyes. Fair complexion with much color; nose slightly turned up; cleft in chin. Walks with a long, springy step, has erect carriage; athletic type.
  • Marks, Scars: Grayish scar on left knee; vaccination mark on right thigh; small scar under left eye under eyebrow.
  • Clothing: Red parka jacket with fur trimmed hood, blue jeans, white sneakers with heavy soled Top-Sider size 6 1/2 or 7. She was also wearing a small, gold Elgin ladies wrist watch with narrow black band. This watch has repairer's marking, 13050 HD, scratched on the inside of back case.
  • Other: At the time of her disappearance, Welden was an art student interested in water colors, oils, pencil and charcoal sketching. She had assisted a mural painter and also done black and white illustrations. She had also done waitress work. She liked skating, bicycling, hiking, camping, swimming, square dancing and playing the guitar.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Welden was last seen at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont on the afternoon of December 1, 1946. Welden disappeared while taking a walk on the Long Trail near Glastenbury Mountain.

On December 1, 1946 she worked two shifts at the school's dining hall, came back to her room and conversed for a while with her roommate. Then, she told the roommate that she was through with studies, and was going to take a long walk. She headed out around 14.45. She was sighted several times as she was hitchhiking to the Long Trail, close to Bickford Hollow.

Vermont had no state police force at the time. The Governor called in police from New York and Massachusetts to help in the search. It also persuaded local legislators to support creation of the Vermont State Police.
Police suspect foul play. Welden was never found.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Vermont State Police
Police Chief Richard Gauthier

Source Information:
Burlington Free Press 10/30/05
In the Shadow of Glastenbury

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Last Updated: 3/6/2013 - By: BR / Web Assist