Name: Paula Jean Welden
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: December 1, 1946
Location Last Seen: Bennington, Bennington County, Vermont
Date of Birth: October 19, 1928
Age: 18 years old
Weight: 122 lbs.
Hair Color: Blonde hair worn in a long bob.
Eye Color: Blue
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Fair complexion with much color. Nose slightly turned up. Cleft in chin. Walks with a long, springy step, has erect carriage. Athletic type. Grayish scar on left knee. Vaccination mark on right thigh. Small scar under left eyebrow.
Clothing: Red parka jacket with fur trimmed hood, blue jeans, and white sneakers with heavy soled Top-Sider (size 6 1/2 or 7).
Jewelry: She was also wearing a small, gold Elgin ladies wrist watch with a narrow black band. The watch has repairer's marking "13050 HD" scratched on the inside of the back case.
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
Paula Jean Welden was last seen at Bennington College while taking a walk on the Long Trail near Glastenbury Mountain during the afternoon.
On the day she vanished, 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 2:45 P.M. 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 of her disappeance. The Governor called in police from New York and Massachusetts to help in the search. Weldon's disappearance persuaded local legislators to support the creation of the Vermont State Police.
Between 1945 and 1950, four other disappearances have occured in the area where Welden disappeared, earning the wilderness area the nickname "the Bennington Triangle."
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 worked as a waitress. She liked skating, bicycling, hiking, camping, swimming, square dancing and playing the guitar.
Agency Name: Vermont State Police
Agency Contact Person: Lt. Reg Trayah or Police Chief Richard Gauthier
Agency Phone Number: 802-241-5355
Agency E-Mail: reg.trayah(at)vermont.gov
Agency Case Number: Unknown
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: Not listed
Vermont State Police
Wikipedia: Paula Jean Welden
The Mysterious Disappearance of Paula Jean Welden
Bennington Banner News
Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 5/8/16
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Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.