Doe Network

2557DFOK - Joan Gay Croft


Name: Joan Gay Croft
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: April 10, 1947
Location Last Seen: Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma

Physical Description

Date of Birth: October 28, 1942
Age: 4 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 3'5"
Weight: 42 lbs.
Hair Color: Blond/Strawberry
Eye Color: Blue
Nickname/Alias: Joan Gay
Distinguishing Marks/Features: chicken pox scar on forearms


Dentals: Not Available
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: Pajamas
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Disappearance

On April 9, 1947 a giant tornado ripped through the town of Woodward. It traveled on the ground for 221 miles at a speed of 46 miles per hour, smashing everything in its path. It has been described as one of the 10 most destructive tornadoes of all time, killing 185 people and injuring 720.

Joan Gay's mother was killed by the giant storm, and her father, H.O. Croft, was critically injured. He was transferred to an Oklahoma City hospital. Joan Gay, with a splinter through her leg, and her sister, were found to have less life-threatening injuries than others seeking care, and were ushered to the hospital basement to wait as more critical injuries were treated.

Her sister, four years older, reported that two men dressed in khaki work clothes came into the basement and carried Joan Gay away. Apparently due to the turmoil of the night, no one paid any attention to the little girl's protests. For a time it was thought perhaps the child was taken elsewhere for medical treatment. But as days passed following the disaster and damage was assessed and residents accounted for, Joan Gay did not surface on hospital lists or with any family members.

The incident received nationwide attention, but Joan Gay never was found

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Woodward Police Department
Agency Contact Person: Billy Parker
Agency Phone Number: (580)256-2280
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 01819-16

Agency Name: OSBI Northwest Regional Office
Agency Contact Person: ASAC David Sauls
Agency Phone Number: (580)256-1771
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A

Agency Name: Enid Police Department
Agency Contact Person: Sgt. Bryan Hart
Agency Phone Number: (580)242-7000
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 32412

Information Source(s)

Enid News
The Daily Oklahoman
News OK

Admin Notes

Added: 4/4/08; Last Updated: 10/26/17

Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team

** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

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