Jane Doe Might Be Missing Mother
Georgia Darlene Nolan, disappeared from Harlan County, Ky.,
on Nov. 28, 1976, at the age of 30.

...Daughter's Search Leads To Decades-Old Case
By Pete DeLea
Posted 02/13/2008

HARRISONBURG - Nancy Austin flipped through countless photos of unidentified bodies over the years in search of her mother who went missing in 1976.

After years of research, Austin might have found out what happened to her mother, who vanished when she was 2 months old. A body that was found in Rockingham County nearly three decades ago in a wooded area fits the description.

An artist's rendering of what she probably looked like was publicized following the discovery of the body.

"I was searching online and came across the picture," said Austin, 31, of Keene, Texas. "There's just something about the picture that sticks out to me."

Mother Vanished Following Fight

Her mother, Georgia Darlene Nolan, disappeared from Harlan County, Ky., on Nov. 28, 1976, at the age of 30. She was last seen with her estranged husband, according to the Doe Network, a volunteer organization that assists police in cases involving disappearances and unidentified victims.

Kentucky police say she exited a vehicle on an interstate near the Kentucky/Illinois border following an argument with her husband.

She was never seen again.

Since then, Austin said there's no been trace of her mother and her Social Security number hasn't been used since she went missing.

"It's horrifying going to bed every night thinking your mom's a homicide victim," said Austin.

Years Of Searching

Austin started looking for her mother about a decade ago despite pleas from some relatives to move on with her life.

"A lot of people were very hurt but they wanted to go on and forget it. But I couldn't," said Austin. "The last eight years I've been searching for her have been tormenting."

Last September, Austin came across the case of a woman found in Rockingham County.

Hunters found the skeletal remains in a shallow grave in the George Washington National Forest in Rockingham County on Nov. 14, 1980.

There were no obvious signs of foul play such as broken bones, stab or gunshot wounds, said Sgt. Felicia Glick of the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office. Glick said there were few clues but a few things were found at the scene: a dime from 1964, a heart-shaped necklace and a piece of slip-type garment.

Despite the few clues, Glick said the case was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

"Somebody couldn't have jumped into a grave and covered themselves up," she said.

By analyzing the bones, investigators determined the body was a woman, probably in her 20s. They also were able to tell that she had given birth during her life.

The case remained cold for years until Austin made contact with law enforcement.

A Possible Match?

Glick received an e-mail from a Kentucky State Police detective in September inquiring about the case and stating someone believes they might be related to the person found in the forest.

After some discussion with Austin and the detective, Glick said there was a possibility it was the missing mother.

"The age range matches, the height range matches, the fact that she had children ... that kind of all sticks out," said Glick.

Glick said a bone fragment from the woman's leg was sent to the FBI lab in Quantico for testing. As of Tuesday, the FBI is still working to extract a DNA sample from the bone.

Austin then went to a police station in Keene. There, a police officer took a cotton swab and swabbed the inside of her mouth to get a DNA sample. That sample was sent off to a lab to be analyzed so it could be compared with the DNA from the unidentified body.

Even though a match would mean her mother was a murder victim, Austin said she's eager to know what happen to her mother. Even if she's dead.

"I'm not afraid of the truth," she said. "I'm scared of not knowing."

Text Version:

(Introduction to show begins)

TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host):  I’m Todd Matthews.  This is Missing Pieces.  Tonight we have Nancy Austin.  Welcome Nancy.

NANCY AUSTIN (Guest):  Hi Todd.  How are you doing?

TODD:  I’m really good.  I’ve known you for several years now, I think, and we’ve talked quite a bit on the telephone.  Your mother, Georgia Darlene Nolan, has been missing for how long?

NANCY:  For 31 years.

TODD:  Thirty-one years.

NANCY:  Since November 1976.

TODD:  How old are you?

NANCY:  I am 31 years old.

TODD:  So you never even knew your mother at all?


TODD:  Okay.  And a lot of this I know, but I’m asking you some questions for the sake of the show.  Okay, so she was missing since November 28, 1976, from Harlan County, Kentucky, and I’ve been there, it’s quite an out-of-the-way place.  Have you been there?

NANCY:  Well yeah, I was born there.

TODD:  I mean have you visited there to search for your mother?

NANCY:  Actually I haven’t taken my search on foot to Harlan County, but presently there is an investigation going on; I suppose you would call it an investigation.  They are going around talking to family who live there.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  But no, I have not actually gone out there looking for her or her body, no.

TODD:  Have you ever thought of just going there just to see what it was like to be there?  I know I’m like that, I usually have to go to the scene where something happened; I feel like I need to be there.

NANCY:  Well I lived there for 12 years…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …until I was 12 years old, and I’ve been back several times since I’ve been grown; the last time was about 5 years ago just to visit family.

TODD:  And so you’re about the same age as she was when she went missing?

NANCY:  Actually my mother was born in 1943; I found a record of this at ancestry.com.  We thought she was born in 1946, so my mother was probably closer to her mid-thirties…33 or 34 years old.

TODD:  Okay.  Were you her only child?

NANCY:  No, my mother had 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy.  The 2 older children, the boy and one of the girls, were raised by my mother’s first husband, and I was raised the first seven years of my life anyway, with my middle sister.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  My father’s family raised her quite a bit from the time she was about 10 years old until she was a teen.

TODD:  And you expressed to her that you wanted to do your best to tell as much of the story as possible in the length of the time that we have, so I’m just going to kind of let you roll on.  I know that you know how to do that, you always know what to say and I know you’ve taken some notes, so I’ll just let you take it away from here.

NANCY:  Thank you, Todd, and feel free to jump in and have a comment at any time.

TODD:  Okay.

NANCY:  All right, well we all know my mother disappeared from Harlan County, Kentucky, in November 1976.  But my father is saying that she didn’t actually disappear, per se, from Harlan County, Kentucky.  They were separated, though legally married, at the time of her disappearance.  What happened was, he had come in from Chicago where he was living and working at the time.  When he did this, I guess he went to see her and sparks started to fly; my father’s family wanted to see the baby, which was me, and they took me to see my grandmother and my aunt in Loyall, Kentucky, which is…it’s basically in Harlan, it’s in Harlan County, not Harlan, the city.  When I went there, of course I don’t remember it, they dropped me off and they decided that they were going to get back together and head towards Chicago, Illinois.  In the course of this time, it was after 10 o’clock at night, she becomes angry some time after they had gotten on the road and gets out on the major intersection between Indiana and Illinois, to never be seen or heard from again.  Now her brother, who lives in Harlan to this day, reported her missing a couple of days after her disappearance, and the police actually did go around and ask if she was just somebody who didn’t want to be a mother and had run off or if something happened to her.

TODD:  What was your father’s explanation at the time?

NANCY:  That she just got mad and got out.

TODD:  And he never tried to file a missing person report or go after her?

NANCY:  He said he didn’t see any reason to.

TODD:  Hmm.

NANCY:  My father describes my mother as a wanderer, which her family denies that she was ever a wanderer.  My father says she would have gotten in a car with anyone.  At first he thought that she had just gotten on with her life, but today he believes that she would have contacted someone by now…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …so he does believe that she is probably dead and was probably a homicide victim.

TODD:  So you’ve had mixed feelings about this over the years as to what your father has actually told you guys about it…sometimes…

NANCY:  Well…

TODD:  …and I don’t want to put words into your mouth, but I remember in prior conversations that we’ve had, you’ve sometimes had a theory of one thing or another.

NANCY:  Well, I wasn’t there.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  And if I was there, by some chance, I was too young to remember it.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  The only thing that I am going to settle for, the only thing that I am going to believe is scientific evidence.  I want a body, if she is in fact dead, and I want a DNA test to prove that that body is her.

TODD:  So what cases have been compared?

NANCY:  I don’t know what happened to her.

TODD:  You’ve actually had cases that you’ve compared in the past, not what is currently going on, but in the past have you had certain bodies that you found that you thought, or that somebody else had found, that you thought were her?

NANCY:  Yes.  Actually we did a DNA test in Delaware; it took 2 years to complete and we got the results back last summer and of course it was ‘negative’ or we wouldn’t be here now.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I am still interested in locating the identity of the Delaware Doe.

TODD:  Okay, and we’ll actually put her case file link on your page as well, the Delaware Jane Doe, we’ll include her link on this page so that we can help tell her story as well.

NANCY:  Yeah, she was somebody’s mother.

TODD:  Well what made you think that the Delaware Jane Doe was her?

NANCY:  Well, I remember I was working with Mandy O’Blenis at the time, I don’t know if she’s still with the Doe Network, is she?

TODD:  No.

NANCY:  Okay, well I sent this into her for the Delaware Doe, and she seemed interested in it so she sent it to the Police in New Castle County, Delaware.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  And Major Hedrick, who has now retired, seemed like he was interested in it.  He felt that there was a possibility, so of course it turned out that it was not.  There are a lot of other things I want to cover, Todd, that I don’t feel have been covered in the past.  Okay, this is still a very iffy situation with my Mom and her disappearance, and I’ll tell you why.  My father’s brother, to this day, swears up and down that he saw my mother a year after the disappearance in Harlan County, Kentucky, outside of an apartment that she used to live in, and when he called her name, she ran.  He’s a fairly large man, and I’d probably run too.  But my middle sister claims that she received a telephone call about a year after Mom’s disappearance, from an unknown female caller, and this woman only wanted to know how the baby was, which was me, and she did not identify herself.  Now my sister does tend to tell tales, but the family, my Dad’s family, say they remember her receiving this telephone call.

TODD:  Do you think she actually did?  What do you feel?  Do you think she actually got a phone call or it was just wishful thinking?

NANCY:  Yes, I do believe she actually got one.

TODD:  Do you believe that it’s your mother?

NANCY:  Possibly, and the story goes on and it’s just an ever-winding, twisted road.  This is really bizarre…at the same time that my sister thinks that she may have gotten a telephone call from our mother, who was a missing person, she also said, to this day, that when she was a little girl, she remembers my…this is confusing, my father’s (because I can’t say a name), my father’s sister’s oldest daughter…are you with me?

TODD:  Uh huh.  It would be a cousin of yours.

NANCY:  Right, my cousin.  She said that my cousin told her, “Ha, ha, my Mommy and ‘the name of my Dad’ killed your Mommy,” okay?  Now I get talking to my other sister, my older sister, who wasn’t on the property when this happened, she says that our sister used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming a couple weeks after this occurred, because she spent some time over there with her, and she was screaming about what my cousin had allegedly said.  Now my sister has never told me that she saw our mother in the concrete or our mother’s belongings in the concrete…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …but my older sister is saying that she has told her that she has seen our mother and her belongings in the concrete.

TODD:  Now where was this concrete supposed to have been?

NANCY:  Okay, so I get a telephone call Friday from my older sister and she is screaming and crying.  She says, “I’m not going to accept this as my mother.  All they can give me is 80%.  My mother is not in Virginia.  She wasn’t killed by a serial killer.  I’ve known my whole life, she’s underneath that concrete slab in Loyall.”  Well, I called my uncle who owns that property, he doesn’t live there, but he owns it.  And what my uncle said to me was this, he said, “Dig it up.”  I called my sister and she says that she is going to organize everything needed to dig it up because the police are saying that they still don’t have enough evidence to dig that concrete slab up, even though they will tell me that he is a person of interest, my father.  Not a suspect.

TODD:  But if somebody has told you that it’s okay to go ahead and dig it up…?

NANCY:  Well, this is what I’m going to do…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …I’m going to stick with my DNA test with Virginia, I’m going to stick with looking for Does.  If my sister wants that dug up, she’s going to have to go down there and organize it and make sure that it happens.  I am not going to, myself, dig up father’s family property looking for my dead mother.  Do I believe that she could be in there?  I believe that anything is possible.  I don’t trust either side of my family right now and I have every reason not to trust them.

TODD:  So you prefer to see through this Jane Doe first, and what we’ve not told everybody is that there is a Jane Doe in Virginia that we think is a possible match right now; you want to see that through first before you consider the option of possibly digging up that concrete.

NANCY:  No, I’m going to let my sister…

TODD:  Let her do it on her own then, right?

NANCY:  Yes.

TODD:  Aren’t you curious though?

NANCY:  If they find the body under there, I will totally support my mother’s family.  If my father, by any means, has anything at all to do with this, he deserves whatever he gets, and I will not stand in the way of that.

TODD:  Aren’t you curious though?

NANCY:  I’m sorry?

TODD:  I said, aren’t you curious of the possibility?  I mean you’ve been very persistent with this case, I’m not sure I could stand not knowing if she was under there.  I’m not trying to talk you into digging the concrete, but isn’t it hard to just not, right now?

NANCY:  You know if the police really and truly believed that she was under there…

TODD:  Yeah.

NANCY:  …they would find a way to get her out.  That’s my common sense.

TODD:  So now, how did the recent situation, you know, now you think there’s a possibility of a Jane Doe being your mother, how did this develop?

NANCY:  I was looking online, on the Doe Network in September…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …and I came across this Jane Doe in Rockingham County, Virginia.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  She certainly is a closer match than most of them.  I have also faced the possibility that my mother may not be on the Doe Network and it’s a possibility that her body has never been found.

TODD:  Absolutely, and I think a lot of people don’t really consider that possibility at times when they’re looking through these John and Jane Does; they think either they are or they are not there, but there are a lot of bodies that have never been found yet.

NANCY:  Absolutely.

TODD:  So what did you do when you found this Jane Doe, and we’ll put the link here so that people can see what we’re looking at, but what did you do?

NANCY:  I contacted the Doe Network, I contacted the Police in Virginia, and I contacted the Police in Kentucky.

TODD:  And how did they react?

NANCY:  Well, they were interested.  Everybody was interested.  Nobody can tell me, “This is probably your mother,” or “This is probably not your mother.”  Anyone who is well-informed can tell you that you rely on DNA, and that’s what I’m waiting for, I just need to wait for the DNA because nobody is going to tell me that.

TODD:  Just one step at a time, right?

NANCY:  Right.

TODD:  Now how has life been since September with this possibility?  I know it’s probably been a rollercoaster; I’ve got a lot of emails from you and had a conversation or two with you over a period of time and it seems like things have been up and down for you.

NANCY:  Well, actually, when I was waiting for DNA from Delaware, I was literally all over the place and calling the lab every week, this time I did not do that.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I felt like I had taken responsibility and done what I was supposed to do, the only thing that I can do is wait.

TODD:  You’ve learned a lot during this.  I remember during your earlier times, you were all over the place and very enthusiastic and a lot of times I kind of had to talk you out of a few ideas, and you know I don’t blame you, but I think you’ve learned that you’ve got to take things a step at a time and I worried about you a lot, but I guess things come in time and as you get older you realize that nothing is instant and certainly this has not been instant for you.

NANCY:  You know who I worry about?  I worry about the people out there who don’t even know that their loved one could possibly be a homicide victim.  I worry about the mother of ‘Orange Socks’.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I don’t know if it’s the oldest but it’s one of the older cases from Texas, which I live in Texas, so I’m certainly very interested and concerned about that case.  And I look at the people and I see mothers and fathers, I see their lives and their families, and it hurts.  Right now, in this country, we have a silent epidemic, an unspoken crisis that is the unidentified dead and the missing.

TODD:  I don’t think people realize, and I did an interview with a reporter from AP Newswire this past weekend and she told me that when she first saw the actual number of missing and unidentified, and you know this is a very seasoned writer, she’s a national writer with AP and she’s been around, and she said she was shocked to hear the numbers and then there were still terms and situations that I described to her during the course of the interview that she had no clue what I was talking about, so obviously, this was news to her.  Like you said, it is a silent epidemic.

NANCY:  I’m sorry, but do you have an estimate?

TODD:  Well the NCIC’s estimate is over 100,000 missing and over 6,000 unidentified but we know that there are a lot more than that because not all cases are entered into the NCIC.  So just those cases alone is an overwhelming number, 6,000 John and Jane Does, over 100,000 missing; that alone is a very huge number, and we only have a fraction of them on the Doe Network.  We have several, but we by no means have the greatest percentage of them.  We have a small percent of them so it’s not unrealistic to think that if she’s not on the Doe Network and she’s not been found, she could be on a county website somewhere, she could be, quite bluntly, in a medical examiner’s office and never been taken online yet.  There are so many possibilities.

NANCY:  I know.

TODD:  But you had some hope with this and when you actually had this potential match with the Virginia case, did you have to get new DNA or were they actually able to use the old DNA with the Delaware case for you?

NANCY:  Actually what I did was I put my DNA into the National DNA database…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …thanks to you and you explained to me how to do that and the information that I need to do that.

TODD:  And you listened to me?

NANCY:  Of course.

TODD:  (Chuckles)  I’m real happy, I’m real happy you did that.  It’s so hard for a lot of people to understand and I’m glad that you were able to go through it and do it.  I know a lot of people thought, “There’s no point,” but there is a point.

NANCY:  You’re my role model, Todd.

TODD:  Oh, I hardly think so, but I hope that I’ve been able to give you a few short tips along the way, hopefully.

NANCY:  You have motivated me.  You have motivated me so much.  Your story of the Tent Girl is so inspiring and everything that you have done.

TODD:  I appreciate that.  I mean, to me, the Tent Girl is family, she’ll always be family for however…and coming up to the 40th year right now, in May it will be the 40th year since the body was found and I was there this weekend at her grave and she’s family.  So it makes me happy to see that her case is continuing to inspire people and motivate people and help them to move forward.  You know her case was 30 years old at the time so you’re at that marker right now, you’re beyond that marker right now.

NANCY:  And believe me, if your story wasn’t out there and you weren’t around, I think it would be a lot more difficult for me to keep going.  I know that there are more and more cases that are being solved at the 20-year and 30-year marker.

TODD:  I think it’s getting to be a new benchmark, you know.  Before it was 5 and 10 or less, and I think the technology and the potential matches…not only the Doe Network has potential matches, law enforcement has a database of potential matches and as they rule cases out, they build a database of ‘ruled outs’ so they’re not making the same mistakes over and over.

NANCY:  History is definitely being made and Todd, you’re definitely part of that history, as well as the Doe Network is part of that history.

TODD:  We’re definitely trying.

NANCY:  There was something else that I wanted to make sure that we covered.

TODD:  Okay.

NANCY:  I met a woman in California about 12 years ago when I was 18 and I’m now 31; she looked like my mother, resembled her from photographs…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY: …only older and heavier, and I began talking to her and the subject of my being from Kentucky, originally, came up, and she said that at one time she had known my mother and father, and that someone in Virginia, ironically enough, may know where my mother is.  So I kind of let it go, I wasn’t aggressively pursuing the case yet.  Well, through talking to my sister about this, and very recently, just a couple of months ago, my older sister she told me that one time Mom did disappear, before the big disappearance, so the rest of Mom’s family denied that she ever disappeared before this.  Okay, so my Mom disappeared and went to Rose Hill, Virginia for 6 months where she stayed with, I’m going to go ahead and say her name, Bessie Turner, because…well, I don’t know if she’s dead or not, but she would be my grandmother, Cathy Turner, who is dead, she would be her mother.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  Now, this is the record for Bessie Turner, who is in Rose Hill, Virginia, she is about 96 years old, and this is showing online through a search, okay.  So my cousin talked to her father about this, my mother’s brother, and he said that yes we have family in Rose Hill, Virginia, and they believe that he believes that Bessie Turner is probably still alive, along with her son.  Well, my cousin and I both tried to find a number for Bessie Turner and it’s unlisted.  Okay, now I’m rolling again, good.

TODD:  (Chuckles)

NANCY:  I’ve got a lot going on around me, my kids are running around in the other room, and the dogs are barking…

TODD:  I know the feeling.

NANCY:  …and then I talked to my other uncle, my Mom’s other brother, and he said that Bessie Turner died in 1942, and that the sons are also deceased, so that theory just emptied out right there.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  Also, my oldest sister, who by the way is the one who called me up screaming and cussing and crying that our mother is underneath that concrete, the same one, told me just a couple of months ago that a neighbor of hers…see my sister is 15 years older than me, a neighbor of hers asked her one day, probably back in the 1980s sometime, she said, “Well how is your mother?”  My sister said, “Well my mother has been a missing person since 1976.”  And the woman said, “Well your mother can’t be a missing person because I just saw her a few years ago in a beauty parlor in Harlan, and she said she only comes in to see her mother and she didn’t want anyone to know she was there.”  The problem with that is, and there is a problem; my mother’s mother lived with Cathy Turner who is no longer alive.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  Cathy Turner, my Mom’s mother, lived with her son.  Now wouldn’t her son, who is also claiming that my mother is underneath that patio, wouldn’t he have seen her?

TODD:  Maybe he’s just not telling.

NANCY:  There are also rumors going around, and her side of the family is actually spreading these rumors, that Georgia may be running from the police.  There are allegations that she abused her children but the police have never mentioned anything to me of this nature.  There are also allegations that the police may want to find her because she never paid child support.  The County had to eventually take over my middle sister and take care of her.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I don’t really place a lot of importance on that; I doubt that after 31 years she’d be hiding from the police over that sort of stuff.  Could she be out there and not want to be found?  Boy, I tell you sometimes, I wonder.

TODD:  Makes sense though, doesn’t it?  The possibility is there.  The only one thing you’ve got to go one right now for sure is the Virginia Jane Doe, that you’ve actually got some DNA in the process, so that’s something you know you can actually look through and resolve, based on the DNA.

NANCY:  Well, and I’m glad that you brought that up because my mother’s family is saying that my Mom always did her hair up in bobbypins…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …and that she would hold those bobbypins between her teeth.  Would that be enough to chip the teeth or lose the imprint, I’m not sure, what are they saying about the teeth?

TODD:  I’m not really sure; I’d have to read it.  We can post the data in the actual website, but I’ve heard that countless times where people would hold pins or bobbypins or needles, you know, in between their teeth and it would wear them.

NANCY:  Right.

TODD:  So I know that’s definitely a possibility.

NANCY:  Did she do this enough for it to have left forensic evidence?

TODD:  If she did it every day, the possibility is really good, if she pinned her hair every day and held the pins in her mouth, I’m sure there is a possibility.

NANCY:  When I was a little girl, I used hot rollers, it’s very different.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I don’t know.  But I do know that the age of clothes, my Mom was in her early to mid-thirties, and this woman was in her twenties; that’s not super close, but it’s close enough because I remember in the case of the Tent Girl, they thought she was a teenager and she was actually a young mother in her twenties.

TODD:  Yeah, at that time, they could have been all over the place.  Unless you have forensic anthropologists actually looking at the remains, it’s hard to say, you know, you have a pathologist and they’re good with soft tissue, but the bone structures are a little bit different story.

NANCY:  I know that she was a mother.  They had determined that she had at least one child; my mother had four.  My sister was explaining to me, and I didn’t know this, that after a woman has not had a baby for 10 years, because she had me and my middle sister 10 years apart, after a woman has not had a baby for 10 years, it was almost as if she had never had one.

TODD:  Have you found out if that is actually a true statement?

NANCY:  Well, I don’t know the scientific truth of that but it makes sense.

TODD:  Well if it’s the actual marking on the bone, that bone is probably not going to restore itself back.  I guess it just depends on the situation, case by case, but I wouldn’t let that change my mind about something.  You know DNA definitely is really the only way for sure in a situation like this.

NANCY:  Absolutely.

TODD:  So what’s next?  How long do you think it will be before you get the DNA test results?

NANCY:  I’m told several weeks; I’ve heard 2 weeks, I’ve heard several weeks.

TODD:  What are you going to do with the time that you are waiting?  Nancy’s not a very patient girl, I know.  I don’t know what you’re going to do in this time.

NANCY:  Pardon?

TODD:  I said, you’re not a very patient girl; you’re going to tear your hair out waiting.

NANCY:  No, I’m not the most patient person, and of course I always used the ‘poor me, my mother’s been missing 31 years,’ would you be patient?

TODD:  No.  No, I can understand it.

NANCY:  And I found that, you know what, I have to get over that because we’re talking about science, and science is not something that you can rush.

TODD:  Now I’m going to ask you something that’s a little harder.  Do you want this to be her?  Is that what it’s going to take to end it for you?  You just want an answer, right?

NANCY:  I just want an answer.  I would rather that she’s alive somewhere but it doesn’t look that way.  The police say that she has not used her Social Security Number in 31 years.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  So that’s the only evidence I have that she may be dead.

TODD:  So I think that you’re just going to have to wait this one out.  Now you’ve had interest now, I had a guy from AP News that actually wanted your contact information and this is a big achievement.  You know you don’t get the AP Newswire’s interest and I hope that that’s a good thing, whether this turns out to be her or not, it’ll definitely take your story to a new level, and your effort and your struggle to a new level because it’s like you said about role model and the Tent Girl before, but there is also a role model in the search for one’s mother that’s definitely inspiring.

NANCY:  Well I appreciate that and you know that most days I don’t feel that way about myself.

TODD:  And that’s normal, believe me, that’s normal.

NANCY:  I have lost contact with my father.

TODD:  Because of this?

NANCY:  Yes.  Yes.  He tells me that he does not understand why I would want to find my mother.

TODD:  That’s self-explanatory though, is he saying that because she left and she’s not worthy of your interest, or what?

NANCY:  Yeah, but we don’t know that; when someone has also left her two brothers and her mother was alive at the time, we have no proof that she went to see her mother, and the woman who said that is now dead.  And I don’t trust anything my family tells me, to be honest, on either side.  How can I?

TODD:  Well, I’m glad you finally got to a point where you had something to compare it again.  It’s a very important time for you; this is black and white.

NANCY:  Yeah.  The biggest lesson is that the family has to pursue these cases.  The police have too many things to do and new cases coming, and like you said, how many cases did you say there are right now?

TODD:  Over 100,000 missing…much more than that.

NANCY:  Yeah, that is why people need to know about the Doe Network.  That is why people need to break down these stereotypes that they have, such as, when she first disappeared, my father assumed that she probably just left her children, but now it’s not looking like we can be so sure about that.

TODD:  Don’t you think he should have been concerned himself?  I mean that was his wife?

NANCY:  Absolutely.  And also, he never took responsibility for the fact that he went out one night, late at night, on the intersection with his wife, with the woman that had his baby, he has never taken responsibility that he came back, but she never did.  Now that’s what upsets me.  He has never tried to find her, he has never taken that responsibility or shown condolences for her family, he is just very bitter about it, my mother was never spoken of to me for the first 18 years of my life, except for once when I brought her up to my aunt, who immediately told my father, who took me aside and told me briefly about my mother and I honestly believe, knowing him the way I do, that he had hoped that would be it.

TODD:  Have you ever suspected that your father could have been involved in her disappearance?  I think I already know the answer to that, I mean, things cross people’s minds.

NANCY:  I don’t really have an answer to that because if I have suspected it…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …I wouldn’t have known…I just don’t know what happened.  I really don’t.

TODD:  It’s a lot to think about, I know.

NANCY:  Yeah.  How would I know?  I was a baby.

TODD:  Well, you know, their actions now.  You have to wonder, why do people do certain things, and why they react in certain ways, it’s just a lot to think about.  And he should certainly understand your need to try to find out what happened, I mean, it’s your history too.  Right?

NANCY:  Yeah, and this is a very well-informed man who watches CNN; he knows what’s going on out there in the world, but when it comes to cold cases, he’s not very interested.  He just sort of has the attitude, “Well if women put themselves in a bad situation, something is going to happen to them,” and this is very true, but unfortunately there are sickos out there who think that a woman going to the grocery store late at night by herself, is an opportunity.

TODD:  Absolutely.

NANCY:  And it doesn’t matter who the woman was, if she was a prostitute or what she was wearing, she is still a victim, she didn’t ask to be killed.  These are things that people just don’t think about.  They brush off these cases of ‘unidentifieds’ not realizing that it could happen to anyone, it happens to men, was the man wearing a low-cut top, I don’t know.

TODD:  You’ve got an interesting way of looking at that.

NANCY:  I’m sorry.

TODD:  That’s okay.  This hour is to let you rant and rave and do what you want to do and tell your story, and I definitely want to get you back when this DNA test, you know a lot of us are anxiously watching what’s going to happen with that, the DNA test results.  And like I’d like to have you back here again and we’ll tell the rest of the story and see what has happened.  I’m very interested in what’s going to happen next, it’s an exciting time to know.

NANCY:  Yeah.  I truly believe that this will unfold and probably pretty quickly, hopefully.

TODD:  (Chuckles)

NANCY:  I think I’m at the end of the journey, I hope.

TODD:  Well, we’ll see.  We’ll see soon.  Do you have anything else that you wanted to add?  We’ve actually went through your story really fast.

NANCY:  I just wanted to add that I don’t know what happened to my mother or I wouldn’t be doing this.  I don’t deserve the way that my family has treated me on both sides…

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  …and my mother, certainly, if she is by any chance a victim, did not deserve being unidentified for 31 years.

TODD:  No one does, so…no one does.  Okay, so I definitely want to hear back from you immediately, and I’m sure that I will.  You usually keep me very well informed with what’s going on and we’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope for whatever is best for your case.

NANCY:  Thank you, Todd.

TODD:  I hope it ends soon for you so that you can move on, and I’m sure that you can help other people, I know you can.

NANCY:  I want to move on.  I want to move on and I want to help other people.

TODD:  I think you will.

NANCY:  I really do.

TODD:  I think you will.

NANCY:  I have several cases that I already want to solve.

TODD:  Well maybe you’ll have more time to focus on those and it won’t be such a burden upon you like your mother’s case has been with that sense of urgency; you can kind of relax and take it a little slower.  Your mother’s case has been quite different, I know, it’s a different feeling when it’s your family.

NANCY:  And everyone’s feelings are getting bruised, you just feel like this is the best thing that you could possibly do, because you know you can’t stop.

TODD:  Uh huh.

NANCY:  I sure can’t stop; I’ve tried.  The only thing that I can really do is solve it.  That’s it.  It’s either that or do this for the rest of my life.

TODD:  And nobody wants to do that, that’s for sure.

NANCY:  Nobody wants to work on the same case for the rest of their life, no.

TODD:  Well, we’ll say goodnight to the audience now, and you and I will chat just for a minute longer and we’ll wait for Chapter II here.

NANCY:  Goodnight everybody.

TODD:  Goodnight everybody.  Bye-bye.

Georgia Darlene Nolan's Vitals:
Missing Since: November 1976 from Harlan, Kentucky
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: June 5, 1946
Age: 30 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'5, 120 - 130 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Dark brown hair, brown eyes. Nolan has a mole on the back of her neck, a scar on her forehead and severe scarring on her back from deep stab wounds. She smoked cigarettes at the time of her disappearance.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A cross necklace and possibly an Indian-style shirt.
Medical Conditions: Nolan may have slight arthritis in her hands.

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Aired: February 26, 2008
Daughter's Search Leads To Decades-Old Case
Guest: Nancy Austin
Daughter of "Georgia Darlene Nolan"
Victim discovered on November 14, 1980 in Rockingham County, Virginia
(Doe Network Case File 568UFVA)
Special Thanks to
with www.whokilledtheresa.blogspot.com
for transcribing this episode!