Eloise Anne Worledge lived in Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia, with her parents Lindsay Worledge (father), and Patsy Worledge (Mother). She also had a younger brother.
At 7:30am, on the 12th of January 1976, Eloise’s four-year-old brother alerted his parents that his eight-year-old sister, Eloise, was not in her room.
The police were called, and after inspecting the room, they found no sign of a struggle. They believed that Eloise had been lured from her bed by somebody that she knew and trusted, and had left the house through the front door which had been left unlocked.
There was also a possibility that she was abducted by a stalker who was known to be in the area at the time.
Eloise’s brother told police that he heard “robbers” who had kidnapped her but was too scared to say anything because he thought that they might take him as well. Her brother also described hearing “crackling noises”, which the police believe to be consistent with steps on the sea-grass floor covering Eloise’s bedroom.
A dark green car that was speeding down Scott Street was reported by a neighbour at 2am. Another neighbour reported seeing a Holden station wagon, dark green in colour, parked close to the Worledge’s home. The neighbour said she did not recognise the car.
Ann Same, another neighbour, said that at around midnight on the night Eloise went missing, she saw a young man walking down the fenceline of the Worledge’s home. Ann said that the young man made her feel so uneasy and frightened that she crossed the street to avoid him.
Around the same time as Ann saw the young man, Molly Salts, a neighbour from the same street just a bit further down, reported seeing a young man jump the fence into the Worledge’s property after he had run in front of her car and across the street.
At 2am, two neighbours, Ann Same and Daphne Owen-Smith, reported hearing a child’s cry and a car door slamming shut.
Both of Eloise’s parents were originally treated as suspects. At the time of Eloise’s disappearance, both her mother and father were having affairs, and her father, Lindsay, was suspected to be feeling depressed due to the divorce that was going to happen between the pair. Lindsay was supposed to move out of the family home on the day that Eloise went missing.
At the time of Eloise’s disappearance, Patsy told police that she believed her husband was involved in the disappearance of Eloise as a way of prolonging the separation and divorce of the pair, and a way of spiting her.
On the night of Eloise’s disappearance, Lindsay had gone to bed over an hour and a half after Eloise, and just over an hour after his wife, Patsy. The door was left unlocked because he didn’t know that Patsy had forgotten to lock the door, and assumed that it was already locked.
A light was left on in the hallway when the children went to bed each night, and when the last parent would come to bed they would turn the light off. Police have said that Lindsay did not turn off the light that evening.
However, when Patsy woke up at 4:45am to use the toilet, the light had been turned off. It is strongly believed that Eloise had already been taken by this time.
Despite several extensive searches, and a $10,000 reward that was posted in 1976, no sign of Eloise has ever been found.
Homicide cold case detectives reopened the case in 2001, but no new leads were found, and since then the case has remained a cold case.
Unsolved, Cold Case, Missing, Missing Person, Missing Child, Abduction, Australia