Overview of Melanie Melanson
October 27, 1989, was an average day for Melanie Jo Melanson, who followed her normal daily routine and spent her day at Woburn High School where she was a freshman, before walking to her grandmother's home with a friend in the afternoon. After she had arrived home, Melanie had informed her grandmother that she would be spending the night at a friend's house, who lived right next door. Unfortunately, this would not be the truth behind Melanie's plans for that evening, and she would attend a party on the outskirts of town in a wooded area instead.
This party, which took place on the outskirts of Woburn, MA in a densely wooded area behind an industrial park, was attended by around a dozen high school students, all older than Melanie. According to information learned throughout the investigation, the party began to die down at around 10:30 pm, and attendees would slowly begin trickling out of the woods, eventually leaving Melanie alone with two older boys, James "Jimmy" Tresca and Eugene "Gene" Bertini, who were the last known people to see Melanie alive that night.
According to their statements to police, Tresca left the party and offered everyone, including Melanie, a ride home. Although several people would accept his offer, Melanie declined and stayed at the party with Bertini. Bertini told police in his statements that he parted ways with Melanie at the top end of a walking path at the industrial park near where the party was held. Both boys maintain their claims that they do not know what happened to Melanie that night, and each claims that the other boy was the last person to see her.
When Melanie's grandmother woke up the following morning and was unable to find her, she began frantically calling friends, family, and even most of the attendees of the party the night before. When Melanie's family was unable to find her, they would quickly report her missing.
Officials originally believed that Melanie may have left intentionally, a belief caused by a previous runaway attempt made by Melanie. This belief, however, would quickly subside as a possibility when investigators talked further with family members and learned that there were several things that Melanie was looking forward to, including her 15th birthday, which was only 5 days after her disappearance, the removal of her braces, and a plan to go shopping with her father the following day to purchase a birthday present. Currently, authorities believe that Melanie was a victim of foul play and that her remains are still in Woburn, MA.
In the 32 years that have passed since Melanie's disappearance, police have continued their persistent investigation into her whereabouts, currently believing that Melanie had been killed that night, and that her body is either in the area of where the party was held or has been moved to a different location. In 1992, police searched a pond after receiving an anonymous tip claiming that Melanie was inside of a car in the pond, this search would turn up empty-handed.
The next big movement in the case wouldn't happen until 2009 when there was a massive push for new information and the case was officially reopened. Investigators reopened the case when they received a tip involving a location near the General Foods Plant, near where the party was held in October 1989. Although nothing was found during the excavation of this area, the tips continue for several years, and the excavations and searches continue from 2011-2015. Although no substantial evidence is known to have been found during any of these searches, we do know that 'elements of human decomposition' were found in one area that was searched extensively. The most recent update in the disappearance of Melanie Melanson was a search completed in August 2015, of a backyard which was recently made available to investigators.
At the time of her disappearance, Melanie Jo Melanson was 14 years old, 5'3" tall, and weighed 105lbs, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Melanie had braces and both of her ears pierced. There is currently a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) involved in Melanie's disappearance.