|Paulding family hopes shoe can solve a 53-year-old murder|
|Friday, October 18, 2013 12:17 AM|
BY NANCY WHITAKER
A small-sized ladies black shoe was uncovered at the old Paulding County Jail site. It is possible that the shoe is part of the missing evidence from the case. Evidence that was found during the original investigation has been missing for many years, although it was supposedly stored in the old jail. Could this shoe be part of the missing evidence from the unsolved Nancy Eagleson murder case? A shoe, along with the slain teen’s dress, scarf, purse and her personal belongings, simply disappeared.
Recently, the owners of All Trades Restoration Company, Jeff and Cassie Hollis, have been working on restoring the old jail, which they purchased from the county earlier this year. Plans were underway for some tours and overnight paranormal investigations.
When speaking with Hollis about their plans for haunted jail tours for Halloween, Hollis revealed some of the things he had unearthed in the basement. The Hollises had heard some things about the Nancy Eagleson case but thought the evidence just consisted of paperwork.
This reporter spoke to Jeff about Nancy’s missing belongings and told him what some of the items were, including a shoe. He then said, “You won’t believe this but I found a shoe.”
In the process of restoration, a crew working in the basement last week had knocked out parts of a wall underneath a vent. Behind the wall was a narrow passageway between stone walls. They began leveling the dirt on the floor and uncovered an old shoe, a piece of material and an old license plate. They also found numerous bones, which turned out to be animal remains. At that point, they had stopped digging.
Hollis got the shoe out for this reporter to look at. Even though it is deteriorated, one can tell it was a black shoe, high-heeled and a small size.
Could this be Nancy Eagleson’s shoe?
After discussing the find, he asked that the Eagleson family be contacted about what was found and ask if they wanted to see the shoe.
The Eagleson family was contacted and asked what color and size Nancy’s shoe was. They then were told a shoe similar to that of Nancy’s had been found. The goal was not to raise their hopes, but to let them know something had been discovered.
The Eagleson family then contacted the Hollises and made an appointment to go see the evidence last Friday. Nancy’s, Bettie, remained in the car for health reasons but her daughters Sheryl and Merrill asked her to describe the shoe prior to showing it to her.
The shoe was placed in a plastic bag and was taken out to Bettie to see if it was indeed Nancy’s shoe. Bettie identified the shoe as being like the ones Nancy had been wearing.
Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers was then notified. Sheriff Landers took the shoe and cloth as evidence and told the Hollises not to let anyone near where the items had been removed.
Landers said he would call the officials from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to get instructions on how to handle the find. This organization was in Paulding County two years ago to investigate the case.
A spokesman for NCMEC said that afternoon that it had been made aware of the find. Authorities planned to continue to dig in the jail basement to see if any other items are still buried.
Later that day, two vans from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) were on scene.
Landers said that nothing new was found on that day. Digging was suspended for the weekend and Monday’s Columbus Day holiday but resumed Tuesday morning.
But the questions are already circulating throughout Paulding; Could this be a long-awaited break in this over 50-year-old murder case? If it is not Eagleson’s shoe, whose is it? And why was it buried in a walled-up tunnel deep underneath the historical structure?
The Eaglesons and many others are hoping that the discovered shoe is one of the shoes she wore that night when she was snatched and pulled into a car as she and her 5-year-old sister were walking home from seeing a movie. The further hope is that DNA testing may reveal what couldn’t be revealed in 1960 — the identity of the man who kidnapped, raped, and shot Nancy Eagleson.