“On June 19, 1974, 14-year-old Margaret and her cousin Lynn Parks, posted an advertisement in the local newspaper offering babysitting services. Almost immediately, a man referring to himself as John Marshall responded claiming he and his wife needed a babysitter for their 5-year-old son on weekdays from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm in the nearby town of Mount Holly. He also offered her $40 a week plus bus fare.
Following a phone call between the man and Margaret’s father, David Fox, it was agreed that Margaret would begin her babysitting job with them on June 21st, this was initially postponed due to a supposed death in the family and rescheduled for June 24th. He instructed that Margaret should take a bus to Mount Holly and he would pick her up in his Red Volkswagen at the corner of Mill and High streets.
The morning of June 24, 1974 arrived and Margaret left her home in Burlington, New Jersey accompanied by her brother Joe, they walked to the bus stop at the corner of High and West broad streets in Burlington. Joe witnessed her get onto the bus around 8:40 am for the 20-minute ride to Mount Holly. Margaret’s parents had previously asked her to call them upon her arrival at the Marshall’s residence.
When this call never came, Margaret’s parents David and Mary Fox became increasingly concerned. They attempted to contact Margaret with the number they believed to belong to the Marshall residence but no one answered. Margaret had left notes containing information about the job including that either John or his wife would drop her back home early that afternoon so they waited patiently hoping she would return at the time stated.
Margaret never returned home and at Midnight after family and friends had already conducted searches for Margaret, a missing person report was filled. Upon reviewing the initial evidence and talking to the family, police quickly dismissed the idea that Margaret could be a runaway. They looked into the number provided by ‘John Marshall’ and it was traced back to a phone booth outside an A&P grocery store on Route 38, Lumberton, New Jersey.
Other Initial investigations including canvassing the area of Mount Holly with Margaret’s photo and boarding the bus Margaret rode to search for clues failed to locate Margaret.
Witnesses later reported seeing Margaret both on her bus and upon alighting the bus in Mount Holly and walking near Mill and High streets. She was also spotted talking to a young man in a red sports car. These are the last known sightings of Margaret Ellen Fox.
On June 28th, the FBI got involved and began recording all phone calls coming into the Fox household. The day after Margaret’s information was circulated to local media, a man called the Fox residence demanding $10,000 for Margaret’s safe return and stating “$10,000 is a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping,” a letter was also received stating this same thing. David and Mary waited for further instructions but never received them. The call wasn’t released to the public until 2019 as part of a fresh effort to find out what happened to Margaret. The caller has never been identified and it is still unknown whether the caller was involved in the disappearance of Margaret or not.
There has only ever been one suspect in the disappearance of Margaret. During the early days of the investigation, an employee at the A & P store where the call was made prior to the disappearance, called John Marshall was identified. However, he was investigated and cleared after his alibi checked out and he passed a polygraph test. Some remained suspicious due to the fact that polygraphs aren’t always conclusive but it is generally believed the person responsible would not have used their real name.
Margaret was 105 pounds, 5’2 at the time of her disappearance, and had brown hair and blue eyes. Two of her top front right teeth were missing and she wore glasses with hexagonal lenses. At the time of her disappearance, she was reported to be wearing maroon jeans with a yellow patch on the knee and flared at the bottom, a blue blouse, a white and black or blue checkered jacket, and brown sandals with a heel strap. Plus jewelry (a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone, a gold charm bracelet with a blue stone) she was also carrying an eyeglass case with a huckleberry hound design on it, her purse, and a bathing suit.
David and Mary have since sadly passed away but Margaret’s siblings continue to search for answers and justice for their sister. A $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the person(s) responsible is being offered by the FBI
If you have any information about the disappearance of Margaret Ellen Fox, please contact your local FBI office, American embassy, or consulate. It is never too late for the truth to come out.”