Disappeared: 31st December 1959, aged 16
Mary Flanagan disappeared from her London home on New Years Eve in 1959. She was 16 years old at the time, and today it remains the oldest open missing persons case on the books of the Metropolitan Police.
Some believe that Mary may have fell pregnant, and being a catholic and unmarried may have been too ashamed or frightened to tell her parents so instead ran away, either on her own or with her secret boyfriend at the time, who is believed to have been an irish immigrant in the merchant navy. However he could never be traced when the police looked into this. Mary’s sister, reported that shortly before her disappearance, Mary had been in a bitter argument with her boyfriend, and in tears afterwards, told her sister that she planned to end the relationship.
On the day of her disappearance Mary was due to attend her works New Year’s Eve party, but didn’t show up. And in fact it was later discovered that she had not been at work for the previous fortnight.
In January 2017, the charity Missing People commissioned a new age progressed image of Mary, by Tim Widden, a UK forensic artist.