SHERBORN, Mass. - It's been 40 years since 17-year-old Simone Ridinger disappeared while traveling to Martha’s Vineyard, but investigators now say they there are promising new leads.
Boston 25 News reporter Bob Ward has new details about this New England's Unsolved case he’s followed for years, with the details on where police are now focusing their search for answers.
In September 1977, Simone was hitchhiking her way to Martha’s Vineyard to meet up with her family when she disappeared.
“I heard about the case, I thought ‘let’s take a peek at it and see what it’s all about,’” said Sherborn Police Detective James Godhino.
Godhino has spent the last several years, tracing Simone's last known steps. He's determined to find her and he's already come up with a big development.
“I figured, at the very least, let’s give this case everything it deserves,” he said.
On Sept. 2, 1977, Simone left her waitress job in Natick and started hitchhiking toward Cape Cod.
A week later, after Simone was reported missing, police publicly revealed what she was last seen wearing, but it turns that description was wrong.
In 2014, two co-workers gave detective Godhino a new description and it corroborated information contained in an old police report.
“I almost froze when I saw this,” he said.
In 1986, nine years after Simone disappeared, a 70-year-old man came forward to Sherborn police with a strange story.
The man said he was pulled over on Route 128 south in Westwood and gave her a ride all the way to the Hyannis rotary.
Sherborn police now say, when Simone disappeared, she was wearing white sneakers, patched blue jeans and a blue button up vest. She was carrying a small grayish Army-style duffel bag which may have contained a blue skirt.
But police caution that part of the man’s story doesn’t seem to make sense. He claimed a state trooper pulled him over on the highway and Simone was in the cruiser at the time. The man claimed the trooper asked him to give Simone a ride to the Cape. Police say this casts doubt on the man’s story because that is against protocol.
Police are hoping, even 40 years later, someone on Cape Cod, near the Hyannis rotary, might remember seeing her.
“Until every lead is exhausted, there is no point in stopping with this case. because there are still viable leads to look at,” said Det. Godhino.
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