Local News

Missing brothers case is NC's oldest unsolved disappearance

Posted March 3, 2013 12:53 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2013 12:54 p.m. EST

— The case of two missing Fayetteville brothers, a 6-year-old and 11-year-old, who vanished in 1964, is the oldest unsolved disappearance on the books in North Carolina.

If Alan and Terry Westerfield were around today, they'd be 56 and 60 years old respectively. But their family believes the worst has happened.

"I've come to the conclusion that those children are dead," John McDougald, the Westerfield boys' uncle, told WRAL News nearly 14 years ago. "My whole family was completely devastated by that, and to be completely honest with you, none of us have ever gotten over it."

According to police reports, the boy's stepfather dropped them off at Fayetteville's popular Broadway Theater on Sept. 12, 1964, and they were never seen again.

McDougald said the boys often went to the theater.

"They loved to be children. They loved to play. They loved to ride bikes. They loved to go to the movies," he said.

Some theater employees said they saw the brothers that day. Others said they didn't.

"Some of the people who were working at the theater at the time insisted they never showed up because the mother was always real strict about, when the movie is over, don't go outside and wait," said Lt. Bruce Moore with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. "(She would say), 'You wait inside, and I'll step inside and get you.'"

Heavy rain from Hurricane Dora hampered the search in the crucial 48 hour period after the boys were reported missing and, once the story hit the newspapers, tips flooded in from across the state, as well as from Mississippi and Arizona.

Still, Terry and Alan Westerfield were never found.

"I just wish that we could bring a closure some way, some how, because I firmly believe that there's somebody out there that knows something," McDougald said. "I just wish that they would come forward."

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Terry and Alan Westerfield can call NC Wanted's toll-free hotline at 1-866-43-WANTED, or go to the NC Wanted website and click "Report a Tip."

Callers never have to identify themselves.