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The Unsolved: Jolene Lakey's family still searching

The Lakey family from Scranton lost their best hope for answers in Jolene's disappearance.

Stacy Lange

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Published: 11:18 PM EST November 14, 2022
Updated: 11:18 PM EST November 14, 2022

Jolene Lakey, age 11, disappeared while walking back to her Scranton home in 1986.

For decades, her family has hoped for a break in the case. But new information may mean Jolene's case will never be solved.

One of Jolene's two sisters, Justina Forsythe, told Newswatch 16 that she remembers her little sister as vividly as Jolene lived.

"She was a character, and she wore loud, vibrant, and clashing clothes and was just a riot. She was very fun and full of love," Forsythe said.

The pain is also just as fresh.

It was August of 1986. Their mother was sick and staying at what was then Mercy Hospital, now Regional Hospital of Scranton. 11-year-old Jolene went to visit her mom and then set out on foot to the family home a few blocks away.

She stopped to talk to a friend at the corner of Myrtle Street and North Washington Avenue but never made it to her house on the 1300 block of North Washington.

Nearly every year since, Jolene's sisters and brother, along with family and friends, follow that path home that Jolene never finished.

"There is literally no way to describe the loss because she was a kid; she was just a little kid. And I wonder what she would have turned out to be," said Jolene's other sister Lois Feringa.

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