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Scranton Girl's Disappearance Haunts Investigators Nearly 40 Years Later

By Mac Bullock,

Jolene Michelle Lakey Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers

The 11-year-old was walking back with a friend after visiting her sick mother at Mercy Hospital, now the Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital, on August 26, 1986, according to state police investigators.

They parted ways after reaching her friend's house on Myrtle Street, and Lakey continued onto North Washington Avenue toward her home on the 1300 block.

She never made it, say the Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.

Witnesses reported that a child matching Lakey's description was picked up in an unidentified light-yellow car about a block from her house. She has not been seen since.

The case has languished in the decades following without a single arrest made.

According to a report by WNEP last November, police considered the late Scranton businessman Frank Osellanie the "main suspect" in the case.

Osellanie became a suspect in the Lakey case after he pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of 9-year-old Renee Waddle in 1990, though he was never charged, the outlet reported.

He died in a state prison in 2020.

Troopers believe the case is still solvable, and anyone with information is urged to call the Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-472-8477 or submit an anonymous tip online.

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