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Old 05-21-2009, 05:53 PM   #35
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Article mentioned and featured on UM. No real revelations here, but still a good supplement to the segment:

Miami Herald, The (FL)

March 24, 1990


Author: JON O'NEILL Herald Staff Writer

Edition: FINAL
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1B

Index Terms:

Estimated printed pages: 3

Article Text:

Two mysterious phone calls from Nebraska have prompted Coral Gables police to reopen the "missing person" investigation of Judith Carole Hyams -- unsolved for 24 years.

She disappeared Sept. 14, 1965.

Hyams, then 22, the daughter of a wealthy developer, vanished after she left her job as a lab technician at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Police suspected she died after a botched abortion.

The case was all but forgotten until Tuesday when Coral Gables police Capt. Charles Scherer received a telephone call. Earlier this month, he lectured in Grand Island, Neb., 188 miles
from Omaha.

The caller said he was Steve Brown, the host of an Omaha radio talk show. He said someone called into his show and asked about Hyams. The caller said he knew that Hyams was alive and living in Omaha. Brown left two phone numbers with the captain.

Scherer said he didn't know anything about the case, but would check it out. He called back later that day.

But when he reached the talk show host, Brown said he didn't know what Scherer was talking about. The real Steve Brown denied making the original call.

The captain read Brown the second telephone number. It was Brown's unlisted home phone.

"That really puzzled me," said Brown, manager of station KKAR in Omaha. "I guess maybe 50 people have that number, but I have no idea who made the call to Capt. Scherer. I don't know anything about the case, and I'm pretty mystified."

A second call to Scherer came Wednesday from a woman who refused to identify herself. "She informed me that Judith was indeed alive and living in Nebraska." Nothing else. Then she hung up.

"Because of these calls, we've decided to reopen the case," Scherer said. "We want to see what's behind all of this."

Scherer, a teen-ager when Hyams disappeared, didn't mention the case during his three days in Nebraska.

"I did give my business card to quite a few law enforcement people, that's about all," he said.

Those who have lived with the case for the last 24 years are perplexed by the calls.

"It's so hard to believe," said Judith's mother, Pearl. "It sounds so far-fetched. We don't know anyone in Nebraska. Why would she go there? She was too attached to us."

Sgt. Harry Purcell, now retired from the Coral Gables police department, worked the case. He said Friday, "I really can't believe she's alive because of the way the case just came to a standstill. It certainly is strange the way the calls came in, though."

Coral Gables police have asked authorities in Omaha for help in running down the anonymous tips.

"We have an obligation to look into this," Scherer said.

Hyams was last seen in the hospital parking lot. She was driving a rented Chevrolet Impala.

Police found the car later in Atlanta. It yielded no clues. Her disappearance attracted nationwide media attention.

Police learned that Hyams had recently been divorced and had deposited a $25,000 settlement in a Los Angeles bank. But the money was never touched. Seven years later, when she was declared dead, the money was turned over to her family.

Police also learned that two weeks before she vanished, Hyams had found out that she was pregnant after a test at a medical lab where she gave her name as "B. Keeney."

Four days before she disappeared she met with George Hajdu, a Hungarian doctor once convicted of unlawful medical practice. Police said Hajdu agreed to perform an abortion for $300. It was scheduled the afternoon she disappeared.

Police believe the abortion was performed that day, although Hajdu denied it.

Hajdu became the "prime suspect." In 1967, the state charged him with conspiring to perform an abortion on Hyams. But Hajdu skipped bond -- and hasn't been heard from since.

"We heard rumors from Interpol that he was in Europe, but nothing was ever confirmed," Purcell said. "For all we know, he could be having lunch across the street from the police station right now."

"I would like nothing better than to hear that she's alive," Pearl Hyams said. "I just don't think it's true."

photo: Judith Carole HYAMS

Copyright (c) 1990 The Miami Herald
Record Number: 9001210439
"Why is she lying?, it makes me wonder. What is she hiding?, it makes me wonder."

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