Top Theories in American’s Oldest Missing Persons Case from 1910

In December 1910, Dorothy Arnold, a 25-year-old high-profile rich girl, vanished after taking a stroll from her Upper East Side mansion. With her was the equivalent of $1,000 in today’s currency. 

It was a cold Monday morning when she disappeared.

Arnold, the oldest daughter of perfume importer Francis R Arnold, disappeared after leaving her jewelry and passport at home and heading toward Central Park. That was the last anyone saw her.

Detectives, armchair or otherwise, haven’t been able to solve her disappearance for over one hundred and ten tears, making it the oldest documented missing persons case in American history. 

That night, the family became worried when she didn’t come back home. Instead of calling the police, they hired a private detective because they were concerned about what the negative publicity might do to the family. However, no leads were ever produced.

There are numerous theories, ranging from abduction to a desire to disappear, but none offer a conclusive answer to the question that has troubled generations.

Dorothy was a young woman from a privileged background who surely caught the eye of admirers, some of whom may have had impure thoughts and questionable motives.

Investigators discovered one significant detail: Arnold had been involved in a secret relationship with George C Griscom Jr., a Pittsburgh engineer in his forties, at the time of her disappearance.

However, Griscom cannot be considered a suspect as he was in Florence, Italy, in December 1910.

Additionally, he participated in the search party for her in Manhattan and expressed his intention to propose to her.

Authorities also investigated the possibility that Arnold had staged her disappearance, but this theory was widely dismissed as time went on. Some speculated that she took her own life, while others theorized that she may have been pregnant and died during a back alley abortion.

Despite thorough checks of area hospitals, Arnold could not be located. 

After over a century, the enigma surrounding Dorothy Arnold’s disappearance remains unresolved.