DEATH NOTICE IN HANDWRITING OF ‘DECEASED’ WOMAN FOLLOWING HER DISAPPEARANCE, MYSTIFIES POLICE
MRS. WALLACE REPORTED DEAD BUT RELATIVES DID NOT KNOW OF IT
Home on South Side Deserted and Keyholes Are Plugged With Cotton — Husband Also Missing.
A notice in the Syracuse paper of the death of Mrs. Mabel M. Wallace, following the disappearance of both Mrs. Wallace and her husband, Adelbert F. Wallace, presents a mystery which the police believe may lead to a suicide or even a possibly murder.
The advertisement in a local paper read:
“Died — In Camden, Sunday, Feb. 23d, 1919, Mrs. Mabel M. Wallace.”
Upon investigating, the police have learned that there is no record of the woman’s death in Camden, N.Y. A sister, whom Mrs. Wallace told neighbors she planned visiting, says that she has not seen Mrs. Wallace in several weeks.
KEY HOLES STOPPED UP WITH COTTON.
The keyholes in the doors of the Wallace home, No. 128 Fage avenue, were found stuffed with cotton when officers visited there this morning. Expecting to find Mrs. Wallace dead inside Detective Edward Smith broke down the door. Nobody was found inside and everything was in order. The only thing missing from the home was a picture of Mr. Wallace and another of his wife, which had adorned the walls.
The police investigation followed a report by Mrs. Genevieve Searles, woman officer, who is a friend of Mrs. Wallace and who during the Christmas holidays, received a postal card from the young woman mailed from Camden.
The death notice appeared in the Post-Standard on the morning of Wednesday, February 26. The newspaper office was called on the telephone and said that they believed the paid notice of Mrs. Wallace’s death was turned in by an undertaker.
Mrs. Searles and Detective Smith visited the Post-Standard and the copy of the ad was furnished. The writing corresponded with that on the postal card received by Mrs. Searles from Mrs. Wallace. It also corresponded with other samples of the missing woman’s handwriting.
Mrs. Wallace’s sister in Camden was later reached on the the telephone. She was as much surprised as Mrs. Wallace’s friends here to learn of her sister’s death.
She said that she had not seen the Syracuse woman in five weeks.. Mrs. Wallace was in Camden during the holidays, when she sent the postal card to Mrs. Searles. Undertakers in Camden were then reached by telephone, but they also were ignorant of the fact of Mrs. Wallace’s death, saying that to their knowledge nobody answering her description has been buried in Camden in the last few months.
Accompanied by Detective Smith, Mrs. Searles visited the Wallace home in Fage avenue. The curtains in the house were drawn. The front door was locked. The side door was also found locked and the keyhole was plugged with cotton. The rear door was also locked and the keyhole plugged.
Fearing that Mrs. Wallace had stopped up the doors in an attempt to asphyxiate herself, Detective Smith force entrance. There was nobody inside. A close inspection showed that the only thing missing in the house were the pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace. Mrs. Searles says that she has visited at the house many times and would know if anything else was gone.
Mr. Wallace is a traveling salesman and until the first of the year was employed by the Continental Can company. Nothing has been seen of him by his friends in the company since he severed his connection with the firm. Some say that he told of plans to establish a business in the West.
Mrs. Wallace was last seen by neighbors in Fage avenue several weeks ago. At that time she said that she was going to visit her sister in the North. Neighbors say that Mr. Wallace was seen as late as two weeks ago. At this time he is said to have visited the Fage avenue house and when he left he carried two suitcases.
Source : Syracuse Herald, Friday Evening, February 29, 2019
The story continues : MRS. WALLACE FOUND AT HOME OF SISTER