Sherry Lynn Marler is a Missing Person

Sherry Lynn Marler

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Nickname: Little Farmer
Alternative Name: Unknown

La Apoda: Little Farmer
Nombres alternativos: Desconocido

Disappearance (Desaparición)

Missing from: First National Bank, 100 W Commerce Street, Greenville, Alabama, United States 36037
Date Missing: June 6, 1984 (Wednesday)
Suspect: Unknown

Falta de: First National Bank, 100 W Commerce Street, Greenville, Alabama, Estados Unidos 36037
Falta en la fecha: 6 de junio de 1984 (miércoles)
Sospechoso: Desconocido

Circumstances (Circunstancias)

The Stringfellow – Marler family lived in a 400 acre farm about 12 miles west of Greenville, where they raised various crops and Sherry grew up with a passion for farm tools, so much so she was nicknamed “little farmer” amongst her family and the townspeople in nearby Greenville. She was a good girl, cheerful and close to her mother Betty and stepfather Raymond (‘Ray’). As May ended and June arrived, Sherry was excited to see summer days setting on with the promise of sunny days and the opportunity to help her stepfather out on the farm. Her stepfather fondly recalls that Sherry was a regular tomboy, far more interested in tractors than school, and this week was to be first week of summer vacation for the girl.

Sherry and her brother Larry
Sherry’s Mother (Betty) and her Stepfather (Raymond)

As the morning of June 6 dawns bright and early, Better wakes up with the sun and heads off to work at the Waffle House shortly before 7:00am. She leaves her young daughter Sherry asleep on the couch where she had spent the night due to extended family visiting their home.

Not too long afterward, Sherry wakes up as Ray heads into the kitchen to put on coffee to brew as he goes over the plans for the day. He needs to repair a combine and visit the local bank to discuss a farm loan he needed to extend.

As he heads out the door, he sees Sherry putting on her shoes as she tells him she wants to ride along, and together they set off to start their errands. They start by working on the combine for a while and then check on some of their fields, enough fun outdoors that Sherry is thoroughly dusty by the time they head on into town. They arrive at the First National Bank at approximately 9:30am but Sherry doesn’t want to go into the Bank with him. In exchange, Ray agrees that Sherry can run down the street to grab a soda at the Chevron gas station* while he finishes up inside. He left a dollar on the seat for her to use and turned to go into the bank.

*Most sources say “across the street” but the bank and parking lot were across from each other with no sign of a gas station or what might have been a gas station in the immediate vicinity. The only Chevron we found (even historically) was one abut 6 blocks down (9 minute walk) which would still fit the scenario. If someone knows differently and could tell us the correct location in 1984, we’ll update the map below.

First National Bank of Greenville, AL

The last time Ray saw Sherry, she was in the truck parked at the city parking lot right behind Jernigan’s Furniture Store and the General Telephone building but that is where her trail ended. He thought he heard the passenger door slam and believes she took the dollar and set off towards the gas station. Fifteen minutes later, at around 9:45am, Ray returned to their red pickup truck only to discover that Sherry had never returned.

Ray began combing the area to see if perhaps Sherry had wandered off somewhere and considered weather she might head to see her mother at the Waffle House; though it seemed out of character for her to leave without telling him where she was headed. Nonetheless, he called her mother shortly after ten to see if she has seen Sherry near her workplace, but she denied having spotted the girl. Ray then turned to the nearby farm stores that Sherry often enjoyed exploring, but he was increasingly concerned as Sherry would never typically run off like this.

When the search failed to turn up any sign of Sherry’s whereabouts, the family promptly contacted police at approximately noon to file a missing person report. Despite an in-depth police search, Sherry has never been located. There were no other witnesses who recalled seeing Sherry in town that day, and a search of vasts farmlands, swamps, and fields surrounding the town were searched in vain.

In her mother’s words: Betty Springfellow with the SP Coalition

Police do not believe Sherry’s father or stepfather were involved in her abduction; the occasional rumors about her stepfather’s involvement have always been unfounded and there is no evidence to suggest anything happened beyond the way he described it. Although it initially appeared unlikely, there have been signs that she may have been alive for sometime after her disappearance but the unwitting victim of a stranger abduction.

Greenville was a relatively small town at the time, home to around 7,800 people and a generally tight knit community. The police and local residents were surprised that a stranger would have been able to abduct Sherry off the streets without anyone noticing, and no one recalled seeing a stranger in the area at that time. Sherry was a stocky (sometimes described as ‘pudgy’) child with a fierce personality and an ability to hold her own in a fight with the boys her age. She had matured early and appeared older than her age; some thought she could have passed for an older teenager, which may have put her at risk to someone who mistook her for an older child.

Then the reports of potential sightings became to trickle in, responses to missing person notices the family had posted with the help of a Florida-based missing persons organization and a $2,000 reward posted that July. The witnesses offered potential, though unconfirmed, sightings at various truck stops and shopping malls across the southern United States and then once as far north as a truck stop Dubuque, Iowa. Several in the southern sightings suggested she was seen with a truck driver. Some of the locations that popped up included Birmingham, Alabama; Meridian, Mississippi; Interstate 65 in Grand Bay, Alabama; and at least two claims of sightings in Memphis, Tennessee.

Particularly notable are three sightings that all reported that they had seen the girl across the southern United States in the company of an unidentified man. Each time, the witnesses said they saw Sherry with a middle-aged man, approximately 50 years old. He is described as husky at about 5’8″ with wrinkles near his eyes and a ‘weathered’ complexion. One witness believed they heard the girl refer to the man as “B.J.” and all agreed that she appeared dazed, unkempt, and upset. It is thought possible he was a truck driver which would fit the fact that all sightings were along major interstates. That said none of these sightings was confirmed.

The sightings occurred in:

  • A truck stop in Conley, Georgia (we assumed the old Love’s Truck Stop though it isn’t there anymore) the same day she disappeared.
  • Along Betaw Road in St. Stephen, South Carolina (she had been here before in summer of 1983 visiting her step-sister’s family, but a witness believed they saw her again in 1984 after she disappeared).
  • A shopping mall New Orleans, Louisiana (December 1984)

Some do not believe Sherry was taken by a stranger, nodding to the difficulty in which it would have been for a stranger to not only have grabbed the heavy-set, physically strong Sherry with no one noticing, but to have come and gone from the small town without witnesses observing the strangeness of an unknown person in the area.

On November 25, 2019, a woman posted to the Sherry Lynn Marler Still Missing Facebook Page the results of her investigation into the case along with the assistance of two friends. After more than a decade searching for answers, they believe Sherry was kidnapped by someone she knew, part of a larger pedophile ring operating in Greenville and the surrounding counties at the time.

Although the details into the who, when, and how are left unclear, the Facebook post stated that the women were eventually led to a 10.2 acre farm in Butler County that was home to a hog farm in the 1980s when Sherry disappeared. The exact location is unknown. There they found what appeared to be the remains of a child’s size pants with blood stains (not matching the clothes Sherry was wearing when she disappeared and it is not clear if they would have matched her size either). They claim to have sent the pants to the Butler County Sheriff’s Department who stated later that the pants did not reveal any new information.

They also claim to have found a photo showing what appeared to be human remains beside a pig in a photo taken at the time, owned by the spouse of the person they believe killed Sherry. They say the police are aware of the photo but have not responded to requests for a followup.

We have provided the link if you wish to examine the information or photos they discussed further, but we want to point out that the claims they have made are highly speculative and no concrete evidence linking this farm or any pedophile ring to Sherry has been put forth.

In 2019, Sherry’s brother shared a couple photos that he had found left inside a Bible abandoned in an empty trailer in Butler County. The photos showed a young woman who might be an older Sherry lying on a bed in a room that the family say is unfamiliar to them and certainly not in their home. If it is Sherry, the family believes the photos were taken after she disappeared.

The identity of the other girl (left) is unknown

Description (Descripción)

  • Date of Birth: August 18, 1971
  • Age: 12
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: United States
  • Gender at Birth: Female
  • Hair: Brunette, Long (Past her Shoulders)
  • Eye Color: Brown Eyes
  • Height: ~ 5’4″ (162cm)
  • Weight: 120lbs (54.4 kg)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Fecha de Nacimiento: 18 de agosto de 1971
  • Años: 12
  • Etnia: Caucásica
  • Nacionalidad: Estados Unidos
  • Sexo al nacer: Feminino
  • Color de Pelo: Pelo castaño
  • Color de los ojos: Ojos marrones
  • Altura: ~ 5’4″ (162cm)
  • Peso: 120 libras (54,4kg)
  • Idiomas:Inglés

She may use August 16, 1971 as her date of birth.

Distinguishing Marks or Factors (Características Distintivas)

  • 2″ Scar on her stomach
  • 1″, wide scar on her upper back near her shoulders.
  • She had both baby and adult teeth as well as two fillings
  • Cicatriz de 2″ en su estómago
  • Una cicatriz de 1″ en la parte superior de la espalda cerca de los hombros. Es muy ancha.
  • Tenía dientes de leche y de adulto.

Medical Concerns (Atención Médica)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Suspect (Sospechoso)

  • Unidentified male, about 50 years of age. He was about 5’8″ and had a stocky build. He had a weathered complexion with wrinkles around his eyes. The girl called him “BJ” once.
  • Varón no identificado, de unos 50 años de edad. Medía alrededor de 5’8 “y tenía una complexión fornida. Tenía una tez curtida con arrugas alrededor de los ojos. La niña lo llamó “BJ” una vez.

Clothing (Ropa)

  • Long-Sleeved, Button-Down Red Plaid Flannel Shirt
  • Faded Blue Jeans
  • Grey Sneakers (New, with Velcro Straps)
  • Watch with a Black Band
  • Camisa de franela a cuadros rojos de manga larga con botones.
  • Vaqueros azules desteñidos.
  • Deportivas Grises (Nuevas, con Tiras de Velcro).
  • Reloj con correa negra

Vehicle (Vehículo)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:

  • Greenville Police Missing Persons Unit
    • (334) 382-3107
    • (800) 843-5678
  • FBI
  • Your Nearest United States Embassy
  • Your National Police

Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for various National Police Agencies

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  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, “Sherry Marler” Link
  • Unsolved Mysteries, “Sherry Lynn Marler”. Link.
  • Uncovered (2023), “Sherry Lynn Marler”, 9 March, Link.
  • Doe Network, “215DFAL – Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Berman, M. (1986) “Missing girl still talk of town two years later”, Birmingham Post-Herald, 23 April, Link.
  • The Selma Times-Journal (1984) “Girl Missing”, 17 July, Link.
  • Montgomery Advertiser (1984) “Foul Play Feared in Girl’s Disappearance”, 16 July, Link.
  • Birmingham Post-Herald (1986) “Police receive several leads on Sherry”, 25 April, Link.
  • Berman, M. (1986) “Sherry still missing after TV Show”, Birmingham Post-Herald, 7 May, Link.
  • Bryant, J. (2013) “Mother of missing child searching for answers”, The Greenville Advocate, 22 October, Link.
  • Beahm, A. (2018) “South Carolina officials aiding in search for AL woman who went missing in 1984”,, 1 September Link.
  • Robinson, C. (2019) “Gone without a trace? Misery, mystery linger in these Alabama missing child cases”,, 12 November, Link.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser (1986) “Greenville Girl Featured on Special”, 22 April, Link.
  • Hodge, T. (2021) “Unsolved Disappearance of Alabama Girl Sherry Lynn Marler 1984”, Reasoned Crime Chronicle, Link.
  • O’Hara, K. (2021) “Sherry Lynn Marler Simply Vanished From a Small Alabama Town”, The Mystery Box, 22 October, Link.
  • True Crime Diva (2014) “The 1984 disappearance of Sherry Lynn Marler”, 5 November, Link.
  • The Resource Center for Cold Case Missing Children’s Cases, “Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Nik (2023) “Conspiracies, a Pig Farm and Other Theories: The Disappearance of Sherry Marler”, News Break, 20 February, Link.


  • Coffee & Cases, “E142: Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Voices for Justice “Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Mountain Mysteries, “Episode 3: Sherry Lynn Marler (Cold Case)”, Link.
  • Murder Sisters, “55: The Unsolved Disappearance of Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Scream Queens, “Episode 4 The disappearance of Sherry Lynn Marler”, Link.
  • Six Degrees of WTF, “Episode 88: Lead the Way”, Link.


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