Decades After His Dad Disappeared, A Man Made A Fateful Discovery In His Basement

In 1961 George Carroll disappeared from his Long Island home — and, according to his family, he was never to be seen again. It was a mystery that haunted George’s four children, who desperately hoped that one day they would get closure. But as the decades passed with no sign of the dad, that hope began to dwindle. Then, almost 60 years after George had vanished, his youngest son, Mike, made a shocking discovery in the basement of the Carroll family home.

A seemingly ordinary life

There was nothing in George’s past to suggest he’d ever become the focus of a decades-long mystery. After fighting in — and surviving — the Korean War, he had settled in Lake Grove, Long Island. There, he lived in a little house on a suburban road named Olive Street. It seemed like he pretty much had it made.

Growing a family

George had grown his family, too. With his wife, Dorothy, he had four children: Patricia, Jean, Steven, and Mike. And the Carroll kids were all fairly small in 1961. The eldest, Patricia, was nine years old, while the youngest, Mike, was less than a year old. They were just babies, really — too young for the life-defining change that would soon hit them.

A year to remember

In many ways, 1961 was a year to remember. President John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the United States’ 35th president in January. Just a few months later, in April, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space. It was an era of prosperity in the U.S. — but not everyone was having a good time.

So many unanswered questions

In 1961 George apparently disappeared from his family home — never to return again. And all that the man left in his wake was a trail of unanswered questions. Had he been having an affair and run off with another woman? Was he tired of his idyllic domestic life? Or was something more malevolent at play?