CAROLINA BEACH — One of the oldest unsolved missing person cases in North Carolina is getting another look by investigators.
Leila and 4-year-old Mary Bryan went missing on May 10, 1941 in Carolina Beach. Shortly after they disappeared, the case received national attention. However to this day, no one really knows what happened to the mother and daughter duo.
Mary Bryan's husband Eddie Bryan told police the two went to the grocery store. An air search turned up tire tracks in the sand along the water front.
"He spotted a set of tire tracks coming down at an angle toward a beach area right where the current bridge is, the prints that they found could have come from a car like Leila's," said said journalist Jefferson Weaver.
However, searchers could not locate anything more than a piece of a windshield from the water.
As for the theory that the pair could have possibly been murdered, reports show Karl Ponzer, a state engineer working on a nearby sewer project, told police of evidence of a possible crime.
"He had contacted investigators, or they contacted him and he said 'I saw someone being buried along the new sewer line'," said Weaver.
In a bizarre twist, Ponzer never got to tell his whole story. Ponzer died from an accidental gunshot months later. Investigators never found sufficient evidence to support Ponzer's theory.
As recent as 2008, SBI teams searched underneath the family home in Carolina Beach. The teams spent several days looking for human remains, but found nothing. Family members said a critical location, Leila's bedroom was never searched.
Police had questioned bryan's husband, he was never charged and died in 1976. According to the State Bureau of Investigation, the case is now closed.
However, Weaver remains hopeful that one day the mystery will be solved. Anyone with information about this case or others please call the CUE Center for Missing persons tip line at 910 343—1131.