Lynn Burdick’s family instantly knew something was wrong when the 18-year-old McCann Technical Vocational High School student didn’t come home on April 17th, 1982. Born in February of 1964, Lynn was, by all accounts, a homebody who was not the type to simply run off; especially with all the responsibilities she had at home. Lynn was the youngest of four siblings and did not mind carrying her weight on her family’s 25-acre property in Florida, Massachusetts. The family grew their own produce and tended to various cows, chickens, and pigs. It was a lot of work. But Lynn loved spending time with her family.
Lynn excelled at school and was expected to graduate with high honors before her disappearance. When she wasn’t studying, Lynn was earning extra money babysitting kids around the neighborhood (including her nieces and nephews). She also helped her mother who was sick with emphysema and volunteered at the local church and various charity events for muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. She also worked part time at her cousin Gary’s roadside shop The Barefoot Peddler. It is there that she was last seen on April 17th.
Lynn’s day started with shopping with her mother and most of her afternoon was spent at a family gathering at a local bar. Later, Lynn’s brother Brian dropped her off at The Barefoot Peddler. While Lynn was old enough to work alone and the area was considered safe, normally her friend Theresa or one of the shop owners would keep Lynn company. But Theresa was busy that night. Gary and his wife Sue also stayed home that night to tend to their sick son. Lynn’s sister Fay told Dateline that meant it was Lynn’s ”…first shift by herself, working, like, the later hours closing the store down.”
By all accounts, Lynn’s shift was going well when Sue called the store around 8pm. Burdick stated it had been slow with just few customers coming in, most likely due to the rainy weather. But during the conversation, Sue was able to hear the sound of a bell, indicating the store’s front door had just been opened. Lynn told Sue there was a customer and promised to call back when she was done. She has not been heard from since.
Lynn’s mother tried to call the store around 8:30pm to no avail. About ten minutes later, a family friend of the Burdick’s called the family home to tell them the store was unattended. Her family immediately called the police. Investigators arrived at the Barefoot Peddler to find a book belonging to Lynn open on the counter beside a half empty soda. Lynn, along with her jacket and purse, were missing. Approximately $187 had been taken from the store’s register.
The leads in the case of Lynn Burdick have been few and far between since her disappearance in 1982. But the Berkshire State Police have reason to believe the suspect in a separate incident–which occurred the same night Lynn went missing–could be involved in Lynn’s disappearance.
Also on April 17th, 1982, an unidentified male attempted to abduct a girl from the Williams College campus near Florida, Massachusetts. Per Lynn’s Charley Project entry, “The man tried to force the intended victim into a vehicle at about 7:00 PM. She managed to escape, but the attack took place approximately 40-minutes before Burdick was last seen.” The entry later stated, “A police officer believed he spotted the alleged suspect’s vehicle traveling towards Florida on Route 2 a short time after the Williams College incident. The vehicle matched the description of the vehicle driven by the suspect, but the car and driver could not be identified. The Barefoot Peddler was located on Route 2, placing the suspect near Burdick’s location at the time.”
Lynn Burdick was only 18-years-old at the time of her disappearance. She stood at 5’4″ and weighed roughly 115 pounds. She is described as a Caucasian female with brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing her prescription eyeglasses and a McCann Tech school class ring engraved with her name or initials, with a blue stone. She may have been wearing her McCann Vocational Technical High School jacket, jeans, and carrying her purse. If Lynn were alive today, she would be 58-years-old.
Both of Lynn’s parents have since passed away but all of her siblings are still alive and still live in the Florida, Massachusetts, area. Lynn’s niece Debbie Davine, who was just a toddler in 1982, has taken over the search for her older relative and vows to continue pushing for justice until her aunt Lynn is found; no matter how long it takes. Debbie’s parents (Brian and Bernadette) still live in the blue ranch-style home in Florida where Lynn grew up. They were unable to keep Lynn’s room the same as how she left it in 1982. But the family is eager to find her and always makes sure to leave the porch light on for her, should Lynn ever find her way home.
If you have any information on the disappearance of Lynn M. Burdick, or on the attempted kidnapping in Williamstown, you are encouraged to contact the Massachusetts State Police’s Berkshire Barracks (413-499-1112). Her NCIC case number is M084570142.
NBC’s Article: 40 years later, family hoping for new leads in the April 1982 disappearance of Lynn Burdick in Florida, Massachusetts
Sketches of suspect released in 1982 disappearance of Massachusetts teen (contains additional sketches of the suspect)