Police solve mystery behind man's 1944 love letter found within home's walls

Police in one Massachusetts town issued an all-points bulletin for a Miss Betty Miller, but it was not because she is a suspect in any case

By Scott J. Croteau
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

GREENFIELD, Mass. — Police in one Massachusetts town issued an all-points bulletin for a Miss Betty Miller, but it was not because she is a suspect in any case.

Greenfield police were searching for the woman or any of her family to return a 1944 love letter found inside a home recently. The search paid off.

In a sweet Facebook post, the department said it was issuing a challenge to followers this holiday.

"A friend of ours is doing a home remodel and found a love note in the walls! It was written on April 19, 1944 by 'Walter' for 'Miss Betty Miller' who lived on 360 Chapman St.," the Facebook post reads. "We would love to be able to get this letter back to Betty or her family. Please let us know if you know how to find her."


UPDATE: Betty’s family has been found, unfortunately she has passed away, so we can’t talk to her directly, but her...

Posted by Greenfield, Mass Police Department on Saturday, December 23, 2017

The search for Betty began in a post by Francesca Passiglia, based on her Facebook post. Her family owns the Chapman Street home in town. Passiglia has a friend at the police department who asked to share the message. 

"Lost and found love letter alert! We found a letter from 1944 in our kitchen wall yesterday while doing some electrical work," she wrote.

Passiglia asked if any knew Betty Miller or the Walter who said in the letter, "I will not go to any dance or movie unless you go with me?"

Over the weekend, Passiglia posted she found Betty's youngest sister, an Irene Fournier and gave her the letter. Fournier said Betty was 14 in 1944, according to Passiglia's post. Fournier lives two blocks away from the Passiglia family. Passiglia believed Fournier was in her 90s, but didn't know her exact age.

"Irene told us Betty dated two Walters in high school. They were both good dancers so she can't tell which one wrote the letter," Passiglia posted on Facebook. "Betty went on to marry someone else and lived a long and happy life. She passed away several years ago from cancer."

Fournier grew up in the Chapman Street home with five siblings and the letter to her sister made her smile, Passiglia wrote. Fournier shared stories about growing up in the Chapman Street home. 

"We've made plans to have Mrs. Fournier over next week to visit her childhood home and are so happy to have made a new friend," she wrote. "Hurray for Christmas mysteries!"

©2017 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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