By Jean Henry Mead
I gasped when I noticed the drawing of a murder victim in the newspaper one morning in August 1981. A police artist had sketched the face of a young woman who resembled my husband’s niece. Not long afterward I received a frantic call from my husband’s mother.
No, it can’t be Belinda.
I called the sheriff’s department in the next county where the body had been found near a bridge in the North Platte River. When I asked if the victim had been identified, they refused to tell me her name, but asked why I was inquiring. I was finally told that a friend had identified her from a pinkie ring she wore. No further information was forthcoming, so I reread the entire news report many times over.
I felt sick as I thought back over the period when Belinda’s mother had died and she and sister came to live with us. When their father remarried, the girls returned to live with him, and I eventually lost track of them. Several years later, I heard that Belinda had given birth to a daughter. It wasn’t long before I read that she had died.
But who had killed her? The case has yet to be solved . The murder is reminiscent of Ted Bundy’s killing spree and Belinda fit his victim’s profile, but Bundy had been captured three years earlier. I heard rumors that her boyfriend had strangled her and dumped her body in a bathtub filled with water. But why hadn’t the police arrested him?
Murders are always traumatic when they happen to a family member. But when they go unsolved for a quarter of a century, you question the resourcefulness of local law enforcement agencies.
I recently came across the following listing of unsolved murders, which I’m including here in the hope that someone, who may have information about the murder, will get in touch with the Wyoming DCI:
Homicide, August 6, 1981, Converse County, Wyoming:
On August 6, 1981, Belinda May GRANTHAM, age 20, was found in the North Platte River near a bridge in Glenrock, Converse County, Wyoming. She had a rope tied around her neck weighted to a rock. She had been strangled. She was last seen at the Natrona County Fair in Casper, Wyoming. Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Converse County Sheriff's Office at (307) 358-4700 or the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation at (307) 777-7181.