Missing: Roger Merton Day
Date missing: October 04, 1973
Missing From: Porter, Maine
Age last seen: 14 years old
Age in 2015: 56 years old
Height (inches) 67.0
Weight (pounds) 130.0
Brown Hair, Hazel Eyes
Middle finger tip on unknown hand had been smashed flat in an accident.
If you have information, please contact the Maine State Police:
Detective Chris Farley
Case number SP12-072441
MEDIA REPORT: 2013
Family still searching for answers 40 years after boy went missing on his way to the Fryeburg Fair
By Daymond Steer
FRYEBURG – The family of the boy who went missing on his way to the 1973 Fryeburg Fair is still looking for answers on the 40th anniversary of his disappearance. Roger Day’s sister says at the time authorities assumed her brother would wander back.
Roger Merton Day, then 14, went missing Oct. 4 1973 from Porter, Maine. He’s described in an online missing person report, on ForTheLost.org, as a white male with brown hair and hazel eyes. Day has a middle finger tip that was smashed in an accident. Day was last seen wearing a denim jacket, jeans, a purple sweatshirt and sneakers.
Beth Day, Roger’s younger sibling, contacted The Conway Daily Sun. Beth Day, who is about four years younger than Roger, also has a brother and a sister who are a few years older than Roger. Her father, Merton Day, has passed away, but their mother, Anne Day, is still alive.
“This is the 40th anniversary of his disappearance so we thought maybe just to put something out there would spark a memory,” said Beth Day who was about 10 years old when Roger vanished. “We’re all in this together.”
Roger went missing long before a child’s disappearance would create an AMBER Alert as they do in today in child abduction cases. The AMBER alert system is a “partnership” between law enforcement, the media, transportation agencies and wireless companies.
“It was basically kind of like, ‘He’s a boy, he’s 14, they do this kind of thing, he’ll show up,'” said Beth Day explaining the conventional wisdom of the time. “I don’t even think my parents could file a missing persons’ report for about a week or so at that point in time. Things were just different then. It wasn’t considered a big deal.”
Beth Day recalls about a week after the disappearance the police took it seriously and a detective began getting involved. She recalls that both her father and the detective did a lot of leg work. Merton Day would look for his son at the fair every year until his older years.
Detectives with the Maine State Police have been working the case in recent years, according entries in Maine State Police Major Crime Unit-South’s weekly highlights log which is posted online.
“Detectives Farley, Keaten and Hainey conducted a final search of a basement in Porter to follow up on the Roger Day missing person’s case from 1973,” states the log. “Nothing further was found in the basement and the investigation continues. Detectives conducted interviews with family members and updated them on the case status.”
Another entry says detectives and Oxford County Sheriff’s deputies did some investigation on the case in late December of last year. That entry said Day went missing from the fair at the age of 15.
“There’s been no news,” said Beth Day. “It’s the same as it has been. Nothing has come up.”
Beth Day grew up in Porter but now lives in New Hampshire. She declined to identify where she is living now other than to say she’s not in Conway.
Beth Day doesn’t have any police records from the time. She said the detective working Roger Day’s case retired around the time when police files became digitized onto computers. Apparently, Roger Day’s case was lost in the shuffle to some degree, said Beth Day.
She described him as having “auburny” red hair and an average build. Beth Day doesn’t recall how tall he was.
According to Beth Day, Roger Day told their siblings he was going to skip school and attend the fair.
“We never saw or heard from him since that day,” said Beth Day.
When asked if he was prone to skipping school or had a love for the fair, Beth Day said they had family members who went to the fair for oxen pulls. Playing hooky wasn’t unusual for a teen to do.
“It was something kids did on a more regular basis,” said Day. “They would skip school and head up to the fair if they had half a chance, which probably they probably still do today. I’m not saying he’s an angel but he wasn’t a kid that was in trouble before this.”
Beth Day said their mother seems to think that Roger was a “homebody.”
When asked if there’s a message that she has for Roger, it’s that the family wants contact with him.
“Let us know if you’re out there,” said Beth Day to her brother.
A supervisor with the southern Maine Major Crimes Unit did not return calls for comment at press time.
Anyone with information on this case can call the Maine State Police in Gray at 800-228-0857.