Families of Eva Dvorak and Patsy McQueen still hope for break in cold case

Eva Dvorak and Patsy McQueen disappeared in February 1976 after getting expelled for drinking at school. Two days later their bodies were found west of Calgary without any clues about what happened.

14-year-old girls found dead west of Calgary on Feb. 15, 1976

Martha Dvorak remembers her sister Eva on the 40th anniversary of her suspicious death. She still hopes someone will come forward with information to help solve the case. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

Martha Dvorak pulls out a stash of yellowed newspaper clippings detailing the discovery and subsequent police investigation into the deaths of her younger sister Eva Dvorak and a girlfriend, Patsy McQueen, on Feb. 15, 1976.

They show the investigation garnered a lot of attention at first, but it quickly faded. Media coverage of this unsolved case is now limited to major anniversary dates, like this one at 40 years.

"It just seems like nobody cares, you know, and I mean it's 40 years and it still hurts for both of the girls," said Dvorak.

Friends Patsy McQueen and Eva Dvorak were found dead on the side of Hwy 1 west of Calgary Feb. 15, 1976. The cause of death has never been determined. (Sandy Broste/Martha Dvorak)

Bodies dumped 

According to RCMP and family accounts, the 14-year-old girls had been caught drinking at their school, Ian Bazalgette Junior High, in the southeast community of Dover, around noon on a Friday. The two were sent home but never made it. 

By some accounts, but not confirmed by the RCMP, the teens were spotted walking along downtown's Ninth Avenue S.E. in the early morning hours of Sunday.

Several hours later, at 10:30 a.m., a Calgary man found their bodies along Highway 1 west of the city. 

Police say the girls were dumped under the overpass to the Happy Valley Recreation Centre, which is now the community of Valley Ridge.

An autopsy detected some alcohol and drugs in their systems, but it couldn't determine a cause of death.

I think about it every day, I always wonder what she'd be like, it's hard- Martha Dvooak, Eva's sister

Since then the Dvorak and McQueen families have spent many days and years wondering why.

"We don't know what happened that's the thing. And that kinda eats at you, you know? If you knew, then it probably would add some closure to it," said Gord McQueen, Patsy's older brother.

"You think about it all the time, I mean I do, and I know my brothers and sisters do too. They think about it all the time," said McQueen.

Cases are never closed

RCMP say over the years, they've received many tips on this file which have been worked and followed up on, but unfortunately they didn't lead to any arrests.

Yet they remain confident, this case could be solved with the right bit of information.

"There's a very strong likelihood  that the person who is responsible or the person who knows that information is still alive and we are hopeful they will come forward tell us their story," said Corp. Sharon Franks.

Franks says anytime a new investigator is assigned to the file, they review it just in case something has been missed. 

"It's never closed and if new information does comes in I know it is something that is worked on immediately because we want to close the distance. It's been 40 years now, we don't want to make it longer," said Franks.

Peace of mind

Both families say they often think about the girls, but it gets harder this time of year.

"Oh I think about it every day, I always wonder what she'd be like, it's hard," said Martha Dvorak. "Just want to know who and why, why they did it, I mean I don't know how they could live their life knowing what they did to two young beautiful girls, 14 years old, that's all they were."

"I loved her she was my sister. She was a good girl. She was fun to be around. She was a normal little girl," said Gord McQueen. 

"I would like to find closure, just to find closure." 


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