Woodland families still search for answers

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 19, 2007

WOODLAND – They will never forget. They will never surrender the search.

Forty-three years have now passed since Phyllis L. Powell of Woodland suddenly disappeared on Jan. 11, 1963.

To this day, the family still searches for answers.

“Many people have forgotten about little Phyllis (age 5 when she went missing) or weren’t even born, but her tragic disappearance still haunts our family,” William “Buddy” Powell, Phyllis’ oldest brother, said.

He continued, “I stop at least twice a week at the corner of Highway 35 and Ashe Street (in Woodland) still hoping to find some answers. Each time I stop I live through the agony and pain from 43 years ago when I was first told that my little sister was missing and was nowhere to be found.”

Phyllis disappeared around 12 noon on Jan. 11, 1963. She was last seen at the residence of Lewis and Bernice Vinson, located at 310 Ashe Street. Despite a massive search, there were no clues discovered on the little girl’s whereabouts.

“Not only does her disappearance linger on in the minds of the Powell family, but the Vinson family as well, “Powell said. “Lewis and Bernice Vinson were the last known people to see little Phyllis before she vanished. The pain in our hearts lingers on.”

Carrying on a tradition, Powell joined Carrie Ward (Phyllis’ aunt) at the Vinson home place on Jan. 11 to remember that dark day in the family’s history. On a small bench in the front yard, Powell and Ward lit 43 candles, one for each year that Phyllis has been missing.

“Each candle serves as a reminder that if it takes 43 more years, the Powell family and the Vinson family will never give-up hope,” Powell stressed. “The race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but to the ones that endureth ‘til the end.”

Powell said his family and the Vinsons still hold on to hope that the answers will come.

“I’ve prayed time and time again for answers,” Powell said. “I know God will touch the heart of the responsible person or persons involved in my sister’s disappearance and they will come forward and answer the long-awaited question – what happened to little Phyllis?”

Powell said that answer, whatever it may be, will finally relieve the burden upon the hearts of the Powell/Vinson family.

Citing the words of Jesus in Luke, Chapter 12, Verse 2 n ‘For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known’ n Powell said his family will never give-up the search for answers.

“We will keep the faith,” Powell concluded. “We know almighty God will take care of his own.”