Teresa Rhodes, age 13, disappeared from Greensburg, Pennsylvania on September 27, 1975.
Teresa had told her mother she was spending the day with a friend, Linda Parri, who was 16. She departed her family’s residence at 11:00am, and never returned. Teresa’s mother worked nights, and became aware of Teresa’s disappearance the following morning. She immediately contacted another of her daughters, in the hopes that Teresa had spent the night at her home. She hadn’t.
Teresa’s family contacted police the following morning, but were told to wait until the following day to file a report, because the police chief was in the middle of a cookout for his daughter’s birthday. The family did report her missing the next day, but precious time had been lost.
Linda Parri later stated that she and Teresa had gone to a party house on Bell Way in Greensburg, which was owned by a pedophile and friend of former police officer Leroy Brandford Smith. Smith was later convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, the planned victim was an environmental worker who had apparently interfered with an acquaintance’s landfill business. Teresa had reportedly been associating with Smith in the time leading up to her disappearance, though her family was not aware of this. The party house was reported to be where the Westmoreland Transit Authority building now sits – which is at 41 Bell Way. I am not sure if the address of the party house was the same. Leroy Smith is now deceased.
In subsequent interviews, Linda Parri has claimed that she left the party house with a man at 6pm on the night of Teresa’s disappearance, leaving Teresa at the party house with unknown individuals.
She has later claimed that Teresa could be found at multiple locations, including St. Clair Park in Greensburg, Greengate Mall, and Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. Searches of these areas turned up no sign of Teresa. Authorities believe that Linda had been threatened.
While Leroy Smith has remained a person of interest, as well as the pedophile who owned the party house, a more recent interview with a detective and friend of the Rhodes family has stated that he believes three actors took advantage of her that night.
Someone has to know what happened to Teresa. I am sure Linda Parri does. My own opinion is that she was very lucky that she made it home that night, and while I do not know Teresa or any of her family, my hunch is that had it been the other way around, Teresa would have done anything she could to see that Linda was found and that her family would not have to suffer for over 40 years with not knowing what happened to their daughter and sister. Linda, if you happen to see this, there are plenty of ways to give information anonymously. You weren’t the only one there, you aren’t the only one who knows. It has been too long, please come forward.
Teresa was a student at the now defunct St. Paul Middle School at the time of her disappearance, she was in eighth grade. She enjoyed cooking and baking, especially around the holidays.
I hope Teresa can be found soon.