Since her daughter Jennifer Fay went missing at age 16 on the streets of Brockton in 1989, Dorothy MacLean clung to the hope the teen would come home unharmed. Now, a California case is bolstering her hope.
Dorothy MacLean watched the TV news reports detailing how a California girl abducted at age 11 — and feared dead — was found alive, 18 years later.
Tears streamed down her face as she stared at the screen.
“I kept thinking, that would be so great if that would happen to me,” said MacLean of Raynham, formerly of Rockland.
For years after her daughter Jennifer Fay went missing at age 16 on the streets of Brockton in 1989, MacLean clung to the hope the teen would come home unharmed.
Then, after more than a decade passed, MacLean prayed she would be able to find — and bury — her remains.
Now MacLean feels hope flickering once again amid the news that Jaycee Lee Dugard, abducted from in front of her South Lake Tahoe, Calif., home in 1991, was found alive.
“Hopefully, this is a sign that everyone is wrong and she’s out there,” MacLean said of her daughter.
Fay went missing on Nov. 14, 1989, in Brockton, where her family then lived, and the last known sighting of her was on Broad Street.
Over the years, state and Brockton police interviewed dozens of people from Florida to Maine to find clues to what happened to Fay.
Some people claimed Fay was alive. Others claimed she had been killed. Investigators searched spots in Brockton and neighboring towns, where some people claimed Fay’s remains — or evidence — may be located.
MacLean slowly, in recently years, began to accept — just as the Dugard family had — that her daughter may be dead.
Too many years had passed. Too few signs of hope.
Then, news broke in California that a child long feared dead was alive. In 1991, Dugard was walking to a bus stop when she was pulled into a car by two people, kicking and screaming — a kidnapping witnessed by her stepfather.
Authorities allege Phillip Garrido, 58, of California, a convicted rapist, kept Jaycee Dugard, now 29, hidden in a “secret backyard.” Over the years, she gave birth to two children he fathered. Garrido and his wife are now under arrest and held on $1 million bail.
MacLean said the California case provides an emotional lifeline to her as the search for Jennifer continues.
“All the old feelings come back: that she is out there and coming home,” she said.
In the weeks before the California girl was found alive, MacLean had a dream about her daughter. In it, she walks into a house and sees Jennifer.
“She was OK,” MacLean said. Then, in an instant, Jennifer is gone.
Maureen Boyle can be reached at email@example.com.