Theresa Corley, 19, left The Train Stop bar in Franklin, Massachusetts on December 4, 1978, after an argument with her boyfriend. While attempting to walk home, Theresa was approached by a group of four men who took her to an apartment at The Presidential Arms in Franklin, MA. It is unclear whether Theresa went willingly with them or was forced to go. It has been reported that Theresa was likely sexually assaulted by the group, but was able to eventually escape the apartment and the men who assaulted her and she continued her journey home down Route 140. Theresa was then picked up by several drivers along the way, including a Garlelick Farms truck driver who dropped her off in front of the Bellingham Police Station. Unfortunately, Theresa did not go into the police station, and she was last seen in front of a Dairy Queen location, just a 3 or 4-minute walk down the street. Theresa was less than a mile away from home at this point and she was never seen again.
Days later, on December 8, 1978, Theresa’s nude body was found on the northbound side of Route 495 in Bellingham, MA. Her jacket, a pair of jeans, and a pair of mismatched shoes were found near her. The discovery of Theresa’s body was made after a man, identifying himself as John Burlington, called Bellingham police, explaining to them that he saw a body when he pulled off the road to use the bathroom. State police now say that Burlington never existed.
Theresa's family has tirelessly advocated for justice for their beloved daughter and sister. They believe that someone local to the community knows what happened to Theresa and they remain hopeful they will come forward. In May of 2017, Theresa’s body was exhumed, and Norfolk County DA is relentlessly testing items for DNA analysis in hopes of identifying the person(s) responsible for Theresa's murder.
If you would like to learn more about Theresa's story, we think you'll find this podcast by New England's Unsolved very informative.
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