Ricky Bryant Missing : Disappearance of Ricky Jean Bryant
Ricky was last seen in Mauston, Wisconsin on December 19th 1949. She was at her family’s farm residence located three miles northeast of the town. Her parents, Raymond Bryant and Opal Bryant, were not at the home when she disappeared. Ricky, her older brother, Forrest, and her younger sister, Elizabeth, were being watched by their grandmother, Helen Halverston. Ricky’s older sister, Sharon, was at a nearby schoolhouse. Then a fire broke out in the home.
Ricky’s 5-year-old brother stated that they were standing in the yard together watching the fire when a woman drove up in an expensive-looking car and distracted Ricky’s brother by telling him they needed to get help and pointed down the street. Leaving Ricky alone. When her brother returned both his sister and the unidentified woman were gone. Ricky’s grandmother, however, contradicted her grandson’s version of events. She said she took Ricky’s brother and sister outside when the fire started, went into the house to find Jeannie and called for her several times and got no response.
After Helen couldn’t locate Ricky, she grabbed a ladder and propped it against the house. She climbed up to the 2nd story level of the house so she could rescue her husband, Casper, who was handicapped at the time. She said she carried him down the ladder to safety. A firefighter who was attempting to put out the flames said he heard the screaming of a child come from the house but that he couldn’t find her.
Most authorities believe Jeannie died in the fire that consumed her house. Some accounts state Ricky may have fallen through the staircase in the home but it’s unknown of this happened. Some possible bone fragments that were found couldn’t conclusively be determined as hers. Her siblings think it’s possible that the fire was on purpose and that Ricky was taken and hidden by family members, or that it was possible she may have had a different father and the fire was set as a diversion so someone could take Jeannie away from her home and to the care of her biological father.
Due to the request of her siblings, authorities reopened the investigation into Ricky’s disappearance over fifty years after she vanished. A Minnesota woman had her DNA tested against the Bryant’s family in 2006, but the results were not a match. Her case remains unsolved.
Description of Ricky Jean Bryant
- Sex: Female
- Age Then: 4
- Age Now: 76
- Race: White
- DOB: 11/09/1945
- Height: 3’4″ tall
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Eyes: Hazel
- Hair: Blonde
Ricky’s nickname is Jeannie, and many agencies refer to her by that name.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Juneau County Sheriff’s Department (Wisconsin) on (608) 847-5649