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Missing Mother & Daughter: Tina & Bethany Sinclair - NH - 02/04/2001

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Eight years on, the sudden disappearance of Tina and Bethany Sinclair remains a mystery



Sentinel Staff

Published: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The world is a different place today than it was when a West Chesterfield mother and daughter disappeared eight years ago.

New wars, presidents and technologies mark the passing of time. Each tick of the clock slowly covers the remaining tracks of Tina and Bethany Sinclair like footprints disappearing in the snow.

No bodies. No activity on bank accounts. The house they lived in off Mountain Road has been demolished.

The only remaining traces of the Sinclairs are haunting photographs, forgotten belongings, a slew of questions and a lingering sadness among those they left behind.

Family members of Tina Sinclair, who was 34 when she disappeared, and Bethany Sinclair, who was 15, remain vigilant in their quest for answers and some sort of closure to a painful mystery that has dragged on far too long.

Tina Sinclair worked at the Keene Beauty Academy and as a visiting nurse for a quadriplegic man. She picked up her daughter, a Keene High School student, from a local movie theater and drove her home the night of Feb. 3, 2001. They were never seen again.

“I still look at their pictures and talk to them. I’m not crazy, but you do that. I miss them terribly and I still wish they would come home,†said Tina Sinclair’s mother, Mary E. Lewis.

“Just the idea of them being gone for eight years ... I get discouraged sometimes, but then I think, ‘Maybe we’ll find them.’ You just have to keep going.â€Â

Searchers with the police, private organizations and the Sinclair family have combed forests and explored the Connecticut River with divers and sonar equipment, but remain empty-handed.

One private search party brought in cadaver-sniffing dogs in the fall of 2007. They trekked over hundreds of square miles in Chesterfield for seven days, eventually locating a spot where their dogs detected the scent of human remains.

“We ended up getting an excavator and going out and digging in the woods off Route 9 in the Old Chesterfield Road area,†N.H. State Police Sgt. Russell B. Lamson said. “We must have cut four or five cords of wood just to get the excavator back there. We were there all day, but we didn’t discover any evidence.â€Â

Police investigators have entered the Sinclairs’ dental records and other identifying information into a national database that is used to match unidentified remains with missing persons, Lamson said.

“A few unidentified remains have popped up on the radar. Any time a police agency finds something they call us because they know we’re looking. It happened a couple times last year. Nothing matched,†he said.

“We’re also still getting tips and we always follow up on those. It’s just with each year the number of tips we get decreases.â€Â

The desperate Sinclair family consulted a California psychic a few years ago who claimed to have seen a pair of bodies in a cave on the side of a mountain in Chesterfield. The vision never panned out.

They also hired award-winning private investigator Gil Alba, who worked for 27 years as a New York City police detective.

“We’re still active on the case,†Alba said. “Every time we get a lead we follow it up. I went to Chesterfield in April and did some more interviews. We’re also looking for evidence: body parts, clothing, maybe a murder weapon. Anything we can find.â€Â

Alba is also looking at Eugene V. Bowman Jr. Bowman was dating and living with Tina Sinclair before she went missing. Police have called him a person of interest in the case.

“The problem with a case like this is joining the evidence together with the person of interest,†Alba said. “You have to keep working on them and that’s what we’re doing.â€Â

Bowman is still living in New Hampshire, according to Alba. He said he has not spoken with Bowman. Attempts to reach Bowman for comment were unsuccessful.

Police searched Bowman’s residence a few months after the Sinclairs disappeared, but what they seized and what they were looking for may never be made public because the state Attorney General’s Office refuses to release the warrants.

The Keene Sentinel won an argument in the city’s District Court to view warrants that detailed the search, but the state’s Supreme Court reversed the decision. The Court ruled that the warrants should stay sealed while police are working the case.

Tina Sinclair’s sister, Sharon Garry, stated in an e-mail that she and her family remain disturbed by the disappearances and are frustrated by the lack of information.

“The anger, hatred, confusion and nightmares have shredded through me and made me into a person I don’t even recognize anymore,†Garry wrote. “The holidays, birthdays and family gatherings were like a bad dream because Tina and Bethany weren’t there.â€Â

A memorial for the Sinclairs will be replaced at a bend in the Connecticut River off Route 9 in West Chesterfield to mark the grim anniversary, Garry said.

The first two memorials, a cross and a photograph of the Sinclairs mounted on a plaque, were stolen.

Garry urged others to visit the memorial and light a candle in memory of her sister and niece.

She said she will never stop searching for them.

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Area mysteries span decades

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sentinel Staff

Decomposed bodies turn up in the woods. A mother and daughter vanish. A family perishes in an act of arson. These are just some of the major local crimes that have gone unsolved. Seven area cases involving 11 victims will be examined by the state’s cold case unit. Here are the mysteries that have haunted residents for decades:

Carl Robert Hina, 49, his wife, Lori, 26, their 4-month-old daughter, Sara Jean, and Carl Hina’s 12-year-old daughter, Lillian Marie, were killed Jan. 14, 1989, in a suspicious fire at 88 High St. in Keene. Investigators believe the fire was set intentionally.

Craig Lane, 17, was stabbed to death during a robbery Jan. 8, 1989, while working at a gas station on Route 202 in Peterborough. Customers saw a Caucasian man in his late teens to early 20s running from the gas station after the murder. A composite sketch of the man is on the state’s cold case Web site,

Tina Sinclair, 34, and her daughter, Bethany, 15, of West Chesterfield disappeared in February 2001. They were last seen together in Chesterfield during the weekend of Feb. 3 and 4. Police have called Tina Sinclair’s former boyfriend, Eugene Van Bowman Jr., a person of interest in the case. The Sinclairs were living with Bowman when they went missing.

James Teta, 15, was reported missing from his Revere, Mass., home on Aug. 23, 1973. Two days later, his body was discovered in the woods off Route 119 in Rindge. An autopsy revealed he had been raped and strangled.

Judith Whitney, 43, of Amherst, Mass., went missing in July 1987. Whitney was last seen at the Valley Green Motel in Keene. A hotel maid saw her the afternoon of July 2. The same maid saw Edward Mayrand driving Whitney’s 1980 Ford Mustang the next day. Her skeletal remains were found Nov. 8, 1987, in the woods off Route 119 in Winchester. Police have named Mayrand as the prime suspect in Whitney’s murder.

Douglas Penna, 24, was last seen alive on April 26, 1989. His skeletal remains were discovered 10 years later in Roxbury. An autopsy revealed that Penna died from a single gunshot to the head.

Mary Harrison, 22, of Winchester was reported missing Oct. 15, 1981. A hunter found her body 15 days later in the woods near Monument Road in Hinsdale. Harrison had been shot in the head, according to an autopsy.

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Missing Sinclairs on N.H. Cold Case Unit's list

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Bethany and Tina Sinclair

December 17,2009


More than eight years after the disappearance of her sister and niece, Sharon Garry has a renewed sense of hope.

Garry has not seen her sister Tina Sinclair or her niece Bethany, ages 34 and 15 respectively, since the two went missing in early February 2001 from their West Chesterfield, N.H., residence.

Although no new suspects have emerged, Garry is more optimistic now than ever because her missing family members are included on the newly Cold Case Unit within the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

"Now, they can take the case and turn it upside down and start from the beginning again," she said. "They may catch something they might have missed, and that's our hope."

Read more at link above.

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Woman hoping NH cold-case unit can find 2 missing

By Associated Press  Friday, December 18, 2009

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A Brattleboro woman is hoping a newly formed New Hampshire cold case unit can help find her daughter and granddaughter who have been missing for almost nine years.

Mary Lewis says she hopes the unit will be able to learn what happened to her daughter and granddaughter.

Then 36-year-old Tina Sinclair of Chesterfield, N.H., and her 15-year-old daughter Bethany haven’t been seen since Feb. 4, 2001.

Tina Sinclair’s then-boyfriend was the last person to see the two alive.

The two are listed as missing persons.

Earlier this month New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney announced the formation of the state’s first cold case unit.

Lewis tells the New Hampshire Union Leader she wants to know what happened.

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New cold case unit renews family's hope

By MELANIE PLENDA  Union Leader Correspondent

Friday, Dec. 18, 2009

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – It was the night of Feb. 4, 2001 -- Bethany Sinclair's first date. Her mother helped the 15-year-old get ready, carefully braiding her hair and applying some makeup. She drove her to the movies. Tina Sinclair was so proud of her daughter, such a young lady. It was the last night either of them were seen alive.

This month, the Sinclairs were added to the long list of unsolved cases investigators will be looking at as part of the new Cold Case Unit of the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

"How can you believe that they're never coming home or that they are coming home not alive," Tina Sinclair's mother, Mary Lewis, said yesterday. "You still have to have that string of hope every now and then. It would be wonderful if they'll ever come forth and find them before I end up going home."

No one has ever been prosecuted in connection with the pair's disappearance. Tina Sinclair was 34, Bethany 15. The Attorney General's Office named Tina Sinclair's live-in boyfriend, Eugene Van Bowman of Chesterfield, as a person of interest, but never a suspect. He was the last one to see the two alive. To date, Tina and Bethany Sinclair are listed as missing persons.

Over the past nine years, the family has held yearly vigils, created Web sites, conducted extensive searches, hired private investigators, gone on talk shows and even consulted psychics.

It has taken a toll, Tina Sinclair's sister, Sharon Garry, said. The search is all-consuming. Well-meaning friends have been shown the door when they suggested she give up.

"You can't give up," Garry said. "They just don't get it."

"When I realize that it's been almost nine years, I don't know where it's gone," Garry said. "I've lost a lot, financially lost a lot, emotionally and physically. I've got a lot of health problems that I know are linked to just the emotional pain I've been through . . . I'm 50 pounds heavier. I had a career. I had a life that I had planned for myself. That's all gone."

Lewis said she tries to stay stoic. God will get her through, she said. She'd likely be healthier, and certainly happier, if she just knew what happened, she said.

"It's hell living with it," Lewis said. "It's hard to explain how much we love them and miss them. We miss them horribly. Every now and then I look at the pictures and talk to them and say, 'We're here.' You'd think that as the years go by it would get easier. It doesn't."

Monica Caison, founder and executive director of the nonprofit North Carolina-based Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons (CUE), is working on 1,600 missing person cases, including the Sinclairs.

"It's a constant wearing and tearing on them that they have to endure daily," Caison said of the families she works with.

According to the FBI, there were 778,164 missing person cases in 2008.

"It doesn't matter how long the person has been missing," Caison said. She likens it to the panic that sets in for parents when they lose sight of a child in a public place.

"That's how these people feel every day. And it does not go away. They can condition themselves to live with it, but they never really learn how to deal with it," she said.

CUE took on the Sinclair case a little over two years ago, and has sent out four search parties -- one as recently as two weeks ago -- to look for clues or remains. They haven't found anything yet.

"We're not giving up on them; we're here for them no matter how long it takes," Caison said.

And while the possibility of more eyes on the case brings hope, it is bittersweet.

"That's what they want, is somebody to look at it again," Caison said. "But there's the feeling of, 'Do I hope again? Is this time going to be the time?'"

At the same time, Caison, Garry and Lewis all said, it's a fresh look at the case that just might solve it.

"We're very enthusiastic about it," Garry said. "If you came forward before and provided information but you don't feel like it was investigated . . . Please come forward again. We've got another shot. We've got another chance at it."

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After 10 years, Mother, daughter remain missing

Updated Feb. 3, 8:45 p.m.  By SENTINEL STAFF  Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ten years ago, Tina and Bethany Sinclair disappeared from their Chesterfield home. In the years since, searches and continued investigation have failed to find what happened to the mother and daughter.

Family and friends remember Tina and Bethany, and the police and law enforcement who continue to investigate talk about the case in Friday’s Sentinel.

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Twelve years later, few answers in disappearance of mother and daughter

Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2013 8:00 am

Updated: 8:47 am, Sun Feb 3, 2013.

By Kyle Jarvis Sentinel Staff

Every day, Cheshire County Sheriff’s Deputy Earl D. Nelson looks at the pictures of the mother and daughter on his office wall. He wonders what happened to the faces in the frames.

It’s been 12 years since Tina and Bethany Sinclair vanished without a trace in West Chesterfield. Nelson, who was Chesterfield’s police chief at the time, is one of many who investigated the case. They, like family members, still hope for a resolution one day.

Although most believe Tina, 34, and Bethany, 15, were murdered, no one has ever been charged in their disappearance.

For authorities, the investigation has become a matter not of what they know, but what they can prove.

“The thing that really comes to mind when I look at their picture is, ‘Where are you? What happened?’ “ Nelson said. “It just keeps coming back. It’s right over my phone, so whenever I make a phone call, it’s right there. Is there frustration? Yes, there is.â€

Despite the dozen years that have passed, the case remains an active investigation, with the N.H. Attorney General’s Office and the N.H. State Police Cold Case Unit leading the effort. But officials there say new information in the case is scant.

“It’s a type of case where there are periods of activity and periods of dormancy, and that’s what typically happens in cases like this,†said Jeffery A. Strelzin, a senior assistant attorney general and chief of the homicide unit.

N.H. State Police Sgt. Joseph T. DiRusso also continues to investigate.

“There was some recent stuff over the summer, so people still think about it and still talk about it,†he said. DiRusso wouldn’t say whether any of those recent leads pushed the investigation forward, or what they were, but did say the case is listed as “one of our more serious investigations.â€

Phone messages left for investigators at the Cold Case Unit were not returned.

Documents on the probe into the pair’s disappearance have been sealed by authorities since 2001, and more than a decade later, authorities remain mum on any details, citing an ongoing investigation.

The good times

Tina Sinclair grew up in the Brattleboro area with two sisters and a brother.

“Tina and I went everywhere together,†said Sharon Garry, one of Sinclair’s sisters, who now lives in North Carolina.

The pair made friends easily, Garry said. “We’d go out dancing and we’d laugh and meet people and just have a good time,†she said.

Sinclair graduated from the Keene Beauty Academy and was pursuing her hairdressing license, but also dreamed of becoming a nurse, Garry said.

“She really had a great heart,†Garry said. “She did hospice care, and she was a good mom. She’d do all the girls’ hair on Christmas and Easter. I didn’t cut my hair until two years ago, and I sat there crying because Tina had been the last person to cut my hair.â€

Bethany was a shy, quiet teenager, Garry said.

“She loved to read,†she said. “She collected teddy bears an Beanie Babies. Her and my daughter were like best friends. She loved music. Her favorite song was ‘Just A Girl’ by No Doubt. She started collecting Grateful Dead bears, and I think she was sort of following in my daughter’s footsteps, because my daughter was a bit of a hippie.â€

Mary E. Lewis of Brattleboro, Sinclair and Garry’s mother, said Bethany and her mother “were wonderful kids, both of them.

“We were close,†she said of Sinclair. “She was a good mother. There wasn’t much she couldn’t do.â€

Sinclair would often stop by Mary’s house for coffee, and continued visiting her mother even when Mary moved to Massachusetts.

“As far as Bethany, I just loved her to pieces; she was a good kid,†she said. “There wasn’t a time I didn’t enjoy having them around.â€

A volatile relationship

In the three years leading up to their disappearance, Tina and Bethany Sinclair were living at the Mountain Road home of Tina Sinclair’s boyfriend, Eugene V. Bowman Jr., now 54 and still living in Chesterfield.

Chesterfield Police Chief Lester C. Fairbanks, who was then a lieutenant and the department’s lead investigator in the case, said he responded to several calls at the home for domestic incidents before the pair’s disappearance.

“They had a volatile relationship, from both ends, quite frankly,†he said of Bowman and Sinclair. “I’d been there before when Tina had packed up and moved out.â€

Neither Sinclair nor Bowman were ever arrested in connection with those incidents. Court records indicate that Bowman accused Sinclair of domestic abuse in July 2000, but the allegation was dismissed.

Garry believes Sinclair and Bethany’s lives went downhill when Bowman came into the picture.

“She had just moved back to Brattleboro from Florida, and she and Bethany were staying with me until they found a place of their own,†she said. “She met Bowman, and it had literally been maybe a month before she moved out of my place and in with him.â€

In the beginning, Sinclair thought she’d finally found a nice guy who would treat her right, Garry said.

“He treated her good at first,†she said. “But then he got very controlling, and it just got uglier and uglier.â€

Garry said things came to a head when Sinclair discovered Bowman was being prosecuted for sexual assaults against minors. Garry, who had since moved to Connecticut, wanted her sister and Bethany to come live with her, but Sinclair declined.

“She said, ‘I’ve got a plan; I’ve got everything worked out,’ †Garry said. “I believe that when she found out about the charges, she said it was over. It obviously didn’t turn out in her favor.â€

In May 2001, nearly four months after Sinclair and Bethany went missing, Bowman was convicted on three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. In those incidents, which occurred years earlier, Bowman engaged in sexual contact with the victims, whom he knew. He served two years in prison before he was released on parole in October 2003. He’s required to register as a sex offender with the Chesterfield Police Department four times a year.

On Saturday, Feb. 3, 2001, Sinclair and Bowman allegedly had an argument that caused Bowman to leave the house. Sinclair brought Bethany to the movies for the teen’s date with her boyfriend, and later picked Bethany up and brought her back home. Police know Bethany spoke to her boyfriend on the phone that night until just after midnight, but that was the last time anyone ever heard from Sinclair or Bethany.

Bowman told police he returned home after several hours at Sinclair’s stepfather’s house, but Sinclair and Bethany were gone. Sinclair’s white Dodge Neon was still in the driveway, and most of their personal belongings were still in the home.

That Monday, an unidentified woman called Bethany’s school and left a message saying Bethany was sick and would not be in school that day. When Bethany didn’t show up for school in the days that followed, school officials began to worry and called police. When police questioned Bowman, he told them he hadn’t reported them missing because it wasn’t unusual for them to take off for days at a time.

Police identified Bowman as a “person of interest,†but he said he knew nothing about what might have happened to them, and he’s never been named as a suspect in the investigation. Police have never identified anyone else as a person of interest or as a suspect.

The investigation begins

Chesterfield police began investigating by the end of that first week.

“Obviously, when you start something like that, you have the whole 360-degree range of possibilities of what happened to them,†Fairbanks said. “Did they take off for a couple days, or was it something more sinister? It quickly outstrips the resources of a small department like ours.â€

Despite limited resources and few leads, Fairbanks committed himself to the investigation.

“The first several weeks was no days off, no vacations,†he said. “You’re just trying to piece together the unknown picture. As time goes on, your concern grows for the sinister side of it, and that the darker possibilities may in fact be true.â€

Nelson, who knew Sinclair and Bethany only well enough to say “hello†whenever he bumped into them around town, said the investigation reached a point “when there wasn’t much more we could do.â€

Police obtained multiple search warrants for Bowman’s property, but the details of those searches have remained sealed, along with the rest of the official investigation files.

Russell B. Lamson was the State Police’s lead investigator on the case.

“When we got involved, there was a high suspicion that foul play was involved,†said Lamson, now retired and working as a part-time police officer in the town of Goshen. “That opinion wasn’t just mine; it was the opinion of the State Police.â€

Garry, with the help of investigators, organized several searches over the years, as police and volunteers worked side by side looking for any sign of Sinclair and Bethany. They searched the Bowman property, the Connecticut River, Pisgah State Park, and other locations using helicopters, divers and cadaver dogs. No solid evidence was ever uncovered. The Bowman property was since sold to another owner, who demolished the house.

Lamson would work on the case off and on for the next decade. The unanswered questions still haunt him today, and he said he thinks about the mother and daughter “all the time.â€

“It’s something that will never leave my mind,†he said. “All members of law enforcement will tell you they have that case that just stays with them, and that’s one for me. You can’t help but to get emotionally involved in cases like this. We’re human beings.â€

Garry eventually hired Gil Alba, a private investigator who’d previously worked on several prominent missing persons cases.

“Did they take off? Did they commit suicide? Those are the first things I look at,†Alba said in a recent interview. “After talking to everybody, I had the feeling that they didn’t run away, and that they would contact the family if they had. They didn’t take anything with them, so I’m of the belief that something did happen to them.â€

Like police, Alba identified Bowman as the only person of interest, but never interviewed him.

“I didn’t see anyone else that would be a person of interest, so he was basically the only one,†he said. “But there’s no DNA evidence because there’s no bodies, so there’s no real evidence against him, except maybe circumstantial.â€

The burden of proof

Garry remains convinced of Bowman’s guilt, but for authorities, it’s not that easy.

“If I was her family, over time I would have become increasingly frustrated as well,†Fairbanks said. “But they have the luxury to believe and know what they know, while I only have the luxury to believe what I can prove.â€

Strelzin agreed.

“Just because in a case you believe someone may be involved, doesn’t mean you have proof beyond a reasonable doubt,†he said. “No one’s been arrested because the state has not been able to prove who or whom was involved.â€

When reached at his Westmoreland auto business last week, Bowman declined comment.

Bowman has had some contact with police since his release from prison. He was issued a no trespass order by Hinsdale police in 2004 after a resident of a mobile home park reported he was trespassing on her property, said Police Chief Todd Faulkner.

Faulkner said Hinsdale police also had contact with Bowman in 2011, when he was placed in protective custody after police responded to a call of an intoxicated person. He was not charged and later released to a sober party.

In late 2005, Bowman was charged with violating parole, and was sent back to prison from Dec. 14, 2006, to Jan. 10, 2006. It’s unclear what the violation was.

Strelzin said there’s good reason for keeping the investigation files sealed.

“There’s often information law enforcement is able to obtain that is only known to us and the killer or killers, so by keeping that information (secret), that can be very important in determining someone’s credibility or deciding what avenues to pursue, so that’s very helpful in our investigations.â€

Strelzin said he wouldn’t rule out making parts of the sealed documents available to the public in the future.

In 2001, The Sentinel sued to have the documents made public, and a district court judge sided with The Sentinel. But a Supreme Court judge later overturned the lower court’s ruling, concluding that if authorities say they’re conducting an investigation, that’s enough to keep the information secret in order to protect the investigation’s integrity.

A family torn apart

For Garry, the passing of 12 years has done little to ease her pain.

“It’s destroyed our family,†she said. “It made my dad angry, it made my brother violent, and it divided our family. We used to spend every holiday together. It’s really just destroyed everyone’s lives.â€

For Garry, the pain is something she manages, and the only thing that can cure it is closure.

“I drained myself, physically, emotionally and financially,†she said. “The way I look at it, if I were missing, my sister would do everything she could to find me, too. I miss her every day.â€

Lewis said she used to walk around her home, looking out the windows, waiting for Sinclair and Bethany to pull into the driveway.

“But it hasn’t happened,†she said. “I have my good days and my bad days. Some days, I can’t get them out of my mind. I often talk to them when I’m by myself. I just feel sad and upset, and I miss them horribly.â€

All Garry has is a comforter, a birdhouse hand-painted by Sinclair, and one of Bethany’s Beanie Babies to remind her of happier times. Garry also had Sinclair’s 15-year-old cat, Climber, which Garry and Sinclair had rescued from a quarry together years earlier. Garry went to Bowman’s house several days after Sinclair and Bethany’s disappearance and got him, giving her at least one living, breathing thing to hold onto from her sister and niece.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

“I took him home to Connecticut with me, but two weeks later, he disappeared, too,†she said, fighting back tears. “I know he was looking for Tina.â€

Never giving up

For those who miss Sinclair and Bethany, and for those who have worked hard to solve the puzzle of their disappearance, giving up is not an option.

“The family has to keep pushing, and keep going with this, because you never know what could happen,†Alba said. “There’s never a time when you’ve felt like you could do all you could do; you always have to keep pursuing it, and that’s who it’s up to right now. The family has to keep pushing ...â€

That’s good advice, Lamson said.

“As any investigator would say, you never give up,†he said. “You always have to remain optimistic that that one phone call, that one lead, will ultimately lead you to a resolution.â€

When Fairbanks retires this summer, none of the original lead investigators will be left at the posts they held when the case began.

“I think it’s very important to keep it on the front burner and keep tips coming in. Time isn’t always the enemy; it stings, but it can sometimes bring in things that didn’t come to light at the time,†he said.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to get to a conclusion before the end of my career, but hopefully before the end of my life, we will.â€

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Divers search near dam in Sinclair investigation

Mother, daughter went missing in 2001


UPDATED 1:40 AM EDT Jun 18, 2014


HINSDALE, N.H. —Police divers were searching an area near the Vernon Dam in Hinsdale on Tuesday as part of the ongoing investigation into the 2001 disappearance of Tina and Bethany Sinclair.


The Attorney General's Office said state police and Fish and Game crews planned to search the area Tuesday and Wednesday. Officials said there was no new information that prompted the search, but divers now have new techniques, training and resources that allow them to search new areas.


“This is an area we have always wanted to search. This is an area that we have always been interested in,” Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said. “Not only the people who interacted with them, but the community wants to know what happened.”


Divers searched both sides of the Vernon Dam and focused on a half-mile area. Police have searched for the two for years, but now they have side-scan sonar and sector sonar to make things easier.


The water is more than 50 feet deep, but the visibility is only 4 feet.


Despite all that, searchers were still able to go farther with the search than they ever have.


“Today, we had scuba teams out that were beyond the barriers and they could touch the side of the dam,” Agati said. “That’s how close they were able to get, and new spots that were not able to get to before.”


Bethany Sinclair and her mother, Tina Sinclair, were last seen together in Chesterfield during the weekend of Feb. 3-4, 2001. Tina Sinclair last went to her job and Bethany Sinclair last attended school on Feb. 2, 2001. Tina Sinclair was 36 years old at the time, and Bethany Sinclair was 15.


Before that weekend, Tina and Bethany Sinclair lived in West Chesterfield at the home of Tina Sinclair’s boyfriend, Eugene Van Bowman, at 182 Mountain Road.

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Tina's sister, Sharon, has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Our condolences to the family.

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