These were the only signs that 18-year-old Lynn Burdick had been at the Mohawk Trail's Barefoot Peddler the night she disappeared more than two decades ago.
Last Tuesday marked 25 years since the Florida native and McCann Technical School senior vanished during her night shift at the little convenience store that has long since been torn down. Her parents called the store just after 8:30 on April 17, 1982, to see if she needed a ride home but there was no answer. Lynn's parents were sure she had arrive..d for her shift because her third cousin, Roy Burdick, 73, had stopped by the store that Saturday night for supplies only shortly before she vanished.
"I stopped by with a van full of teenagers because we were having a youth dance that night," Roy Burdick, a reverend and now the Selectmen chairman, said. "She wanted to go but she couldn't because she had to work. That was her night to work."
The search for Lynn continued for moths and included scores of volunteers from all over North County, local and state police, local pilots who donated their time and planes and even a few helicopters borrowed form the state police and local television stations. To this day, that outpouring of support still stands out in the mind of Lynn's father, 79-year-old Rufus Burdick.
"A lot of people turned out and searched the road sides and parking areas and woods all over the county," he said on Sunday. "They really gave it their all and I'm very thankful for all that help in searching for her."
Investigators at the time were suspicious that Lynn's disappearance may have been connected to the attempted abduction of a Williams College student roughly a half hour earlier that same night. According to reports at the time, a young woman, whose name was never released, was almost pulled into a dark colored sedan by a unknown assailant but fought back and escaped. The driver then took off east Route 2, in the direction of the Mohawk Trail.
Williamstown Police Sgt. Vincent Zoito was in the perfect position to intercept the car on Main Street that night, but before the call went out on the attempted abduction, Zoito was sent to investigate a disturbance that turned out to be nothing.
Stopped a serial killer
"If we had been at our location, well, I might have stopped a serial killer and that's one I'd like to have back," Zoito told The Berkshire Eagle at the time of his retirement in 2002. "I can't say for a fact that the incident was connected to the Burdick girl, but it seems like an awfully big coincidence."
The supposed serial killer Zoito spoke of was one theory going around at the time because of previous attacks on young girls. In November 1974, the body of Kim Benoit, 18, was found off River Road in Florida, two weeks after she was last seen alive. A paroled convict from Jacksonville, Fla., Paul John Knowles, was linked to the crime by a credit card purchase for gasoline in the area near the time of her disappearance but he was killed trying to escape from a sheriff's police car. In October 1976, Cynthia Krizack, 17, of Williamstown disappeared on her way to the Williams College library. On Halloween, her body was found in the woods of Windsor. Both women were apparently strangled but not sexually assaulted.
Over the years, there has been plenty of speculation about Lynn's disappearance. Some say she ran away and made it look like an abduction because her jacket and purse were not at the store. But only $187 was missing from the cash register, while a large but undisclosed amount of cash remained behind the counter. Investigators at the time said an abductor would not have known about the cache but if Burdick were running away, she probably would have taken it.
In the mind of Roy Burdick, there's no question that his cousin was taken by someone.
Not the type
"She's not the type of girl that would have left on her own," he said, insistently. "She was a nice Christian girl, she went to church, everything. She wouldn't have taken off."
Rufus Burdick agreed.
"I think someone took her but I suppose anything is possible," he said. "I still hope for the best but it's been a long while."
As the years went on, the searches moved from the country to the city including Springfield's red-light district and Boston's long-defunct "Combat Zone." Eventually, the searches stopped altogether. Collection cans for the Lynn Burdick Reward Fund that once populated almost every store in the area began to disappear and finally vanished. A composite sketch of the suspect was released but the tips and calls to police became more infrequent. In 1990, a lower jaw bone was found in the woods of North Adams and compared to Burdick's dental records but it wasn't a match.
Despite this, the district attorney's office hasn't given up on the 25-year-old crime.
"It's still an active and open investigation," DA spokesman Fred Lantz said Thursday. "We do not close cases of missing persons or suspicious deaths."
For Roy Burdick, being the last one to see Lynn Burdick attracts the curious.
"Every now and then I get contacted from somebody saying they wonder or they heard something but nothing's ever really happened from it," he said. "I just wish something could be done to solve the mystery but that's all in God's hands.
Rufus Burdick hopes if his daughter is still out there and he's trying to help her find her way home.
"The yard light is still on for her. When she would come home, she'd usually come up and over the lawn so that's still on. It will always be on," he said. "I'd like to know what happened and, hopefully, she's still alive somehow, somewhere out there."