SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Frances Sessions tried saving her son but she couldn’t. She was so distraught over the loss of him that Sessions may have followed his footsteps. She disappeared, never to be seen again.

The state’s database for missing persons lists about 60 people that have disappeared. But some, like Sessions, go missing and their case is never forwarded to the database run by the state. But web sleuths are stumbling upon cases and bringing them to the attention of the state.

“The story is extremely sad,” said Crystal Douglas.

She runs a website for missing persons in Idaho, and while searching on the internet, stumbled upon the story of Frances Sessions.

“She was up recreating with her son. They were sliding on rocks for fun and her little boy accidently went over the edge and died.”

It was May, 1946 when Sessions was at her parents home near 2nd Street in Ogden. According to news accounts, Sessions, her son and a nephew decided to hike up to bear cave on Ogden’s mountainside. They began sliding on loose rock when her son went over the cliff. Sessions found him but he was already dead.

“She carried her deceased son in her arms all the way back to her home,” said Douglas.

Her nephew who was hiking with them was taken to the hospital and eventually recovered from his injuries.
But according to news accounts, Sessions was “distraught,” and was with her parents apparently “resting.” She then “escaped” and it’s believed that she returned to the mountain and possibly had “fallen” from fatigue.

“They had quite a few searches it looks like and quite a few people involved but she was never found,” said Douglas.

More than 75 years later, Session’s whereabouts remain unknown. She’s never been found nor declared dead.

Since Douglas’s discovery, other websites on the internet have posted stories of her disappearance. But Sessions was not listed on Utah’s database for missing persons. The crime analyst for the website said they just learned of her disappearance.

“Just last week I saw this posting and I talked with Crystal (Douglas) and commented on her post and said we’ll talk to the agency and get this case moving.”

Mackay said police departments, like Ogden police in the Sessions case, need to provide case file information in order for the state to place a person on the missing persons website.

“The agencies have to assign it a case number before we can get going on our part,” she said. Another case unknown to the state was the disappearance of Doug Brick. Douglas learned of him and brought it to the attention of MacKay.

Brick graduated from a high school in Idaho and was enrolled at the University of Utah before he vanished in 1973.

“There was a lot of things going on,” said his brother David Brick. “He had some girlfriend, and he broke up with a girlfriend. We really don’t know why he just took off and disappeared.”

MacKay said it’s difficult to stay on top of every missing person in Utah. Police departments normally contact her about a missing person, but she also welcomes input from the public.

Thanks to Douglas, Sessions is now on the state’s website for missing persons. And should someone find bones in the mountainside, Mackay said they will use the DNA process to compare it with those on file.

“They can do a comparison, and if it’s a match, then they work towards closing the case and letting the family knows there’s a match,” said Mackay.

And that’s why Douglas said she keeps looking on the internet for a missing person. She said if she can help families find closure, it’s worth the effort.