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More Answers, Years Later

       On March 17, 2010, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler announced the official end of the Candace Clothier case. New evidence had led investigators to what they felt were the final answers regarding Clothier’s death; answers that clarify the relationship between this case and that of the Tent Girl. 

       The new information came to the police thanks to a 2005 TV program about cold case files that profiled the Clothier case. The police were soon contacted by a woman that was able to identify the bag Clothier was found in as one that had belonged to her; and that her husband had asked to borrow it, taken it outside to a waiting car and disappeared for several hours. These details led investigators to what they believe to be an accurate detailing of the events of the night of March 9, 1968. 

       On this night, Candace Clothier left home around 8:00 PM to walk to a trackless trolley, and instead accepted a ride from two young men (described as “slightly older” than Clothier) in a car; it is believed that she recognized one of the men, and therefore trusted them. She was then driven to a “deserted area off Decatur Road near Northeast Philadelphia Airport, where youths often gathered.” Here, either of her own will or against it, Clothier was injected with a lethal dose of an illegal drug. One of the two young men had a noted history of forcibly injecting both people and animals with illegal drugs; so it is possible that she was drugged with an eye to making her more pliable to the young men’s sexual desires, in which case the overdose was likely accidental. But whether it was a case of manslaughter or murder, the overdose killed Candace Clothier. 

       The two young men then drove her body to the house of a third man, whose wife provided the black bag Clothier was found in; stuffed in the bag, her body was dropped into the Neshaminy Creek from the Chain Bridge in Northhampton, just upstream from the Bucks County Community College. Weeks later, the bag was found washed up upon the small island in the middle of the creek. 

       This investigation has identified all the people believed to have been involved, but the names of these people are being withheld from the public because all are dead; they cannot therefore defend themselves or be punished, and revealing their names would be a burden to their families. The family of Candace Clotheir was informed of their names, and knows the full story; and, realistically, that is the most important outcome of the investigation. 

       So, despite the coincidental timing of the murder of Candace Clothier shortly after that of the Tent Girl, and the similarity in the method of disposal, the two cases are not directly related. This is unfortunate, as many hoped that more answers to the Clothier case would also allow for a more precise set of answers in the Tent Girl case.