What Happened to Wanda Mitchell?

She was one day shy of her 15th birthday when Wanda Mitchell ran away from home. Less than a year later, her remains were recovered from the woods in Poland, Maine. To this day, her death is considered undetermined — not a homicide, not an accident, not a single clear answer as to what happened to the teenage girl or who, if anyone, is responsible. 

The search for answers has gone on for over 40 years. Wanda’s mother, Sheila Simoneaux, is keeping her story alive.

Wanda’s Story

Wanda was generally a happy, friendly, and outgoing girl. She was in her sophomore year at Bonny Eagle High School, and navigating teenage life the best she could. School was a challenge for her.

Wanda and Sheila began to clash more often in Wanda’s early teenage years. Wanda could be defiant, independent, strong-headed. Following the rules her mother set was the biggest challenge, especially when it came to boys.

Sheila felt that Wanda was a bit too young to be dating, she was 14-years old, but Wanda was insistent that she was ready. Whenever she could be, Wanda was with Terry, a boy the same age who lived in Scarborough. She ran up phone charges and snuck around doing it. It seemed there was no keeping Wanda away from Terry.

The night of November 10, 1979 Wanda had once again snuck Terry over to her house while Sheila and her step-dad were out. They came home to find Wanda in apparent distress. Terry said he’d call after he left, but Wanda hadn’t heard from him.

Sheila was stern with Wanda — she wasn’t supposed to have Terry there when parents weren’t home. Wanda didn’t like what her mother had to say. She stormed off to bed.

The next morning, Wanda’s step-father called Sheila at work. Wanda was nowhere to be found.

For Wanda’s full story, press play on the episode above or find it on your favorite podcast app.

Episode Source Material

Thank you to Sheila Simoneaux for trusting me with Wanda’s story.