Maryann Hutchinson, an Evanston woman missing for 44 years.

44 years to the day after Maryann Hutchison was reported missing on July 22, 1979, relatives and friends gathered along the Evanston lakefront Saturday to give Maryann something she never received — a proper remembrance.

“We never had a funeral, we never had a memorial,” said Cynthia Mayfield, one of Maryann’s sisters.

“They never found her body.”

Mayfield, and about two dozen other relatives and friends, held a ceremony at Lee Street Beach, to recall the Evanston woman who was only 24 years old when she disappeared.

Maryann was one of six siblings. Another sister, Janice Hutchison, was also at the memorial.

Janice Hutchison and Cynthia Mayfield with photo of their sister Maryann.

Mayfield believes without a doubt that she knows who the killer was, but because her sister’s body was never found, the case was not solved.

“Her life really mattered,” Hutchison said.

“If you’re not going to care about your family, who will?”

As for why the memorial was held on the 44th anniversary of the disappearance, instead of, say, a round number like the 40th, Mayfield said “I’m doing this now because I got everything completed,” just in case her sister’s remains are ever found.

To that end, Mayfield said she recently gave a DNA sample to the FBI. And Maryann Hutchison’s disappearance has been featured on the website Project: Cold Case.

And while it’s been more than four decades since her sister vanished, Maryann urges anyone who knows something to call the Evanston Police.

Perhaps news of the memorial will help jog someone’s memory. But even if it doesn’t, Mayfield has finally been able to give her sister a farewell with love.

“I couldn’t die without getting this done,” Mayfield said.

“I asked God to keep me going until I could do it.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *