As the summer of 1977 drew to a close, 17-year-old Simone made plans to celebrate Labor Day weekend with her family at their vacation home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At the time, Simone was working as a waitress at the Rainbow Restaurant in downtown Natick, Massachusetts. According to law enforcement, Simone left work around 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 1977 and intended to hitchhike to Cape Cod, but she never arrived.
According to police records, a man came into the Sherborn Police station in 1986 claiming to have information regarding the disappearance of Simone Ridinger. A local newspaper had recently run an article about Simone and the man told police that he recognized her photo. The man claimed that during the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 3, 1977 he was pulled over by police on Route 128, south of Boston. The man told the officer that he was on his way to Osterville, Massachusetts to collect some clock parts. In his recollection to police, the man said he noticed a young female sitting in the officer’s vehicle. He says the officer asked him if he would give the young female a ride to Cape Cod, since it was in the same direction he was traveling, and he agreed. The man claims that he dropped the young female off at the airport rotary in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The physical description of the young female that the man provided to law enforcement at the time fit with the physical description of Simone. Additionally, the man stated that the young girl was wearing a blue blouse, blue jeans, white sneakers and was carrying a gray-ish colored duffle bag. But law enforcement was not able to corroborate any of this information.
Fast forward to 2014. Detectives with the Sherborn Police Department decided to re-examine Simone’s case. In addition to reviewing some old leads, the detectives also conducted interviews with people who knew Simone during the time she disappeared.
Detectives sat down with two of Simone’s former coworkers from the Rainbow Restaurant. These two individuals were able to provide detectives with a description of what Simone was wearing the day she left work to head to Cape Cod. According to their statement, Simone was wearing a blue vest-like blouse, blue jeans, white sneakers and carrying a gray duffle bag. Sound familiar? This description matched the description given by the man in 1986 who claimed to have given Simone a ride.
With this new information, detectives are now looking into the idea that Simone may have in fact made the 80-mile journey from Natick, Massachusetts to the Cape Cod area before disappearing. Officials with the Sherborn Police Department are seeking information from anyone who may have been in the Cape Cod area during Labor Day weekend 1977 and recall seeing a young female matching Simone’s description.
Simone was a 17-year-old white female with brown hair and brown eyes. She was five feet six inches tall and weighed approximately 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue vest-like blouse, blue jeans, white sneakers and carrying a gray duffle bag. The blouse may have been consistent with the waitress uniform worn at the Rainbow Restaurant in 1977.
If you have any information, please contact the Sherborn Police Department at 508-653-2424 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.