September 21, 2023 — Underground Mysteries
Lorraine Judith (Barrie) Chance, also known as “Lee”, was last seen on January 3, 1948 in Sacramento, California when she was 26 years old.
On the day of her disappearance, Chance left her residence at the 1800th block of South Street in Sacramento and took her 4-year-old daughter to Santa Cruz, California be babysat by a woman named Mrs. Thompson. Chance reportedly never returned to the babysitter’s house to pick up her daughter.
Recent to Chance’s disappearance, in November of 1947, her husband, Calvin Horner “Bud” Chance, had passed away in Virginia while serving in the US Navy and working on the USS Coral Sea CV43. Chance was a young, mourning widow at the time of her disappearance.
According to the Charley Project, Chance requested to collect her late husband’s death benefits on March 28, 1948. However, no one knew where she was. It is uncertain if Lorraine was requesting the benefits herself or if it was a matter of attempted fraud. The benefits checks were never sent to Lorraine, as she had not provided an address to where the checks should be sent.
I found a few newspaper articles that indicate the American Red Cross was seeking Chance’s whereabouts to inform her that she was eligible for her husband’s death benefits.
Chance had a warrant out for her arrest when she vanished, so it is possible she was trying to run from the law.
Chance is described as a petite Caucasian female with brown hair (reported to have been bleached blonde at the time of her disappearance) and brown eyes. She reportedly wore a 3.5 sized shoe. Her NamUs profile states that she had protruding teeth and stood anywhere from 4’11” to 5’5″. Because Chance would now be 101 years old if alive today, there is a chance that her height could have shrunken and her teeth could have fallen out, been removed, or replaced with dentures. She also may have gray hair now.
A Facebook page was set up by one of Chance’s supporters, which helps collect clues in her disappearance. The hashtag #FindingLorraine is used in her case to track posts. I will apply this hashtag when I circulate her story as well.
Chance was born in 1922 in Boston, Massachusetts. She had lived in New York City, New York at West 110th Street from 1942 to 1945, before moving to Sacramento with her husband.
If you have any information on Chance’s disappearance or her whereabouts, please contact the Sacramento Police Department at 916-808-0560.
Census 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950
US Vital Records
Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
Newspaper: The Sacramento Bee. Wednesday, September 01, 1948. Page 16.
Newspaper: Stockton Evening and Sunday Record. Stockton, California. Monday, April 05, 1948. Page 18.
Newspaper: Auburn Journal. Auburn, California. Thursday, April 08, 1948. Page 16.
Newspaper: The Peninsula Times Tribune. Palo Alto, California. Wednesday, April 07, 1948. Page 15.
Newspaper: The Californian. Salinas, California. Saturday, April 03, 1948. Page 3.
Newspaper: The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. Monday, April 05, 1948. Page 2.
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