Sodder children disappearance

disappearance of five children in 1945

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1945, a fire destroyed the Sodder home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, United States. At the time, it was owned by George Sodder, his wife Jennie, and nine of their ten children. During the fire, George, Jennie, and four of the nine children escaped. The bodies of the other five children have never been found. The Sodders believed for the rest of their lives that the five missing children survived.[1]

In the 1950s, as they came to doubt that the children had died, they put up a billboard at the site along State Route 16 with pictures of the five.[2]

In support of their belief that the children survived, the Sodders have pointed to a number of unusual circumstances before and during the fire. Authorities say the fire was caused by an electric fire and that the remains were cremated in the fire. The Sodders believed the Sicilian Mafia or someone else kidnapped the children due to George's anti-Benito Mussolini views.

Related pagesEdit


  1. Abbott, Karen (December 25, 2012). "The Children Who Went Up In Smoke". Smithsonian. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  2. Horn, Stacy (December 23, 2005). "Mystery of Missing Children Haunts W.Va. Town". National Public Radio. Retrieved December 2, 2015.