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Mystery of missing youths stirs troubling memories of 60 years ago

Brothers Terry and Alan Westerfield supposedly were dropped off at the old Broadway Theater downtown by their stepfather back on Sept. 4, 1964. They were never seen again. Now, Fayetteville Police and the FBI are searching for two others who went missing as youngsters: Blake and London Deven.


Just like the Westerfield brothers, Blake Devin and London Devin are missing.

Vanished, you might say, into thin air.

Fayetteville Police were baffled in September of 1964, when 11-year-old Terry Westerfield and his brother, 7-year-old Alan Westerfield — according to their stepfather — were dropped off in the afternoon to watch a double-feature at the Broadway Theater downtown, and never seen again.

Today, 60 years later, Fayetteville Police equally are at a loss over the disappearance of Blake Deven and London Deven. Family members, according to the FPD, say the two have been missing since 2022 and 2019, respectively.

Blake Deven would be 17 today. London Deven would be 27.

“Blake and London have been missing for years,” Fayetteville Police Chief Kem Braden said Friday at a media conference. “This will be a complex investigation and will likely take time. Detectives are piecing together a timeline of events and seeking information from anyone who has interacted with or made observations of Blake or London at any time. Any interaction or sighting, no matter how recent or how old, are significant in these cases.”

Blake recently was reported missing after not being seen for years. Two days later, London — who is related to Blake, though how is unclear — was also reported missing. The FBI, Braden says, also is taking part in the search.

An FPD forensics team joined with the FBI in the Arran Hills neighborhood early Monday, according to published reports, conducting a search at the Berriedale Drive house in west Fayetteville, where the children grew up in the care of their adoptive mother. The FPD also was at the home Friday. The Devin family no longer resides at the Berriedale Drive address.

Something is amiss here.

Kids, we’d like to think, just don’t disappear without rhyme or reason.

Sept. 14, 1964

This community was saying as much in 1964, when a freckled-face Terry Westerfield and his little brother vanished, according to a report by Nancy McCleary, then working with The Fayetteville Observer, after the boys’ stepfather says he dropped them off at the Hay Street theater on Sept. 14. The brothers, according to the report, were supposed to meet their stepfather around 7:45 p.m. on a street corner after the films and return to their Bordeaux home.

Carl Bock, the stepfather, told police he waited for the boys until 9:30 p.m., according to the newspaper report, before driving to Fort Bragg, where he worked as a military policeman. He later went home, according to the report, and told his wife about what had happened. Margie Westerfield Bock, according to the report, notified city police at 2 a.m.

A search, to include the FBI, for the missing brothers ensued, and days of looking became months and years.

Investigators, according to McLeary’s report, believe that Bock never took the Westfield brothers to the theater, but instead likely killed them. Employees at the theater, according to the Observer report, said they never saw the brothers at the theater that late summer day, where they often went to see films. They claimed, too, that Bock never went into the theater to inquire about the boys. Other employees, though, according to another WRAL news account, said they did see the brothers at the theater that day.

‘Somebody out there that knows’

The case was a mystery.

“My whole family was completely devastated by that, and to be completely honest with you, none of us have ever gotten over it," John McDougald, the brothers’ uncle, told WRAL in 1999

Terry was a Boy Scout. Alan was a Cub Scout.

Thomas “Mel” Westerfield was a soldier and the biological father of the missing boys. According to the Fayetteville Observer account, he continued to pursue any leads to find his sons. He died by suicide in 1978.

Margie Westerfield Bock, the boys’ mother, said in a 1994 Observer interview her hope was that her children were alive.

“I hope and pray that they will be found alive," she was quoted in the story. "But that’s only a hope. Sometimes I don't think God will let me die without knowing what happened to my children.″

According to the Observer report, she died at age 70 on Feb. 27, 2003, in Florence, South Carolina.

Carl Bock, the stepfather, died at age 93 on May 9, 2016, never taking responsibility for the whereabouts of the brothers.


Children just don’t up and disappear.

They are not supposed to be here one day and gone the next.

Somebody somewhere knows what has become of Blake Deven. Somebody somewhere knows what has become of London Deven. Just like somebody knew what became of Terry and Alan Westerfield long ago.

“I know that everyone in our community has more questions than answers right now,” Chief Kem Braden says about Blake and London. “Please understand, the Fayetteville Police Department and the FBI remain committed to finding out what happened to these two young people.”

If you have information on Blake Deven and London Deven, call the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 578-2697 or the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI. You also may submit an anonymous tip online at tips.fbi.gov

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.

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