Vanishing Act: Chief Wiley, meet Judge Crater

Chief Wiley, meet Judge Crater

The outside world has tended to notice Hinckley Township, Ohio, only during the annual celebration of Buzzard Day on March 15, when the homely scavengers flap back to town just as swallows home in on Capistrano. But this summer the northeast Ohio community of 5,000 has a more urgent claim on public curiosity: the case of the missing police chief.

It began in late July when the tan 1980 Toyota station wagon owned by Hinckley Police Chief Mel L. Wiley, 47, turned up at Cleveland's Lakefront State Park on Lake Erie. Park rangers noticed it around 4 a.m. one Tuesday. The...

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