George Carroll, who disappeared more than 55 years before his remains were discovered under the basement of his Lake Grove home, will be laid to rest Friday in Calverton National Cemetery.
Carroll’s children, who consulted with psychics and paranormal-phenomena investigators to determine what happened to their dad, say they had been shadowed by feelings of abandonment and loss since their father vanished in 1963. The discovery of his bones, they say, has brought them peace.
The inscription on his grave marker will say “I never left.”
“I always dreamed about knowing where my father was.” said Jean Kennedy, who was 10 years old when her dad disappeared. “I am absolutely elated,” she said of Friday's service.
Carroll, a Korean War veteran, will be remembered by about 100 friends and relatives during a private memorial before his interment, according to his family. That's nearly a year after two grandsons discovered his skeleton under the basement of the family’s Olive Street home on Oct. 30, 2018.
“This is such a blessing,” said Steven Carroll, who was 6 years old when George went missing. “We have become closer as we have learned more about our father,”
George Carroll was 30 when he vanished about 56 years ago, according to his family. Steven and Jean’s sister, Patricia Carroll, was 8. Michael Carroll, who purchased the family’s home from their mother Dorothy before she died at 64 in 1998, was a 2-year-old. The family originally believed George Carroll disappeared in 1961, but revised that date after learning that he had testified in a lawsuit in 1963.
George Carroll's children say friends and relatives have told them since his remains were discovered that he was a generous man who loved working on cars. One told them how he, while serving with the U.S. Army in Korea, took apart a three-wheel vehicle, mailed the parts to his mother’s home in Lake Grove, then rebuilt the vehicle after his discharge.
“My dad,” said Michael Carroll, “was a cool guy.”
Suffolk police said nobody ever filed a missing-person report after George Carroll disappeared. Dorothy Carroll told her children her husband went out one day and never came back. Some friends and relatives speculated, the family said, that he left his family to return to a girlfriend in Korea. Others had suggested he had met a more nefarious fate -- and may have been buried somewhere in the Olive Street home.
Psychics who visited the home said George Carroll’s remains were buried under the basement of the house, which was built in 1925, the family said. A team of paranormal-phenomena investigators said they detected psychic energy, according to Michael Carroll, who began digging up the basement a few years ago.
Ground-penetrating radar indicated a disturbance in the ground five or six feet below the surface. Michael Carroll’s sons, Michael Jr. and Christopher, found their grandfather’s bones near that spot.
Suffolk County Medical Examiner Michael Caplan ruled last year that trauma to the head was the cause of death. Police say the killer may have been someone with access to the home.
Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer told Newsday last year that police would have wanted to question Richard Darress Sr., a handyman who was working on the home when George Carroll disappeared. Darress, who died last year, later married Dorothy and the couple had a son, who remains close to his half-brothers and sisters.
Darress and Dorothy divorced in the 1980s and Darress became a trucker who moved to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Steven Carroll said he was planning to travel to Mexico last year to question Darress about his father’s death, but Darress died the day before his trip.
Authorities say too much time may have passed to determine who killed George Carroll. But his children say they are relieved to learn that their father had not abandoned them.
“The odds of finding my father were greater than winning the lottery,” Steven Carroll said. “This feels like we won the lottery.”