Case #: 091760089
Julia Madsen was 72 years old when she was last seen on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at approximately 7 p.m. at her beach house at 22nd Avenue in the South Seaside Park section of Berkeley Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. She left behind keys, her money and identification. She told her husband she was going for a walk on the beach and she never returned.
She was last seen wearing a pink shirt with white Capri pants and either white sneakers or brown leather shoes. She was also wearing a diamond engagement ring and wedding band, a silver watch on her right wrist, and a gold and silver bracelet on her left wrist. She is a white female, 5’6” in height and 175 lbs with light brown hair and brown eyes. She has moles on her nose and on her right temple, and her ears are pierced. Her knuckles are swollen from arthritis and she has bunions on her feet. Her date of birth is listed as 06/21/1937 and her nickname is “Julie.”
Julia’s official residence is in Clifton NJ, but she has a beach house where both her and her husband were staying at the time.
Search parties of hundreds walked up and down the beach, went door-to-door and combed through all 8 miles of vegetation in the wilderness of Island Beach State Park, looking for any signs of Julia. Nothing was found. Even with the assistance of tracking dogs, ATV’s, helicopters, boats and drones, there was no trace of Julia anywhere. The beach was also searched on horseback.
Relatives say that Julia was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, but that doesn’t explain why they can’t find any trace of her. This was a recent diagnosis and Julia was still able to keep up a lively conversation, regardless of her occasional episodes of mild confusion and repetitiveness. Her family stated that she knew who she was, was still able to drive and had never gotten lost before.
When Julia didn’t return from her walk by 8:20 p.m, her husband Edward went outside to look for her. First in the backyard by the swimming pool and then up to the beach. When he still could not locate her, he got in his car and began driving around. Just before 9 p.m. he called the police. Around 20 officers searched the streets and beach, and by morning, a command post was set up at the top of the street and the search was expanded to include more officers and canines from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, along with another helicopter. They checked local motels for suspicious persons and known sex offenders.
Edward recalls his last moments with Julia, she first told him she was going for a walk on the beach. “I’ve got bad legs; I couldn’t walk on the beach.” Edward explained. “She kissed me, we said ‘I love you,’ like we always did, and then she took a walk.”
Edward and Julia were high school sweethearts who had just marked their 50th wedding anniversary just five days earlier, on June 20, 2009, and her 72nd birthday on June 21st. They headed to the shore to spend a week at their summer home. Another celebration for Edward’s 74th birthday was supposed to happen on June 26th, but it never came to fruition.
Investigators initially thought Julia went in the water, but her family tells them that she wasn’t one to go swimming, plus she was fully clothed and her body did not wash up.
Her son believes she may have stumbled upon something she wasn’t supposed to see and disappeared as a result. Julia was legally declared dead five years after her disappearance.
In 2015, a skull was found in the area and had undergone DNA testing, but it was determined that it was not a match to Julia. The same thing happened to the skeletal remains that were found in 2018 in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, not a match.
Police and witnesses say the beach was not crowded the night Julia vanished. It was determined that there were some surfers, and a family of four on the beach too, along with some fishermen and a few joggers. No one has ever come forward to say that they saw a woman in a pink blouse.
Julia’s case remains unsolved.
If you have any further information please contact the Berkeley Township Police Department at 732-341-6600.