A drawing of June Robles that ran in the Star.

June Robles, the six-year-old granddaughter of a wealthy Tucson pioneer, had been kidnapped as she left her school. A ransom of $15,000 was demanded for her safe return.

The news was all over Tucson and hundreds helped search through the night for clues.

From the Arizona Daily Star, April 27, 1934:




Desert and Mountain Combed in Vain; City Homes Searched


Supervisors and Legion Each to Give $500 For Capture


Weary from his 24 hour straight vigil, Colby S. Farrar, Pima county undersheriff, received report after report last night at his office in the county court house as police officers and deputies, Legionnaires and cowboys, state patrol and federal officers aiding in the search for six-year-old June Robles returned from the wide-flung miles of mountain and desert that surround Tucson. But no word of the dark-haired baby or her kidnaper were included in the news given Farrar and his co-worker, C. A. Wollard, chief of police.

Men in cars, afoot and ahorse had left no trail unwatched nor home unvisited as they carried on the search for the little girl who was kidnaped as she left the Roskruge school Wednesday evening.

Undaunted by the lack of success Farrar and Wollard prepared new patrols and fresh men relieved those long on duty. The search, now delving deep into the mesquite covered desert along the Santa Cruz river, has taken more than 300 men into the field and more have volunteered their services.

While he said he could not go into detail as to the plans, Farrar admitted last night that an effort will be made to contact the kidnapers in hope that the ransom payment of $15,000 may be adjusted in order to obtain the safe return of the child. The officer would not divulge the time nor the place at which the effort would be made, but intimated that it would be before morning.


Searchers were given instruction for searching houses in and around Tucson:


"Don't shoot unless someone attacks you," the instructions began. "Put one man in the alley and another in the street. Approach the houses and ask permission to go through. If permissionh is refused, call the sheriff's office and report it and station a man to guard the house until further orders."

On this basis the covering of the town began. Meanwhile the search in the county districts was not neglected. So far as possible, men who knew the district to be searched were assigned to each location with instructions to search each house and cabin with especial attention to likely hideouts for such a gang.


Clearly no stone was to be left unturned and if a house couldn't be searched, searchers would make sure no one could be spirited away from it without being seen.

An extra first page was added over the original, so that subscribers got two front pages, one with the original article, part of which is above, and one in front of that with a new article. It included a note to subscribers:


To Star Subscribers

This extra cover was put on The Star this morning because the Robles family believe that the kidnapers of 6-year-old June Robles should have the news that the family is willing to negotiate as soon as possible.

(For details further than those carried on the story on this page, read the original page one, inside this special bulletin cover.)


The story on the new front page:




Carlos Robles Issues Statement Calling Off Searchers for June, 6


The manhunt for the abductors of June Robles, 6, who was kidnaped from in front of Roskruge school Wednesday afternoon, was called off this morning at 3 o'clock at the request of the family.

The family is attempting to get into contact with the kidnapers.

The statement calling off the concentrated manhunt, which involved more than 300 volunteer and paid officers at its height, was issued by Carlos Robles, uncle of June and assistant county attorney of Pima county, as follows:

"The main object in the case, I believe, is to have the girl returned safely to her family.

"For that reason I have requested, at the request of the family, the officers to withdraw from the case in order to permit the family to negotiate with the kidnapers, hoping that with negotiations with them we may have the girl returned to her home safe.

"The officers have been kind enough to accept and have agreed to withdraw."

In an informal addition to the statement, Assistant County Attorney Robles then said that he felt that if The Arizona Daily Star carried the news to as many Tucsonans as possible, negotiations might be hastened. When the statement was issued, present in the county attorney's office were:

Fernando Robles, father of the kidnaped child.

Carlos Robles, uncle.

County Attorney Clarence Houston.

Undersheriff Colby S. Farrar, who has headed the manhunt.

Chief of Police C. A. Wollard — whose department captured John Dillinger and his gang, and who turned police force over to the direction of Farrar to expedite the manhunt.

Fifteen thousand dollars ransom was asked in the original kidnaping note.

The condition of Mrs. Helen Robles, mother of the child, who has been praying constantly for the child's safe return, grew dangerous last night, and hastened to family's decision to attempt to regain the child through negotiations with the kidnapers.


Next: Arrests, hoaxes and lots of waiting.