Family of missing Brockton teen Jennifer Fay observing tough anniversary

BROCKTON, Mass. — “I want my daughter back so I can put an end to it,” Dottie MacLean, Jennifer Fay’s mother told me today.

On Saturday night, it will be exactly 31 years since the Brockton teenager left her home and never came back.

“We actually believe Jennifer is gone, but a mother always hopes,” MacLean said. “Every day I just get up and I hope that we’ll find her and bring her home.”

On the night of November 14, 1989, Jennifer Fay was supposed to babysit her younger sister and brother for a few hours at their apartment on Emerson Avenue in Brockton, while Dottie enjoyed a night out.

But before Dottie got home, Jennifer slipped outside to hang with her friends.

And Jennifer Fay was never seen again.

The friends Jennifer was hanging with that night are all grown up, many of them have teenagers of their own. But Jennifer’s mother tells me, none of them will talk to her about what happened that night.

“Why they are not coming forward, I don’t know,” MacLean said. “I wake up every day wondering how can they do it? How can somebody know what happened to somebody’s child, all these years, and know that child, that close to them and not come forward and say anything?”

On Saturday night, Dottie, her family, and friends will go back to the old neighborhood and walk Jennifer’s last known steps.

This year, they will wear COVID-19 masks bearing an age-progressed image of Jennifer.

Dottie hopes this will be the last vigil, but that’s not up to her.

“I just try, every day, to get by, and just hope that I’m going to hear from somebody to bring my daughter home,” MacLean said.

Dottie MacLean tells me, for now, justice can wait.

What matters most to her, is finally knowing, for the first time in more than three decades, where her daughter is.