Dateline   |  December 06, 2013

'Missing Marie' part 2

Marie's husband searches for her. The police start investigating. The FBI does too, looking for signs of espionage. Marie's eight-year-old son, Marcus, remembers "missing" fliers posted around his neighborhood.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the day that changed marcus singleton's life began like any other, except that he had the day off from school. it was friday, november 11th , 1994 . marcus then 8 years old was glued to the tv in his family's living room.

>> i was watching a cartoon movie, bugs bunny movie. my mom comes up the stairs. she says something to me. i'm thinking she's going somewhere , you know, i'm, like, okay, yada yada yada , i was watching television.

>> you were zoned out.

>> i was zoned out, and i'm so zoned out finally i fall asleep.

>> marcus woke up later that evening to the sound of his baby brother crying.

>> so, i go downstairs, why is this little kid crying? where is everybody at?

>> finally the phone rang.

>> my stepfather calls me and he tells me, you know, he's saying, hey, is your mom there, is your mom home yet, whatever? and she -- and i'm, like, no, where the heck are you guys? i've been here and marquis won't stop crying. he just won't stop. okay, okay, i'll be there soon. i'll be there soon.

>> andre said he'd last seen marie around 5:00 p.m . just before he left for his son andre jr.'s football game . now when he returned home, marie and her car were gone. andre made a round of calls to friends, nobody knew where marie was. he then took all the kids to his mother's house and dropped them off.

>> i remember somebody asked him where you going? and he says he's going to go check with my mom's girlfriends to see if he can find out where she's at.

>> andre 's first stop was the home of marie 's friend bridget harris whom he'd called earlier.

>> first he called and then i didn't really think anything of it, because i'm, like, well, she'll be back and then when he showed up, is when i got concerned. she's still not back?

>> cell phones were still pretty rare in those days.

>> so i paged her because i knew if i paged, she would immediately call me back.

>> but marie did not call back. the next morning andre knocked on the door of another friend, jean jones apthel.

>> he said they had an argument, i said, well, you had a little argument, don't worry about it. but the second he told me he had the baby, i knew something was wrong.

>> you paged h e ed her how many times?

>> i couldn't count how many times i paged her.

>> by now marie had been missing almost 18 hours, andre called the inglewood police.

>> police?

>> yes, i'd like to file a missing persons report.

>> okay. who is missing?

>> my wife, her name is marie jackson.

>> an officer came out to the house and met with andre .

>> you know, i see him talking to the cops but i still don't see my mom anywhere. and i think that's when i found out that my mom still hadn't come home yet. had no idea where she was at.

>> police started interviewing witnesses, searching the neighborhood, but the weekend passed with no sign of marie . that's when the phone rang on the desk of fbi agent rick hadel.

>> we got the report i believe on a monday, maybe a tuesday, that she was missing, didn't report to work. of course, they were concerned of her disappearance.

>> and that was unlike her.

>> absolutely.

>> it's unusual for the bureau to get involved in a missing persons case, but it turned out that marie singleton was no ordinary missing person . not with her job.

>> they called the department of defense . they didn't call it cia. but she's working for the u.s. government for the agency working on communications for them.

>> unbeknownst to just about everyone in her life, marie singleton was a code clerk for the central intelligence agency . she wasn't a spy, but she did handle classified communications from agents overseas. information that might be very interesting to enemies of the united states . part of what the fbi does is investigate things like this, if a cia employee goes missing.

>> right, exactly.

>> remember, this was 1994 , memories of the cold war were still fresh.

>> it could turn into an espionage investigation, for example, if you have missing classified information and somebody's going over helping the russians, the chinese, somebody like that, it could theoretically turn into that kind of a case.

>> so now there were parallel investigations. the local cops looked for a missing person . the fbi covertly looked for an intelligence worker who might have been kidnapped or changed sides. marie 's family, meanwhile, just wanted her back.

>> they started making flyers for my mom.

>> do you remember the flyers?

>> yeah. definitely remember the flyers.

>> soon a number of marie 's co-workers and friends were posting flyers on telephone and light poles , storefronts, and shopping centers . kelly clayton remembers how she and a friend asked andre what they could do to help.

>> he asked us to pass them out by the beach at this time i asked him why would we pass them out at the beach. and so then he said, well, you know, that's okay, you don't have to pass them out at the beach.

>> did he mention a specific beach or just anywhere in southern california ?

>> no, doc roger beach.

>> the beach is about eight miles from andre and marie 's home, near los angeles international airport , where flights leave daily for moscow and beijing. on tuesday, november 15th , four days after marie disappeared, andre himself went there to post flyers. he had an encounter with a perfect stranger and asked for help, and that's when this story took another strange turn.